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Notre Dame Basketball

Game Thread | St. Mary's vs. Notre Dame | Maui Invitational

November 22, 2021
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St. Mary’s (4-0) vs. Notre Dame (2-0) | Maui Invitational 


Date: Nov. 22

Time: 11:30 p.m. ET

Where: Michelob Ultra Arena | Las Vegas, Nev. 

TV:  ESPN2 | John Schriffen and Cory Alexander

Line: Notre Dame -2.0

O/U: 134.5


Quick Facts 

- Notre Dame leads the head-to-head series 2-0.  

- Mike Brey and Randy Bennett will face off for the first time on Monday night. 

- Notre Dame has claimed the title of the past four in-season tournaments in which it has competed - 2016 Legends Classic, 2017 Maui Invitational, 2018 Gotham Classic and 2019 Men Against Breast Cancer Invitational. The Irish are 15-1 in those events.

- The Irish are 6-3 all-time in the Maui Invitational with two championship game appearances (2008, 2017) and an event title (2017)

- Notre Dame had three players – Paul Atkinson Jr., Nate Laszewski and Dane Goodwin – earn double-doubles in the same game for the first time since 2012 vs. High Point. It also marked the first time three Irish players reached double-digit rebounds in a game since 2010

- Paul Atkinson Jr. has scored in double-figures in 32 straight games. 


THE STARTERS

Notre Dame

Name Points Rebounds Assists
Prentiss Hubb 4.0 2.0 5.5
Cormac Ryan 7.0 3.0 2.5
Dane Goodwin 15.0 7.5 1.0
Nate Laszewski 7.0 12.0 0.5
Paul Atkinson Jr. 17.5 8.5 1.0

St. Mary’s   

Name Points Rebounds Assists
Tommy Kuhse 10.3 2.5 4.0
Logan Johnson 11.5 4.0 2.8
Alex Ducas 11.3 4.5 0.0
Mattias Tass 11.5 3.5 2.8
Kyle Bowen 6.3 7.8 2.0

 

Preview

Category St. Mary’s Notre Dame
Points  74.3 69.0
Opponent Points 60.3 56.5
FG% 44.5% 41.7%
Rebounds  35.3 42.0
Assists  15.5 13.5
Blocks 1.8 4.0
Steals 8.0 5.0

The Maui Invitational has been good to Notre Dame and the Irish will kick things off Monday night against St. Mary’s, who enters the game with a 4-0 record. 

Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey knows this will be the first test of the year for his Irish and they’ll be facing an equally as old team.

"We're headed out and we play a heck of a program on Monday,” Brey said. “Randy Bennett has been doing it for a long time and doing it his way. You talk about our experience factor; they're really old and play their way. They methodically play. Heck of a challenge in game three. Here we go."

The Irish have stressed defense for the last six months and Brey is pleased with the results through two games, but he's interested to see how his offense can improve. 

Prentiss Hubb, Cormac Ryan and Nate Laszewski have struggled to find their shot early and while Brey isn't worried, he's curious to see how his veterans figure it out. 

"It's a great challenge for our defense," explained Brey. "They're a really gifted and smart offensive team. It's going to be a challenge for our offensive efficiency. If you don't score and take a quick one - they're going to grind you for 25 seconds. I don't want to not run and I don't want us not to rise up and take open looks, but our decisions in transition and halfcourt - they don't run anything we haven't seen. 

"I'm interested to see how our principles carry over. They are men and they have a nice pace about them and a physicalness about them that will be a great challenge for us." 

 St. Mary’s is similar to Notre Dame in many ways. The Gaels are old, but they also like to throw to the post as sixth man Dan Fotu leads the team in scoring. 

"They throw it into the big guy and move off the post like we throw it to Paul or have thrown it in over the years and move off the post,” stated Brey. “That's like playing us. 

"They're steady and solid with it. They do what they do. I really respect groups that don't beat themselves. We've tried to play like for 22 years. I think they're a little further ahead than us right now because of the experience as we're plugging in some new faces. That's why it's a great challenge for us and our offensive decisions will really be a key." 

Bennett and Brey had the chance to meet for the first time recently at an Under Armour retreat and both coaches gained a ton of respect for each other as they had a three-hour conversation following dinner. 

"We spent some time together and it was interesting to share and talk basketball,” Brey said. “We kind of do it the same. You watch both teams play and he's found a spot. He's been true to what they do. 

"He's always got to do with Gonzaga and I have to deal with about five or seven and sometimes nine of them." 

If Notre Dame wants to return to the NCAA Tournament, it starts this week as the Irish will have a chance to stack quality wins.

"You do have resume games out there," said Brey. “Hell, Monday is one because I think they're going to have a hell of a year. You got an opportunity there. I know Oregon had a tough one the other night, but I have a feeling when the smoke clears, they're going to be right there.

"I tried to not even look at the other side of the bracket. I didn't know Wisconsin lost at home to Providence. I know Houston put it on Virginia the other night. We'll deal with that side when we get there on Tuesday night." 

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Game Thread | St. Mary's vs. Notre Dame | Maui Invitational

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