We are the third game into conference play and it’s already been somewhat of an unexpected season, not just because of Covid. It has been unexpected because Carolina was supposed to be able to stack wins in the early part of the ACC schedule-that has not happened. Once the season gets going, it isn’t often Coach Roy Williams makes changes to the starting lineup, especially when it involves sending experience to the bench-preseason ACC player of the year, Garrison Brooks, Leaky Black, and Caleb Love were all benched. The highly touted freshmen were supposed to be a much needed shot in the arm-some have underwhelmed and some are still coming into their own. Again, in somewhat unexpected fashion, Kerwin Walton has been the one that has shined.
North Carolina’s ACC home opener was scheduled to be against Syracuse. Due to Covid reasons, their ACC home opener is now against the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.
Notre Dame enters the contest against the Tar Heels with an overall record of 3-5, 0-2 in the ACC. Their lone notable win is a 64-63 win over Kentucky. Their two conference losses are to Duke and Virginia.
Notre Dame players to note:
*Junior forward-Nate Laszewski-averaging 16.2 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. Laszewski is a former Tar Heel recruiting target.
*Junior guard-Prentiss Hubb-averaging 14.9 points per game.
*The Fighting Irish have four guys who shoot over 40% from three.
Keys to the game for the Tar Heels:
*Playing hard and playing smart-specifically taking care of the basketball.
*Defense, defense, and defense. Notre Dame boasts a potent offense. They shoot over 44% from the field, 40% from three, and 81% from the free throw line.
*The Tar Heels desperately need to put together 40 minutes of well played basketball. Not to only win the game, but to show they can do it.
*The Tar Heels will need to find a way to neutralize Nate Laszewski. A lot of what Notre Dame does on offense, starts and ends with him.
Again, it is only the third conference game of the season, but if the Tar Heels have aspirations for post-season play, they must find a way to get the win.
Notre Dame-91st overall
TV info-the matchup will be televised on the ACC Network at 4:00PM eastern time
Roy's Boys Podcast: