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Notre Dame Basketball

Game Thread | Crossroads Classic | Notre Dame vs. Indiana

December 20, 2019
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Notre Dame (8-3) vs Indiana (10-1)| Crossroads Classic


Date: December 21st

Time: 12:00p.m. ET

Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse | Indianapolis, Ind.

TV:  ESPN | Jason Benetti and Jimmy Dykes 


Quick Facts 

- Notre Dame and Indiana will meet for the 73rd time on Saturday. 

- The Hoosiers led the all-time series 50-22 and a 3-1 advantage in the Crossroads Classic over the Irish. 

- John Mooney leads the nation in rebounds per game at 13.4.

- Notre Dame leads the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.82. 

- Dane Goodwin is one of four major conference players to average 10 points per game off the bench.


THE STARTERS

Notre Dame

Name Points Rebounds Assists
Prentiss Hubb 11.3 2.1 4.7
TJ Gibbs 12.6 3.1 3.8
Rex Pflueger 5.5 3.5 3.3
John Mooney 14.8 13.4 2.2
Juwan Durham 8.3 6.4 0.8

Indiana

Name Points Rebounds Assists
Al Durham 12.8 2.5 2.9
Devonte Green 12.5 2.4 2.6
Justin Smith 13.5 5.2 1.0
Joey Brunk 7.5 4.7 0.7
Trayce Jackson-Davis 15.1 9.1 0.9

Preview

Points Per Game
Notre Dame: 76.0
Indiana: 82.0

Opponent Points Per Game
Notre Dame: 64.1
Indiana: 67.0

FG%
Notre Dame: 41.9%
Indiana: 49.1

Rebounds Per Game
Notre Dame: 40.8
Indiana: 39.5

Assists Per Game
Notre Dame: 17.7
Indiana: 14.2

Blocks Per Game
Notre Dame: 4.1
Indiana: 4.9

Steals Per Game
Notre Dame: 6.5
Indiana: 6.5

Mike Brey’s team will travel to Indianapolis for its ninth Crossroads Classic and they’ll be greeted by Indiana along with a very pro-Hoosiers crowd in Indianapolis. 

The Irish should be ready to handle a neutral site game as they’ve played in two of the toughest environments in college basketball already this season, so Saturday is a golden opportunity to show growth. 

"We've already been in two atmospheres like this at North Carolina and Maryland,” stated Brey. “There will be a lot of red and white in there. It shouldn't be new to them. Maybe we're more ready to finish one of these. 

"It's always tough on the road even though we like playing there. Overall, we've played well there even though we're 4-4.”

Notre Dame is just 1-3 against Indiana in the Crossroads Classic, but the Irish offense is coming off a week of hitting on all cylinders. If the Irish win, the offensive efficiency must remain high on Saturday afternoon. 

"It'd be great to stay in that offensive rhythm,” Brey explained. “We were getting great looks before that and I thought we rose up and took them more confidently. I'm certainly convincing us that we found something on a daily basis. We're going to need to do that against a Power Five team. 

"We're going to have to make some shots over the top. The game plan is similar because UCLA and Indiana are very similar.” 

The Hoosiers probably won't shoot 34.9 percent like UCLA, but the Irish defense has risen to the occasion for most of the year. As Brey mentioned, Indiana will attack the paint like UCLA, so Notre Dame will need to be ready for a physical battle. 

“They are pounding you, coming at your lane,” said Brey. “I told our guys we lead the nation in the least amount of fouls and they lead the nation in free throws attempted. Something has to give." 

As for the key to the game, Notre Dame will need to win the three-point battle. Both teams enter shooting 34.2 percent from deep, so it's crucial for the Irish to make threes and timely threes to stay in the game. 

Notre Dame has had long scoring droughts in every game this season, but the three is the great equalizer. Dane Goodwin (42.2%) and TJ Gibbs (39.7%) lead the Irish, but a guy like Nate Laszewski (28.3%) or Prentiss Hubb (31.4%) getting hot could be problematic for the Hoosiers. 

At the end of the day, it's hard to look past Indiana's offensive success this season combined with the 'home' crowd in this one. The Irish keep it close, but the home crowd pushes the Hoosiers over the top with a late run.

Prediction: Indiana 81 Notre Dame 72

Mike Brey Notebook | Crossroads Classic

ISD Video | Mike Brey Previews Crossroads Classic

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Game Thread | Crossroads Classic | Notre Dame vs. Indiana

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