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Notre Dame Basketball

Game Thread | Notre Dame at No. 13 North Carolina

January 15, 2019
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Notre Dame (11-5, 1-2) at No. 13 North Carolina (12-4, 2-1)


Date: January 15th

Time: 9:00 p.m. ET

Where: Dean E. Smith Center | Chapel Hill, NC

TV:  ESPN

ACC Standings

QUICK FACTS


- The two programs will be meeting for the 31st time on Tuesday. UNC leads the series 23-7.

- Tuesday night's game is a matchup between two of the winningest programs in college basketball history, as North Carolina ranks third in all-time wins (2,232) and Notre Dame eighth (1,866) entering the 2018-19 season.  

- On Saturday, Mike Brey started three freshmen for the first time since arriving at Notre Dame. 

- TJ Gibbs ranks second in the ACC in assist/turnover ration at 3.41.

- Juwan Durham leads the ACC in blocked shots per game at 3.29.

- Prentiss Hubb ranks fifth in the ACC in assist/turnover ration at 2.12.

- Forward John Mooney continues to lead the ACC in double-doubles with eight.

- Gibbs is just 59 points away from scoring 1,000 points during his career.

- Notre Dame is the only team in the NCAA  to win a game playing just six players after beating Boston College 69-66 on Saturday.


THE STARTERS

Notre Dame

Name Points Rebounds Assists
TJ Gibbs 14.7 2.3 3.9
Dane Goodwin 7.1 3.6 1.1
DJ Harvey 11.5 4.4 0.9
John Mooney 13.6 9.8 1.2
Nate Laszewski  7.4 4.4 0.3

North Carolina 

Name Points Rebounds Assists
Coby White 14.0 2.7 3.8
Kenny Williams 8.8 3.3 3.9
Cameron Johnson 15.8 5.6 1.9
Luke Maye 14.4 10.1 2.1
Garrison Brooks 8.8 5.6 1.3

 


Preview

Points Per Game
Notre Dame: 75.2
North Carolina: 88.2

Opponent Points Per Game
Notre Dame: 68.2
North Carolina: 73.4

FG%
Notre Dame: 41.6%
North Carolina: 46.9%

Rebounds Per Game
Notre Dame: 39.1
North Carolina: 44.1

Assists Per Game
Notre Dame: 14.3
North Carolina: 19.3

Blocks Per Game
Notre Dame: 5.9
North Carolina: 3.9

Steals Per Game
Notre Dame: 5.7
North Carolina: 7.8

There is good news and bad news as Notre Dame heads to Chapel Hill for Tuesday night game against North Carolina. The good news is Notre Dame notched its first win in the ACC on Saturday. The bad news is the Tar Heels suffered its worst home defeat in 16 years on Saturday as Louisville rolled 83-62. 

The other concern for Notre Dame is health. Mike Brey played just six players on Saturday and the seventh player would have been walk-on Liam Nelligan. TJ Gibbs is expected back on Tuesday after falling ill during warmups on Saturday but forward Juwan Durham remains a question mark. 

Durham hurt his ankle against Virginia Tech and then played on it against Syracuse but aggrevated it and missed most of last week’s practice. 

“My feeling is let’s see if we can get it healthy before we start playing him again,” said Brey following Saturday’s game. “We’ll re-evaluate it on Monday. 

“He tried to practice, but it was really tender. He just couldn’t lift. If he can’t be who he is flying around and blocking shots, we can’t play him. I want to get him healthy. If that means he has to rest even longer than a couple games - to rest him to get him ready for February, then that’s how we have to do it.” 

Not the greatest news at Notre Dame starts a stretch where they face North Carolina, Virginia Tech and Duke over the next two weeks. 

When it comes to North Carolina, it would be shocking to see this game stay close. The inexperience combined with the injuries make Tuesday an uphill battle. Brey’s teams have played good basketball when backed up in a corner in the past, but the Tar Heels boast a lineup where the Irish simply can’t match athleticism or size at any position. 

The interesting matchup will be between North Carolina forward Luke Maye and Notre Dame forward John Mooney. Neither are going to blow anyone away with athleticism but the battle on the boards should be interesting to watch. Mooney leads the ACC in double-doubles with eight while Maye averaged 10.1 rebounds a night. 

North Carolina will bring former five-star prospect Nassir Little off the bench and while he’s had freshman moments, he’s had NBA moments. Little has scored in double-digits eight times with a career-high of 21 points. 

If Notre Dame wants to have a chance at winning or keeping this one close, the Irish will need to shoot the three-pointer well and win the boards. 

it will be a tall challenge to keep it close but Brey and his team can absolutely learn from this experience. Notre Dame’s youngsters haven’t played in an environment like Chapel Hill, so there’s little question the Irish will be better for it, but if they can keep it close, it might be a huge confidence boost. 

Prediction: North Carolina 85 Notre Dame 62

 
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