Date/Time: Jan 27 2021 7 PM
Opponent: Notre Dame
Site: Purcell Pavilion
RSN, Evan Lepler (play-by-play) and Brian Oliver (analyst)
Virginia Tech Sports Network. Jon Laaser (play-by-play) and Mike Burnop (analyst)

Magically Delicious....

The Hokies are coming off arguably their worst loss of the season in losing to Syracuse 78-60 loss to again go on the road to take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish for a second time this season. The Hokies are 5-9 against Notre Dame going into their 15th meeting. This is a second time the Hokies face Notre Dame coming off a loss.
They also will unfortunately be without guard Tyrece Radford after he was suspended this week. Last time against the Irish he had nine points and eight critical rebounds in helping the Hokies beat Notre Dame 77-63. The silver lining is that we should get to see more of what Darius Maddox and Joe Bamisile have to offer.

"This big"

The Fighting Irish are coached by Mike Brey, in his twenty-first year at the helm of Notre Dame. In twenty years, his team has won 20+ games fifteen times. He has led them to the NCAA Tournament twelve times, with two elite eight appearances. Notre Dame has been to the post season in all but two seasons under Brey. He is 442-242 at Notre Dame and 541-293 overall with a prior five seasons at Delaware.

Coach Brey's Fighting Irish are still having their worst start to a season in almost a decade even with the two game winning streak. They come in 5-8 and 2-5 in the ACC with wins over Detroit, Bellarmine and Kentucky out of conference and Boston College and Miami in ACC play. Their eight losses are against Michigan State, Ohio State, Duke, Purdue, UNC, Virginia Tech and UVA twice. The Hokies will look to give them their seventh loss to a ranked team this season.

Defensively, the Fighting Irish are a very situationally based defensive team. This means against Tech we may see man to man and probably some high perimeter zone with defensive players switching off over or under screens to prevent quick penetration by the Hokies guards. With the struggle that Aluma and Cone have been experiencing, expect Mike Brey to focus his defenders on Alleyne and N'Guessan. This doesn't mean they will not double team Aluma in the post to prevent him easy access. Coach Young is going to continue to have Cone shoot the ball regardless of his struggles. The Hokies can survive either Cone or Aluma struggling again but not both.

Offensively, Notre Dame runs a four out, one in motion offense. They have spread the load, no longer just relying on Nate Laszewski alone, rather counting on Hubbs and Goodwin much more in their recent wins. The biggest change though is in the stats of Juwan Durham who is averaging more than a point and rebound more than the last time these teams met.

The Irish are shooting 24.2 three-point attempts per game, hitting 9.3 of them. This means the Irish find almost 30 points a game from behind the perimeter. The Hokies will have to be able to close out on the perimeter to keep the Irish from hitting their usual 38% from outside. That said, they still manage 44 more points per game between the line and inside the arc. 12 of those points come from the line where they are shooting 78% on the season.

In the prior meeting, the key contributor for the Fighting Irish was Nate Laszewski who scored 17 points, greatly assisted by going 11-12 from the free throw line, but he did foul out of the contest for the first time in his career as the Hokies frustrated them him on the defensive end. Goodwin, Ryan and Hubb combined to score 31 points and pulled down 11 rebounds. The other 6 players combined for 15 points. This game will be much of the same.

Fighting Irish Backcourt

Prentiss Hubb (# 3, JR, G, 6-3, 175 lbs)
14.1 Pts, 3.1 Reb, 5.3 Ast
Shoots 39% from the floor, 33% from the perimeter and 82% from the line. Hubb controls the offense, directing traffic while looking for his own shot. Attempts the most shots of anyone on the Notre Dame roster at 12.8 attempts per contest. Considering his shooting percentages, this still works in favor of the Hokies.

Dane Goodwin (# 23, JR, G, 6-6, 200 lbs)
12.8 Pts, 4.8 Reb, 1.6 Ast
Shoots 48% from the floor, 42% from the perimeter and 86% from the line. Goodwin is their best pure shooter on the floor so not allowing him to get in a rhythm is a major defensive concern.

"I swear its this big"
Cormac Ryan (#5, SO, G, 6-5, 195 lbs)
9.1 Pts, 4.1 Reb, 3.0 Ast
Shoots 32% from the floor, 30% from the perimeter and 90% from the line. This is not the player to foul. Gentle pressure defensively and he shoots terribly, but send him to the line and he will hit almost every time.

