Heads hung to the floor a week ago after Notre Dame Basketball dropped their second game in a row.
Both games versus Oklahoma and UCLA seemingly slipped out of the hands of Mike Brey’s young Notre Dame basketball team. It didn’t feel right. Both times it seemed like the Irish not only had what it took towin, but had the advantage as well.
It’s clear, this team has the talent, they just haven’t found out how to win yet. That’s only going to get more difficult with the loss of Robby Carmody.
This Saturday will mark the end of the tough stretch in Notre Dame’s early schedule, as they face Purdue in the Crossroads Classic.
It will be the third true road game for Notre Dame in a row as they head to Bankers Life Fieldhouse, but it’s also a great opportunity to change the narrative of this season.
While the Boilermakers are still a solid team, they haven’t quite lived up to early expectations. Losing four of their last six games — including two to ACC opponents — this is a very vulnerable team.
Purdue has shot themselves in the foot many times this season, and part of Brey’s defensive scheme should be to let them continue this trend.
While Purdue has had a history of seven footers, this year they are completely focused on guard play — especially that of Carsen Edwards. The surprising part of their offense this season has been the volume of three-pointers attempted. It’s all most 50/50 between how many two-pointers they have attempted compared to three-pointers.
Of course, if those shots fall, this is an extremely difficult team to run with. Notre Dame is still looking for some of their shots to fall as well, but they know they can rely on their defense.
It’s been a surprising uprising of the big men in South Bend. John Mooney, who has become a captain, averages just under ten rebounds and a double-double; while the transfer Juwan Durham is blocking every shot in his direction and putting together highlight tapes.
The guards, Temple Gibbs, D.J. Harvey and Prentiss Hubb are finding ways to carry each other, making it only a matter of time before they are all clicking at the same time. When that happens, this will be a scary Notre Dame team.