Notre Dame men’s basketball tipped off their season by sneaking past the Radford Highlanders by a score of 79 to 76.
While it was pretty ugly, Notre Dame men’s basketball took care of business at home to start its 2022-2023 campaign. With 3 out of their 5 top scorers from last season returning, and the addition of talented freshman JJ Starling, the Irish seemed primed for a big season. While not ideal, a win is a win. Though the competition only gets tougher from here, it was great to see the Irish get their season off and running.
Nate Laszewski led the way for the Irish in this one and poured in the squad’s first 9 points before the team got a much-needed bucket from Trey Wertz. Speaking of Wertz, he was the only other member of the entire Notre Dame men’s basketball program (it seemed) to get things rolling. Laszewski poured in 28 on 7-11 shooting while Wertz put up 18 going 4 of 5 from downtown.
JJ Starling and Ven-Allen Lubin were the other two bright spots on the night, with both freshmen having solid starts to their Notre Dame careers. Starling tied for the team lead in turnovers, which can be expected from a guy playing in his first collegiate basketball game. Lubin made his presence known early with two memorable plays on both sides of the court. He flushed home a putback slam off a missed Dane Goodwin jumper and had a massive block on defense shortly after.
Outside of Wertz, Laszewski, and the freshmen, much of the performance was less than ideal, even for opening night. With the team obviously finding their legs to start the season, it was perplexing to see Mike Brey only use 6 guys. You read that correctly, 6 guys, total. The Irish clearly have some work to do as the season grows, and I’m sure fans are just some of the ones noticing as much.
Mike Brey’s team will take on Youngstown State this Sunday at 4 ET, once again at home. To say the Irish need to come out a bit more prepared is an understatement; they should be ready to ball.