Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 19, 2018

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 48 of 55 NOV. 19, 2018 49 MEN'S BASKETBALL Clemson is led by a backcourt of fifth-year seniors Marcquise Reed (15.8) and Shelton Mitchell (12.2), and is coming off a Sweet 16 appearance. Fellow Sweet 16 participant Syracuse returns all three leading scorers — ju- nior guard Tyus Battle (19.2), sopho- more forward Oshae Brissett (14.9) and senior guard Franklin Howard (14.4). North Carolina State was picked ahead of the Irish in the preseason poll by one spot at eighth, while Mi- ami and Louisville were 10th and 11th, respectively. The latter two games provide Brey and company the chance to pick up treasured ACC road wins. Splitting the two non-conference games would help the Irish, along with winning at least three or four of the seven ACC bubble games. STEALS Here are the games that could el- evate Notre Dame toward the top 25 nationally and help them exceed ex- pectations. Non-conference (one): Purdue (30-7). ACC (six): at Virginia Tech, at North Carolina (26-11), Virginia (31-3), Duke (29-8), at Virginia and at Florida State (23-12). Purdue does have to replace four starters, but returns a potential Na- tional Player of the Year candidate in junior guard Carsen Edwards, who averaged 18.5 points a year ago. The Boilermakers did land Dartmouth graduate transfer Evan Boudreaux (17.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game) to shore up the interior while also adding a 2018 class that included two Rivals150 prospects: guard Eric Hunter and big man Trevion Williams. Duke landed four of the top 14 play- ers nationally per Rivals, while the Tar Heels returned three of their top scor- ers from a year ago, including ACC Preseason Player of the Year Luke Maye. Despite the historic loss in the NCAA Tournament, Virginia returns three of their top four scorers and adds Alabama forward transfer Braxton Key (7.0 points per game). Florida State advanced to the Elite Eight last season and returns seven players that played double-digit min- utes a year ago, including the team's two leading scorers in forward Phil Cofer (12.8) and guard Terance Mann (12.6). Picking up more than one of these seven contests would be a huge boost for the Irish come tournament time. SEASON PREDICTION There are several questions for the Irish moving into the 2018-19 cam- paign. Who emerges behind junior guard T.J. Gibbs in the scoring de- partment? Which freshmen will con- sistently contribute? Can the Irish de- velop a post presence? With six newcomers set to play in the rotation, growing pains will be part of the equation early in the season and likely at times during ACC play. We predict the Irish to finish 18-13 in the regular season with a shot to go 9-9 in ACC play and be in the discussion for an NCAA Tournament bid. ✦ 2018-19 NOTRE DAME MEN'S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE Date Opponent (TV) Time (ET) Nov. 1 Central State! (ACCNE) W, 76-54 Nov. 6 Illinois-Chicago# (ACCNE) W, 84-67 Nov. 8 Chicago State (ACCNE) W, 89-62 Nov. 14 Radford# (ACCNE) 7 p.m. Nov. 17 William & Mary# (ACCNE) 12 p.m. Nov. 20 Duquesne# (ACCNE) 9 p.m. Nov. 24 DePaul (ACCNE) TBA Nov. 27 Illinois& (ESPN2/U) 7 p.m. Dec. 4 vs. Oklahoma+ (ESPN) 7 p.m. Dec. 8 at UCLA TBA Dec. 15 vs. Purdue^ (CBS) 1:30 p.m. Dec. 18 Binghamton (ACCNE) 7 p.m. Dec. 20 Jacksonville 7 p.m. Dec. 29 Coppin State (ACCNE) 12 p.m. Jan. 1 at Virginia Tech* (ESPNU) 1 p.m. Jan. 5 Syracuse* (Raycom) 12 p.m. Jan. 12 Boston College* (RSN) 12 p.m. Jan. 15 at North Carolina* (ESPN) 9 p.m. Jan. 19 NC State* (Raycom) 2 p.m. Jan. 22 at Georgia Tech* (RSN) 7 p.m. Jan. 26 Virginia* (CBS) 1 p.m. Jan. 28 Duke* (ESPN) 7 p.m. Feb. 2 at Boston College* (RSN) 2 p.m. Feb. 6 at Miami* (ESPN2/U) 7 p.m. Feb. 10 Georgia Tech* (ESPNU) 6 p.m. Feb. 16 at Virginia* (Raycom) 2 p.m. Feb. 19 Wake Forest* (ESPN2/U) 7 p.m. Feb. 23 Virginia Tech* (ESPN2/U) 4 p.m. Feb. 25 at Florida State* (ESPN) 7 p.m. Mar. 3 at Louisville* (CBS) 1:30 p.m. Mar. 6 Clemson* (ESPN2/U) 9 p.m. Mar. 9 at Pittsburgh* (Raycom) 12 p.m. Mar. 12-16 ACC Tournament$ TBA ! Exhibition; # Gotham Classic; & ACC-Big Ten Chal- lenge; + Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York; ^ Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis; * ACC game; $ at Char - lotte, N.C; ACCN — ACC Network; ACCNE — ACC Network Extra Irish Secure Two Blowout Wins To Begin Season Notre Dame cruised in its first two games of the 2018-19 season, defeating Illinois-Chicago (84-67) Nov. 6 and Chicago State (89-62) Nov. 8. Despite the points totals, the Irish shot only a combined 39.8 percent (53 of 133) from the field and a lackluster 27.4 percent (17 of 62) from behind the three-point line — but still had enough to pull away from both the Flames and Cougars in the second half of each game. Head coach Mike Brey began both games with a starting lineup of junior guard T.J. Gibbs, senior guard Rex Pflueger, freshman guard Robby Carmody, sophomore wing D.J. Harvey and junior forward John Mooney. Both freshman guards Dane Goodwin (22.0) and Prentiss Hubb (20.5) averaged more than 20 minutes per game off the bench, while freshman forward Nate Laszewski (19.0), senior forward Elijah Burns (14.5) and junior forward Juwan Durham (13.0) provided depth in the post or perimeter. Laszewski averaged 12.0 points per game to pace the Irish in scoring and tied for the team lead in rebounds with 6.5 caroms per contest. Harvey and Burns were the other double-digit scorers, with both averaging 10.5 points per game. Harvey also pulled down 6.5 rebounds per game. Overall, eight Notre Dame players averaged 7.0 points or higher with Gibbs (9.5), Carmody (9.5), Goodwin (8.5), Mooney (8.5) and Pflueger (7.0) hitting that mark. All 11 eligible players — minus freshman forward Chris Doherty, who is redshirting — saw action in both games. — Corey Bodden Junior guard T.J. Gibbs will play a pivotal role in the Irish potentially returning to the NCAA Tournament. PHOTO BY COREY BODDEN

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