Men's Basketball: Back home for a minute, Irish look to remain on ACC roll

Tom Noie
ND Insider

MEN’S BASKETBALL 

► WHO: Louisville (11-12 overall; 5-8 ACC) vs. Notre Dame (16-7; 9-3) 

► WHERE: Purcell Pavilion (9,149) 

Jan 22, 2022; Louisville, Kentucky, USA;  Notre Dame Fighting Irish forward Nate Laszewski (14) shoots against Louisville Cardinals guard Jarrod West (13) and forward Samuell Williamson (10) during the first half at KFC Yum! Center. Notre Dame defeated Louisville 82-70. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

►WHEN: Wednesday at 7 p.m. 

►TV: ESPNU 

► RADIO: WSBT (960 AM). 

► TICKETS: A limited number available. All fans are required to wear masks regardless of vaccination status. Concession stands will be closed. 

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

►NOTING: Power forward Jae’lyn Withers scored 13 points with five rebounds and fellow power forward Sydney Curry added eight points and 10 rebounds in Saturday’s 92-69 loss at Syracuse. Guard El Ellis scored 10 points off the bench as the Cardinal reserves finished with 36 points. … After winning its first four league games, Louisville has dropped their last five and eight of nine. … On Jan. 26, former head coach Chris Mack reached a separation agreement with the university. He was in his fourth season. The interim head coach is assistant Mike Pegues, who played collegiately for Mike Brey at Delaware. The Cardinals are 0-3 under Pegues and have allowed an average of 85.3 points. … Louisville played its previous two games without power forward/captain Malik Williams, a Fort Wayne native and the team’s leading scorer (10.0) and rebounder (8.7), who was suspended by Pegues for not living up to the team standards as a captain. Williams is expected to return for Wednesday's game. …  Louisville is one of six repeat opponents for Notre Dame. These teams met Jan. 22 at KFC Yum! Center, an 82-70 Irish victory in a game that featured seven ties and 15 lead changes. Freshman guard Blake Wesley led the Irish with 22 points, one rebound and two assists. Paul Atkinson, Jr., and Dane Goodwin each added 13 points. Notre Dame shot 63.3 percent from the field, 65.2 percent from 3 and 71.4 percent from the foul line. … Picked in preseason to finish sixth in the league with one first-place vote, Louisville currently is in 10th place. Notre Dame, picked eighth, is tied for first place with No. 7 Duke. A win Wednesday and Notre Dame moves into sole possession of first. … The Cardinals are 2-4 on the road in league play with wins at Georgia Tech and North Carolina State. They’ve lost their last four league road games by an average of 14 points. … Louisville leads the all-time series 27-16, 5-4 as ACC colleagues. Notre Dame is 9-8 at home against Louisville, which has won the last two in South Bend. The Irish last won at home in the series on Jan. 4, 2017. Last month’s win snapped a six-game Irish losing streak to the Cardinals. … Louisville ranks last in the league in free throw percentage (.687). Notre Dame is 10th in the league overall in scoring offense (70.0 ppg.) and fourth overall in scoring defense (65.5); Louisville is 12th (68.9) and 11th (69.9). … Atkinson leads the league in field goal percentage (.599). Teammate Prentiss Hubb is fifth in assist/turnover ratio (2.37). ... The Irish are 9-1 at home this season. … Notre Dame is in a stretch of four straight games against repeat league opponents – North Carolina State, Louisville, Clemson and Boston College. The Irish are a combined 4-1 against those teams. 

►QUOTING:  "Guys are disappointed and frustrated and looking for some answers and it's my job as head coach and as a staff to give them some answers." — Louisville interim coach Mike Pegues

 —Tom Noie 

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