The Notre Dame Fighting Irish lost their ACC opener to the Virginia Tech Hokies 81-66 on Tuesday to drop their record to 10-4 on the year. The Hokies entered the game ranked #10 in the nation, and were just too much for the young and embattled Irish to handle.
So what did we learn?
THE ACC IS GOING TO BE ROUGH
We already knew conference play was going to present a lot of challenges for the Irish, but the game against the Hokies seemed to highlight the inefficiencies of youth and the loss of Rex Pflueger as a leader on the court and on defense.
Here is the rest of the Irish schedule. Do you see anything other than pure brutality? I didn’t think so. We should be prepared for a season very much like 2013.
SHOOTERS GOING TO SHOOT
I saw a lot of angst from Irish fans over the shooting struggles of Prentiss Hubb. The true freshman was just 1-10 (1-8 3PT) from the field against the Hokies. Let’s just say this... with 2-3 freshmen on the court, an alpha like Hubb is going to shoot the ball. It’s not a terrible thing, but Irish fans will have to struggle through things like that — just as he struggles to work it out.
You’d like to see him try to penetrate more than float around the 3 point line. Hubb never went to the free throw line, and a trip or two to the line can (sometimes) help work a player’s shot out a bit.
This isn’t something “we learned” but I would like to see more minutes with Juwan Durham, Nate Laszewski, and John Mooney on the court together. Obviously matchups play a big role here, but in a season like this — why not move some parts around and see what works? Maybe I’m just completely out of bounds here, but so is this team right now.
The Irish will host the Syracuse Orange on Saturday at NOON inside Purcell Pavilion.