Notre Dame Basketball: Irish Draw Oklahoma at Jimmy V Classic

(Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images)
(Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images) /

Notre Dame basketball will face Oklahoma at Madison Square Garden on December 4th.

It’s the slow season for college basketball diehards, as if you don’t believe me, just check my Slap the Sign numbers. We were able to pick up a nice piece of Notre Dame scheduling information today though, as the Jimmy V Classic twitter account announced the field for this years event.

Coach Mike Brey’s squad will be taking on the Sooners of Oklahoma at “The World’s Most Famous Arena” for the 24th annual event, which usually features at least one ACC squad. Notre Dame has appeared in the event before as well. As a member of the Big East,  the Irish defeated Kansas State 68-59 in 2007.

This should be a really nice neutral court game (and a winnable one) for the Irish in the weeks leading up to conference play. Oklahoma is a team that will go into the 2018-19 season with a lot of question marks.

The 2017-18 season was nothing less than tumultuous for Lon Kruger’s squad. Oklahoma went from being the No. 4 team in the country to being one of the last teams invited to the NCAA Tournament with an 18-14 record and winning only two games after January.

They would go on to be ousted in the first round by Rhode Island.

Their losing streak continued into the offseason, as the one man show that is Trae Young predictably entered the NBA draft. Kam McGusty (Miami FL) and Jordan Shepherd (UNC-Charlotte) both transferred and Khadeem Lattin exhausted his eligibility after what seemed like nine years.

Oklahoma is not without talent, however. Christian James will be the main threat on offense for the Sooners. He often played second fiddle to Young, averaging 12 points and 4 boards per game. Oklahoma also returns sharpshooter Brady Manek and adds graduate transfers Aaron Calixte (Maine) and Miles Reynolds (St. Louis & Pacific).

I would fully expect the Irish to favored in this match-up, as I don’t expect great things from the Sooners this season. Temple Gibbs is going to be a nightmare for opposing teams this season with his ability to shoot it from deep, score in the lane and then make his free throws.

I also expect this game to be hugely impacted by Juwan Durham, a player I have always been a fan of. Durham is a big time athlete and a big time shot blocker who will be playing against a front court that will not have a ton of experience. Look for a big game on the glass for the transfer from UConn.

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With all of that said, this is not a game that Notre Dame can take lightly as they adjust to life without Colson and Farrell while incorporating their freshman and other new players.

I’ll take the Irish by 11.