College GameDay is coming to South Bend and will air at 10am and 8pm tomorrow on ESPN. Tip off will be at 9pm on ESPN. Notre Dame is coming off an embarrassing loss to Syracuse 63-47. When you shoot 34.6% from the field you aren’t going to win many basketball games. This is another big game for the Irish and are currently 18-5 (6-4) in the Big East. It isn’t characteristic of Notre Dame to shoot that badly from the field since they rank as the 11th best in field goal percentage at 48.7%. It will take a great effort to beat a very good Louisville team who is currently ranked 11th, but was ranked number 1 at one point this season.
Louisville is on a three game winning streak after they previously had three straight losses. Russ Smith has emerged this year and is averaging 18.2 points per game. Peyton Siva has had the best season of his career with 10.6 points per game and 6.1 assists per game (both career highs) for the senior. You can’t forget about their man in the middle Gorgui Dieng who is their leading rebounder (9.8 per game) and shot blocker (2.7 per game). He isn’t much of a scorer, but is a good defensive player and will give Cooley some trouble down low.
They keys to winning this game is not to have one of the worst shooting nights of the season and the other is to get Dieng out of position so the Irish can attack the basket and then can dish for wide open jumpers. Keep Smith and Siva under control and the Irish should be able to pull out a win, but if one or both go off and Dieng can be a force down low it will be another loss for the Irish.