Blue and Gold Illustrated

January 2023

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

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BLUEGOLDONLINE.COM JANUARY 2023 47 MEN'S BASKETBALL graduate student Nate Laszewski, post- ups aren't a source of offense. That's an adjustment from last season. Now, it'd be unfair to ignore the posi- tives, which include: • Laszewski, averaging 14.3 points and 8.4 rebounds per game, looks like an all-conference player. He has de- livered on the promise of more asser- tiveness and has remained an efficient three-point shooter (38.7 percent). Ten games in, he has taken seven fewer free throws than he did all last season (47). He's also third in assists. • Cormac Ryan, after a shaky first six games, has recaptured his late-season and NCAA Tournament form. He's av- eraging 13.1 points per game and shoot- ing 45.2 percent on three-pointers. • Freshman guard JJ Starling, even while mired in a three-point slump (4 of 22), looks like a dynamic shot cre- ator. He is Notre Dame's best off-the- dribble threat and a stronger finisher at the basket than Wesley was a year ago. His decision-making has been beyond his class year, save for some wayward moments against Marquette. • For all the concern about rebound- ing problems, Notre Dame is 38th na- tionally in defensive rebounding rate even after Marquette gobbled up 15 of- fensive boards. So, where does that leave Notre Dame? A team with a skilled freshmen duo and a group of old guys who tasted March success a year ago, but one that has to pull the wheel around quickly. Last year's team, with a lot of the same characters and a healthy mix of old and young, recovered from a 4-5 start and ended up with two NCAA Tournament wins. Patience proved wise. At the same time, this isn't last year. This is a team with a seven-man rota- tion nearly as old as a couple iterations of NBA teams' starting lineups. The de- fensive issues are particularly troubling. Notre Dame is No. 198 nationally in ad- justed defensive efficiency, per Ken- Pom, after Marquette ripped through it. That includes a No. 239 ranking in two- point shooting percentage (51.9). Brey's best adjustment to stop the Golden Eagles would have been to find that fire alarm and tug it. "I told them, 'Guys, I've got to figure out how to help you get better, and we'll keep working on that as a staff,'" Brey said. It's not all coaching, though. The team knows it just has to play … better. Stay in front. Be quicker in ball-screen defense. "We have to step out on some of the screens, have a strong chest, just exe- cute better defensively," Laszewski said. Notre Dame enters a slower stretch that should lend itself to introspection and experimenting. The Irish next play at Georgia Dec. 18. They'll play at 2-9 Florida State three days later, then take six days off before a home game against Jacksonville Dec. 27. They still have time to sort themselves out — 21 regular-sea- son games, to be exact. But there's much sorting out to do. "We are who we are right now," Brey said. "We'll figure out later in the week after a few [final] exams how to help our group get better." ✦ Graduate student guard Cormac Ryan was averaging 13.1 points per game and shooting 45.2 percent on three-pointers through 10 contests. PHOTO BY CHAD WEAVER 2022-23 NOTRE DAME SCHEDULE Date Opponent (TV) Result/Time (ET) Nov. 10 Radford W, 79-76 Nov. 13 Youngstown State W, 88-81 Nov. 16 Southern Indiana^ W, 82-70 Nov. 18 Lipscomb W, 66-65 Nov. 22 Bowling Green^ W, 82-66 Nov. 25 St. Bonaventure& L, 63-51 Nov. 30 Michigan State% W, 70-52 Dec. 3 Syracuse* L, 62-61 Dec. 7 Boston University W, 81-75 Dec. 11 Marquette L, 79-64 Dec. 18 vs. Georgia+ (ESPN2) 5:30 p.m. Dec. 21 at Florida State* (ACCN) 8:30 p.m. Dec. 27 Jacksonville (ACCN) 7 p.m. Dec. 30 Miami* (ACCN) 2 p.m. Jan. 3 at Boston College* (ACCN) 7 p.m. Jan. 7 at N. Carolina* (ESPN2) 11:30 a.m. Jan. 10 Georgia Tech* (ACCN) 7 p.m. Jan. 14 at Syracuse* (ACCN) 7 p.m. Jan. 17 Florida State* (ESPN2/U) 7 p.m. Jan. 21 Boston College* (RSN) 2 p.m. Jan. 24 at NC State* (ACCN) 7 p.m. Jan. 28 Louisville* (ESPN/2) 12 p.m. Feb. 4 Wake Forest* (RSN) 1 p.m. Feb. 8 at Georgia Tech* (RSN) 7 p.m. Feb. 11 Virginia Tech* (RSN) 2 p.m. Feb. 14 at Duke* (ESPN/2) 7 p.m. Feb. 18 at Virginia* (ESPN/2/U) 12 p.m. Feb. 22 North Carolina* (ESPN/2) 9 p.m. Feb. 25 at Wake Forest* (ACCN) 7 p.m. March 1 Pittsburgh* (ESPN/2/U) 7 p.m. M arch 4 at Clemson* (ACCN) 8 p.m. Mar. 7-11 ACC Tournament TBD ^ Gotham Classic at South Bend. & Gotham Classic in UBS Arena at Belmont Park, N.Y.; % ACC/Big Ten Challenge; * ACC game; + at State Farm Arena in Atlanta; $ at Greensboro, N.C.

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