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Notre Dame Basketball

Game Thread| No. 3 Virginia at Notre Dame

January 25, 2019
4,885

No. 3 Virginia (17-1, 5-1) at Notre Dame (11-8, 1-5)


Date: January 26th

Time: 1:00 p.m. ET

Where: Purcell Pavilion | Notre Dame, Ind.

TV:  CBS | Ian Eagle and Bill Raftery 

ACC Standings

QUICK FACTS


- Notre Dame and Virginia will meet for the 14th time on Saturday. The Cavaliers leads the series 11-2.

- The Irish will wear green uniforms for the first time this season.

- Forward John Mooney leads the ACC in double-doubles with 11 in 18 games (14.4 ppg, 10.8 reb). 

- Mooney is one of five major conference players averaging a double-double.

- Junior T.J. Gibbs ranks second in the ACC for assist/turnover ratio (3.40).

- Freshman Prentiss Hubb ranks seventh in the ACC with a 2.13 assist/turnover ratio.

- Mike Brey has posted 11 wins over top-five ranked teams at Notre Dame.

- Gibbs is just 34 points away from reaching 1,000 career points. 


THE STARTERS

Notre Dame

Name Points Rebounds Assists
Prentiss Hubb 7.1 3.0 3.6
TJ Gibbs 13.7 2.3 4.1
Dane Goodwin 7.5 3.4 1.2
DJ Harvey 11.2 4.5 0.6
John Mooney 14.4 10.8 1.3

Virginia

Name Points Rebounds Assists
Ty Jerome 13.1 4.1 4.8
De’Andre Hunter 14.4 5.3 2.2
Kyle Guy 15.0 4.4 2.1
Mamadi Diakite 6.6 3.6 0.4
Jack Salt 4.6 4.9

0.6


STATS

Stats (Per Game) Notre Dame Virginia
Points Per Game 74.0 73.7
Opp. Points Per Game 68.7 52.4
FG% 41.0% 47.8%
Rebounds  38.9 35.3
Assists 14.3 14.5
Blocks 5.8 3.1
Steals 5.6 6.0

Preview

Mike Brey is known for his loose personality and it was definitely there earlier this week as his Irish head into a stretch of facing No. 3 Virginia (Saturday) and No. 2 Duke (Monday). The chances for Notre Dame get a victory are slim, but Brey knows it and also knows his team just has to go out and play.

“When you get one like Saturday or Monday, you can really change psychologically. The karma really changes and we’ve seen it happen before. We have nothing to lose. No one is giving us a chance in the next two. Let’s just let it rip and play.” 

Virginia is known for its tough, physical and flat out annoying defensive pressure, which doesn’t match up well for a struggling Notre Dame offense. The Irish have scored 70 points or more just once in six ACC games. 

“The open looks we’re getting, we have to take,” stated Brey. “One of the things I hope develops is Goodwin and Laszewski are getting more selfish about their shot. They have to score for us. They’re getting better in practice and in games not turning shots down and even forcing some stuff because they have to for us. 

“They’re unselfish kids and it’s taken a while to get them to understand. Their older teammates have told them to go. Those guys have to keep trying to make some plays for us. They have the potential to be nightly double-figure scorers. We need that bad.” 

While Goodwin and Laszewski are needed to score, junior guard TJ Gibbs will need to shine on Saturday for the Irish to have a chance to pull off the upset. 

“He’s gotten caught at the end of the clock a little bit,” explained Brey. “He’s had to force some stuff for us a few times. I talked to him about being a little calmer with it. He can’t pass to himself. A lot of times he’s been our playmaker. He’s been getting everyone else shots. 
“It’s one of the reasons you like Prentiss (Hubb) in there with him because he finds TJ and gets him some stuff. TJ doesn’t have to force things to jump-start us.” 

As for how Notre Dame can get a win, it starts with John Mooney. The junior forward is one of five players in a major conference averaging a double-double and his production will be crucial on Saturday afternoon, even on a bad ankle. 

However, Notre Dame must find a way to close out games. Mooney has been willing to take the ball, but he’s had trouble converting. If Notre Dame can get it to a close game at the end, I’m looking at DJ Harvey to be the X-factor. 

It will also be interesting to see how Notre Dame plays this game as Virginia will slow it down on offense and force the Irish into a half court sets on the other end. Notre Dame hasn’t played a team who wants to limit possessions as much as the Cavaliers, so it will be a new test for Brey’s youngsters. 

At the end of the day, I need to see someone other than John Mooney step up and score to be able to predict an upset. 

Prediction: Virginia 74 Notre Dame 53

 
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