It has been a very difficult season for Notre Dame.
After Saturday's 77-73 loss to #17 NC State, they dropped to 1-4 in conference play, and have been devastated by injuries to several key players.
That has forced them to rely on their freshman class, including one they hoped they wouldn't have to play all season.
Freshman forward Chris Doherty made his Notre Dame debut Saturday, playing seven minutes, recording 3 rebounds, 1 block, one steal - and one burnt redshirt.
After struggling adjusting to college life in the summer and even returning home to Massachusetts, the plan was to have Doherty sit this season out and preserve a year of eligibility.
But with injuries to Rex Pflueger, Robby Carmody, and Juwan Durham, plus the mid-year transfer of senior captain Elijah Burns, the Irish flat out needed bodies, and his debut seemed more a matter of when, not if.
Doherty came off the bench and played seven minutes in the loss to the Wolfpack. He didn't score any points, but pulled down three rebounds, one block, and one steal.
After the game, Irish coach Mike Brey was pleased with Doherty's performance, and said there will be more minutes to come for the freshman.
"Chris gave us good minutes, you see, he's a warrior, and he's a battler, and I could care less about redshirts," Brey said. "That can be a little overrated, you can always redshirt a guy but we need to have him ready, and he'll play on Tuesday and he'll play the rest of the way, because I just don't know what's going on with Juwan's situation."
Doherty and the Irish will be back on the court Tuesday night when they take on Georgia Tech in Atlanta. Tip off is at 7pm.