Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Basketball

Hoops Preview: Wake Forest at Notre Dame

February 6, 2017

Wake Forest (14-9, 5-6) at Notre Dame (17-7, 6-5)

Date: February 7
Where: Purcell Pavilion, South Bend, Ind.
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET

Quick Facts
- Tuesday will mark just the seventh meeting between the two programs.
- Series is tied at 3-3.
- Notre Dame is 2-0 against Wake Forest at Purcell Pavilion.
- VJ Beachem has scored 20 points in three-straight games.
- Bonzie Colson enters the game with 954 career points.

The Starters

Notre Dame
Matt Farrell: 14.0 ppg, 2.1 rpg and 5.4 apg
Steve Vasturia: 13.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg and 3.3 apg
VJ Beachem: 15.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg and 1.0 apg
Austin Torres: 1.8 ppg, 1.7 rpg and 0.3 apg
Bonzie Colson: 15.6 ppg, 10.5 rpg and 1.8 apg

Wake Forest
Bryant Crawford: 14.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg and 5.9 apg
Keyshawn Woods: 12.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg and 3.7 apg
Austin Arians: 8.0 ppg, 2.1 rpg and 1.0 apg
John Collins: 17.6 ppg, 9.3 rpg and 0.4 apg
Konstantinos Mitoglou: 9.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg and 1.0 apg

How They Matchup

(National Rank)
Scoring Offense: Wake Forest: 81.6 ppg (29) – Notre Dame: 78.7 ppg (69)
Scoring Defense: Wake Forest:  76.2 ppg (269) – Notre Dame: 68.7 ppg (88)
Rebound Margin: Wake Forest: 2.6 (108) – Notre Dame: -0.9 (233)
Field-Goal Percentage: Wake Forest: 46.9% (72) – Notre Dame: 46.4% (87)
Three-Point Percentage: Wake Forest: 38.5% (40) – Notre Dame: 39.6 (24)
Three-Pointers Made: Wake Forest: 8.3 (101) – Notre Dame: 9.4 (27)
Free-Throw Percentage: Wake Forest: 77.4% (10) – Notre Dame: 80.7% (1)

It’s been a minute since Notre Dame has tasted victory, as the Irish are on a four-game losing streak, but they will get a chance to right the ship on Tuesday evening. Wake Forest is a team Notre Dame should beat, especially at home, but they present a few unique challenges too.

Wake Forest is somewhat of a young team, but they have played some good basketball over the course of the year. It sounds very repetitive, but the Irish will need to battle on the boards once again on Tuesday. Wake Forest has a big front line and Bonzie Colson will be counted on to bang inside. The Deacons will play guys that are 6’10, 7’1, 6’10 and 6’11.

It will be interesting to see how Wake Forest matches Notre Dame’s small lineup. I would expect them to run some zone and see if the Irish are hitting the three-ball. Notre Dame should be able to spread the floor when Wake Forest is in man, but can they finish with the long-armed players down low?

It will also be interesting to see how much energy Notre Dame has in the tank after Sunday’s game against North Carolina. The Irish have played games with a day’s rest this year, but have shown fatigue in the finals minutes of those games. Duke last week was a prime example of the Irish wearing out to end the game.

I believe Notre Dame will win this game and by about 10 points. I think the experience will help the Irish, but also the desire to simply get back in the winning column. Notre Dame’s leadership hasn’t suffered this year and I don’t expect it to let down on Tuesday night.

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Hoops Preview: Wake Forest at Notre Dame

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