NOTRE DAME, Ind. - There is just no way around it. Cameron Biedscheid will have to serve a one-game suspension this Saturday when the Notre Dame basketball team visits Louisville in the regular season finale for both teams. Biedscheid's sanction is for his part in the fight that took place with 1:46 remaining in Tuesday's 66-40 win over St. John's.
Fighting Irish head coach Mike Brey spoke to Big East officials after the victory and relayed the verdict during his Wednesday media teleconference.
"There's no way you can un-ring the bell when it's deemed a fight," Brey conveyed. "There's no appeal process, which is disappointing."
"Once it's deemed a fight, which it was, and he was throwing punches...it is what it is," he continued.
Biedscheid's suspension is the result of a fight that was instigated by St. John's sophomore Sir'Dominic Pointer, who was ejected as well after throwing the first punch at Biedscheid. The volley came at the exact moment Brey had called timeout to take senior Jack Cooley out of the game in his last game at Purcell Pavilion.
Biedscheid apologized to Brey after the game, but Brey says the apology was not necessary.
"I said you absolutely defended yourself," Brey recalled. "You did the right thing. I'm sorry you have to sit out a game. Let's learn from it. He's fine with it. Maybe it gets his juices flowing better when he comes back to us in the Big East Tournament."
The fight Pointer instigated with Biedscheid was not an isolated act, but more the result of a string of edgy acts by the St. John's guard. Pointer collected four fouls prior to throwing the punch at Biedscheid. He was animated with officials in his displeasure after each call against him. He also appeared to have taken a poke at Irish forward Tom Knight moments before the fight.
"In all honesty, maybe the game officials should have had a little bit more responsibility on what was transpiring down the stretch of the game," Brey said of the crew that was comprised of Roger Ayers, James Breeding and John Higgins. "But this is the situation we're in. Cam cannot play. We'll move forward and we'll get him back for the Big East Tournament."
"There was a lot on the line last night for both groups," Brey continued. "St. John's was trying to play for an NCAA Tournament (bid). They've already lost one guy (D'Angelo Harrison was suspended prior to Tuesday's game). We're trying to bounce back after getting our butts kicked over in Milwaukee (and) it's senior night. There were a lot of juices flowing."
St. John's has lost three straight and six of its last eight games after Notre Dame's win Tuesday night. Red Storm player Amir Garrett was also ejected for leaving the bench. He scored five points and had five rebounds during the game. The Big East is reviewing that.
Mike Broghammer could have been Notre Dame's ace in the hole during the unfortunate on court incident. Broghammer, who has missed his entire senior year due to leg injuries, recently took part in the Bengal Bouts at Notre Dame.
"I want to know why Broghammer didn't dive into that," Brey joked. "So he gets ejected, what's the big deal? I'm gonna be on him today like 'where were you my man'?".
Brey says Biedscheid will still travel with the Irish to Louisville this weekend. He will take part in the team's Saturday morning shoot around, but he will not be allowed to sit with the team on the bench during the game.
A win by the Irish on Saturday coupled with a Syracuse loss to Georgetown earlier in the day will give the Fighting Irish a double bye in next week's Big East Tournament.