On the back of its two senior captains, Notre Dame defeated Chaminade 83-56 in the first round of the Maui Invitational. The Irish shot 54% from the floor and 45% from three; both right around the team’s season average. It wasn’t always pretty for the Irish, but a dominating final fifteen minutes built a strong lead and the game remained out of reach. Matt Farrell and Bonzie Colson combined for 50 of Notre Dame’s 83 points, and were the difference in the contest. Freshman forward, DJ Harvey, was valuable off the bench with 12 point of his own, reaching double-digits for the second straight game.
THE FARRELL SHOW
Matt Farrell came out firing from the opening tip. He paced the Irish in the first half with 16 points and finished with 27 points on 9-12 shooting (4-5 from three). From the onset of the game, Farrell looked faster and more confident than anyone on the floor. For as good as he was last year, Farrell could get in his own way at times. After four games this season, he is under more control and learning when to take over. Notre Dame needed Farrell tonight, and he put the team on his back.
THE NAME OF THE GAME IS DEFENSE
Mike Brey led teams are not known for their particularly strong defense, but the 2017-2018 Notre Dame basketball team may be the exception to the rule. Notre Dame is holding its opponents to a measly 36% (92-255) shooting and 60.5 points per game. A step up in competition will likely distort these numbers, but the defense has tangibles to last. The Irish have tremendous length and athleticism on the perimeter in Gibbs, Pflueger, Harvey and Djogo, and finally possess solid depth in the front court with Mooney and Burns backing up Geben and Colson. Notre Dame is still known for their offensive system, but don’t sleep on the Irish defense.
NOTRE DAME BACK AT IT TOMORROW NIGHT
The Maui Invitational resumes tomorrow, and Notre Dame will take on the winner of LSU and Michigan at 10:30 PM EST in a semi-final matchup. No matter who it is, it will be a battle of unbeaten squads and the toughest test for #13 Notre Dame to date.