5 Biggest Keys for Notre Dame Basketball in 2018-19

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 06: TJ Gibbs Jr.
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 06: TJ Gibbs Jr. /
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Notre Dame basketball
CHAPEL HILL, NC – FEBRUARY 12: TJ Gibbs #10 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish drives to the basket against the North Carolina Tar Heels during their game at the Dean Smith Center on February 12, 2018 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

4. T.J. Gibbs’ Role as Primary Scorer

After a rash of injuries to three of Notre Dame’s top offensive weapons last season, Gibbs accepted the role of primary scorer a year earlier than expected. An Irish team in need of a leader and offensive threat, Gibbs was up for the challenge. Coming to South Bend with his own fair share of fanfare, Gibbs was good in a limited capacity as a freshman, but last year he saw his minutes go from 15 to 37.4 and his points from 4.7 to 15.3.

Even with the huge uptick in production, the more impressive part was his improved efficiency. He improved on his overall field goal percentage (.375-.411), free throw percentage (.831-.838) and three point percentage (.321-.403).

As a junior, Notre Dame is counting on Gibbs to not only be the team’s best player, but one of the conference’s elite players. That is what it will take to get the Irish back into the top half of the ACC and into the NCAA tournament.