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Notre Dame Basketball

Even in defeat, Hubb shows he's a winner as Notre Dame captain

December 9, 2020
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Prentiss Hubb had set a new career-high scoring performance.

Notre Dame's lithe junior guard likewise had amassed a half-dozen rebounds and dished an equal number of assists.

For 37 of 40 minutes Tuesday night inside Purcell Pavilion, an evening that included all but one minute in the pivotal second half, Hubb willed his Fighting Irish to the brink of a significant upset of unbeaten and nationally ranked Ohio State.

With that as backdrop, Hubb still tried to apologize to his coach, Mike Brey, and Notre Dame teammates in the aftermath of their 90-85 loss to the Buckeyes.

All because, amidst enormous pressure and extended, physical defense as time ticked down, Hubb could not get off a shot nor hit Nate Laszewski with a pass.

Turnover. Game over. Message delivered.

“One, I was the one that turned it over,” Hubb said of his rationale behind the apology. “Second, just because I'm the leader of the team and Coach Brey relies on me a lot. I think that being like the vocal leader, it always falls back on the point guard, regardless of what happens.

“I could have done a lot of things better, but I'm going to just take the responsibility for my team and we're going to move on and get better.”

Captain stuff.

“Prentiss Hubb is a flat-out winner,” Brey said. “And he, at times, has been dragging this group along with him. And he did (Tuesday). I just love his leadership, I love his toughness.

“And he says to me walking off the court, 'That's my fault tonight.' I mean are you kidding me? Stop. We're not even in the game without him. My biggest thing is getting him some rest over the next 48 hours. And I'm going to turn him loose again in Lexington, Kentucky. He's just an all-around guard and there's a toughness about him; he's a leader. I love coaching him.”

The Irish (1-2) travel Saturday to perennial power Kentucky for a noon tip on CBS.

NCAA REPRIEVE?

Notre Dame's bench is preposterously short. The Irish got modest contributions from freshmen Tony Sanders Jr. and Matt Zona Tuesday night, to the tune of four combined points, three rebounds, a block and an assist in 23 combined minutes.

Nik Djogo remained out with an injury, though Brey has said he hoped to have Djogo return Saturday at Kentucky.

Robby Carmody has a targeted return after the first of the year as part of his path back from a pair of knee surgeries.

Yet Brey expressed optimism the Irish could land help next week – if the NCAA elects to grant eligibility to transfer players currently sitting out, such as Notre Dame guard and former Santa Clara standout Trey Wertz.

“I think it's being discussed,” Brey said. “I think there's a lot of discussion at the NCAA level on having availability of guys on your roster. I think you probably saw something about Dec. 16, them really thoroughly talking about that. … I think there is a school of thought that, you know what, maybe all these guys need to be eligible now so that we can get through a season and not cancel games.

“I applaud the NCAA for at least discussing this next Wednesday. This doesn't move that fast usually.”

In two years at Santa Clara, including an West Coast Conference All-Freshman selection, the 6-foot-5, 195-pound Wertz averaged 12 points per game each season.

 
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