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Notre Dame Basketball

Game Thread | No. 13 Louisville at Notre Dame

January 11, 2020
3,544

No. 13 Louisville at Notre Dame 


Date: January 11th

Time: 2:00p.m. ET

Where: Purcell Pavilion | Notre Dame, Ind. 

TV:  ESPN | Doug Sherman and Cory Alexander

ACC Standings


Quick Facts 

- Notre Dame and Louisville will meet for the 40th time on Saturday afternoon. 

- The Cardinals hold a 25-14 lead in the series, but Notre Dame is 8-8 at home against Louisville.

- John Mooney leads the nation in rebounds per game at 13.6.

- Notre Dame leads the nation in least amount of fouls committed per game (11.9)

- The Irish also lead the country in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.85.) 

- Notre Dame is the only ACC team with three players in the top four of the conference in assist-to-turnover ratio (all games). T.J. Gibbs is second (3.17), Rex Pflueger is third (2.48) and Prentiss Hubb is fourth (2.25).

- With 33 double-doubles in 54 career starts, John Mooney has posted the best double-double per start percentage (.611) since game starts became an official game stat in the 1978-79 season


THE STARTERS

Notre Dame

Name Points Rebounds Assists
Prentiss Hubb 12.4 2.0 4.9
TJ Gibbs 13.0 2.9 3.8
Rex Pflueger 4.9 3.4 3.7
John Mooney 15.8 13.6 1.9
Juwan Durham 8.2 6.3 0.9

Louisville 

Name Points Rebounds Assists
Darius Perry 6.0 2.1 4.1
Lamarr Kimble 4.6 1.3 2.8
Jordan Nwora 20.9 7.7 1.4
Dwayne Sutton 8.9 8.8 2.1
Steven Enoch 11.5 7.1 0.5

Preview

Points Per Game
Notre Dame: 75.6
Louisville: 75.3

Opponent Points Per Game
Notre Dame: 65.5
Louisville: 61.0

FG%
Notre Dame: 42.6%
Louisville: 46.9%

Rebounds Per Game
Notre Dame: 40.3
Louisville: 40.3

Assists Per Game
Notre Dame: 18.3
Louisville: 14.7

Blocks Per Game
Notre Dame: 4.4
Louisville: 2.9

Steals Per Game
Notre Dame: 6.1
Louisville: 4.7

Notre Dame is in dangerous territory heading into Saturday’s game against No. 13 Louisville as the Irish are facing the possibility of starting ACC play 1-4. It would be a mammoth hole and one the Irish might not be able to dig out of as the meat of the ACC schedule is still ahead. 

The good news for Notre Dame and Fighting Irish fans is college basketball has been absolutely crazy this year. Louisville has also lost two of its last three games as Kentucky and Florida State handed out tough losses to the Cardinals. 

“This would be huge for us,” Irish head coach Mike Brey stated on Friday. “We need it bad. No question about it. What do we call it? Backs against the wall Saturday? I've only had 45 of those in my 20-year career.” 

The three-point shot has been key for Notre Dame all year, but Brey knows his team better rebound the ball on Saturday or it could be a long afternoon. Both teams enter the game averaging exactly 40.3 rebounds per game, but Louisville has four players averaging over six rebounds per game. 

"We're going to have to rebound better,” explained Brey. “The offensive boards hurt us. They have the bodies that can hurt us on the offensive boards like NC State.”

John Mooney leads the country in rebounds per game (13.6), but Brey is looking to others to help on the boards. Rex Pflueger likely back in the lineup will help, however, Brey is looking at his sophomores and it starts with guard Dane Goodwin. 

“He's athletic and he can help us on the backboard,” Brey said. “I feel we will have Rex (Pflueger) tomorrow and he helps us in that area. 

"I feel Nate (Lazzewski) has developed in that area and has become more of a big-time rebounder. Juwan has to be stronger with it. That's a challenge for him and we keep challenging him to be a stronger two-handed rebounder. 

"There's a tendency to let John get all of them because he gets just about all of them. When you're playing against NC State's front line and these guys tomorrow, there are more bodies coming in there." 

Louisville will look to slow the tempo down as Jordan Nwora is a walking bucket as he’s averaging 20.9 points a night. Notre Dame will look to continue to push the ball early as Brey doesn’t want to play against a set defense. 

“We want to get down the floor and see if we can not play against how they jam it in and pack it in,” said Brey. “That's who we are - the 20-second shot clock thing we started last year. 

"It helps Prentiss. Playing fast helps Prentiss Hubb and it helps ignite the rest of this. It's good for our team and great for our point guard to play faster. Louisville's tempo is grinding you and we're moving it different than we have in the past.” 

A questionable Pflueger hurts Notre Dame more in this one as the Irish don’t really have anyone to matchup against Nwora, which is problematic. 

Prediction Louisville 77 Notre Dame 61

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