With a 2-0 start, Notre Dame basketball will welcome the high-powered offense of Radford.
As expected, Notre Dame basketball comes into tWednesday’s game 2-0 with wins over Illinois-Chicago and Chicago State. This early in the season, that was about all we could predict.
No one really knew who would step up with this young group. Five newcomers on the team with four of them being freshman can cause for a lot of uncertainty.
Already this season, Notre Dame has run into that uncertainty. The inexperienced group struggled with their long-range shots against UIC, but they were able to put that to rest against Chicago State.
The Irish’ fast start against the Cougars came to a halt after the opening minutes. Notre Dame’s shooting went cold and the young core looked lost. The frustration was completely visible as shot after shot bounced off the rim.
Senior Elijah Burns led the team on a run just before the half and continued it for the rest of the game as the Irish ran away with it.
Radford will give Notre Dame a little bit of a different look. The offensive-minded team has averaged 89.5 ppg over the first two contests while allowing only 67.5 points.
They’re a very balanced squad with five players averaging more than 12-points per game. Carlik Jones has led the way with 24 ppg. The Highlanders get it done with movement and with many offensive threats, averaging 20 assists per game.
Thanks to the Gotham Classic, there is a common opponent already for these two programs — UIC.
Notre Dame won that game 84-67 and Radford won 88-78. While the Highlanders needed a run at the end of the game to separate themselves, Notre Dame used their season opener to experiment with their young team.
It’s likely that we will see some of the same trends carry over in that game. The Irish might not experiment as much as they did now that head coach Mike Brey said he’s cutting down the rotation. That said, it’s likely that we’ll see Brey change up the defense to confuse and try to slow down the pace of Radford’s offense.
Notre Dame looks to protect home court in the mid-week matchup Wednesday at 7 PM ET.