Men’s basketball: Patience could mean faster starts for Irish
By LaMond Pope email@example.com or 713-2691 January 14, 2014 6:06PM
Updated: January 14, 2014 11:34PM
Notre Dame fell behind by 11 points in its ACC opener against Duke.
But the Irish found a way to rally for an upset victory.
Notre Dame hasn’t been as fortunate in its two conference games since.
“One of the things we have to do better is get out of the gate a little easier and not dig out of a hole as we’ve done in all three of our league games,” coach Mike Brey said Monday.
The Irish (10-6, 1-2 ACC) will look for a quicker start and try to snap a two-game losing streak Wednesday at Maryland (10-7, 2-2).
Notre Dame shot 36.8 percent from the floor in the first half Saturday at Georgia Tech.
“Our shot selection needs to be better. We’ve really addressed that,” Brey said. “We need to be a little more patient. We don’t have to shoot it, if we don’t have it in transition, I don’t know if we have to shoot it 15 seconds into the shot clock. We’ve been pretty good in long possessions in the clock here when we move a team around a little bit.
“At times (Eric) Atkins, (Garrick) Sherman and (Pat) Connaughton feel they need to jump start us individually. It’s a fine line because we need them to be aggressive, but we want them to make sure it’s a great shot. If that takes a little longer in the shot clock, we’ll live with that.”
Notre Dame also needs to improve its defense down the stretch.
“We got key stops in the Duke game the last 10 minutes and we have not been able to do that the last two games, especially Saturday in Atlanta,” Brey said. “We take the lead, we have a chance to get a stop and maybe go up two possessions on the road, which you have to do to escape with a road win. Whether we were in our zone or man, we just couldn’t get a stop.
“We have to be better there collectively, digging in and not reacting to stuff.”