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Notre Dame Fighting Irish

THE BIG PREVIEW: Virginia Cavaliers vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Immediately after a hard weekend with again to again game titles towards Duke and UNC, things get a little bit much easier for Virginia Cavaliers basketball with a property tilt towards the Notre Dame Preventing Irish on Saturday afternoon. This is not intended as a knock on Notre Dame. I’m certain Mike Brey would quickly acknowledge that his workforce is not on the exact same level as their ACC brethren ideal now.

The Irish at the moment sit at 89th on KenPom. They are 13-11 all round, and 3-8 in the ACC. They have received two of their earlier 3, including their initially road get of the yr, a 6 point get about Boston College.

This is the 2nd matchup between these two teams this season. Heading into the initially matchup, the Irish rated 71st on KenPom. In spite of a 2-3 record considering that then, they’ve fallen in the rankings. A massive section of that slide was the 27-point property decline in that matchup.

The Irish’s struggles must not be a massive surprise. They had been 58th on KenPom coming into the season, but they have missing arguably their greatest player in senior Rex Pfleuger to a season-ending harm. They also missing UCONN transfer Juwan Durham to an harm which retained him out for most of January. He’s again, however he’s performed just 33 minutes in 3 game titles considering that returning.

The Irish are led by massive guy John Mooney. He’s averaging a double double with 15 factors and 10 rebounds for each sport. He had precisely these quantities towards the Hoos, but it took him 15 shots to get there. He created 3/4 from downtown, but just 3/11 from inside. That’s towards the norm for a male who’s normally a lot extra perilous on the inside than the exterior.

Even however Mooney is, far and away, the greatest Notre Dame has, fellow junior T.J. Gibbs proceeds to lead the workforce in shots. He’s got the ball in his fingers a ton, and he’s got the mentality of a scorer. Trouble is, he isn’t a pretty good shooter and with out quite a few other weapons, teams are keying on his drives. He’s capturing 32% on treys, which isn’t terrific, but also isn’t dreadful. But he’s capturing just 37% inside the arc, and that is horrid. His preserving grace is that he will get to the line a good amount and will make his no cost throws. His TS% (accurate capturing share, a metric made use of to decide a player’s actual capturing capacity, getting into account 3 pointers, no cost throws, and so forth) is just 47.5%, or about the exact same as Kihei Clark. But Clark is sixth on the workforce in FGA, although Gibbs is initially on Notre Dame. Gibbs’ quantities had been improved the past two many years, with TS% of 56.7% past yr and 51.2% the yr right before. People Notre Dame teams had extra talent, so Gibbs had extra area. He took much less than 50 % his shots from downtown in earlier many years, and also created 40% of his treys past yr.

Immediately after Gibbs and Mooney, the next two choices at D.J. Harvey and freshman Prentice Hubb. Every of them have FG% beneath 40%, and Hubb’s TS% is just 41.8%, which is just negative. Harvey’s is 51.1%, which isn’t terrific. Hubb has been a little bit improved in ACC play, which may perhaps be a indicator that he simply just was not ready earlier in the season. A little bit improved, however, is however not pretty good.

All of that is a prolonged way of saying the Irish just can’t shoot. As a workforce, they are 280th in the nation in 3 point capturing. Nevertheless, they are 53rd in the nation in 3FGA, as a share of all round FGA. That’s not a good blend. They are, having said that, and remarkable FT capturing workforce (38th in the nation). That is retaining their offense afloat.

Defensively, the return of Juwon Dunham alterations things. With no actual massive guy other than Mooney, they had been forced to go little. Mamadi Diakite scored 10 factors in just 21 minutes, and was generally guarded by 200 pound Nate Laszewski.

This is just much too simple. Laszewski tries to entrance Diakite, but the Virginia massive guy is much too potent. That’s also a great complete about Mooney, a first rate weakside shot blocker.

The Irish combined some zone defense in with some guy defense. It didn’t aid. Virginia scored about 1.3 factors for each possession. Not heading to get offering up that form of output.

This, once again, is just much too simple. The play starts with the Irish in a simple 2-3 zone (not revealed in the higher than clip). But by the time Clark is capturing, it appears extra like a 2-2-1 and the wing is pretty much unguarded. Usually, in a zone, the wing defender on the baseline would pop out to Clark, in particular with Braxton Important location a select on Hubb.

This is probably what occurs when a guy defense workforce performs zone. Or, maybe the Irish had been Okay with Clark getting that shot. Of course, Clark has his shortcomings (no pun meant), but he’s 36% from downtown. Just cannot give him that open up a glimpse.

This is one more glimpse at their zone. After once again, the wing defender appears to be to not know in which he must go. He’s caught in no man’s land, and the Irish give up a dunk to Ebuka Izundu.

I didn’t see as a lot zone in the Irish’s past sport, towards Georgia Tech. That may perhaps be Dunham’s return easing some of the depth difficulties. It may perhaps also have been a matchups matter.

The Irish do have their strengths. They don’t convert the ball about. Not a massive offer towards a Virginia workforce that does not count on turnovers. The Irish don’t foul a lot. Once more, not a massive offer as Virginia is not a workforce that will get to the line a ton.

The Irish just can’t shoot, they don’t defend the 3 point shot pretty very well (in particular in that zone) and other than Mooney, they just don’t have any weapons that can damage the Pack Line.

Items will get improved for Mike Brey and organization as some of the youngsters get extra knowledge. But ideal now, this young workforce simply just just can’t matchup towards a potent, veteran workforce like Virginia. The 27 point road get for the Hoos showed that really very well.

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