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Notre Dame Men’s Basketball Preview

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

 

2018-2019 Overall Rank: #54

Conference Rank: #11 ACC

 Notre Dame failed to make the NCAA Tournament last season for the first time since 2014. Injuries were mostly to blame as senior leaders Bonzie Colson and Matt Farrell missed a combined 20 games, all of which came during conference play. Both Colson and Farrell have graduated now along with fellow starter Martinas Geben, so the Fighting Irish will have some rebuilding to do this season. The silver lining to the injuries last year is that players like T.J. Gibbs, John Mooney and Nikola Djogo were able to see more playing time as underclassmen. Mike Brey also brings in a top-15 recruiting class along with an impact transfer, so Notre Dame should find themselves right back in the NCAA Tournament discussion.

 

2017-18 Record: 21-15, 8-10

2017-18 Postseason: NIT

Coach: Mike Brey

Coach Record: 403-201 at Notre Dame, 502-252 overall

 

Key Departed Players:
Bonzie Colson, Forward, 19.7 ppg
Matt Farrell, Guard, 16.3 ppg
Martinas Geben, Center, 11.1 ppg
Austin Torres, Forward, 2.4 ppg

 

Key Returning Players:

T.J. Gibbs, Junior, Guard, 15.3 ppg
Rex Pflueger, Senior, Guard, 8.0 ppg
D.J. Harvey, Sophomore, Forward, 5.8 ppg
John Mooney, Junior, Forward, 5.6 ppg
Nikola Djogo, Junior, Guard, 2.6 ppg
Elijah Burns, Senior, Forward, 2.3 ppg

 

Key New Players:
Robby Carmody, Freshman, Guard
Chris Doherty, Freshman, Forward
Juwan Durham, Sophomore, Forward, Transfer from Connecticut
Dane Goodwin, Freshman, Guard
Prentiss Hubb, Freshman, Guard
Nate Laszewski, Freshman, Forward

 

Projection:

Notre Dame returns just two full-time starters from last season. T.J. Gibbs had a breakout year as a sophomore, and he should be Notre Dame’s best player as a junior. Gibbs averaged 15.3 points, 3.0 assists and 1.0 steals last year while starting all 36 games for the Fighting Irish. Rex Pflueger is the other returning starter and will be the team’s senior leader this season. Pflueger started 35 games as a junior, averaging 8.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.1 steals. D.J. Harvey had his freshman year end early with an injury, but he should become a starter and an instant impact player as a sophomore. Harvey is a former four-star prospect who is a talented athlete and could breakout as a sophomore, much like Gibbs did a year ago. John Mooney, Nikola Djogo and Elijah Burns all return after seeing extended playing time last year because of Notre Dame’s injuries. The Fighting Irish also have a top-15 recruiting class joining the fold this season. Robby Carmody, Dane Goodwin, Prentiss Hubb and Nate Laszewski are all four-star prospects who should make an instant impact as freshmen. Juwan Durham is also joining Notre Dame as a redshirt sophomore who transferred from Connecticut. Durham was a top-50, four-star prospect two years ago, but he barely saw the floor as a freshman at UConn. Durham should see a much bigger role this year with the Irish. Notre Dame will certainly miss the presence of Bonzie Colson and Matt Farrell, but Mike Brey has done a good job at cycling in a new group to compete in the ACC. Notre Dame should find themselves right back in the thick of one of the toughest conferences in the nation.

 

Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT

 

By the Numbers:

Scoring Offense: 74.9 (143rd in nation, 8th in conference)

Scoring Defense: 68.6 (77, 6)

Field-Goal Percentage: 44.3 (193, 11)

Field-Goal Defense: 42.4 (79, 8)

Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.3 (103, 4)

Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 35.8 (130, 11)

Free-Throw Percentage: 75.8 (38, 1)

Rebound Margin: 2.3 (97, 6)

Assists Per Game: 14.4 (109, 6)

Turnovers Per Game: 9.9 (7, 2)

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