Marian alum and Irish freshman Demetrius Jackson was back at practice on Monday after being away from the Notre Dame men's basketball program for the last six days to focus on improving his 'academic habits' as Irish coach Mike Brey described it.
"He just needed a message sent," Brey explained Monday. "This was not a university thing, it's not like he was academically ineligible. It's just habits. I'm very proud in how he's handled his business and he's all caught up doing his thing like he was in the fall."
"He was great. He just needed some time to catch up and he did."
In total, Jackson missed two games, both of which the Irish won. Jackson will travel with the team to Wednesday's game at Miami but Brey says it will be a wait and see approach on whether Jackson plays.
"He's gotta get back in a rhythm and we'll slowly do that," Brey said. "You really want to see how he does in practice. Just want to really make sure he's ready both physically and mentally to get back in there. We need him but I don't want to rush anything."
Brey says the biggest thing he emphasized to Jackson this past week away from the academic side was "patience."
"Patience on his development," Brey explained. "This is a long term developing guy and even in patience right now as we bring him back."
Brey says Jackson is not the only player to fall into this trap over the years, including some current members of the Irish.
"We had a 6am spin class in the fall on Mondays," Brey explained with a smile. "Guys jumped in there every now and then when I looked at their track record of class attendance or any issues I had the week before, I said on a Sunday, 'guess who's in spin class tomorrow, you two guys.'"
Brey, who began his career as a high school teacher and coach, says these things just happen.
"Young people being young people just learning to realign the priorities," he said.