Trey Wertz (#2, JR, G, 6-5, 195 lbs)
9.8 Pts, 2.5 Reb, 2.8 Ast
Shoots 39% from the floor, 44% from the perimeter and 83% from the line. He shoots better from the perimeter than he does inside so forcing him to dribble and not have clean open looks is critical.

Nikola Djogo (#13, SR, G, 6-8, 230 lbs)
4.0 Pts, 2.4 Reb, 1.1 Ast
Shoots 50% from the floor, 42% from the perimeter and is 8-8 from the line. Has been more involved in the Fighting Irish game plan since the Hokies faced them last but is still not a significant contributor.

Fighting Irish Frontcourt

Nate Laszewski (#14, JR, F, 6-10, 227 lbs)
16.6 Pts, 7.8 Reb, 0.5 Ast
Shoots 65% from the floor, 55% from the perimeter and 70% from the line.

Juwan Durham (#11, SR, F, 6-11, 231 lbs)
8.8 Pts, 5.2 Reb, 1.5 Ast, 1.9 Blk
Shoots 54% from the floor, doesnt from the perimeter and 68% from the line.

What to expect from Notre Dame?

Starters P. Hubb T. Wertz C. Ryan D. Goodwin N. Laszewski
Rotation N. Djogo J. Durham
Lim PT E. Morgan T. Sanders, Jr. M. Zona
Lim PT R. Carmody

Most of this is just a refresher, having faced the Irish so recently. This one is a road game but without fans, the environment is more neutral.

The Fighting Irish come in with six players averaging 8.1 or more points per game but the Fighting Irish only go one or two deep on the bench for significant minutes or contributions. Much like Louisville, this is by design to have the offense completely focused around getting Laszewski, Hubb or Goodwin the basketball. Those three players take over 60% of the Fighting Irish shots. This has been a consistent theme all season so its not likely to change in this game.

One of the key reasons for Notre Dame's recent success is a big improvement in their assist ratio. Trey Wertz has emerged in the passing game and Notre Dame is credited with assists on over two thirds of their baskets in their two ACC wins. 40 of 59 baskets assisted.

Prentiss Hubb has also taken a step forward, missing a second double-double by a single rebound against Miami. He scored 40 points off the bench much like Jalen Cone, going a combined 8 for 14 from outside.

Opponents are averaging an 73.2 points per game which is the primary indicator of how much this team has struggled defensively. Opponents are shooting 45% from the floor against the Fighting Irish but the Irish have improved somewhat on the perimeter, now allowing only 36% from the perimeter. Notre Dame successfully controlled the pace of play in their wins over Boston College and Miami.

The Fighting Irish commit only 11.5 fouls per game, the fewest fouls per game nationally. Opponents have only shot 10.3 free throw attempts in ACC play. The Hokies have attempted 22 attempts per ACC game, the most in the ACC so far so something will have to give in this game.

As a team the Fighting Irish are shooting 38% from the perimeter on 24 attempts per game. Laszeswki is shooting an incredible 55% from the perimeter this year mainly because opponents sag off him, not expecting him to pass or dribble in. Teammates Goodwin, Wertz and Djogo each are shooting better than 40% from the perimeter. All five starters attempt at least 3.3 shots from the perimeter per game.

Notre Dame struggles tremendously rebounding and are at almost a 6 rebounds per game disadvantage in seven ACC contests. They have four players averaging more then four rebounds per game and their overall rebounding numbers have greatly improved since the Hokies saw them last. In that game, the Hokies outrebounded the Irish 41-24. The Hokies grabbed 16 offensive rebounds and turned those second chances into 15 points.
Hubb and Ryan are the primary distributors, averaging 7.9 assists between them. The Irish average 14 assists on 22 made baskets per game, roughly 60% of all shots are assisted.

The Hokies

The Hokies mentally need to wash the previous two games out of their minds and try to start fresh in this one. The Hokies outscored Notre Dame 34-20 in the paint last time and that was before the emergence of N'Guessan as a legitimate scoring option in the paint. Four Hokies finished in double figures with a fifth scoring 9 points.
The Hokies will have the new challenge of replacing the minutes, points and rebounds of Radford in this game. Hopefully this will be a chance for Joe Bamisile to emerge from the bench and provide the scoring pop we saw earlier in the season. This could be his ACC debut, not having played since the Longwood game, where he had 11 points and 2 rebounds.

