Syracuse (15-12, 9-7) at Notre Dame (19-8, 12-4)
Dated: February 23
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Or: Purcell Pavilion | Notre Dame, Ind.
TV: ESP News
Line: Notre Dame -.50
WHERE : 146
– Syracuse leads the all-time series 31-22.
– Mike Brey is 9-19 against Jim Boeheim.
– Freshman Blake Wesley is on course to become the first rookie in the nation this season to hit 400 points, 100 rebounds, 50 3FGMs, 70 assists and 30 steals.
– Wesley is averaging 17.6 points per game over the last four games.
– Cormac Ryan is averaging 11.0 points per game since entering the starting lineup against Louisville on Feb. 9.
— Dane Goodwin leads the ACC in three-point shooting at 46.4 percent.
|Paul Atkinson Jr.||12.3||6.9||1.4|
|Joe Girard III||13.7||2.9||4.3|
The Syracuse 2-3 zone travels to the Purcell Pavilion for a Wednesday night matchup with the Fighting Irish. The Syracuse zone is always a 40-minute roller coaster and Mike Brey thinks his team will have to match the intensity of the Orange on the defensive end.
“They (Syracuse) played overtime the other night and they’re coming in — they’re coming in feeling good about themselves,” Brey said. ” They won. They are really gifted. Offensively, these four guys are so gifted and they really shoot. You are not going to stop them.
“Our three-point percentage defense is second in the league. We’ve made great progress there and it’s really going to be tested there tomorrow night.”
Notre Dame will come into the game shooting a respectable 37.2 percent from three, but Brey thinks the key will be staying patient to find opportunities to drive against the zone.
“We were really good at foul line touches,” Brey explained. “Dane (Goodwin) has a lot of experience as a foul line-toucher. Get him out of the hands of our drivers.
“For Blake (Wesley) it’s going to be different because you’re going to play 60 possessions against an area. You might have to swing him five times before you get a drive opportunity. I’m trying to get him mentally ready for that.
One player to watch is senior forward Nate Laszewski, who missed practice Tuesday with a stomach virus. Laszewski has battled a knee contusion for most of the month and is an important part of Brey’s seven-man rotation, especially against a 2-3 zone.
“Nate is a little uncomfortable with a stomach bug,” Brey said Tuesday. is in the right direction.
“We will have (Matt) Zona and JR (Konieczny) in white shirts and ready to go.”
Overall, Notre Dame is 11-1 at home this season and will be hoping to continue the magic inside the Purcell Pavilion as the Irish are one game away from first place Duke.
“It should be a good vibe,” Brey said. “I know I have the students for two of the final three. Spring Break, The Pitt Game, Legion will be in Key West, Miami and Tampa. They’ve been great. We’re going to roll on that and our local audience really helped us.
“We don’t escape the Boston College game without some energy in this building. It really helped our guys. It’s just a neat culture and atmosphere this year.
“Every game we have is going to be a tough game. It’s going to be tough. I don’t care about the team’s record in the league. Boston College last week, tough. Georgia Tech – all I know is when we played them in Atlanta we got away. These guys are really good. Tough games ahead.”
|Syracuse Last 5||Notre Dame Last 5|
|Georgia Tech (74-73) without overtime||at Wake Forest (79-74) L|
|Boston College (76-56) F||Boston College (99-95) F|
|at Virginia Tech (71-59) L||in Clemson (76-61) W|
|at Boston College (73-64) W||Louisville (63-57) F|
|Louisville (92-59) W||at NC State (69-57) W|