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Notre Dame Basketball

Notre Dame Hoops Observations | Trending Towards Long 2021-22

December 4, 2021

It wasn't time to panic on Friday afternoon as Notre Dame entered a road game at Boston College. 

The Irish were 3-3 with back-to-back disappointing losses to Illinois and Texas A&M. Notre Dame should have beaten the Aggies and Illinois showed the gap between "grown men" and having older players. 

Saturday morning, Mike Brey and his Irish team wake up 3-4 overall and 0-1 in the ACC with an embarrassing 73-57 loss to Boston College. 

Why embarrassing? 

Brey's club was down by 23 points with 14:34 left in the game. It's a disappointing sign for the Irish as they were down 10 at halftime and in less than six minutes, Boston College had more than doubled its lead. 

That's a lack of desire and heart. It's one thing to compete and still allow the lead to stretch to 15 as that's two bad possessions. 

52-29 looks terrible on the scoreboard, but scoring two points in the opening five minutes and 24 seconds when you trail by 10 is even worse. 

Notre Dame shot 28.6 percent from three. Brey has littered his roster with "shooters" and the Irish are regressing. 

Nate Laszewski is in his fourth year in the program and there were signs a year ago that he could be in for a big year. And yes, it should be noted Laszewski has been good on the boards, but the shooting numbers are mind-blowing. 

Oh, Laszewski shot his first free throw of the season in the opening 20 minutes. The season. 

The same goes for Prentiss Hubb, who finally got going with 15 points on Friday, but the senior point guard has zero flow in the offense right now. 

Here’s a quick look at how Notre Dame old guys are playing and why it’s concerning. 

Prentiss Hubb 2020-21:
FG: 39.2% (13.2 shots per game)
3PT%: 34.2 (7.3 per game)
Points per Game: 14.6

Prentiss Hubb 2021-22:
FG: 28.6% (8.0 shots per game)
3PT%: 21.2 (4.7 per game)
Points per Game: 7.3

Nate Laszewski 2020-21
FG: 58.9% (7.8 shots per game)
3PT%: 43.4 (4.1 per game)
Points per Game: 13.3

Nate Laszewski 2021-22: 
FG: 45.3% (7.8 shots per game)
3PT%: 37.9% (3.2 per game)
Points per Game: 8.6 

It's not the numbers you want to see. Is it coaching? Is it a lack of development? Is it the player not caring? 

If you really want to be mind blown, Notre Dame's defensive three-point percentage is good for 347th in the country. 

347th out of 350 teams. 

You won't win many games if you let your opponents shoot 42 percent from three or higher, as Boston College shot 46.2 percent from deep. 

Notre Dame put an emphasis on defense in the offseason and you've seen flashes, but 347th in the nation in three-point defense is alarming. 

Perhaps what is even the most embarrassing thing for Notre Dame on Friday was Boston College didn't score over the final 4:32, yet the Irish didn't hit a field goal over the final 4:19. 

Notre Dame failed to score a bucket in the last 3:29 seconds against St. Mary's. 

Cormac Ryan hit a layup with 9:00 left to take a 54-51 lead against Texas A&M. That was Notre Dame's last field goal until there were four seconds left in the game when Blake Wesley got a sympathy dunk as the Irish lost 73-67 to the Aggies. 

Notre Dame's offense is broken and the three-point defense is terrible. Not a recipe for success. 

The positive: Teams aren't beating Notre Dame 1-on-1 for layups in the halfcourt. 

Boston College was selected to finish 15th in the ACC. That's last place. 

If Friday's offensive performance wasn't ugly enough, we'll list these stats as the numbers say enough. 

Total Rebounds
Boston College: 38
Notre Dame: 27

Second-Chance Points
Boston College: 14
Notre Dame: 2

Points in the Paint
Boston College: 32
Notre Dame: 20

Boston College: 9 
Notre Dame: 5

Boston College: 6/13
Notre Dame: 8/28

Notre Dame was even in turnovers (11), assists (13) and were 7-for-7 from the free-throw line, but were dominated in every other category. 

Brey and the Irish get a week off to do deep soul searching.

If Notre Dame can't find the desire to play hoops, it will get ugly quickly. 

No. 9 Kentucky (5-1) comes to Purcell Pavilion next Saturday with Indiana (6-1) the week after. 

The Irish will then host Western Michigan (3-4) and Texas A&M Corpus Christi (6-1) before a road trip to Pitt to end December. 

Oh, the first two games of January are home games against Duke and North Carolina. 

There have been some long hoops seasons in recent years and 2021-22 could be the longest if Notre Dame and Brey can’t figure something out soon. 

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Notre Dame Hoops Observations | Trending Towards Long 2021-22

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