The Notre Dame Fighting Irish basketball team currently sits at 5-1, but it has already been a disappointing season. The Irish opened up the year ranked 21st but after a loss to Indiana State, they were dropped from the AP Top 25.
Since their loss, the Irish have had impressive wins over inferior teams. Their last three opponents are a combined 3-18. Not exactly awe inspiring but Notre Dame has beaten them all by double digits.
This past week saw them run over winless Cornell, 101-67. That was the first time this season that the Irish scored over 100 points and the second game in a row where they broke the 90-point barrier.
Jerian Grant has been on fire lately. He’s had 39 points over the past two games while hitting 15-of-20 field goal attempts. He also dished out 12 assists to go along with seven steals, all against just two turnovers. He also reached the 1,000 point club in last Sunday’s game against Cornell.
Pomeroy currently has the Irish ranked 66th in the country. They’re sporting the 54th ranked offense and the 95th defense. This past week they didn’t receive any votes in the AP Top 25, and were barely acknowledged in the USA Today Coaches Poll.
Dec. 3rd – Notre Dame at No. 23 Iowa, 9:15pm ESPN2/WatchESPN
The Iowa Hawkeyes crept into the Top 25 this season after opening up with a 7-1 record. The Irish hit the road for the first time this season as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Notre Dame is looking to pull of the road upset, and doing so might jump them back into the rankings.
The Hawkeyes lone loss came just this past weekend in the championship round of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas (its a rough life sometimes for these “student” athletes). Iowa blew a lead over Villanova en route to a 88-83 overtime loss.
Iowa is averaging 89 points per game to lead the Big Ten. Notre Dame has average nearly 84 per game, so this should be a fairly high scoring affair. The difference is that Iowa looks to push the tempo, while the Irish slow the pace down and use a halfcourt set every time down the floor.
The Hawkeyes have a talented and deep front court that will really push the Irish. It will be difficult for Notre Dame’s backcourt to get into the paint, but they should have success over Iowa’s backcourt that includes Roy Marble, who’s now in his 11th year as the Hawkeye’s point guard.
Pomeroy has Iowa ranked 10th overall, with the 24th offense and 15th adjusted defense. In terms of efficiency, Iowa ranks third in the country defensively.
You have to like Iowa’s chances at home. Notre Dame hasn’t really been challenged by anyone, save Indiana State, and doesn’t appear to have a deep seated desire to leave everything on the court for a win.
Dec. 7th – Notre Dame vs Delaware, 4pm
The Irish should have a bounceback game against the Fightin’ Blue Hens. Delaware is currently 4-3 with a game against Charleston Southern Tuesday night. They have been solid against horrible teams, but also have a few confusing losses to go along with blowouts to better opponents.
The two teams both faced Army in recent weeks, with the Irish winning by 33 and Delaware by 15. The Hens did manage a close game at Villanova, losing by four, a team that recently knocked off Iowa. That’s all well and good, but Delaware just isn’t that great a team.
This team is prolific on offense, scoring 83 points per night, but terrible on defense ranking 192nd. Notre Dame might struggle to find points against Iowa, but that won’t be an issue when Delaware comes to South Bend.
Expect the Irish to run away with this game in the second half as Notre Dame has too much talent to fall to a team like Delaware.
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