Notre Dame men’s basketball survives late against the Lipscomb Bisons thanks to a Dane Goodwin three that put the Irish up for good.
The good news is your Notre Dame men’s basketball team is 4-0 to start the season. The bad news is how they’ve arrived at this “perfect” record. With ugly wins against teams they should be beating handily, most will say it doesn’t matter, and a win’s a win. However, given the level of competition in the ACC and the struggles to beat the inferior competition comfortably, it’s perfectly fine to worry.
Notre Dame men’s basketball has beaten Radford, Youngstown State, Southern Indiana, and Lipscomb by a combined margin of 19 points. Four games in against this level of competition, you’d have hoped to see the Irish win even just one of these games by a margin of nearly 20 points or so.
After being carried through the first three games by Nate Laszewski and Trey Wertz, it was nice to see Dane Goodwin shoulder the load in this one. Aside from the massive game-winner, Goodwin finished with 24 points on 9-13 from the field and 6-8 from deep. It was great to see someone other than Laszewski and Wertz step up for the Irish, as Goodwin was on fire from start to finish.
What’s even more problematic outside of the narrow margin of victory is Mike Brey’s decision to play a whopping 6 players. This is the 2nd time Brey has made such a decision in the first four games this year. Ven-Allen Lubin was the only player to get off the bench, and he played a total of 13 minutes. Each one of the 5 starters played 38 minutes or more tonight, which is some outrageous usage this early in the season.
Whether trusting certain guys or finding a way to win, Brey has been reluctant to go deep into the bench consistently. If it was already mid-January and the team was in elite shape playing against an elite team, it’s easier to justify.
Ultimately, Notre Dame secured the victory at home and kept their season perfect. With much tougher competition on the horizon, the team has a lot to sort out. For the time being, enjoy the perfect record while you can.