Notre Dame had little problem disposing of Stetson on Sunday afternoon winning 80-49.
After struggling to put Miami (OH) away for much of their opening game on Friday night, a 74-62 win, the Irish left no doubt against Stetson today getting out to a 51-21 halftime advantage.
The starting Notre Dame backcourt was impressive as usual, despite not playing for much of the second half, as Eric Atkins, Jerian Grant, and Pat Connaughton combined for 33 points on 11-17 shooting from the field and 6-10 from 3PT.
The Irish have one of the top perimeter attacks in the country, and another weapon can officially be added to this attack in the form of freshman guard Demetrius Jackson.
Jackson was one of Notre Dame’s top recruits in their 2013 recruiting class, and he showed why against Stetson as he totaled nine points on 4-5 shooting, to go along with three assists and three rebounds in 18 minutes of action. If Jackson develops into a reliable player off the bench to spell Eric Atkins at point guard, Mike Brey’s offensive attack becomes that much more potent.
Notre Dame figures to be tested much more next Sunday as they host Indiana State out of the Missouri Valley, one of the top mid-major teams in the country.
Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.
Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.
Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.
The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.
John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.
We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.
For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.
Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.
As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.