Don't miss them on ESPN2 at 7pm in the Old Spice Classic in Orlando. They take on Notre Dame in the toughest test for the Hoop Dawgs yet. Paul Westerdawg hit on the importance of this week to the young season, but let me distill it for the casual fan: this tournament will give us all a good sense of what the Dawgs have.
Former UNC All-American Tyler Hansbrough's brother, Ben, is Notre Dame's leading scorer. He, however, is a guard, and a pretty good one, getting just a shade under 6 assists per game, while only turning over the ball 2 times per game. His partner in crime is Tim Abromaitis. Abromaitis has been rock cold from 3pt land until getting untracked with a 4 of 5 performance in their win against Maine. Oh yeah, Hansbrough is shooting a shade under 55% from the arc.
Notre Dame hasn't been challenged this season, going 4-0 against Georgia Southern, Liberty, Illinois-Chicago and Maine. All of those games were in South Bend.
For the Dawgs to win, they either have to have a dominating inside presence or hope Abromaitis and Hansbrough are cold. Carleton Scott is the Irish's biggest underneath player, so expect plenty of Jeremy Price on Carleton Scott battles underneath. Look for the Dawgs to slow down the game, as Notre Dame is fourth in the nation in scoring and 3rd in assists. They like to move the ball around and are extremely good at finding open shots.
Trey *probably* won't play any this weekend. The Dawgs need Robinson and Price to have huge games and needs to have fewer turnovers and more consistent foul shooting in order to not go 1-2 or so in this thing. If they don't fall behind to any of the teams that will be in Orlando, then I like the Dawgs' chances to win it all. Without Trey, I'll take 2-1, as long as the one isn't to Manhattan.
All of the games during the tourney will be on ESPN or ESPN2, with a Friday game and the finals/3rd/5th/7th place games on Sunday.