SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Whatever Notre Dame’s state of mind was on the basketball court Saturday afternoon, it was clear from the start that it wouldn’t help their defense.
Nothing seems like it could at the moment.
A poorly shooting Boston College team (9-11) (3-6 in the Atlantic Coast Conference) torched the Irish from the perimeter (11 of 19 on 3-pointers, 57.9%) and elsewhere (29 of 51, 56.9%, for the game) to secure an 84-72 victory in front of 6,068 at Purcell Pavilion.
What impact did the head coach have by mike brey announcement on Thursday that he would step down at the end of the season at the club?
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“I think it’s a difficult thing for any human being to persevere in the face of adversity, especially when you had expectations that might not have turned out the way you wanted,” said the ND graduate student. cormac ryan he said at the postgame news conference after the Irish fell to 9-11 (1-8 ACC).
“But this is a group that is very resilient. Very high character. Very talented. And we still very much believe in this group in this locker room. And we have no plans to go out without swinging, and that’s a given.
“We are already a very tight group,” he added. “And, you know, we didn’t need any additional reason to join. But if there is ever a time, I think now is a great time to continue to be committed to each other.”
Brey, sitting a few feet away, intervened.
He let the media know that he spoke to his team. He told them it wasn’t about Mike Brey.
“It’s for those guys on the show. It’s always been about our guys,” she said.
Good thing. Dedicating this one to his head coach would have been a mistake.
Dedicating any future game is a risk.
On a night when a 6 foot 10 graduate student nate laszewski put on a shooting show, it was nowhere near enough. He finished with his career-high 29 points: 8-of-11 from the field, 7-of-9 from 3-point range and 6-of-6 on free throws. He added a team-high seven rebounds.
He couldn’t make up for the lack of offense from the guards. starling (three points, 1 of 5 from the field) and trey wertz (zero points, 0-of-3), or the perforated defense.
The Eagles, riding a four-game losing streak, typically don’t shoot well or score much.
They entered the game ranked 324th out of 363 Division I teams in points per game (64.9), 348 in 3-point percentage (27.35), and 344 in 3-pointers made per game (4.5).
They then went out and made 11 in just 19 attempts, starting with two 7-foot 3s. Quentin’s Message in the first two minutes of the game. He went 4-for-5 after going 2-for-8 for the station and had a career-high 29 points, 17 above his average.
Who would have guessed?
“We were thinking that we wanted them to shoot 3s,” he said. “And then the big guy (Post) does a 3, and everyone feels good. The numbers say you really go in (in the lane) and let them shoot. We did that, and they make 11, which is painful.
“You play the stats and the numbers and they meant nothing today. They did great and they did some really tough ones at the end of a shot clock. You know, you almost feel like you’ve been bitten by a snake.
“When your karma is really horrible, woo baby, everyone feels good against you.”
Those 11 3-pointers were big and unexpected, but even with the defense emphasizing taking out the inside, the Irish were outscored 28-16 in the paint.
Brey knows his club could use a little luck to break the downward cycle, but he also can’t waste points like he did by going 14 of 22 from the free throw line.
It could have been a defeat. Notre Dame fell behind by 14 in the second half on a long scoreless streak, from the 1:15 mark of the first half to the 14:27 mark of the second. (One of Ryan’s two drought-ending free throws drew some derision from the fan base.)
A series of turnovers by the Eagles, some forced, some giveaways, opened the door.
And Laszewski took advantage with back-to-back 3-pointers near the 12-minute mark.
Then it was a bit of back and forth (there were eight lead changes) before Boston College took over the inside and the Irish couldn’t answer, going the last 4:53 without a field goal and the last 2:23 without a field goal. a point.
That stretch included a couple of key turnovers — each team finished with 12.
“They’ve been a very tough matchup for us the last two years,” Brey said of BC. “With this core, they’re very physical, tough and old, and I thought it took its toll on us: their physicality, especially around the basket.”
Dane Goodwin and Ryan each finished with 13 points and combined 9-of-23 from the field as the Irish shot 23-of-53 on the day (43.4%), but 38.7% from arc on 12-of-31.
The Irish play North Carolina State (15-5, 5-4) on Tuesday at 7 pm, and Brey is hopeful the change of scenery will help.
“Going on tour is probably a good thing,” he said. “Nobody feels like they have a chance on a really good team (NC State was 15-4 going into Saturday’s game against North Carolina), an NCAA tournament team, and let’s just let it break.”
Brey also addressed the consequences of his announcement and what it means for current eligible players and the three new recruits.
He knows that they will all attract the attention of other schools.
“One of the things I’ve talked about with our younger players and the three youngsters we’ve signed is not to be instinctive,” he said. “I’ve been at this for a long time. Give us a chance. … One of the reasons (you selected ND) was that you love Notre Dame and education and a lot of that stuff. End the season with these staff as we work with you to help you improve and meet the new one.
“I talked to his (recruit) parents and, you know, they’re disappointed, but they understand the business. And I told them I’m here to help as a resource.”
BOSTON COLLEGE 84, NOTRE DAME 72: Box Score
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