Pregame Glance MBB: Ohio State vs Notre Dame

Written December 20th, 2013 by Ken

ndThe #3 Ohio State Buckeyes (11-0) continue action in the Gotham Classic on Saturday evening by meeting Notre Dame for an evening game (7:30 PM EST, ESPN2 ) in Gotham City. The Buckeyes, after disposing of the Fightin’ Blue Hens on Wednesday, line up against the Fighting Irish. A lot of combativeness going on this week.

Here’s their Profile

School: University of Notre Dame

  • Location: Notre Dame, IN
  • Founded: 1842
  • Student Population: 8,475
  • School Type: Private, coed
  • Division: D-I
  • Conference: Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) – Basketball
  • Arena: Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center
  • Seating: 9,149
  • Built: 1968, renovated 2009
  • Head Coach: Mike Brey
  • Year: 14th

University of Notre Dame

m_bball_eric_atkins_vs_marquette

The Fightin’ Dayglows

The Fighting Irish (8-3) got past Indiana 79-72 last Saturday. For the Gotham Classic, the Irish’s record is 2-1, with wins over Delaware and Bryant and a loss to NDSU. Last season, Notre Dame went 25-10 (11-7) in the Big East. This year, they are transitioning their conference affiliation into the ACC from the Big East. They are running a bit behind last year’s performance, where after 11 games the Irish were 10-1. They average 81 points per game, while allowing 70, which seems to be fairly common for our opponents this season.  A high scoring team that doesn’t play much defense, although their double-digit spread is somewhat impressive.

With their high offensive output, you’d expect Notre Dame to have some prolific scorers on their team, and you’d be right. They are led in scoring by 6’5” guard Jerian Grant at 19.12 PPG, 6’11” center Garrick Sherman (Kenton, OH; formerly at MSU) at 14.5 PPG, and 6’5” G/F Pat Connaughton at 13.6 PPG and 6’2” guard Eric Atkins at 11.9 PPG. As you can see, they can bring he points from various positions. Connaughton and Sherman lead the team in rebounding, each pulling in 7.5 per game.

Notre Dame is an interesting team, in that it typically starts a 3G/1F/1C lineup (see first five players listed in table below), but the next three players off the bench, in terms of playing time are Austin Burgett (6’9”, 15 minutes/game), Tom Knight (6’10”, 15 minutes) and Zach Auguste (6’10”, 12 minutes).  These three “towers” combine for 14 points/9 rebounds per game.

Note: Player and team stats courtesy of statsheet.com

Here are the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish:

No Name Hgt Pos PPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG TPG
0 Atkins, Eric 6’2″ G 11.9 39.3 36.7 70.0 3.5 4.5 1.3
11
Sherman, Garrick
6’11″ C 14.5 54.1 37.5 78.0 7.4 0.9 2.5
22 Grant, Jerian 6’5″ G 19.1 50.8 40.4 88.4 2.5 6.4 1.5
23 Jackson, Demetrius 6’1″ G 7.8 49.0 46.4 74.2 2.8 2.1 1.0
24 Connaughton, Pat 6’5″ G/F 13.6 49.1 46.7 69.6 7.5 2.5 1.0
20 Burgett, Austin 6’9″ F 2.9 42.9 15.4 85.7 2.5 0.8 0.9
25 Knight, Tom 6’10″ F 5.1 45.5 0.0 84.6 3.4 0.7 0.8
30
Auguste, Zach
6’10″ F 6.2 52.2 0.0 50.0 3.3 0.4 1.0
32
Vasturia, Steve
6’6″ G 1.7 40.0 28.6 0.0 1.5 0.8 0.2
3
Beachem, V.J.
6’8″ F 0.8 25.0 20.0 0.0 0.7 0.3 0.2
4
Crowley, Patrick
6’3″ G 1.0 50.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.0 0.0
15
Katenda, Eric
6’9″ F 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0
1 Biedscheid, Cameron 6’7″ F - - - - - - -
35
Torres, Austin
6’7″ F - - - - - - -

Ohio State University

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Need some of this on Saturday

The #3 Buckeyes (11-0) continue to roll through the Gotham Classic field, going 3-0 with an average score of 80-58. On Wednesday, in OSU’s win over Delaware, they had five players in double-digits (Ross 19, Smith 14, Craft 12, Williams 11 and Della Valle 10)  and William’s 12 rebounds.

Yes a double-double for Amir! Check the table, below, and you’ll see that OSU spreads out the scoring; guards, forwards, center. They come at you from the point, from the paint and off the wing. The nice thing, offensively about this team is that it is hard to focus to taking one player “out of a game”. There are several players who can roll up double digits on you; for instance, Thad can rotate in Sam Thompson and ADV who each can make contributions. Heck, in Kam Williams’ single appearance, he scored aplenty.

And, here are your Ohio State Buckeyes:

No Name Hgt Pos PPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG TPG
32 L. Smith Jr. 6’4″ G 13.5 53.4 46.8 78.0 5.3 1.6 1.2
10 L. Ross 6’8″ F 12.5 43.9 41.9 63.3 4.9 0.5 1.2
4 A. Craft 6’2″ G 10.0 45.9 27.8 77.1 3.2 4.8 2.2
23 A. Williams 6’11″ C 10.0 66.1 0.0 68.4 8.1 0.3 1.6
12 S. Thompson 6’7″ F 8.0 43.8 31.8 63.0 3.2 0.9 1.0
3 S. Scott 6’1″ G 7.8 45.7 28.6 58.3 4.3 3.7 2.1
2 M. Loving 6’7″ F 6.6 46.7 33.3 82.8 2.5 0.5 0.4
33 A. Della Valle 6’5″ G 4.9 34.0 35.1 53.8 2.1 0.3 0.8
55 T. McDonald 6’8″ C 2.3 56.3 0.0 35.0 2.0 0.2 0.5
34 J. Lorbach 6’7″ F 1.5 50.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.3
15 K. Williams 6’2″ G 11.0 71.4 0.0 50.0 4.0 0.0 1.0
24 A. Goldstein 6’3″ G 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Notre Dame doesn’t start a physically imposing lineup, just a lineup that can score aplenty. Coach Brey does have the option of rotating in good size at the forward spots, as he sees fit. As mentioned in the Notre Dame section, the three forwards collectively provide a solid game. This should be an interesting game, because just looking at offensive metrics, there is very little to distinguish these two teams, below.

PPG O PPG D RPG APG TPG Pos/G PPP A/T
Notre Dame 81 70 36 19 10 68 1.19 1.9
Ohio State 76 55 37 13 11 66 1.15 1.16

Defensively, however, a different picture emerges. Notre Dame allows 15 PPG more than Ohio State (see table). If OSU continues its recent offensive performances, and based on Notre Dame’s defense, there is no reason to expect otherwise, the Buckeyes should do fine on Saturday. The Buckeyes have made a habit of slowing down opponent’s offenses this season, and Saturday night should prove no different.Ohio State’s defensive pressure will dampen Notre Dame’s offense considerably. No question, there will be moments of “aagh!” until OSU settles in to its game rhythm.  This will be an entertaining game.

The game is Saturday evening, tipping off at 7:30 PM EST in Madison Square Garden. Television coverage will be provided by ESPN2. Live chat coverage will be provided by tBBC. Please join us for our live chat approximately 30 minutes before tip-off.

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