Next a 78-73 upset decline at North Carolina on Sunday afternoon, reigning nationwide champion and 2019 preferred Notre Dame fell from its leading perch to No. 5 in the place.
Basketball exercise on Wednesday afternoon at Purcell Pavilion was relatively sedate for the 19-2 Fighting Irish (6-1 in ACC perform) from the aftereffect tremors of the defeat as they geared up to strike the road for the 3rd straight outing, at vastly improved Clemson (14-6 in general, 5-2 in ACC) tonight.
The Irish gained at Tennessee past Thursday (77-62) prior to the defeat in Chapel Hill. They returned to historical concentrations of chilly temperature in northern Indiana, but head mentor Muffet McGraw stated it is the hearth — and execution — on the courtroom that is going to make any difference.
“I’m hoping we see it tomorrow,” stated McGraw subsequent Wednesday’s session of the team’s depth stage. “We have not found it nonetheless … we’re truly fragile appropriate now. I think we see our weaknesses a small little bit extra than our strengths, and I think we have to have to get our self-assurance back again.”
Junior wing/guard Jackie Youthful, who sat out the North Carolina decline with a appropriate ankle sprain, participated for the to start with time considering the fact that past Saturday (when she was wounded) in exercise and partook in a handful of of the drills. She was the past to leave the courtroom while while working on some shooting. She continues to be questionable for the Clemson video game, with McGraw declaring it will be a video game-time final decision dependent on how perfectly she can reduce and shift laterally.
“If it is my final decision, I’m actively playing,” stated Youthful, who stated the ankle has improved significantly considering the fact that earlier in the week. “We just truly have to have to get defensive stops and rebounds, so with any luck , I can provide that to the table.”
The overall health of Youthful is not what fears McGraw the most at the minute.
“As the No. 1 workforce in the place, you really should be ready to conquer an unranked workforce without having just one of your starters, so I was truly let down no one else truly stepped up,” McGraw mirrored on the decline to the Tar Heels. “We had four truly good players on the flooring all the time, and they necessary to do extra.
“I think that we have an understanding of that we can’t change the ball over, we have received to be ready to defend, we have received to be ready to figure out who’s received the very hot hand. We had a ton of mismatches — we weren’t ready to take benefit of them.”
Senior guard Marina Mabrey admitted the veteran Irish starting unit demands to be extra accountable of themselves.
“We just want to get back again out there and display what we can truly do and perform superior,” Mabrey stated. “Credit to [North Carolina], they performed a wonderful video game. They arrived all set to perform and we didn’t. The leaders on the workforce didn’t truly guide that perfectly.”
For McGraw, the hope is the workforce can focus on still winning the ACC relatively than searching as well considerably ahead. For Mabrey, the decline at North Carolina was not as undesirable as dropping by 33 at Louisville past January — soon after acquiring previously found four teammates have their seasons ended with torn ACLs.
“I never think we were being as small as we were being past yr — we were being at a truly small level,” Mabrey stated. “We just truly have to have to come back again and get superior. Perhaps this will be a turning level of the time.”
Notre Dame committed 20 turnovers at North Carolina, continuing a current trend of not defending the basketball as perfectly as it really should.
Among the 15 teams in the ACC, Notre Dame continues to be No. 1 in assist-to-turnover ratio — but is only No. 7 in turnover margin, highlighting its concerns with the rash of glitches. The matchup with Clemson will provide an superb examination in that region due to the fact the Tigers rank fifth in the place in steals with 246 in 20 game titles, or 12.3 for each contest.
The absence of Youthful was conspicuous versus North Carolina due to the fact she normally plays the level in 50 %-courtroom sets. She sales opportunities the workforce in assists with 95 and has only 40 turnovers — and is No. 1 in the ACC in assist-to-turnover ratio at moreover-2.4. Mabrey, who was the unexpected emergency level guard the past 3 months of the 2018 campaign, is No. 6 in the league in assists (68) to turnovers (36) at moreover-1.9.
Freshman Jordan Nixon performed 33 minutes at the level in opposition to North Carolina and had only just one turnover, which could final result in extra action for her again if Youthful is absent.
“Just obtain the open up male,” stated Mabrey of the place the Irish have to have to strengthen. “I think often we try out to force it in as well a lot, force passes that aren’t there. And then creating the appropriate go — throwing overhead passes when they really should be a bounce go, just small items like that that all come back again to concentration.”
The level of emphasis this week in exercise has been to be potent and smart with the ball, but McGraw contends it is not like that has been earlier disregarded. At some level it will come down to dedication, concentration and hard work, just like defense.
“It’s truly disheartening,” McGraw stated. “We’ve been working on some of these items considering the fact that the summer, some of them for four years. Just seeing it on movie, it is virtually pointless to say, ‘This is what we’re attempting to do.’ You have just received to go do it. It’s truly just about them figuring it out.”
The Tigers have been the bottom feeders of the league for almost 15 years, past publishing a winning time in 2004. More than the previous 5 years Clemson was 9-70 in conference perform, and 1-15 past yr.
This yr it is 14-6 and tied for fourth in the league at 5-2, pulling off back again-to-back again upsets on the road versus Miami (76-57) and Florida Point out (57-45). Previous Thursday it took unbeaten North Carolina Point out to the restrict at Raleigh in advance of dropping, 54-51. First-yr head mentor Amanda Butler, who had been head mentor at Florida for 10 years in advance of having fired in 2017, is a primary Coach of the Calendar year prospect, specifically with the defense the Tigers perform.
“Clemson perform with a ton of electricity, truly motivated,” McGraw stated. “Play wonderful defense, they trap, they push … Which is a challenge the way we change the ball over.”
Like the Irish, Clemson is spearheaded by veterans, led by 6-2 junior submit Kobi Thompson, the team’s leading scorer (15.6 factors for each video game) and rebounder (8.1). Grad college student Simone Westbrook averages 14.9 factors and sales opportunities the workforce in assists (70). Senior Danielle Edwards (13.5 factors for each video game) also is a crucial cog.
Two years back at Clemson, the Tigers took No. 7 Notre Dame to the wall in advance of dropping 84-80, with Mabrey scoring 24 of her profession higher 29 factors in the next 50 % .