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Notre Dame Basketball

Game Thread | Western Michigan at Notre Dame

December 5, 2023
5,052

Western Michigan (2-5) Notre Dame (3-4)


Date: December 5th

Time: 7:00 PM ET 

Where: Purcell Pavilion | South Bend, Ind.

TV: ACC Network Extra | Jacob Irons and Mike Lightfoot

Line: Notre Dame -10.5

O/U: 129.5

ACC Standings


QUICK FACTS 

- Notre Dame leads the all-time series 21-8, including a current 10-game winning streak over the Broncos. 

- The Irish won the last meeting 85-52 in December of 2021. 

- Notre Dame sits at No. 3 in the ACC in scoring defense at 66.1 ppg.

- ESPN’s Matchup Predictor: 84.7% in favor of Notre Dame 


PROJECTED STARTERS

Notre Dame

Name Points Rebounds Assists
Markus Burton 14.9 3.9 3.6
JR Konieczny 9.3 5.1 0.9
Julian Roper II 7.6 5.3 1.1
Tae Davis 9.1 5.7 0.6
Kebba Njie 4.7 4.0 1.0

Western Michigan 

Name Points Rebounds Assists
Jefferson De La Cruz Monegro 7.4 2.6 3.6
B. Artis Wright 7.2 2.8 1.8
Seth Hubbard 15.7 3.7 1.7
Owen Lobsinger 9.4 6.1 0.7
Titus Wright 7.3 5.6 1.0


TEAM STATS

STAT WESTERN MICHIGAN NOTRE DAME
Scoring Offense 64.6 61.9
Scoring Defense 70.3 66.1
FG% 43.3% 39.3%
Rebounds 35.9 36.6
Assists 11.7 11.1
Steals 5.6 5.1
Blocks 1.7 2.9

 

THOUGHTS

- How do you get confidence while on a two-game losing streak before a weekend clash with the No. 8 team in the country? Play Western Michigan. 

Now, Notre Dame is perhaps the last team that can overlook an opponent, but the Broncos certainly will give Micah Shrewsberry's team a chance to get some confidence back after rough games at South Carolina and Miami.

Western Michigan last played on Friday and lost 66-51 to St. Thomas-Minnesota. The loss is one concern for the Broncos, but perhaps the more significant concern is Western Michigan found itself down 41-14 at halftime to a school that moved to Division I just two years ago. 

What can Notre Dame do to benefit itself tonight outside of winning? Find some type offense and shoot the ball well from three. The Irish will enter tonight’s contest shooting 39.3 percent from the field and 26.4 percent from three-point range, which ranks last in the ACC in both categories. 

How does Notre Dame shoot better? It starts with ball movement and valuing the rock. Notre Dame averages just 11.1 assists per game (14th in the ACC) and the Irish are also last in turnover margin (-2.0). 

Shrewsberry’s team has been more than stagnant on offense at times, but more concerning is the fact no one outside of Markus Burton seems to want the ball. It’s a lot of pressure put on a true freshman to run the offense while also leading the team in scoring. 

Burton got off to a hot start by scoring in double-figures in his first five games, but he’s cooled off against major conference competition as the Gamecocks and Hurricanes held him under 10 points, including a combined 5-for-19 from the field. 

Sophomore big man Kebba Njie finding some type of offense is also a priority. The 6-foot-10 forward now has three games under his belt after coming back from injury and Njie needs to start making his presence felt on the offensive end. Njie showed life in his first game shooting 3-of-4 from the field against Maryland Eastern Shore, but in the next two games, the Penn State transfer has shot just 1-for-14 for a total of seven points. 

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