Is Notre Dame basketball failing to meet its potential?

With the college basketball season being extremely fresh in the air, football is still able to take much of the spotlight off Notre Dame.

We’ve already seen what will likely be the biggest upset of the season when Evansville knocked off then ranked No. 1 Kentucky. The madness can’t be contained to the month of March. The story is no different for Notre Dame.

It’s currently difficult to get a read on how good this team really can be. Expectations are that the Irish will heavily expound on last year’s disappointing 14-19 season.

Game one of the new season gave us confidence, as the Irish ran with North Carolina — who is expected to be one of the top teams in both the ACC and nation once again.

Six games into the season and UNC stands as the lone loss for Notre Dame, which isn’t all that bad. But that performance could also stand as one of false hope, considering games against Marshall and Presbyterian ended with a closer margin of victory.

While the Irish came out on the winning side of both of those games, it’s led to more uncertainty in terms of what this team is capable of.

Add the fact that it took some luck of the Irish to even force overtime versus Toledo and just slipped by, and things are looking pretty dicey.

So far that’s been the theme of the season — just slipping by. Notre Dame has done enough to be successful, but it won’t stand as a recipe for success moving forward.

The truth of the matter is, Notre Dame has the players, talent, coaching and experience needed to make this a successful season. Taking into account those factors and what was displayed in game one, we can safely say the Irish are not playing up to their potential.

Notre Dame boasts an extremely talented sophomore class with four 4-star recruits. But it goes much deeper than that when you recognize that practically the entire team from last season is still intact.

Each player has their own identity and fills a pivotal role — or they should in a perfect world. Mike Brey’s main rotation has the right attributes to do so.

Rex Pflueger – Lockdown defender and heart of the team.
John Mooney – A walking double-double.
Temple Gibbs – Phenomenal leader and offensive facilitator.
Juwan Durham – Picture big man with great athleticism.
Prentiss Hubb – Taken a much larger role and possesses great body control along with poise.
Nate Laszewski – Ideal stretch player whose length is a killer but also is a strong shooter.
Robby Carmody – Possibly plays with the most heart and aggression.
Dane Goodwin – Off the bench, many teams can’t provide an answer for what he brings.

There is so much that this team has going for them on paper. Last season, the reasoning for the disappointment was covered up with the idea of inexperience and the loss of Pflueger. That can’t be the case this season.

Next: ND-BC Primer

Essentially all the pieces are there. The Irish have to figure out the best system that compliments their roster and run with confidence. That will be the potential difference from 2019 to 2020.

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