Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Basketball

Gibbs, Hubb Can Be Elite Tandem

January 7, 2020

Prentiss Hubb scrolled through his phone, and laughed.


It had been a long time since Notre Dame’s basketball team had won a game it perhaps wasn’t expected to win, let alone in a typically daunting environment such as Syracuse’s Carrier Dome.

So the Fighting Irish sophomore guard had more than a couple notifications Saturday night on the heels of Notre Dame’s 88-87 win.

“Yeah, it was a little crazy,” said Hubb. “Some people congratulating me, some people mad that we won. But, I mean, I was more focused on being able to get a good win on the road in a road-atmosphere like that one.”

“I don’t really dwell on it too much, like read up on it too much, but it’s pretty funny to read.”

Hubb, alongside senior backcourt mate T.J. Gibbs, is giving plenty of reading material for the opposition, including N.C. State (10-4, 1-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), which hosts the Irish (10-4, 1-2 ACC) Wednesday at 7 p.m. (ACC Network).

The duo combined for 43 points, including 12-for-20 on 3-pointers, and doled out 12 assists in the Irish’s first road win since at Boston College last season. Combined they’re averaging 24.5 points per game and have connected 73 times from long range.

“I feed off his energy so much,” the senior guard Gibbs said of Hubb. “He’s a great player, he’s growing into his own. He hit some really big shots, some tough shots and when he’s playing like that, with his high confidence, it makes our team just that much better.”

Added Hubb, “T.J. is my brother; me and him always got each other’s back. Whenever we can get each other fired up, we always do because we know that whenever we go onto the court, it’s a war and we’ve got to know that one another can have each other’s backs.”

The Irish, quite simply, are a different team when second and third scoring options help ease the burden on reigning ACC Player of the Week John Mooney, who leads the nation with 13.5 rebounds per game and paces Notre Dame with 15.9 points.

For Hubb, he knows the backcourt can help set the table in each game --- and chart the course for the Notre Dame season.

“We’re a really dangerous backcourt, especially when we’re both making shots and making plays for our other teammates,” Hubb said. “Because when we’re able to do that, we’re able to take off pressure for a lot of our other guys like a lot of our shooters, too. Rex (Pflueger), Nate (Laszewski), Dane (Goodwin) for them to get wide-open shots, and then once we’re all going it’s no stopping us.”

It’s Gibbs this season with the penchant for getting the Irish going from the outset, coming off a game against the Orange in which he had a blistering first-half run that included scoring 10-straight points for the Irish.

“It helps, and he’s really jump-started us,” Brey said of Gibbs. “He has wanted to score early and shoot early and get us started. Whether it’s here or other places. I like the fact that he is shooting the ball when he’s got it, and his assists …what he does. The play that will never be recognized is that he worked to get it to Dane at the foul line before Dane hit Prentiss for that three across from our bench.

“How T.J. worked to get that foul-line touch, because they were cheating it, and he kept working it, kept working it. It had to go there before it went there, and it’s just a veteran, feel-for-the-game move. But we want him scoring and shooting and early he has helped us.”

Gibbs says Brey’s approach negates any cause for concern about hoisting those early and open shots --- a mindset Gibbs believes Notre Dame can carry throughout the season.

“It’s always good to have a green light,” Gibbs said. “It’s so easy to play for Coach; it’s definitely easier to be in the flow and go for it and be aggressive the whole game.”

And when the duo’s shots are falling, it can make for some an interesting reading on their phones.

subscribe Verify your student status
See Subscription Benefits
Trial only available to users who have never subscribed or participated in a previous trial.