The Irish are coming off a well-deserved victory against Louisville this past weekend. The historic game went into 5 overtimes, which is the longest game in Notre Dame and Big East history. It was a great game to watch with all of the twists and turns. They did shoot the ball a little better than the last couple of games (41.6%). It is still below their season average (48.2%), which is 13th in the country. What many fans learned is that when Jerian Grant turns it up everyone else needs to get out of the way and let him do his thing. Cooley needs to stay out of foul trouble, but Sherman stepped up in overtime going 7-10 and scoring 17 points.
DePaul has lost 8 in a row and now has to travel to South Bend. This could be a game where the Blue Demons turn it around. A game that goes into 5 overtimes is not only physically draining, but emotionally as well and DePaul looks to capitalize on that tomorrow night. They have really struggled in Big East play going 1-9 and 10-13 overall. They did take Notre Dame into overtime on February 2nd, but ended up losing by 8 in overtime.
The keys to a Notre Dame win would be to keep Melvin and Young to a bad shooting night and force DePaul to take outside shots, which is where they tend to struggle. Also, the Irish need to feed Cooley the ball in the post, because in their last meeting he shot 60% with 26 points and 16 rebounds against the Blue Demons. The Irish cannot have a hangover from their win Saturday. They need to come out strong and keep winning.
Notre Dame is only 1.5 games back of 1st place in the Big East and plan to cut that lead a little tomorrow night at 7 p.m. on ESPN 3. Who will lead the Irish to a strong end of the season finish? Jerian Grant seems to be coming along, but with Cooley the rebounding machine and Biedscheid starting to find his groove shooting the ball. With that combination, they should be a hard team to stop.