Notre Dame basketball crushed by heavy underdog, The Citadel

Notre Dame basketball played its worst game of the year by a wide margin as they were dominated by a mediocre Bulldogs team.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Markus Burton (3) passes the ball
Notre Dame Fighting Irish guard Markus Burton (3) passes the ball / Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

There were always going to be growing pains under Micah Shrewsberry as he rebuilt the Notre Dame basketball roster over the next few years. After all, the current roster has still only played 11 games with one another. Growing pains are absolutely expected. Blowout losses to mediocre mid-majors, at home though? No one really ever expects those.

The blowout loss happened anyway, as the Fighting Irish lost to The Citadel, 65-45 to mark a new low in a season that seems to be spiraling out of control a bit.

When Shrewsberry's squad entered halftime trailing 32-29 it wasn't good, but it's safe to assume most people thought they'd take over and make enough of a run for an ugly win. Instead, the scored just 16 points in the second half, while allow another 33 to the Bulldogs. In a season where the Irish have had some bad halves, they had their worst at the worst possible time.

For the game, Notre Dame basketball shot just 26 percent from the floor. They hit just 6 shots (19 percent) in the second half. That an included an incredible 0-for-15 from 3-point land. The only thing worse that their shooting, was the fact that they looked like a team that would post those kind of numbers.

At the moment, Fighting Irish don't look like a team that's going to score many points. Markus Burton is still a decent scorer but the team doesn't have a number two option they can really lean on. That was demonstrated quite well by Braeden Shrewsberry missing all 8 shots he took from the field.

Notre Dame basketball hits new low in 2023-24 season

Perhaps the most distressing part of the loss is that it followed a game where Notre Dame looked plain bad. A game where its head coach pointed out areas that needed improvement. That improvement hasn't come yet.

Notre Dame basketball entered Tuesday night as 8.5-point favorites and exited their arena with real questions as to just how bad this season could get.