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Irish Basketball Transfer Portal Roundup

Updated: Jun 19

Written by Brenden Duffy ⏐ Writer ⏐

Photo by Notre Dame Athletics


Following an overall disappointing season, Coach Micah Shrewsberry and the Irish had a rather quiet impact on the transfer portal. Perhaps the most important news this offseason came when reigning ACC Freshman of the Year, Markus Burton, announced he will be back for another season.


Despite the loss of Carey Booth, Shrewsberry added enough talent and experience to balance out the roster via recruiting and the portal. Let’s look at how the Irish fared in this transfer portal season:




 

Losses


As noted earlier, the biggest loss by the Irish during the portal was former 4-star Carey Booth. Originally, after Coach Shrewsberry’s departure from Penn State, Booth flipped his commitment to Notre Dame in May 2023. Last season, the freshman forward made 19 starts, averaging about 20 minutes per game in 33 appearances. Booth would finish the season averaging 6.4 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. The 6'10", 203-pounder showed flashes defensively but clearly lacked the shooting touch to be effective offensively. Booth entered the portal on April 1st, retaining 4-star status as a top 100 transfer. He would ultimately commit to the University of Illinois just two weeks later.


Another notable departure was 6'9" 243-pound forward Matt Zona. Coming out of high school, Zona was rated as a 3-star center from New Jersey. Just two days after taking an official visit to South Bend in September 2019, Zona committed to Notre Dame. Although he did not see the court much, Zona is a true Notre Dame lifer as he stayed true for four years. In 76 games played, Zona averaged about 2 points and 2 rebounds per game. On April 16, the graduate transfer announced he would be taking his talents to Fordham University. While furthering his education, Zona will look to bring his big-game experience to a smaller environment.


The final pending departure is that of graduate transfer Alex Wade. Wade announced his transfer intentions after three seasons in a reserve guard role for the Irish. Wade made 13 appearances in his time with the Irish.




 

Additions


Matt Alloco

The first addition via the portal came early on April 17 when Princeton graduate transfer, Matt Allocco, committed to the Irish. Coming out of high school, Allocco committed to Princeton as an unranked guard in June 2019. 


After not playing much his freshman and sophomore seasons, Allocco finally made an impact as a key piece on the Sweet 16 Tigers squad in 2022-2023. As a junior on the Cinderella team, Allocco started all 32 games primarily as the shooting guard. He finished that season averaging 10.7 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 0.8 steals per game while leading the Ivy League in total minutes played (1,055). Allocco shot the ball impressively all season, boasting a nice 45% from the field and 38% from three. He was named All-Ivy 2nd Team for his performance. 


This past season, Allocco had another solid year as a senior at Princeton. He was again named All-Ivy 2nd Team after averaging 12.7 points, 3.3 assists, and 2.9 rebounds per game. Allocco shot the lights out and joined the exclusive 50-40-90 club, shooting 50.8% from the field, 42.7% from three, and 90.9% from the free throw line. He also held an offensive rating of 129.8, the best in the Ivy League this past season. 


Allocco officially entered the transfer portal on March 21 and had multiple suitors, most notably Ohio State. Allocco committed to the Irish less than a month later. Coach Shrewsberry commented, “He is a proven winner who comes from a Notre Dame family…Matt has a tremendous basketball IQ…he is an elite shooter…and we have great expectations for what he will bring us on the court as a player and off the floor as a leader.” 


Allocco stated, “I grew up a Notre Dame fan so I’ve dreamed of representing this university since I was a young kid.” Matt’s father, Frank Alloco, played both football and basketball for Notre Dame in the 1970s. He is now the head basketball coach at the University of San Francisco. 


Every team needs good shooters in today’s game so the addition of Matt Allocco is one that could pay nice dividends by the time the season rolls around. In addition, his March Madness experience will be valued on this younger Irish squad. Expect Allocco to fit in nicely with the backcourt of Markus Burton and Braeden Shrewsberry.





Nikita Konstantynovskyi

The second addition of the portal was 6 '10 245-pound forward, Nikita Konstantynovskyi. Born and raised in Kyiv, Ukraine, Konstantynovskyi came to America in 2019 to pursue his basketball dreams.


Konstantynovskyi spent his first two years in America attending Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO A&M), a junior college. His first season at NEO A&M went well as he averaged 8+ points and 7+ rebounds per game and he was named a top-100 JUCO player in the country. 


