Blue and Gold Illustrated

March 2022

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

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BLUEGOLDONLINE.COM MARCH 2022 89 MEN'S BASKETBALL personal best. He makes passes he didn't three years ago. He can hit a big man on a dive to the rim. Fire a skip pass to a shooter. Kick out to the wing on a drive. "Just making plays is the biggest thing," Goodwin said. "Coming off ball screens, being in the right positions as far as offense goes. And just taking those big shots, being in those positions." It's that last part where his presence has been most important. When Notre Dame needs a big shot, teammates look for No. 23. If he's open, he's letting it fly. Like he did twice from three-point range in the final minutes of the 69-65 win over Virginia Jan. 29. Or like he did by making a layup and drawing a foul in the final four minutes of the 66-62 victory over Kentucky Dec. 11. Nearly all the Irish's baseline out-of-bounds plays are designed to get Goodwin an open jumper. No one shoots 47.2 percent on threes and 50.4 percent overall without con- sistently strong shot selection. Good- win is doing so because he possesses a self-awareness of where he's best and doesn't try to play outside that frame- work. Call it a senior's sense. Goodwin scores most of his points on catch-and-shoot jumpers, taking jump- ers coming off screens, mid-range pull- ups and a post-up turnaround shot. He's deliberate when picking his spots to drive, understanding he's not a blow-by ball- handler or a creative finisher at the rim. Occasionally, he leans into his days as a forward and posts up — a skill devel- oped playing one-on-one in the drive- way with Damon. Per Synergy Sports, he's averaging 1.09 points per posses- sion when he posts up, which ranks in the 89th percentile nationally. "He has always been a good shooter and always been able to score, because he can post up with a mismatch and take a bigger guy outside," Damon said. 'COCKINESS IN A GOOD WAY' Reach a certain level of basketball, and a player's position is often shaped by an old adage. You are who you can guard on defense. For Goodwin to fully be a guard, he had to prove capable of defending them. And for three years, that was a bumpy ride. This season, though, he's staying in front of his man with more consis- tency and causing more disruption in passing lanes. He has held his own in tough matchups against wing forwards when Notre Dame plays small. "He's not going to stop a point guard jet, but he's a better perimeter defender as a bigger wing," Damon said. Sturdy defense requires not only agil- ity and effort, but belief and self-con- fidence. In Damon's eyes, a visible up- tick in those is as big a reason for Dane's breakthrough as any other. "He probably always felt 'my destiny is to be an all-league guy,'" Brey said. "There's a confidence — a cockiness in a good way — an edge about him how he carries himself. Like, 'This should hap- pen for me.' He doesn't doubt it. That's probably one of the reasons it's hard to take him out of games sometimes." And hard not to want him back for a fifth season. Goodwin has the option to play one due to the NCAA's COVID-19 exemption, which granted all 2020-21 winter sport student athletes an extra year of eligibility. "It'd be a great opportunity for my- self and to help this team for another year," Goodwin said. "We'll see how this year goes and see what happens, but it's definitely a possibility." ✦ 2021-22 NOTRE DAME MEN'S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE Date Opponent (TV) Result/Time (ET) Nov. 13 Cal State Northridge W, 68-52 Nov. 16 High Point W, 70-61 Nov. 22 vs. Saint Mary's# L, 62-59 Nov. 23 vs. Chaminade# W, 90-64 Nov. 24 vs. Texas A&M# L, 73-67 Nov. 29 at Illinois L, 82-72 Dec. 3 at Boston College* L, 73-57 Dec. 11 Kentucky W, 66-62 Dec. 18 vs. Indiana% L, 64-56 Dec. 20 Western Michigan W, 85-62 Dec. 22 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi W, 83-73 Dec. 28 at Pittsburgh* W, 68-67 Jan. 5 North Carolina* W, 78-73 Jan. 8 at Georgia Tech* W, 72-68 (OT) Jan. 12 Clemson* W, 72-56 Jan. 15 at Virginia Tech* L, 79-73 Jan. 17 at Howard W, 71-68 Jan. 22 at Louisville* W, 82-70 Jan. 26 NC State* W, 73-65 Jan. 29 Virginia* W, 69-65 Jan. 31 Duke* L, 57-43 Feb. 2 at Miami* W, 68-64 Feb. 5 at NC State* W, 69-57 Feb. 9 Louisville* (ESPNU) 7 p.m. Feb. 12 at Clemson* (ACCN) 7 p.m. Feb. 16 Boston College* (ESPN2/U) 7 p.m. Feb. 19 at Wake Forest* (RSN) 1 p.m. Feb. 22 Syracuse* TBA Feb. 26 Georgia Tech* (ACCN) 5 p.m. Mar. 2 at Florida State* (ESPN2/U) 7 p.m. Mar. 5 Pittsburgh* (ACCN) TBA Mar. 8-12 ACC Tournament$ TBA # Maui Invitational at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas; % Crossroads Classic at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis; * ACC game; $ at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.; ACCN — ACC Net work; ACCNX — ACC Network Extra; RSN — Regional Sports Networks Irish Signee J.J. Starling Named A McDonald's All-American The highest-ranked signee in the Notre Dame 2022 class has earned one of the highest honors in prep basketball. Guard J.J. Starling was named a McDonald's All-American Jan. 25. He's one of 24 players on the boys' roster for the 2022 McDonald's All-American Game, which will take place March 29 in Chicago. Starling — a Baldwins- ville, N.Y., native who plays at La Porte (Ind.) La Lumiere School — is the No. 28 overall recruit in the 2022 class, per the On3 Consensus. The four-star guard signed with Notre Dame in November and will enroll this summer. "I think he deserves it," head coach Mike Brey said. "I made that known to some of the people on the commit- tee with how he played in the summer and how he has played this fall. And he moved up in rankings and all that. "It's good credibility to have a kid on that team and playing the game in Chicago. It's an endorsement for us. We felt good about who we signed, but he was the one — we had to get him. I'm excited to coach him." Starling (6-4, 185 pounds) is the first Notre Dame McDonald's All-American since guard Demetrius Jackson in 2013. He is the fifth signed during Brey's 22-year tenure and the 17th to ink with Notre Dame out of high school. The Irish have also taken two transfers who were former McDonald's All-Americans. Notre Dame identified Starling as one of its earliest targets in the 2022 class, and Brey reached out to him the first day coaches could directly contact 2022 recruits. The Irish hosted him for an official visit in early September. He committed to them Oct. 12 over Duke, Northwestern and Stanford. Starling is one of three players Notre Dame signed this fall in a class ranked 25th nationally, according to the On3 Consensus. He joins four-star Orlando (Fla.) Christian Prep forward Ven-Allen Lubin and Exeter (N.H.) Phillips Exeter Academy forward Dom Campbell. Lubin is a four-star prospect and the No. 105 overall player in the class, while Campbell is a three-star and ranked No. 123. — Patrick Engel

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