Blue and Gold Illustrated

February 2019

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

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Page 38 of 47 FEBRUARY 2019 39 MEN'S BASKETBALL stated Pflueger was also under the threshold, like Carmody, and could apply for a medical redshirt and return for a fifth year. However, those dis- cussions will be placed on hold until the spring to determine what the best course of action will be for both parties. WHAT'S NEXT The first look at the Irish post- Pflueger and Carmody came Dec. 18 during a home contest against Binghamton. Freshman guard Dane Goodwin made his first career start in place of Pflueger and played 36 minutes. He scored eight points and grabbed six rebounds in the 69-56 Irish win. Although Notre Dame picked up a double-digit victory, it was under- whelming on offense. The Irish shot 25.8 percent (8 of 31) in the opening half against the Bearcats and clung to a 25-21 lead at the break. They found a rhythm in the second half to pull away, but it was not enough to avoid another change two days later against Jacksonville. After averaging 10.2 points and 4.4 rebounds in his previous five games before facing the Dolphins, junior forward Juwan Durham earned his first career start on the collegiate level. Goodwin returned to the bench while Durham slid into the "five" position. Fellow junior forward John Mooney moved down from that spot to the "four" and sophomore wing D.J. Har- vey to the "three." The more traditional lineup with two bigs on the court proved to be success- ful in its first act. The Irish produced their best offensive half of basketball, scoring 57 points in the opening 20 minutes against Jacksonville. Notre Dame would go on to post season highs in points (100), field goal percentage (59.7), three-point percent- age (56.3), three-pointers made (18) and assists (24) in the 26-point romp over the Dolphins. Five players — Harvey (19), Good- win (19), junior guard T.J. Gibbs (18), Mooney (16) and freshman forward Nate Laszewski (12) — scored in dou- ble digits, while Durham notched five points, six rebounds and five blocks for a quality effort in his first start. Whether Durham or Goodwin or another player becomes the long-term solution in the starting lineup, Notre Dame and Brey appear to at least have options moving forward to replace Pflueger. ✦ ACC POWER RANKINGS HEADING INTO LEAGUE PLAY Through Dec. 31 1. Virginia (12-0) — The Cavaliers picked up non-conference wins over Wisconsin and Maryland before ACC play began, and head coach Tony Bennett's group appears the most likely threat to win the conference outside of Duke. 2. Duke (11-1) — The Blue Devils picked up three top-25 wins during the non-conference slate, most notably Kentucky and Auburn when both were still ranked in the top 10. Their lone loss during the stretch came to Gonzaga. The No. 1 Blue Devils' freshman quartet of Zion Williamson, R.J. Barrett, Tre Jones and Cam Reddish will be difficult to contain as the year rolls on. 3. Florida State (11-1) — Head coach Leonard Hamilton's team looks poised for another potential Elite Eight run after a strong non-conference performance, which featured wins over Florida, LSU, Pur- due and Connecticut. The Seminoles' lone defeat came versus defending national champion Villanova. 4. North Carolina (9-3) — Though the Tar Heels have three early losses, those came to opponents with a combined 28-6 record (Texas, Michigan and Kentucky). The team has the talent, including All- America candidate Luke Maye, to potentially win the league. 5. NC State (12-1) — The Wolfpack may be the surprise of the league going into January with wins over then No. 7 Auburn, Vanderbilt and Penn State. Their lone loss came to Wisconsin in Madison. 6. Virginia Tech (11-1) — Head coach Buzz Williams' group was expected to be a top-25 program in 2018-19, and they have not disappointed so far. The Hokies have faced just three Power Five programs, but did pick up wins over Purdue and Washington. The loss came versus Penn State. 7. Louisville (9-4) — Year one of the Chris Mack era experienced some highs and lows during the non-conference slate with the Cardinals picking up wins over Michigan State and Seton Hall, but falling in close contests to Kentucky, Tennessee, Marquette and Indiana. The Cardinals will be an intriguing team to watch in the coming weeks. 8. Clemson (10-3) — The Tigers faced a fairly tough slate, notching wins over Georgia and South Carolina while falling to Creighton, Nebraska and Mississippi State. Not having senior guard Marcquise Reed for three games puts the Tigers here. 9. Syracuse (9-4) — Though the Orange suffered four non-conference losses, they played a tough schedule. Syracuse picked up a road win over Ohio State and a home victory versus Georgetown, while falling to Connecticut, Oregon, Buffalo and Old Dominion. 10. Notre Dame (10-3) — The Irish could be No. 9 or No. 10, but Syracuse got the nod due to its schedule. Is Notre Dame past its inconsistency offensively? If so, the Irish should remain around the bubble for an NCAA Tournament bid. 11. Miami (8-4) — Head coach Jim Larranaga's group suffered a tough stretch with four straight losses to Seton Hall, Rutgers, Yale and Penn. The Hurricanes have plenty to work out heading into ACC play. 12. Boston College (9-3) — Guard Ky Bowman helped the Eagles to an excellent start to the season, but the non-conference slate didn't feature any top-25 opponents and included losses to IUPUI and Hartford. 13. Pittsburgh (10-3) — The Panthers are off to a better start in non-conference play in year one of head coach Jeff Chapel's tenure compared to last year. However, their true improvement will be better known over the first part of January. 14. Georgia Tech (7-5) — The Yellow Jackets enter the conference among the nation's best de- fensively, but the offense wasn't strong enough to pull off wins against Tennessee, Northwestern, St. John's, Gardner-Webb and Georgia. 15. Wake Forest (6-5) — The Demon Deacons will likely be in a fight to avoid finishing last in the league. Losses to Houston Baptist, Richmond and Saint Joseph's are not predictors of future success. — Corey Bodden Freshman guard Robby Carmody, who posted 3.7 points per outing in his nine games played, suf- fered a torn labrum in his shoulder and will not play again this year. PHOTO BY COREY BODDEN

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