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Notre Dame Basketball

Game Thread | NC State at Notre Dame

March 3, 2021
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NC State (12-9, 8-8) at Notre Dame (9-13, 6-10)


Date: March 3

Time: 7:00 p.m. ET

Where: Purcell Pavilion | Notre Dame, Ind.

TV:  ACC Network | Jay Alter and Malcolm Huckaby

Line: Notre Dame -2.0

ACC Standings 


Quick Facts 

- Mike Brey is 4-5 when facing NC State and 1-2 against Kevin Keatts

- Notre Dame leads the all-time series 8-7. 

- Juwan Durham has scored in double-figures in eight consecutive games.

- Prentiss Hubb needs 14 assists over the final two ACC games to break Jerian Grant’s school record of 125 assists in conference play. 

- Wednesday night’s game will mark 17 days since Notre Dame’s last home game against Miami on Feb. 14. It is the longest streak without a conference home game for the Irish since the 2015-16 season – which also featured a 17-day home game lull from Feb. 13 through March 2.

- Prentiss Hubb needs 29 more points to become the 65th Notre Dame player to reach 1,000 points in a season and the 24th of the Mike Brey era. Should he reach 1,000 points this season, he would be the sixth player of the Brey era (that played all seasons for Coach Brey) to reach that plateau in his third season of action.


THE STARTERS

Notre Dame

Name Points Rebounds Assists
Prentiss Hubb 14.4 3.3 6.2
Cormac Ryan 9.9 4.0 2.6
Dane Goodwin 12.3 5.3 1.5
Nate Laszewski 14.1 7.6 0.8
Juwan Durham 10.6 5.1 1.4

NC State  

Name Points Rebounds Assists
Cam Hayes 7.2 2.2 3.2
Dereon Seabron 4.4 2.7 0.8
Jericole Hellems 13.1 5.3 1.7
Manny Bates 9.5 5.7 0.6
DJ Funderburk 12.3 5.4 0.2

Preview

Points Per Game
Notre Dame: 72.7
NC State: 73.1

Opponent Points Per Game
Notre Dame: 72.8
NC State: 69.4

FG%
Notre Dame: 47.0%
NC State: 47.0%

Rebounds Per Game
Notre Dame: 33.0
NC State: 32.3

Assists Per Game
Notre Dame: 15.4
NC State: 13.1

Blocks Per Game
Notre Dame: 3.8
NC State: 4.5

Steals Per Game
Notre Dame: 4.0
NC State: 8.6

There isn’t much to write here that’s positive as Notre Dame has lost three in a row and NC State has won four straight. Mike Brey’s team showed no life on Saturday at Boston College and it’s far from what anyone wanted to see with two regular-season games left on the schedule. 

Notre Dame must get junior forward Nate Laszewski locked in and aggressive on offense. The 6-foot-10, 227-pounder is just 4-for-16 from the field in his last two games and despite shooting 61.2 percent from the field, Laszewski has a bad trend going over the last two months. 

Since January 10th, Laszewski has taken 10 or more shots three times in the last 13 games. For someone who has led the Irish in scoring for just about all of the year, it’s a negative trend and Prentiss Hubb has now taken over the top spot on the Irish scoring sheet. 

In fact, Laszewski was averaging 17.2 points per game heading into the January 10th game at Virginia Tech. He scored 17 that night and has had some fine games since, but he enters Wednesday’s game averaging 14.1 points a night. That’s a sharp decline. 

It’s not all on Laszewski as Brey has admitted he doesn’t call plays or sets a few times this season, which is concerning in itself. Laszewski is a player who could benefit from having a set run for him for consistency, but also to know where he’s getting a shot.

Outside of the offense, the Irish defense needs to show up for at least a half on Wednesday. It’s evident this Notre Dame team isn’t capable of playing defense for a full 40 minutes and that’s fine, but the Irish can’t duplicate its performance on Saturday where they gave up 94 points to a make-shift Boston College team. 

Brey didn’t even have answers after the performance as he didn’t know how to motivate his team following the game. 

"Can I get back to you Wednesday after the game,” Brey said when asked how he can challenge his team to play defense. “We can evaluate that and see if we've made any progress. I'm not trying to be a smart ass. We've exhausted a lot of different things.” 

The glimmer of light is that Notre Dame did play enough defense to give the program hope in February, but the Irish can’t fall back into old habits. 

“When we came off the mat after 0-5 and we weren't guarding, they guarded as a group and understood it,” said Brey. “We challenged them and showed it to them. They know that was some old habits today. I don't even have to show them any of that. They know it. Either we're going to do it a little better against NC State on Wednesday, or someone else is going to put 90 on the board. We've got to score 100 to escape." 

Escape might the be right word, but Brey believes his team might have some fight left as they’ll return to Purcell Pavilion for the first time in 17 days and Notre Dame will have students in attendance for the first time this season. 

"We get to play at home and it's been so long since we've played at home,” Brey said. “It'll be neat to play at home. 

"I think just playing at home will refresh us. I told them after the game that one of our themes was to be tougher than the year. They have been. They've been great. I felt for them today a little bit because we were hanging on for dear life at times. We'll go back to work and play a home game - I hope." 

It’s extremely hard to believe this team will win another game this year as I’m not sure they believe they can win a game. 

Prediction: NC State 78 Notre Dame 72

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Game Thread | NC State at Notre Dame

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