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Notre Dame Basketball

Game Thread | No. 10 Kentucky at Notre Dame

December 10, 2021
7,361

No. 10 Kentucky (7-1) at Notre Dame (3-4)


Date: Dec. 11th

Time: 5:15 PM ET 

Where: Purcell Pavilion

TV:  ESPN | Dave O’Brien and Jay Bilas 

Line: Kentucky -4.0

O/U: 145.5


Quick Facts 

- Kentucky leads the all-time series 43-20

- Mike Brey holds a record of 2-2 against John Calipari

- The Irish hold a two-game winning streak against Kentucky at Purcell Pavilion.  

- Dane Goodwin has scored in double-figures in seven straight games. 

- LaPhonso Ellis will be inducted into the Purcell Pavilion Ring of Honor at halftime. 

- Notre Dame football coach Marcus Freeman will be in the building for Saturday’s game.


PROJECTED STARTERS

Notre Dame

Name Points Rebounds Assists
Blake Wesley 12.9 2.6 1.1
Cormac Ryan 8.6 3.6 2.0
Dane Goodwin 14.3 5.4 0.7
Nate Laszewski 8.6 9.1 1.0
Paul Atkinson Jr. 11.1 6.0 1.1

Kentucky 

Name Points Rebounds Assists
Sahvir Wheeler 10.8 2.9 8.4
Tyty Washington 14.8 4.9 3.1
Kellan Grady 9.3 1.1 1.1
Oscar Tshiebwe 15.3 15.4 1.3
Keion Brooks Jr. 11.7 4.6 0.1

 

Preview

Category Kentucky Notre Dame
Points  82.6 69.0
Opponent Points 60.9 66.7
FG% 48.4% 43.6%
Rebounds  45.9 35.1
Assists  17.3 12.3
Blocks 6.0 2.9
Steals 6.9 5.0

There will be energy inside Purcell Pavilion on Saturday afternoon as No. 10 Kentucky comes to Notre Dame. 

BBN travels well. New Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman will be in the building. LaPhonso Ellis will be inducted into the Ring of Honor. Notre Dame’s football recruits will be in the building. And maybe, Notre Dame students will show up for the matchup against one of the top teams in college basketball. 

The positive: Notre Dame did beat Kentucky 64-63 a year ago in Lexington.

The bad news: Kentucky has rolled over its roster and they are a dangerous team this year. 

It starts with Oscar Tshiebew. The 6-foot-9 forward transferred in from West Virginia and is on quite the tear as he’s averaging 15.3 points and 15.4 rebounds a game for the Wildcats. 

Who will be able to guard the Congo native? It doesn’t look bright for the Irish as Nate Laszewski and Paul Atkinson Jr. struggled with Illinois big man Kofi Cockburn earlier this season as he went for 28 and 8 in the Illini win. 

Sahvir Wheeler, a transfer from Georgia, is averaging 8.4 assists per game and runs the show. Will Mike Brey bring Prentiss Hubb off the bench again? Wheeler is 5-foot-9, but the crafty point guard will present a tough challenge for freshman Blake Wesley or Cormac Ryan. 

Notre Dame will need to find a way to score the ball, which will be interesting as Kentucky is big, long and athletic. The Irish have historically struggled against those teams and this year has been no different as Texas A&M shut Notre Dame down a few weeks ago. 

Dane Goodwin has put together a nice season, but he’s going to need help. Laszewski and Ryan are still averaging less than 10 points a game and Atkinson is struggling on offense as he’s scored seven points total over the last two games. 

Oh, it should be noted Kentucky leads the country in rebounding margin at +19. Yes, +19. Notre Dame is No. 152 in the country at +2. The Wildcats averaged 45.9 rebounds a game while the Irish averaged 35.1. 

It could get ugly and ugly fast if Notre Dame can’t make buckets and Kentucky dominates the glass as expected. 

But hey, the bright side is Marcus Freeman will likely juice up the crowd and the Fiesta Bowl is just three weeks away. 

 
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