Notre Dame is seeking its first victory in Atlantic Coast Conference play and hoping to bounce back following consecutive losses when it travels to Tallahassee, Fla., to face host Florida State on Wednesday night.
The Fighting Irish (7-4, 0-1 ACC) are coming off back-to-back losses to Marquette and Georgia. The Seminoles (3-10, 1-1 ACC) regressed following two consecutive wins over Louisville and South Carolina Upstate with a poor defensive performance in a 93-79 loss to St. John’s last Saturday.
On the offensive end, Notre Dame has five players averaging in double figures in scoring. Nate Laszewski leads the group, scoring 15.4 points with 7.9 rebounds per game while shooting 53.9 percent from the field.
But the Irish have had all sorts of issues themselves on the defensive end. Notre Dame ranks 222nd in the nation in points allowed per 100 possessions (104.1), adjusted for opponent, according to KenPom.com. It showed in its loss to Georgia as the Irish allowed the Bulldogs to score 40 points in the paint and shoot 50 percent in each half.
“It’s an area that is a big weakness for us, obviously,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. “It has been a weakness for us. We tried not to double as much because then guys start banging down 3s, but we’re going to have to do some stuff because everybody is shooting a great percentage against us.”
The Seminoles have had to go to a small lineup most of the season due to injuries to key players, but they have started to cultivate more of an interior game recently, which has allowed their shooters to get more opportunities to do damage from long range.
Florida State’s Darin Green Jr. delivered a career-best 30 points on 10-of-14 shooting against St. John’s, including 8 of 11 from 3-point range. Matthew Cleveland also had career highs in points (23) and rebounds (13) and Caleb Mills had a career-best eight assists.
“We’re getting a little bit more of an interior game established, which means that people have to pay a little more attention to our inside game, which doesn’t allow them to lock up as much on the perimeter,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton told reporters recently.
–Field Level Media