The Notre Dame basketball team isn’t exactly “fixed,” but at least they’re off the snide. On Friday night, the Irish played their final pre-Christmas tilt of the season against a surprisingly good (7-3) Marist Foxes squad.
Things still aren’t exactly coming easy for head coach Micah Shrewsberry’s crew. They managed to beat the mid-major program by a score of 60-56, but in the process, showed some fight that their coach believes they desperately needed.
Right at the top of the reasons for why Shrewsberry was proud of his team’s effort on Friday was because it fought back and came back after being down at the half 25-24. In the second half, his Notre Dame basketball team managed to outscore the Foxes by a 36-31 margin.
That margin was enough to get Notre Dame to 5-7 on the season and make the team look a little better as they get ready to kick off ACC play in earnest. After the game, Shrewsberry pointed to the loss against The Citadel earlier this week as a turning point in the season.
“At some point in time, way down the line,” Shrewsberry said during his post-game press conference. “We’re going to remember December the 19th, 2023. It changed how we approach, really, everything. It reinforced what we should be approaching.”
Shrewsberry also made it clear that the team is not done rebuilding and reforming. When he was asked what the “next step” is, he replied that “it’s constant.” He added that the Fighting Irish can’t win the game tonight, go home for Christmas and forget everything they talked about.
Notre Dame basketball rebuilding begins in earnest
That constant building was best shown by freshman Markus Burton, who scored more than 20 points for the fourth time this season. His 21 against Marist were the most since his first game as a member of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
Two other Irish players scored in double digit, with Corey Booth getting 11 and Tae Davis scoring 12.
Next up for Notre Dame basketball is a chance to breathe, as their next game isn’t until December 30. However, things get tough quickly as they open ACC play that night against 22nd-ranked Virginia.