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Notre Dame Basketball

Game Thread | Notre Dame at Pitt

February 3, 2024
3,997

Notre Dame (7-14, 2-8) at Pitt (13-8, 4-6) 


Date: February 3rd

Time: 6:00 PM ET 

Where: Petersen Events Center 

TV: ACC Network | Wes Durham and Dan Bonner

Line: Pitt -9.5

O/U: 127.5

ACC Standings


QUICK FACTS 

- Notre Dame leads the all-time series 39-31

- The Irish won the last meeting 88-81 last March

- Notre Dame is 15-19 all-time at Pitt

- Markus Burton has scored in double figures in 14 straight games 

- Burton is one of two players in the ACC averaging at least 16 points and four assists per game

- ESPN’s Matchup Predictor: 92.1% in favor of Pitt


PROJECTED STARTERS

NOTRE DAME

Name Points Rebounds Assists
Markus Burton 16.0 3.2 4.1
JR Konieczny 9.6 5.9 0.7
Logan Imes 2.1 2.1 1.2
Tae Davis 7.8 5.3 0.8
Kebba Njie 4.0 5.9 0.6

PITT

Name Points Rebounds Assists
Carlton Carrington 13.6 5.3 4.4
Jaland Lowe 7.5 2.3 2.6
Blake Hinson 18.0 5.1 0.7
Zack Austin 7.0 4.2 1.0
Federiko Federiko 5.0 4.9 1.0


TEAM STATS

STAT NOTRE DAME PITT
Scoring Offense 62.0 75.9
Scoring Defense 65.3 67.1
FG% 40.1% 43.1%
Rebounds 36.9 38.8
Assists 9.8 13.9
Blocks 2.6 5.0
Steals 5.9 6.9
Turnovers  13.9 9.8

 

THOUGHTS

On Wednesday, Pitt did what Notre Dame hasn’t done all year. The Panthers trailed by 12 and battled back to win 77-72 over Wake Forest. It simply shows a mental toughness Notre Dame hasn’t shown in year one of the Micah Shrewsberry era. 

In fact, Notre Dame has now lost five straight games and seven of the last eight games to fall to 2-8 in ACC play. 

Shrewsberry’s press conferences have become a bit repetitive at this point in the year as the small margin for error is almost a weekly talking point along with the Irish continuing to make the same offensive mistakes game after game. 

Perhaps the most telling and maybe even sad quote of the year came following Wednesday’s 65-53 loss at Virginia.

“It may not seem like it, but I thought we executed a lot better than we have coming in,” said Shrewsberry. “We scored 53 points, which isn’t setting the world on fire, but it is Virginia. They do that to people. They just squeeze the life out of you defensively and make it really hard for you.” 

Sure, Virginia is known for defense, but at the same time, Notre Dame beat the Cavaliers 76-54 in December. 

Notre Dame’s defense hasn’t been an issue as they enter Saturday’s game giving up just 65.3 ppg, which is second in the ACC. Pitt is right there with the Irish on defense as the Panthers give up 67.1 ppg and rank No. 3 in the conference. 

The X-factor here is Pitt has Blake Hinson, who is averaging 18.0 ppg and while the Irish roster was different a year ago, the 6-foot-8 forward scored 15 and pulled down 13 rebounds against Notre Dame a year ago.

Hinson has scored 20+ nine times this season, so stopping him will be priority number one for the Irish. 

Freshman Logan Imes made his first start on Wednesday as he replaced classmate Carey Booth, who has struggled greatly as of late. Booth hasn’t scored in double figures since December 30th and the highest point total during that stretch is five points, which he has done three times. Over the last three games, Booth has played just a combined 27 minutes, including 10 minutes against Virginia. 

It makes sense to start Imes once again, but Pitt does play three forwards, so Booth could return to the starting five if Shrewsberry wants to match size. 

The recipe for success will be the same as the last few games for Notre Dame. The Irish have proved they can keep games close by mucking it up, but Notre Dame will need to find offense at various points in the game. Notre Dame has struggled at the end of games for most of the year, but they have also started to develop a dangerous trend of long scoring droughts over the last couple contests. 

If the Irish can find some type of consistent offense and limit the scoring droughts, Notre Dame will have a shot to end the losing streak. If not, it might be a long night in Pittsburgh. 

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