Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Basketball

Game Thread | No. 2 Duke at Notre Dame

January 27, 2019
6,271

No. 2 Duke (17-2, 6-1) at Notre Dame (11-9, 1-6)


Date: January 28th

Time: 7:00 p.m. ET

Where: Purcell Pavilion | Notre Dame, Ind.

TV:  ESPN | Sean McDonough, Jay Bilas and Allison Williams 

ACC Standings

QUICK FACTS


- Notre Dame and Duke will meet for the 32nd time on Monday. Duke holds a 24-7 series lead.

- The Irish are 5-5 against the Blue Devils since joining the ACC in 2013-14.

- Forward John Mooney leads the ACC in double-doubles with 12 in 20 games (14.5 ppg, 10.8 reb). 

- Mooney is one of six major conference players averaging a double-double and the only ACC player averaging a double-double.

- Mooney has posted a double-double in six consecutive games.

- Notre Dame's freshmen class has logged 1,586 minutes of playing time this season which is the third-most for a Mike Brey Notre Dame team.

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

- Gibbs is just 25 points away from reaching 1,000 career points. 


THE STARTERS

Notre Dame

Name Points Rebounds Assists
Prentiss Hubb 7.1 2.9 3.7
TJ Gibbs 13.4 2.2 3.9
Dane Goodwin 7.6 3.5 1.2
DJ Harvey 11.1 4.5 0.9
John Mooney 14.5 10.8 1.2

Duke

Name Points Rebounds Assists
Tre Jones 8.0 3.1 5/6
RJ Barrett 23.9 6.9 3.9
Cam Reddish 12.8 3.5 2.0
Zion Williamson 21.7 9.2 2.3
Marques Bolden 5.4 4.6

0.6


STATS

Stats (Per Game) Notre Dame Duke
Points Per Game 73.1 87.4
Opp. Points Per Game 69.4 66.2
FG% 40.7% 48.2%
Rebounds  38.6 42.9
Assists 14.1 17.3
Blocks 5.7 7.6
Steals 5.3 10.5

Preview

Notre Dame wasn’t competitive against No. 3 Virginia on Saturday afternoon and it even looked like the Irish didn’t want to be on the floor at times during the 82-55 loss. Mike Brey’s team struggled in just about every aspect and it also included being overmatched physically by the Cavaliers. 

It’s not going to get easier on Monday night as No. 2 Duke comes to Purcell Pavilion and they could very well boost the three top five picks in next year’s NBA Draft in Zion Williamson, RJ Barrett and  Cam Reddish. 

Everyone in the country knows what Barrett and Williamson bring to the table, which is enough to give Brey nightmares as it’s a terrible matchup for Notre Dame (and everyone else in the country not named Gonzaga). 

For the Irish, it starts with playing with some type of emotion and energy on Monday. It wasn’t there on Saturday and Brey felt it.

“It was really disappointing,” Brey said of the Virginia game. “You have some youngsters who have never experienced this before. It’s demoralizing. We have to compete in practice a little bit more tomorrow and fight a little bit in practice.”

Brey had an 8:00 a.m. practice on Sunday in hopes of lighting a fire under his team and that includes junior captain TJ Gibbs. 

“We have to be ourselves,” said Gibbs. “We have to focus on locking in offensively and defensively. We have lapses where we can go in and out. That starts with our leadership. That’s on me and John (Mooney) and the other older guys to not get complacent.

“We know we have to get back in the gym and get going again. We have to get back at it tomorrow. We have to prepare like this is any other game. We have to be locked in and be ready to go. We have to pay attention to what we need to do.”

If Notre Dame can bring energy and passion, the next step will be to somehow make shots. It’s that simple. Notre Dame shot 36% from the field, 28% from the free throw line and a miserable 38% from the free throw line on Saturday. That’s not going to cut it against one of the most explosive offenses in the country.

“What would help us, especially a group that’s fragile at times, would be to see the ball go in the basket early in the game,” said Brey. “We couldn’t do that today and it builds on you. I give Virginia credit for doing that and we weren’t surprised. 

“A good offensive start makes you believe a little.” 

Defense hasn’t been an issue this season for Brey as the Irish have played well for the most part, however, stopping this Duke team is another thing. For me, part of a good start to the game will be making sure Williamson doesn’t get one of his game-breaking dunks early to gain all the momentum in the building. 

If by chance you haven’t seen what Williamson can do, here are a few examples of what Notre Dame can’t let happen on Monday.

Outside of the game itself, a matchup I will be watching is the battle of freshman point guards. Prentiss Hubb has had his fair share of struggles this season but has played good basketball the last few games. On the Duke side, Tre Jones is coming back from an injury and is one of the nation’s best point guards.

It will likely be a peek at where Hubb stands and while he doesn’t have the pieces around him that Jones has, the Notre Dame freshman has a chance to prove the future is bright at the position for the Irish. 

At the end of the day, it’s the same thoughts I have had for the month of January. Notre Dame needs to prove they can score the ball and they have yet to show it in ACC play. I’m not convinced that starts against a Duke team loaded with size and athleticism.

Prediction: Duke 89 Notre Dame 61

 
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