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Notre Dame Basketball

Game Thread | No. 17 NC State at Notre Dame

January 18, 2019
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No. 17 NC State (14-3, 2-2)  at Notre Dame (11-6, 1-3) 


Date: January 19th

Time: 2:00 p.m. ET

Where: Purcell Pavilion | Notre Dame, Ind.

TV:  WATCHESPN - LINK | Raycom Sports Affiliates - LIST | ACC Live Stream - LINK | UND.com - LINK

ACC Standings

QUICK FACTS


- Notre Dame and NC State will be meeting for the 14th time on Saturday. The Irish leading the all-time series 8-5. 

- The Irish also hold a 4-2 edge against NC State as a member of the ACC. 

- Notre Dame forward John Mooney is one of five players in major conferences averaging a double-double. 

- Mooney leads the ACC in double-doubles with nine in 17 games (13.7ppg, 10.1reb). 

- Mooney’s 19 rebounds against UNC is tied for the fifth-most rebounds in a game in the Mike Brey era.

- Junior T.J. Gibbs ranks second in the ACC for assist/turnover ratio (3.50).

- Freshman Prentiss Hubb ranks eight in the ACC with a 2.03 assist/turnover ratio.

- Notre Dame is tied for fifth in the country in blocked shots per game (6.00).

- The Irish rank second in the ACC in three-point field goals made per game, averaging 9.18 per contest. 


THE STARTERS

Notre Dame

Name Points Rebounds Assists
Prentiss Hubb 7.4 3.0 3.6
TJ Gibbs 14.1 2.3 3.9
DJ Harvey 11.7 4.3 0.8
John Mooney 13.7 10.4 1.2
Nate Laszewski  7.1 4.4 0.2

North Carolina State

Name Points Rebounds Assists
Markell Johnson 11.6 1.9 4.1
Braxton Beverly 9.4 1.4 2.9
CJ Bryce 11.5 4.9 1.7
Torin Dorn 14.4 7.0 1.5
Wyatt Walker 6.0 4.5 1.0

 


STATS

Stats (Per Game) Notre Dame NC State
Points Per Game 74.8 87.3
Opp. Points Per Game 68.6 68.5
FG% 41.5% 49.8%
Rebounds  38.9 40.2
Assists 14.2 17.4
Blocks 6.0 4.2
Steals 5.5 8.1

Preview

While losses are losses, Notre Dame should be able to take positives from the loss at North Carolina on Tuesday night. A short-handed Mike Brey team competed with the Tar Heels and progress was made in Chapel Hill. 

“I thought our defense was good and our transition defense was good,” stated Brey. “We got beat up on the backboard for a spurt which cost us. We didn’t get some 50-50 balls. It was hard to generate another scorer, but I thought from our effort and how we defended, we keep putting ourselves in position. 

“John said on the plane ‘We’re close.’ We are. We have to keep trying to help them and teach them to see if guys will step forward like a few did against Boston College.” 

Notre Dame will look to finish the job against another top 25 team on Saturday as NC State comes to Purcell Pavilion. 

The Wolfpack are led by Markell Johnson, who has missed the last game against Wake Forest with a lower back injury. Brey expects to see Johnson, who dished out 10 assists against the Irish last season.

“I have a feeling Johnson will play against us,” Brey said. “We couldn’t handle him at all last year in Raleigh.”

NC State will start four guards and while it might sound favorable on paper, the Irish defense will be tested athletically and mentally. 

“They have athletic bodies,” explained Brey. “They are Carolina like in tempo. They want to play fast and will be on the offensive boards. They have really good guards.

“They’ve got guys who can take you off the dribble and they go at your throat. We did a good job of controlling the tempo the other night and we have to do the same thing. We don’t need a race track game with North Carolina or NC State. 

“We have to handle the ball against pressure. They pick up full-court and we’ve been good with the ball.” 

Freshman point guard Prentiss Hubb has broken out of his shooting slump the last two games as he’s scored 34 points combined against Boston College and North Carolina. Another big day from Hubb could a long way towards the Irish upsetting the Wolfpack.

“I’m really happy with where Prentiss is right now,” said Brey. “I’m hoping we can build on this a little bit. I thought he was really good down there in a tough atmosphere handling the ball.”

A win for the Irish will be significant as 2-3 compared to 1-4 in the ACC is night and day. Brey knows the importance of the game and has stayed realistic with his guys as the Irish enter a tough stretch to end January.

“We could really use a win against a quality opponent to get closer to .500 in this league,” Brey said. “You have to stay close to .500 in this league to have a realistic shot at getting in the NCAA Tournament. 

“I also have been realistic with them. It’s a little like a page of last year’s book. Our January is really hard. You have to keep guys alive no matter what happens. In this league, you can always surge and be part of the discussion, which last year’s team did when we were totally off the radar at 3-7.” 

For me, Notre Dame needs to continue to hit the three-ball to have a shot at the upset. A healthy TJ Gibbs will allow the Irish to have another scoring option and Nate Laszewski should feel a little more comfortable inside Purcell Pavilion. 

Also, the health of Juwan Durham will likely play a factor as the Irish could use more protection at the rim. Durham played just 13 minutes at Chapel Hill as he battles an ankle injury. Tom Noie of the South Bend Tribune reports Durham is out for Saturday’s game and the redshirt could come off freshman Chris Doherty.

Prediction: NC State 81 Notre Dame 70

 
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