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Irish go back to ‘drawing board’

Updated: March 12, 2014 6:25AM



SOUTH BEND — The numbers jump off the page.

Notre Dame had 17 turnovers at Maryland. The Irish gave it away 20 times against Virginia, resulting in 29 points for the Cavaliers. And North Carolina scored 23 points off of 17 Notre Dame turnovers Saturday.

The Irish lost all three games.

A strength in the past, taking care of the basketball, has become an issue in recent weeks for Notre Dame.

“That’s bothering me because we’ve been so good with the ball here,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said after the 73-62 loss to the Tar Heels. “And to see us kick that thing around like that, you go back to the drawing board here this afternoon.

“What do we need to do offensively to simplify so we can take better care of the basketball? If there’s one thing to point to, that’s been the dagger for us.”

Notre Dame (12-12, 3-8 ACC) has lost eight of 10 entering today’s game against Clemson (15-7, 6-4). And turnovers have been a major factor.

“It’s a matter of doing the things we do. Not trying to overdo it,” guard Pat Connaughton said. “When you lose some games, you tend to try to do a little more. Everyone does. It’s just a matter of trying to work hard and compete harder. It’s a matter of staying within ourselves and playing the way we play. That’s something we are going to have to focus on in practice.”

The Irish are averaging 11.1 turnovers in conference games and have a negative 0.82 turnover margin.

“The other teams have been doing a good job of pressuring the ball and making it harder for us to move, especially when I don’t have the ball,” said guard Eric Atkins. “They really pick up the pressure.

“We just have to move better, everyone. Me included. Move, cut and screen for each other.”



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