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Notre Dame Basketball

Game Thread | Notre Dame at Pittsburgh

March 9, 2019
3,362

Notre Dame (13-17, 3-14) at Pittsburgh (12-18, 2-15)


Date: March 9th

Time: 12:00 p.m. ET

Where: Petersen Events Center

TV:  Raycom Sports - Affiliate List | Watch ESPN 

ACC Standings


QUICK FACTS

- Notre Dame and Pitt will meet for the 65th time on Saturday. Notre Dame leads the series 34-30. 

- The Irish also hold a 4-3 edge in ACC play over Pitt.  

- Saturday will mark the first time Mike Brey and Jeff Chapel will face off as head coaches. 

- While an assistant at Duke, Brey helped recruit Chapel.

- John Mooney is just one of two players in the nation who have scored 430+ points, pulled down 330+ rebounds, hit 30+ three-pointers and recorded 40+ assists.


THE STARTERS

Notre Dame

Name Points Rebounds Assists
Prentiss Hubb 8.2 3.0 3.9
TJ Gibbs 13.6 1.9 3.3
Dane Goodwin 6.1 3.0 1.1
John Mooney 14.4 11.1 1.3
Juwan Durham 5.4 3.7 0.5

Pittsburgh 

Name Points Rebounds Assists
Xavier Johnson 15.8 3.9 4.5
Trey McGowens 11.3 3.3 1.7
Au’Diese Toney 7.9 5.8 0.5
Jared Wilson-Frame 12.2 4.8 1.4
Terrell Brown 5.8 4.4

0.1


STATS

Stats (Per Game) Notre Dame Pittsburgh
Points Per Game 69.4 70.4
Opp. Points Per Game 69.1 69.0
FG% 39.7% 42.0%
Rebounds  36.5 36.5
Assists 12.9 11.9
Blocks 4.6 3.8
Steals 5.8 6.9

Preview

This isn’t the game anyone wants to play heading into the final regular season game. Notre Dame and Pitt make up the worst teams in the ACC and have just five combined ACC wins this season. 

To complicate matters, Notre Dame will be without DJ Harvey’s 10.7 points per game and Nik Djogo today and likely for the ACC Tournament. 

Head coach Mike Brey said Harvey injured his hamstring last week during practice and he’s not hopeful the sophomore guard will make a return this season. 

“I don’t think we’ll have DJ back on Saturday,” stated Brey. “This is who we got moving forward. 
“He got a steal and breakaway dunk. He pulled up. It was about 10 minutes in. You just don’t see many hamstrings in basketball. There’s a lot of wear and tear on his body. Probably some fatigue there.

When it comes to the big picture, Notre Dame probably got way more out of Harvey than first expected considering he is a year out from microfracture surgery, but it’s a significant hit to a team who can’t score. 

For Notre Dame to win this game, the Irish will need to slow down Pitt guard Xavier Johnson. The 6-foot-3 freshman is averaging 15.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game. I would imagine Prentiss Hubb and TJ Gibbs will get shots at guard Johnson and they better bring their A-game on Saturday on the defensive end. 

As mentioned, Notre Dame hasn’t been able to score in ACC play and without Harvey, I’m not sure where points will come from. Brey has prayed for another body to step and score, but no one has done it consistently. Could this be a game where freshman Dane Goodwin or Nate Laszewski come into their own? 

However, a win for either program would be huge from a moral standpoint despite being at the bottom of the ACC.

“It’s going to be hard with who we have,” said Brey. “I know they are searching too. We would really celebrate that. Two teams in similar situations, it’d be awesome to feel a win going to Charlotte to help you a little bit. It’s going to be a dog fight. We’re both dying and need one.” 

Prediction: Notre Dame 68 Pitt 63

 
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