Preview & Prediction: By Blake Hofstad
The Indiana Hoosiers (2-0) will obviously not be the same team they were last year. Tom Crean steps into a very undesirable situation, as everyone who had any impact on Indiana’s season last year is gone. However, this will be an intriguing matchup, if only for the fact that Notre Dame is prone to giving up a lot of points, and the elite freshman class of the Hoosiers will see how they match up to a marquee opponent. Tom Pritchard, a freshman, leads IU with 16 points a game along with 10 boards. Devan Dumes is not far behind, and being a junior, he is one of the leaders of this very young team. Indiana has a lot of guys who are looking to find their spot in the rotation, and I think that this could either help or hinder them against Notre Dame. If everyone understands their role, they could prove to be a challenge for the Irish. If they don’t function as a cohesive unit, and play for themselves, Notre Dame should roll.
Notre Dame (2-0) is on the outside looking in right now in the Big East (at least in terms of winning the league). They need a good showing in Maui to prove they can hang with the big boys, even if the big boys aren’t so big this year. Right now, they are sitting around 4th, in my opinion, in the best conference in college basketball. In order to stay in the upper echelon, a win here is a must. Luke Harangody is arguably the best player in the country. He is almost a lock for a double-double against IU. Kyle McAlarney is a knockdown 3-point shooter. Tory Jackson is a great point guard. A pass-first guy, he has a chance to lead the nation in assists. The key for Notre Dame will be to D up on the Hoosiers. I think they can hold Indiana well under 75, and Notre Dame rarely scores under 75. That means a win for the Irish.
Winner: Notre Dame Margin: 10-20
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About Blake Hofstad
An avid sports fan, you can nearly always find Blake Hofstad playing, watching, writing or just talking sports. His favorite team is the Wisconsin Badgers, and he is a huge Big Ten and Missouri Valley fan. The two things he hates about college basketball are Duke and the love Duke gets from most media members. You can find more of Blake's work on Onlinesportsfanatic.com.