Basketball: Notre Dame says hello to the ACC
By LaMond Pope 713-2691 or firstname.lastname@example.org November 3, 2013 11:12PM
Updated: November 5, 2013 1:04AM
1 Perimeter play: Notre Dame’s strength is its guards. Jerian Grant averaged 13.3 in 36.3 minutes and Eric Atkins averaged 11.2 points in 38.3 minutes last season. Pat Connaughton averaged 8.9 points.
2 Hitting the boards: ND had a plus-4.2 rebounding margin last season. Connaughton is the top retuning rebounder (4.7 per game last season). Garrick Sherman, Tom Knight and Zach Auguste must play a larger role.
3Adjusting on the road: In the Big East, a trip to Georgetown meant playing in the Verizon Center in D.C. Now, in the ACC, ND faces more on-campus home-court advantages. That makes winning at home more important.
4Filling Cooley’s void: Jack Cooley averaged 13.1 points and 10.1 rebounds for ND. He was second on the team in points and led the Irish in rebounding. It will take a team effort to replace his production.
5First things first: ND’s issues in the NCAA tourney are well documented. But before talk starts about avoiding an early exit, ND has to qualify for the event. The schedule is filled with opportunities to build the resume.