Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Basketball

Game Preview | Notre Dame at No. 4 Virginia

February 16, 2019
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Notre Dame (13-11, 3-8) at No. 4 Virginia (21-2, 9-2)


Date: February 16th

Time: 2:00 p.m. ET

Where: John Paul Jones Arena | Charlottesville, Va. 

TV:  Watch ESPN - Link| Raycom Affiliates List - Link

ACC Standings


QUICK FACTS

- Notre Dame and Virginia Tech will meet for the 15th time on Saturday. Virginia leads the all-time series 12-2.

- Forward John Mooney leads the ACC in double-doubles with 15 in 24 games (14.2 ppg, 10.8 reb). 

- There is only one player in the country averaging 10-plus points, 10-plus rebounds and shooting better than .400 from three-point range - Notre Dame junior John Mooney (14.2 ppg, 10.8 rpg, .404 3FG%). 

- Prentiss Hubb is one of nine true freshmen since 1972-73 to reach 80 assists in his first year at Notre Dame.

- Notre Dame is 5th in the country in turnovers at 9.6 per game. 


THE STARTERS

Notre Dame

Name Points Rebounds Assists
Prentiss Hubb 7.8 3.0 3.6
TJ Gibbs 13.4 2.1 3.7
Nik Djogo 3.1 2.1 0.7
DJ Harvey 11.0 4.4 0.7
John Mooney 14.2 10.8 1.3

Virginia

Name Points Rebounds Assists
Ty Jerome 13.2 4.3 4.3
Kyle Guy 14.8 4.2 2.1
Kihei Clark 4.5 1.8 2.2
De’Andre Hunter 14.7 5.3 2.2
Jack Salt 4.6 4.7

0.6


STATS

Stats (Per Game) Notre Dame Virginia
Points Per Game 71.5 72.6
Opp. Points Per Game 69.4 54.4
FG% 40.2% 47.9%
Rebounds  38.1 35.5
Assists 13.3 14.6
Blocks 5.1 3.7
Steals 5.5 5.7

Preview

In November, Notre Dame’s trip to Virginia was circled as the toughest road trip of the season and nothing has changed as the Irish take on the Cavaliers on Saturday afternoon. 

According to ESPN, Notre Dame has a 1.8% chance to win the game and while it looks bleak, head coach MIke Brey would gladly take a better showing from his team than the 82-55 loss in January to Virginia. 

“It was the one time we didn’t fight,” Brey said of January’s meeting. “We hung our heads. We played really well down there last year. It was a great college game. It’s a great atmosphere. We’ll start the lineup we’ve been starting.” 

If the Irish want to improve on January’s game, it starts with effort and heart. The Irish failed to compete with Virginia in any aspect of the game and Brey hopes his team can control the tempo a little better on Saturday.

We have to score. If we can get some stuff in transition – we made a run in the second half when we cut it to 12 and they called timeout,” recalled Brey. “It was in transition. We got a couple stops and got down the floor and we didn’t have to play against their set defense. That would really help us.

“Control tempo – we don’t play real fast, but just downshifting our gears even more. If it’s really ugly and in the 40’s, you’re in it and we’ll take it. That will be fine with us.” 

From an offensive standpoint, Notre Dame had four scorers in double-figures in Sunday’s win against Georgia Tech, but the Irish failed to reach the 70-point mark. Junior TJ Gibbs finally broke out of his slump and scored 20 points and the Irish will need him to do the same against Virginia. 

“He’s had the weight of the world on him and he’s played that way at times,” said Brey. “He and Prentiss (Hubb) were really good together. For us to beat anybody in this league, those two guards have to be good with the ball, good defensively and score for us.”

As for getting a win, Notre Dame’s only hope would be findiing offense that hasn’t been there since December against a team giving up 54 points a game. Not a great recipe for success, but there will zero pressure on the Irish, so you never know. 

Prediction: Virginia 69 Notre Dame 55

 
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