#75 Notre Dame Men's Basketball 2019-2020 Preview

Notre Dame Fighting Irish
2019-2020 Overall Rank: #75
Conference Rank: #10 ACC
 Notre Dame Logo
Notre Dame won just 14 games in 2018-19, which was the lowest win total in Mike Brey’s 19 seasons with the team. The Fighting Irish have missed the NCAA Tournament in consecutive seasons for the first time since they went three straight years without dancing from 2004-2006. The positive news is that all their players but one are back for this season. Notre Dame had become a mainstay in the NCAA Tournament under Mike Brey and there’s promise for them to get back to that stage in 2019-20.
2018-19 Record: 14-19, 3-15
2018-19 Postseason: None
Coach: Mike Brey
Coach Record: 412-205 at Notre Dame, 511-257 overall
Key Departed Players:
DJ Harvey, Forward, 10.7 ppg
Key Returning Players:
John Mooney, Senior, Forward, 14.1 ppg
TJ Gibbs, Senior, Guard, 13.4 ppg
Prentiss Hubb, Sophomore, Guard, 8.1 ppg
Rex Pflueger, Senior, Forward, 8.1 ppg
Nate Laszewski, Sophomore, Forward, 6.9 ppg

Dane Goodwin, Sophomore, Guard, 6.4 ppg
Juwan Durham, Senior, Forward, 5.7 ppg
Robby Carmody, Sophomore, Guard, 3.7 ppg
Nikola Djogo, Senior, Guard, 2.7 ppg
Chris Doherty, Sophomore, Forward, 0.8 ppg
Key New Players:
Notre Dame will be returning ten of 11 players from last season’s rotation. The most important piece returning for the Irish could be senior Rex Pflueger. In Pflueger’s ten games last year, Notre Dame went 7-3, while going 7-16 following his season-ending injury. Pflueger is a jack-of-all-trades forward who was averaging 8.1 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.7 steals before getting hurt. The top returning scorer is senior big man John Mooney. Mooney earned Third Team All-ACC honors behind 14.1 points and 11.2 rebounds per game while shooting 45.5% from the field and 37.4% from three. Mooney is a double-double machine who should compete for First Team all-conference honors as a senior. TJ Gibbs is another talented senior back in the starting lineup who averaged 13.4 points, 3.4 assists and 1.2 steals last season. Gibbs is a steady backcourt presence who was third in the ACC in assist/turnover ratio and fourth in minutes per game last year. The final returning starter is Prentiss Hubb who started 29 games as a freshman. Hubb is an up and coming point guard who averaged 8.1 points, 4.0 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game. Sophomore Nate Laszewski and Senior Juwan Durham will likely compete for the final starting spot. Laszewski is a sharpshooter who started seven games last season and averaged 6.9 points and 3.9 rebounds while making 1.3 threes per game. Durham started six games and is more experienced and defensive-minded as he averaged 5.7 points, 3.9 rebounds and a team-high 2.3 blocks per game. Dane Goodwin is another promising sophomore who started nine games and averaged 6.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.1 assists as a freshman. Robby Carmody, Nikola Djogo and Chris Doherty also return to provide experienced depth to the Irish roster. There are no new eligible players for Notre Dame this season. Mike Brey has always preferred older teams over inexperienced ones, and with no freshmen on the roster that’s exactly what he has. It’s almost the exact same team that won only 14 games last year, but Rex Pflueger is healthy, and everyone is a year older. Notre Dame should be able to rebound and get back into the mix in the ACC.
Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 68.7 (275th in nation, 13th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 69.0 (109, 10)
Field-Goal Percentage: 39.3 (344, 15)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.9 (125, 12)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.2 (118, 6)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 31.5 (312, 12)
Free-Throw Percentage: 74.4 (51, 5)
Rebound Margin: -2.4 (277, 13)
Assists Per Game: 12.8 (222, 10)
Turnovers Per Game: 9.3 (3, 2)