The Hokies will have their hands full with Laszewski and Hubb, who utilize an inside-out combination that the Hokies haven't dealt with much this season. Aluma was able to guard Laszewski alone in the first game which allowed the defense to focus more on secondary scorers. The only way Notre Dame beats you this season is when those secondary scorers really get involved. Laszewski also has the ability to dribble in from the perimeter and stretch the defense by stepping out to shoot so hopefully they do find a way to limit him on the perimeter. He averages 4.2 attempts from the perimeter per game.

The Hokies need to weigh the advantage they have in the lane against Notre Dame against shooting outside. Cone and Cattoor combined to shoot 7 of 15 from outside last time against the Irish, while the rest of the team was 0 for 8. It may make more sense to focus the ball inside until the Irish show they can stop it.

While Notre Dame plays stiff defense, they do not create many turnovers at only 8.3 per contest. The Hokies should look to take it inside on Laszewski as he is the lesser defender in the post. It also was effective in getting hi out of the game in key stretches. Durham is the more formidable lane presence defensively, leading his team with 1.8 blocks per game. Durham is the most likely to get in foul trouble though, averaging over 3 per game, although the Hokies managed to foul out Laszewski for the only time so far in 78 career games.

YOU HAVE TO HIT YOUR FREE THROWS. Especially with how few the Irish allow. This is going to be a continued point of emphasis for the Hokies. The Hokies managed 12 of 16 shooting, drawing the most fouls of all but one Notre Dame opponent this season.

Highlight of the Syracuse Game

Naheim Alleyne in the first half

In Closing
Not much changes in the keys to the game, defensive intensity, especially hands in passing lanes is a huge factor. Disrupting Notre Dames improved assist ratio and creating double digit turnovers played a role in the Hokies taking 16 more shots than Notre Dame in the first contest.

The Hokies have to find the open shooter (read Cone) when Notre Dame sags off the perimeter. Not defending the outside seems to be a calculated risk that Mike Brey is choosing to make this year based on the team he has available and how difficult their schedule has been both in terms of opponents and Covid protocols.

Aluma and Mutts grabbing critical offensive rebounds could be the tipping point in this contest. Notre Dame allows more than ten 10 offensive rebounds per game and this was a critical component of the last game. Converting second chance opportunities into points likely provides the greatest margin of difference. These could lead directly to several three pointers.

Hokies debut some new talent in Bamisile, N'Guessan continues to deliver double digit scoring and Aluma gets his head right. Hokies win in much closer fashion this time 74-69. Game is decided at the line late.

Confidence Factor: Three Popcorns, Too much uncertainty between recent performances by Cone and Aluma combined with having to replace their GRIT guy.

Confidence Factor:
DISCLAIMER: Forum topics may not have been written or edited by The Key Play staff.


Is this social media staff member the same one that runs the football one? If not, he (or she) needs to cross-train Pete Moris, immediately!!!


⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

Fortunately they are different for basketball fans....unfortunately their work has not yet been appreciated and mirrored by the Football staff.

It's like night and day. Everything that comes out of the basketball social media side is gold! Keep in mind Coach MY is JUST as old school and rigid as CJF is, yet the social media team does a great job of showing what the environment is like inside of the basketball program.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

Yeah, this just shows how well he maintains that control without a shroud of secrecy over everything. It is all about connection without distraction for CMY.

CMY understands that maintaining a healthy relationship between program and fans is in the best interest of everyone involved. And everything we do in basketball is an extension of that mindset.

I wish the football program followed this mantra as well

"I have a PLAN. You just need to have a little goddamn faith, Whit. I just need. more. MONEY." - Justin van der Linde

Radford, le sigh

Now finish up them taters; I'm gonna go fondle my sweaters.

Take 2:


Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74


Interested to see how we do tonight without Radford. Hopefully this is a good opportunity for some young talent to step up and make themselves known.

Another game on regional sports networks. Which means Yes network for me. Except Yes is showing the Nets game at 7:00, so the VT game is delayed until 10:30. Nice job ACC - a tape delayed game (worthless in the days of the internet) in one of the largest TV markets. How does that help the ACC (and member schools) brand when games are not shown live?

The problem for the last two games is they were scheduled to be on ACCN up until a couple days before each game. Not sure what the thought process was in jumping it to RSN last minute. Likely $$$. That though is the root of the scheduling issue and priority of eyeballs network by network. I imagine the Nets draw more eyes than the Hokies in NYC, so of course Yes is showing that live. I imagine the release of games to RSN networks are predetermined contracts. Kind of surprised YES doesn't have multiple live channels to be honest, even MASN has two channels.

If you look online at the betting site predictions, most of them show this game as ACCN still

You would be surprised how many eyes in NYC would be drawn to a Notre Dame game. I get the Nets are a better draw, but why sign a contract with an RSN that will not show games live? What's the point? Are the $$$$ more important than the exposure? Especially when you own your own network?

how many eyes in NYC would be drawn to a Notre Dame game

Can confirm. I have known more than one "subway alumni" ND fans from the greater NYC area.

I think the next 4 out of 6 games are on RSNπŸ˜‚

Bite your tongue this Nosferatu
It's minimal these stomach knots
This conscious can't hide from his soul
Till now

I'm not sure where you're looking but the TV network (ESPN, ACCN, or ACCN+/RSN) for each game has been on the Hokiesports.com schedule all season.

I am aware of that but it did change for both Syracuse and Notre Dame. I looked earlier on Hokiesports and they showed it as ACCnX.

Here is one example. There were several other sites that had this as well.


ESPN App still shows ACCNx.

ACCNx means its on RSN.

For RSN games, if you are in an area not covered by an RSN you can stream via ACCNx on the ESPN+ app. For those in RSN areas, the streaming is blacked out.

My guess is that Hokiesports.com may be getting a bad geotag on your location or something, and thinking you are in an area without an RSN and therefore have ACCNx streaming as the only option. Or it could be a coding/display error on the site. But the important thing is that ACCNx == RSN

Doesn't help with being on actual TV, but I'm in Jersey City, and can get it on FoxSportsGO.

There needs to be a Caption contest on this photo....

"Bro, you are out of position, get back over there"

That one is pretty weak, but I have faith in TKP to come up with some good ones.

X-Wing @ Aliciousness

"What are you going to do, stab me? - Quote from Man Stabbed

"That right there is GRIT, am I right?"

"If Pete tweets Grit one more GD time ..."

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

After the bad loss to Syracuse, then losing Radford for the foreseeable future, it seems as though tonight will be a true test of our team.

Do they have....grit??

Now finish up them taters; I'm gonna go fondle my sweaters.

Just about game time, Get Poppin!!

Ryan not playing balances out Radford essentially

Mutts should be banned from taking 3s in the first 4 minutes of every game

Notre Dame already winning Oscars

It was a bad pass but Aluma with the butter again.

Any game links?

Took me forever to find an actual channel. All were blacked out.

Fffing Swofford.

I can watch on the ESPN app (after logging in with my YouTube TV subscription) on my phone but not on a TV.

BamBam sighting. Not a good first touch but got to start somewhere

Energy looks good from the boys...gotta get cone in a groove. Hes lost his mojo....

My wife takes the kids and leaves the house while I watch my Hokie games.........nuff said

Going to be a big deal later that they "credited" someone other than Laszewski with his first foul

By looking at the box score, looks like they gave it to Djogo.

Yeah - whats that all about. The first one was clearly him on N'Guessan shot, second offensive.

#13 instead of #14...still shouldn't happen

How does no foul get called when two defenders clear the deck with Mutts right in front of the official?


My wife takes the kids and leaves the house while I watch my Hokie games.........nuff said

Bede's defense is on point tonight. Enough to make up for his inability to score.

That was a clean take away by Mutts and whistle after he scored...two more points to the zebras

Get N'Guessan over the back but Hubb elbowing Cone no big deal

These refs have the latest whistles (for both sides). Like they wait to see the result of the play first.

We put the K in Kwality

He took three full steps and shot as the whistle was blown. Love how they are reviewing it but no review of the foul on Laszewski that went to Djogo

And add more points to the zebras at the buzzer

Nguessan on the reach before the shot.

"What are you going to do, stab me? - Quote from Man Stabbed

My problem has been the delay or swallowing on the other end. At least three times a Hokie shooting was knocked down but not one whistle.

The delay made that a shooting foul, which it should not have been since it didn't put Notre Dame in the bonus and the reach was on the floor

And it just happened again.

And again. And again. WTF!

We put the K in Kwality

And again, should have been a travel twice or jump ball at worst, nope only official completely blocked from view whistles Mutts

Definitely a different standard for fouls at the two ends of the court.

Halftime show featuring a tribute to Swofford? I'll pass...

Ironic they are showing those on the RDN feeds...that no one came watch. The final revenue win for $wofford.

We put the K in Kwality

If Swofford is given a tribute and no one is there to here it...did it make a sound?

