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Notre Dame Basketball

Game Thread | Notre Dame at Louisville

February 23, 2021
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Notre Dame (9-11, 6-8) at Louisville (11-5, 6-4)


Date: February 23rd

Time: 7:00 p.m. ET

Where: KFC Yum! Center | Louisville, Ky.

TV:  ACC Network | Dave O’Brien and Corey Alexander 

Line: Louisville -3.5

ACC Standings 


Quick Facts 

- Mike Brey is 0-4 against Chris Mack and 7-14 facing Louisville. 

- Louisville leads the all-time series 26-15. 

- Notre Dame is the only team in the nation with two players shooting over .600 from the field with at least 125 field goal attempt this season - Nate Laszewski (.648) and Juwan Durham (.603).

- Nate Laszewski (7.8), junior guard Dane Goodwin (5.3) and Juwan Durham (5.2) are all averaging over 5.0 rebounds per game.

- Prentiss Hubb is averaging 6.2 assists per game this season, which would rank ninth on the Notre
Dame single-season list. Hubb has recorded five or more assists in 11 of his last 13 games played.


THE STARTERS

Notre Dame

Name Points Rebounds Assists
Prentiss Hubb 13.7 3.2 6.2
Cormac Ryan 10.1 3.8 2.5
Dane Goodwin 12.5 5.3 1.7
Nate Laszewski 15.0 7.8 0.9
Juwan Durham 10.2 5.2 1.5

Louisville 

Name Points Rebounds Assists
Carlik Jones 17.1 5.3 4.5
David Johnson 12.7 5.9 3.4
Jae’Lyn Withers 9.8 7.6 0.5
Dre Davis 7.9 3.4 1.2
Samuell Williamson 9.6 7.6 1.1

Preview

Points Per Game
Notre Dame: 72.9
Louisville: 68.5

Opponent Points Per Game
Notre Dame: 72.0
Louisville: 66.4

FG%
Notre Dame: 46.9%
Louisville: 44.3%

Rebounds Per Game
Notre Dame: 33.2
Louisville: 38.1

Assists Per Game
Notre Dame: 15.6
Louisville: 11.3

Blocks Per Game
Notre Dame: 4.0
Louisville: 2.1

Steals Per Game
Notre Dame: 4.0
Louisville: 5.1

Notre Dame is coming off a terrible loss at Syracuse on Saturday, but Louisville is coming off a horrific showing at North Carolina as the Cardinals lost 99-54 over the weekend. Now, Chris Mack’s program hadn’t played since February 1st, but both teams are looking to get a bad taste out of their mouths on Tuesday night. 

Mike Brey saw his team blow a double-digit lead in the second half and it will be about picking up the pieces again. 

"What I really talked to them about when he landed on Saturday night was we had our hearts broken at Georgia Tech in a very similar fashion as we did Saturday in the Carrier Dome and then we were tough enough to bounce back at Duke and scratch one out,” stated Brey on Monday. “We've done this before. We have been pretty good on the road. We actually have been better on the road offensively. We've been smoother.

“For us, we're going to have to score to escape people. We were on track to get that thing to 80 and then their press really bothered us and you couldn't score enough.” 

Notre Dame had practice a light practice on Sunday and then headed to Brey’s house for some bonding and to simply regroup. 

Brey also had a message for his leaders, Nike Djogo and Prentiss Hubb. 

They have the finger on the pulse of our group,” explained Brey. “I actually told them before we even got on the plane on Saturday evening, I said, 'I want this one to sting like Georgia Tech did for 48 hours because we reacted pretty well in Durham. Can we do the same thing?'”

If the Irish want to leave Louisville with a win, Notre Dame will need to break a press as Syracuse gave Brey’s team fits with pressure and it starts with the head coach. 

"I think I can do a better job getting us in the right spots in the backcourt against traps,” said Brey. “It's a fine line. You break the pressure and Saturday was a great example. We broke it a couple times had some 4-on-3, 3-on-2 and some good looks from guys who can make shots and made all of them in the first half in transition. You can't pull it back. You're then playing on your heels a little bit. 

"You have to hope you can make a couple of those to make them pay versus pressure. We didn't and we had some really good ones."

The good news for Notre Dame is Louisville is a far cry from teams of the last few years, but they are more than capable of getting a big win. 

Louisville “center” Dre Davis was banged up on Saturday with a thigh bruise, but Mack expects his 6-foot-5 freshman to play against the Irish. 

“He looks fine,” stated Mack. “Fred gave him treatment that night and he had full range of motion the next day. He went through yesterday's practice, surprisingly without any interruptions, without having to sit out any drills. Dre's a very tough kid and he's bounced back and I didn't see any ill effects.” 

The Irish were 3-of-4 from the free throw line on Saturday, but will need to get to the line more against the Cardinals. Notre Dame will also need to compete on the boards. Louisville entered the game No. 2 in the ACC in rebounds per game at 39.2 in conference play, including 12.1 offensive rebounds per game (2nd). The good news is Notre Dame leads the ACC in defensive rebounds at 27.2. 

At the end of the day, Louisville is still the better team and Notre Dame has continued to struggle against better teams. 

Prediction: Louisville 74 Notre Dame 70

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Game Thread | Notre Dame at Louisville

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