Notre Dame Basketball

Game Thread | Illinois at Notre Dame

November 27, 2018
5,457

Illinois (2-4) at Notre Dame (5-1) - ACC/Big 10 Challenge 


Date: November 27th

Time: 7:00 p.m. ET

Where: Purcell Pavilion (9,149)

TV: ESPNU

QUICK FACTS


- This will be the 42nd meeting between the two programs.

- Notre Dame won the last meeting 84-79 on Dec. 2, 2015.

- Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey is 2-0 against Illinois.

- Illinois head coach Brad Underwood is in his second season after coming from Stephen F. Austin. 

- Yes, Underwood was the head coach at Stephen F. Austin when Rex Pflueger tipped in a last-second bucket to advance to the Sweet 16 in 2016. 

- The Irish hold a 3-2 record in the ACC/Big 10 Challenge. 

-  Notre Dame is 275-235-1 against teams from the Big 10. 


THE STARTERS

Notre Dame

Name Points Rebounds Assists
Prentiss Hubb 9.3 3.0 2.5
TJ Gibbs 12.8 2.7 3.3
Rex Pflueger 8.8 4.5 3.2
DJ Harvey 8.5 4.8 1.0
John Mooney 12.2 9.3 0.7

Illinois

Name Points Rebounds Assists
Ayo Dosunmu 14.5 4.3 3.7
Aaron Jordan 10.2 5.2 2.2
Trent Frazier 17.6 1.6 3.4
Giorgi Bezhanish 7.3 4.5 1.8
Adonis De La Rosa 3.4 3.4 0.2

 


Preview

Illinois is a much better program than most think and I believe Notre Dame will have its hands full on Tuesday night as the ACC/Big 10 Challenge comes to Purcell Pavilion. 

In the past, Notre Dame has struggled with programs with athleticism and length, which is exactly the strength of this Illinois team. The Fighting Illini aren’t the most fundamental team, but they are going to pressure Notre Dame all over the court and look to force turnovers.

Illinois somewhat reminds me of a Bob Huggins or Shaka Smart team as they are going to look to cause chaos with defensive pressure because they have better athletes. 

What does this mean for Notre Dame? I’m still not sure six games in. 

Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey has found a starting five but the four freshmen have not seen this type of team yet. It’s not a cop out saying it’s a wait-and-see because we just haven’t seen them handle a team who will get in their face for 94 feet. 

The good news for the Irish is they found offense in a 95-70 win over DePaul on Saturday. Notre Dame shot 55% from the field and 48% from three-point range, while four players scored in double- figures including Rex Pflueger, who had a game-high 20 points. 

Tuesday’s game will make the end of the seven-game homestand for the Irish and it would be significant to get a win with Oklahoma, UCLA and Purdue on the schedule over the three games.

As for as the game, I believe the defensive pressure is going to bother Notre Dame and it will take some time to adjust. The youth of the Irish could really show itself tonight but it will be a great challenge and experience for the freshmen as they head into the tough four-game stretch over the next two weeks.

Prediction: Illinois 78 Notre Dame 70

 
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