What you need to know when Western Michigan visits Notre Dame in men's basketball

Tom Noie
ND Insider
Senior guard/captain Cormac Ryan and Notre Dame need a win Monday against Western Michigan to feel good about itself following a loss Saturday to Indiana.

MEN’S BASKETBALL 

►  WHO: Western Michigan (4-6) vs Notre Dame (4-5) 

► WHERE: Purcell Pavilion (9,149) 

► WHEN: Monday at 8 p.m. 

► TICKETS: Available. 

► TV: ACC Network.

► RADIO: WSBT (960 AM). 

► ONLINE: Follow every Notre Dame game with live updates from Tribune beat writer Tom Noie at twitter.com/tnoieNDI 

► NOTING:  Eastern Illinois transfer Mack Smith scored 14 points with 10 rebounds and Duquesne transfer Lamar Norman, Jr., added 19 points for Western Michigan in Friday’s 67-56 home win over Aquinas (Mich.) College, an NAIA school. The Broncos finished with 38 points in the paint, 12 turnovers and three assists. They led by two at halftime in a game that featured one tie and one lead change. … Western Michigan had previously lost two straight and six of eight. Its two wins both were in overtime, against Fort Wayne and Southeastern Louisiana. … Western Michigan is 0-4 on the road, including a 19-point loss to Detroit Mercy, a 44-point loss at Michigan State and a 48-point loss at Iowa. … Three starters returned from last season’s team, which finished 5-16 overall, 4-12 and ninth place in the Mid-American Conference. … The Broncos were picked this preseason to finish ninth in the 12-team MAC. … Sophomore guard B. Artis White was a second team all-league preseason pick. He's been sidelined for all of two games with a lower leg injury. … Notre Dame leads the all-time series 19-8, 17-3 at home. The Irish have won eight straight and nine of the last 10. The teams last met March 18, 1992, at Purcell Pavilion, a 63-56 Irish win. The Broncos last won a series game on Feb. 28, 1966. … Notre Dame is coming off a 64-56 loss Saturday to Indiana in the Crossroads Classic in Indianapolis. The Irish finished with 14 turnovers and a season low for assists (5) and points. … Notre Dame has lost at least five games before January for a second straight season, something that had previously never happened under coach Mike Brey, in his 22nd season. … The Irish last lost at least five games before January in consecutive seasons in 1998-99 and 1999-2000. … In comparison, the 2014-15 Notre Dame team didn’t lose its fifth game until Feb. 24, 2015 while finishing 32-6. … The Irish are ranked 10th or worse in 10 statistical categories in the Atlantic Coast Conference including scoring offense (13th) 67.2, field goal percentage defense (14th) .444 and last (15th) for 3-point field goal percentage defense (.385) and blocks (2.22). … Notre Dame and Pittsburgh currently are tied for the fewest wins among ACC schools (four). Wake Forest (11) and Duke (10) have more wins than Notre Dame has games played. It’s the last ACC league school to play its 10th game. … Monday is the second game of three in five days for the Irish, who close their non-conference home schedule Wednesday against Texas A&M Corpus Christi. 

► QUOTING: “It's one of those things where I don't want to talk to them too much about it because they're thinking enough. The guys that are not shooting well are better shooters, and I bank on the law of averages here, you know, kicking in at some point.” 

— Irish coach Mike Brey on his team’s inability to make shots after shooting 36.2 percent from the field and 18.2 percent from 3 against Indiana. 

Follow South Bend Tribune and NDInsider columnist Tom Noie on Twitter: @tnoieNDI