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Sunday, April 21, 2024
The Observer


Irish face Hurricanes for second time this season

After a nine day hiatus, the Notre Dame men’s basketball team will host Miami Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Purcell Pavilion. The Irish are on a two game losing streak, going 7-11 in Head Coach Micah Shrewsberry’s first year with the team. 

The team already lost to Miami this year when they visited Coral Gables, Florida on Dec. 2nd. That was their first ACC matchup of the year and the 62-49 score didn’t impress many Irish fans. Overall, the Irish are 2-5 in conference play and are in a four-way tie for second to last in the ACC, only ahead of Louisville.

Most recently, the Irish traveled to Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts where they lost to Boston College by 4 points. It was a frustrating result for Notre Dame who led by as many as 12 points in the game and shot 52% from the floor in the first half. Boston College head coach Earl Grant must have given a better halftime speech than Shrewsberry though because the Irish shooting percentage nearly halved and they turned the ball over 10 times in the second half.

Freshman guard Markus Burton scored 15 points in the first half but finished with only 19, further indication of Notre Dame’s struggles in the second half. Freshman guard Braeden Shrewsberry scored 12 but no other Irish player got into the double digits. As a team, the Irish went 9 for 15 from the free throw line, while the Eagles went 14 for 18. Those 6 points would have made all the difference.

The root of Notre Dame’s problem is that they are just not scoring enough. They have not scored above 80 points in a non-exhibition game all season. In comparison, UConn, the No. 1 team in the country, has scored at least 80 points in 12 of 19 games.

The Irish are shooting comparably to their opponents (40.2% to 40.3%), but they’ve given up 53 more shots than they’ve taken. Most people looking at these stats would tell the team the old Wayne Gretzky line: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” However, the team has attempted 67 more three-pointers than opponents while only having 11 more makes to show for it. This suggests that the Irish are wasting scoring opportunities by taking rushed or otherwise sloppy threes rather than attempting to drive the lane for a higher percentage shot.

All together the Irish have some work to do in the second half of the season. While the team’s NCAA tournament chances are low, fans would have more confidence going into next season with this young team if they can win against some tougher opponents and at least make a good showing in the ACC tournament.