Konstantynovskyi showed real growth the very next season. In 2020-21, he averaged 11+ points and 8 rebounds per game in 21 appearances. Konstantynovskyi’s 60.2% shooting from the field and his 44 blocked shots were both the 2nd-highest among JUCO players.


After his sophomore year, Konstantynovskyi entered the transfer portal seeking a Division I opportunity. After receiving multiple offers from mid-major programs, Konstantynovskyi officially committed to the University of Tulsa in April 2021. During the 2021-22 season, Konstantynovskyi appeared in 27 games totaling 9 starts. While averaging 8.6 minutes, Konstantynovskyi averaged 2 points on 52.8% shooting in addition to 2.7 rebounds per game. Unfortunately during the next season in 2022-23, Konstantynovskyi was limited to just two games due to injury. This would qualify him for an extra redshirt year.

Following his injury-riddled year, Konstantynovskyi entered the transfer portal in March 2023.


Over a month later, Konstantynovskyi decided to leave the state of Oklahoma and attend Monmouth University in New Jersey. This past season at Monmouth, Konstantynovskyi finally got his touch back averaging 9.3 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. He appeared in 33 games, making 32 starts. Konstantynovskyi totaled 6 double-doubles including a 22 point, 20 board performance versus Stony Brook. From the field, Konstantynovskyi shot 52.6% while averaging 23.4 minutes per game.


After one season at Monmouth, Konstantynovskyi entered the transfer portal on April 17. Some notable suitors in Konstantynovskyi’s recruitment included Ole Miss and Indiana. Less than a month after entering the portal and shortly after an official visit to South Bend, Konstantynovskyi committed to Notre Dame on May 14. Konstantynovskyi stated, “I have made a good relationship with (Coach Shrewsberry)...Once it was all in place, I decided to go right away to Notre Dame. It’s a special place, it’s a good environment, all the coaches were awesome and that’s why I went toward Notre Dame.”


Konstantynovskyi will look to contribute in his grad transfer season. If Shrewsberry maintains his “4 guard, 1 big” style of play, Konstantynovskyi will have a chance to be the “1 big.” His rebounding and finishing around the basket should be welcomed to a program that lacked both of these qualities last season. University of Oklahoma Assistant Coach and former Irish player, Ryan Humphrey, commented, “He’s skilled…He has good touch around the rim and knows how to use his body and angles.” If Konstantynovskyi improves on his 65.2% free throw shooting he could serve very well for the Irish. A note on Konstantynovskyi is he will NOT shoot the three, attempting (and missing) his lone attempt in three years of Division I basketball. 





Burke Chebuhar

The most recent and likely final addition via the portal this offseason is 6'8" 230 pound forward, Burke Chebuhar. The Georgia native chose to play at Division III Bowdoin College coming out of high school. After the Covid pandemic canceled Chebuhar’s freshman season, he decided to transfer and walk-on at Lehigh University.


Chebuhar’s first two years at Lehigh started slow as he only appeared in 22 games, totaling just 40 minutes played. 


This past season Chebuhar finally played a larger role making 22 starts in 32 appearances, averaging just under 23 minutes per game. He finished the season averaging 7.5 points on 46.2% shooting from the field in addition to 5 rebounds per game. Chebuhar notched 3 double-doubles and 3 games with 20+ points including a 22-point performance in a conference tournament win versus Lafayette. Chebuhar would enter the transfer portal as a graduate transfer following the season.


On May 16, Chebuhar officially committed to Notre Dame after visiting South Bend the same day as Nikita Konstantynovskyi. It will be interesting to see how far Chebuhar can climb the rotation but it should be expected he will play in a reserved role. Overall, he seems like a very solid player. His greatest strengths appear to be rebounding, perimeter defense, and interior offense. Chebuhar is also solid at the free throw line, shooting 76.7% last season. The biggest need for some improvement would be his three-point shooting. Last season, Chebuhar took 84 three-points attempts, compared to 87 two-pointers. This is notable because he is extremely better inside, averaging 59.8% from 2 compared to 32.1% from 3. Chebuhar is better suited to play down low, but if he can improve this aspect of his game he could be a real weapon for the Irish.

 

In all, this was a fairly offsetting transfer portal period for the Irish. The loss of Carey Booth may sting but the addition of Konstantynovskyi and incoming freshman Sir Mohammed should offset this at the forward position. The addition of these three experienced grad transfers should serve the Irish well in March. Both Allocco and Konstantynovskyi are set to be key contributors on a team looking to rebound from a tough season.



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