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Notre Dame Basketball

Game Thread | Notre Dame at No. 19 Virginia Tech

January 10, 2021
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Notre Dame (3-6, 0-3) at No. 19 Virginia Tech (8-2, 2-1)


Date: January 10th

Time: 6:00 p.m. ET

Where: Cassell Coliseum | Blacksburg, Va.

TV:  ACC Network | Wes Durham and Jordan Cornette

Line: Virginia Tech -6.5 

ACC Standings 


Quick Facts 

- Mike Brey is 9-3 vs. Virginia Tech and 2-0 against Mike Young. 

- Notre Dame leads the all-time series 9-4

- Nate Laszewski’s field goal percentage in 2020-21, which leads the ACC, is third among major conference players and ninth in the NCAA.

- The Irish are 12th in the country and first in the ACC in free throw percentage at .793.


THE STARTERS

Notre Dame

Name Points Rebounds Assists
Prentiss Hubb 14.8 3.1 4.6
Cormac Ryan 8.6 4.1 3.3
Dane Goodwin 13.8 5.4 1.9
Trey Wertz 9.8 2.5 2.8
Nate Laszewski  17.2 8.2 0.4

Virginia Tech

Name Points Rebounds Assists
Wabissa Bede 5.4 2.1 3.1
Nahiem Alleyne 11.5 1.6 1.3
Tyrece Radford 9.9 5.7 2.2
Keve Aluma 15.5 6.5 1.3
Justyn Mutts 6.9 6.1 2.0

Preview

Points Per Game
Notre Dame: 71.4
Virginia Tech: 75.1

Opponent Points Per Game
Notre Dame: 74.2
North Carolina: 65.1

FG%
Notre Dame: 45.2%
Virginia Tech: 45.4%

Rebounds Per Game
Notre Dame: 32.4
Virginia Tech: 35.8

Assists Per Game
Notre Dame: 14.6
Virginia Tech: 13.4

Blocks Per Game
Notre Dame: 3.3
Virginia Tech: 3.1

Steals Per Game
Notre Dame: 3.6
Virginia Tech: 4.8

Notre Dame needs a win in the worst way as the Irish are in danger of starting 0-4 in ACC play. Sunday will be a tall task as No. 19 Virginia Tech hosts the Irish and Notre Dame has lost 25 straight games against ranked opponents, 

Mike Brey got his last win against a ranked team at home in February of 2017 against Florida State and on the road, well, it would have been Maui against Wichita State in November of 2017. That streak could end today in Blacksburg or it could extend past four years the way the Irish have looked at times this year.

Notre Dame knows what it’s going to get from Prentiss Hubb, Dane Goodwin and Nate Laszewski. They’ve been the one bright spot of his season as the core of the 2018 recruiting class has shown growth and maturity. 

For Notre Dame to win, Cormac Ryan, Trey Wertz and Juwan Durham need to raise their games. Ryan was the unknown hope entering this season as Brey felt he could add scoring to the lineup. Through nine games,the 6-foot-5 guard is averaging just 8.6 points per game and has scored in double-figures just twice in the last seven games, including the last three games of 5, 0 and 7. 

Brey felt Ryan might have turned a corner in Chapel Hill last weekend even though he scored just five points. 

"He didn't score a whole lot, but I thought his tempo was better in the North Carolina game,” stated Brey. “It wasn't as rushed and not putting it on the floor. I remember some of the turnovers he had in earlier games. He has a better tempo. I thought the shots he got were great. 

"The one thing I know he kicks himself a little bit, he probably should have kept that ball at the end. I think the next time, as he grows, he'll take that last shot. Go to the hole and get a shot. 

"He always works defensively. Sometimes he works too hard. I thought his tempo of taking a shot, not over dribbling and not forcing things was much better. We didn't win and we didn't get the result we wanted, but I liked his tempo."

Wertz will likely be back from his sprained ankle on Sunday and he’s been another bright spot as the Santa Clara transfer has fit well into the Irish rotation in four games. However, Wertz will need to find more rhythm on offense as the last two games haven’t been productive. Wertz scored two points in 29 minutes against Bellarmine before scoring one point in 10 minutes against Virginia before his injury. 

"I don't think he'd be available to play tomorrow if we play,” Brey said Tuesday. “I'm hoping maybe Sunday in Blacksburg is the reality for him. Trending the right way." 

As for this game, Notre Dame will need to win the boards and shoot the three-ball well. The Irish have to prove they can beat a ranked team and Virginia Tech is definitely beatable. 

Prediction: Virginia Tech 74 Notre Dame 68

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Game Thread | Notre Dame at No. 19 Virginia Tech

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