We put the K in Kwality

No, but NC State's Men's Lacrosse team was just put on probation for UNC being caught with a football player going to class.

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

Hey, let's quit beating up on the poor guy. I just put in an order for his autobiography "The Art of the Bad TV Deal"

The LewDew, Professional Golf Bum

Another great example. Bede blocks the shot. The ball is almost to the floor before the whistle.

We put the K in Kwality

lol these foul calls and lack there of on our end man

And it's like inconsistent; sometimes they're getting mauled and no call; our guy bodies into them and it's a foul

The officiating is terribly unbalanced.......

Mutts is laughing at the call and joking with the BD guy. Ref issues him a warning.

We put the K in Kwality

#14 lowers his shoulder and bulls into the lane. No call.

We put the K in Kwality

Then #3 with the forearm push off. No call.

We put the K in Kwality

Cone with a BLOCKED SHOT!!

Mutts gets knocked down and no foul again. It's just blatantly bad

Followed by reach-in/touch foul on Bede.

We put the K in Kwality

Notre Dame just plays hard clean basketball..../s

So many moving screens by ND.

finally got a call

Go Hokies

Was an accident. They forget we switched sides at half.

We put the K in Kwality

Goodwin spent a week in the lane there

Catoor has turned into a ball player. Not just a good shooter. But great defender and has developed a handle.

We put the K in Kwality

Let's see if Laszewski actually gets put in the book for that one

Now can they give Laszewzki back the foul now that it was clearly on Djogo

That first "foul" made no sense. He hooked and through Bede (on offense)...and was the only person within 10' of the call. Then they called the foul. When walking down the court the TV showed him with 0 points and 0 fouls. The announcers say "hmm that foul wasn't on him".

We put the K in Kwality

Finally called ND for shoving on a rebound. Announcer "both teams working hard for boards".

We put the K in Kwality

Hubb should've shaved that puberty beard during halftime.

We put the K in Kwality

Mutts doin some down and dirty work tonight....

My wife takes the kids and leaves the house while I watch my Hokie games.........nuff said

Elbow in the face. No call.

We put the K in Kwality

Should've been two fouls on #14. Extra one for the shove after the whistle.

We put the K in Kwality

And he should now be fouled out...

Laszewski should now have four fouls but doesn't. Home bookin

Called him for offensive foul and he yells at the ref. #privledged

We put the K in Kwality

And then shakes his head on the bench not understanding an egregious moving screen. Guy is a tool.

Grayson πŸ‘πŸ‘Allen πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

We put the K in Kwality

Alleyne shoved and a travel called. SMH...

Stepped on his foot and shoved him. Traveling. Classic

We put the K in Kwality

Finally a moving screen call. On the 35th one.

Trying to imagine what the blowout would be if the whistles were close to balanced

And now they gave Notre Dame Cattoors free throws

What a crock, the whistles are so after the play

The last one was after the put back shot. Players looked at each other and grinned when they called it.

We put the K in Kwality

Ball goes off of #13's face. Out of bounds on us!

We put the K in Kwality

Two more points on the Zebras giving the Irish possession off the face

That was a lan illegal pass by us.

We put the K in Kwality

I almost thought he was whistling Aluma for the foul

Holy cow these officials are beyond awful.

There's always a lighthouse. There's always a man. There's always a city.


This is such a poorly officiated game. These guys are an embarassment.


We put the K in Kwality

Djojo just pulled out a gun and shot Catoor. No call.

We put the K in Kwality

Aluma with the double-double 14 and 12

Go Hokies

Mutts with the "taking the shoulder to the face" foul.

We put the K in Kwality

WTF with Catoor there....no foul......I saw two

The LewDew, Professional Golf Bum

That official has a hard on for Mutts

Mutts with a double - double 14 and 10

Go Hokies

Triple double. + 10 no foul calls

We put the K in Kwality

Double double-double

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

I'll say this. We can literally take a punch.

We put the K in Kwality

Man N'Guessan needs to spend a month shooting free throws

I'll drink!


We put the K in Kwality

He and Mutts both leave too many points out there. It makes me cringe every time they go to the line.

N'Gussan has got an ugly FT shot

We put the K in Kwality

Zona's parents were just lazy

We put the K in Kwality

ask his older brother, Ari

Never Forget #1 Overall Seed UVA 54, #64 UMBC 74

...and they blow the whistle late on the end of game buzzer.

We put the K in Kwality

Whistle blows....Hokies getting off the plane.

Wow. Not what I was expecting. Pleasantly surprised