Notre Dame and Boston College both enter the weekend in search of their first ACC victory of the season.
For both squads, this is an important opportunity to get things back on track before it all derails. For Notre Dame, it’s another opportunity to grow.
Neither the Irish or Eagles have had an easy start to the conference schedule, and there are never many easy games in the ACC. While a 0-3 start might not completely ruin either teams season, this is an important stretch for the Irish.
January is a difficult month for the young, Mike Brey-led Irish.
Five of the eight opponents Notre Dame faces in January are ranked. All five are in the AP top-15 and three are top-10. Coming off of a 10-point loss to Syracuse, the Irish are going to have to steal a couple of wins wherever they can get them.
Boston College becomes one of those games that they need to win.
With the Eagles coming in with a 9-5 record, they have faced some of the same struggles that the Irish have. They are a relatively young team as far as experience goes, and being healthy is something they haven’t had much luck with.
Bowman’s production has been no surprise. The walking highlight reel has averaged 20 points per game while playing 38.6 minutes a night.
The Irish will have a difficult time playing man defense against Bowman’s speed and explosiveness. While he’s great at finishing at the rim, he hasn’t had to deal with the twin towers of John Mooney and Juwan Durham. Their defense will make a huge impact on the outcome.
On the other side of the court, Notre Dame has to figure out their streaky shooting. While Brey watches as the depth of his bench continues to deplete, his rotation suffering from shooting slumps have been the difference in the first two ACC games.
The Irish have the personnel to make some serious noise in the ACC, but their lack of experience overtaking the trust of their abilities has been in the way. If Brey is going to turn things around, Saturday is the perfect opportunity to get that started.