Men's Basketball: Here's what you need to know for Saturday's game at Virginia Tech

Tom Noie
ND Insider
Virginia Tech power forward Keve Aluma has been a tough cover of late for Atlantic Coast Conference teams.

MEN’S BASKETBALL 

►WHO: Notre Dame (10-5 overall; 4-1 ACC) vs. Virginia Tech (8-7; 0-4) 

►WHERE: Cassell Coliseum (9,275), Blacksburg, Va. 

►WHEN: Saturday at 6 p.m. 

►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. 

Men's Basketball:That was then, this is now for Notre Dame

►NOTING: First team all-conference preseason pick Keve Aluma scored double figures for the 13th time in 15 games with a team-high 22 points and six rebounds while guard Hunter Cattoor added 10 points, six rebounds and five assists in Wednesday’s 54-52 loss at Virginia. The game featured 10 ties and 13 lead changes. Virginia Tech shot 42 percent from the field, 36.8 percent from 3 and 3-of-3 from the foul line. Over the final five seconds, the Hokies had a chance to win it with a Cattoor 3 and tie it with a Storm Murphy jumper. … Virginia Tech has lost three straight, four of five and seven of 10 after opening the season 5-0. It was in the “also received votes” category over the first four Associated Press polls. … The Hokies are in a stretch of four of five league games away from home. This is their lone home game between Jan. 5 and Jan. 26. … Virginia Tech returned three starters off last year’s team that finished 15-7 overall, 9-4 and tied for third in the ACC. The Hokies were picked this preseason to finish fifth with five first-place votes. The Irish were picked eighth. … Notre Dame leads the all-time series 9-6, 6-4 as ACC colleagues and 4-2 at Cassell. The Irish have lost two straight, four of five and five of seven in the series. In that streak of four of five losses, Notre Dame was beaten by 15, eight, 11 and 14 points – each time by a ranked Virginia Tech squad. The Irish last won at Cassell Coliseum on Jan. 14, 2017, when neither team was ranked. … Notre Dame’s first win in Blacksburg, in 2001 when both teams were members of the Big East, earned the Irish a Big East West Division championship. That squad featured current Irish assistant Ryan Humphrey. … This is the only regular season matchup. … Irish power forward/captain Nate Laszewski ranks fifth in the league in rebounding at 7.4 per game. … Notre Dame leads the ACC in free throw percentage (.757) and is fourth in scoring defense (65.4). … The Irish (1.29) and Hokies (1.27) rank fifth and sixth in the league in assist/turnover ratio. ... This is the first of three straight road games over eight days for Notre Dame, which heads for Washington on Sunday in advance of Monday’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day game against Howard University at Burr Gymnasium. Notre Dame is 3-5 overall away from home this season, 2-1 in league play with two straight wins. 

One game at a time:A journey through Notre Dame's 2021-22 men’s basketball season

►QUOTING: "It's pretty clear we've got some momentum right now, playing well together. It's a mix of a lot of things. It's not just one, two, three of us. It's collectively." — Notre Dame senior guard/captain Dane Goodwin

— Tom Noie 

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