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Notre Dame Basketball

Notre Dame Stacking Up Embarrassing Losses, Fall to Florida State

January 17, 2023
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Two possessions. 

Florida State (6-13, 4-4) needed just two possessions to break Notre Dame’s (9-10, 1-7) will on Tuesday night as the Seminoles left South Bend 84-71 winners. 

Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey knew immediately his Irish didn’t have it and admitted he misread his veteran team, which is alarming given the 1-7 start in ACC play. 

“When the first play of the game is a rip baseline layup and then they get a dunk in transition, the tone is set,” Brey stated. “Valiant effort. We fought to make it interesting, but you set the tone with that. I misread us. I really thought we would be ready to chest a little a bit more.” 

Brey highlighting the first two buckets for Florida State was his positive spin as it was flat-out ugly over four minutes of the game as the Seminoles took a 13-0 lead. It also got uglier as Florida State pushed the lead to 32-8 with 11:05 remaining in the first half. 

Yes. Notre Dame was down 24 points in less than nine minutes at home to a team that entered the game eight games below .500. 

“Those first two possessions - now they’re confident as hell,” Brey stated. “Their defense is tough and we finally adjusted to it and were able to get some stuff, but I’m just disappointed we couldn’t put our chest on some people early so they wouldn’t be as confident.” 

Perhaps the biggest issue is Florida State was another team that came to Purcell Pavilion and set an early tone. 

As for why it keeps happening, Brey didn’t have an answer. 

“I defer to my guys,” said Brey. “We have a lot of guys who have played. I told them in there, I really misread you. I thought from practice, we’d be really digging in and hungry and a little more fight.

“I know we’re not the most athletic group, but we have had times when we have put our chest in there.” 

Notre Dame shot just 39 percent from the field and 28 percent from three against the long bodies of Florida State. On the other side, the Seminoles shot 51 percent from the field, which allowed Florida State to have a lead of 24 points in the first and second halves.

If there was a positive, Notre Dame did somewhat fight as the Irish trimmed the lead to six points following a Dane Goodwin three with 1:15 left in the game, but the Seminoles converted free throws to seal the deal as they went 23-of-29 from the line for the game. 

“We got it to six,” stated Brey. “That’s unbelievable. It felt like we were down 40. We got it there and it was such a weird night. The start just killed us. It’s disappointing coming back home when you need one. We couldn’t get it.” 

Marcus Hammond led the Irish with 19 points, including five threes while Trey Wertz finished with 15 points and five assists. 

Fifth-year senior Cormac Ryan finished with six points and classmate Nate Laszewski ended the game with seven points on just five shots.

Notre Dame needs more from its veterans, but at this point, it doesn't seem like Brey has an answer to get anything else out of the group. 

“I defer to our leadership and our captains. I have old guys. They do have ownership of themselves. I certainly haven’t been able to help them much. I just told them that. I’ve done a horrible job with you fellas. I thought we would be more ready to compete.” 

SPOILED VETERANS
Brey has pushed buttons, changed the starting lineup and messed with his rotation over the last month, but nothing has worked. In fact, Brey didn’t have much of a message for his team after Tuesday’s loss, which is never a good thing. 

“You do run out of stuff (to say),” explained Brey. “This is a group that’s played a lot of basketball. They’re thoroughly disappointed at where they’re at. We all are. If it was all freshmen, but it’s some old dudes. I told them, ‘I love you like Kyle Brey, but I think I’ve spoiled you like I’ve done Kyle Brey at times.’ 

“I told them that. So we’ll figure it out. God, I misread us.” 

UP NEXT
Notre Dame will host Boston College on Saturday at 2:00 PM ET. The Eagles beat the Irish 70-63 on January 3rd.

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Notre Dame Stacking Up Embarrassing Losses, Fall to Florida State

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