BLACKSBURG – Playing its first game at home in the New Year, the No. 19/20 Virginia Tech men’s basketball team will play host to Notre Dame on Sunday at 6 p.m. ET on ACC Network at Carilion Clinic Court at Cassell Coliseum.
The Hokies (8-2, 2-1 ACC) and Fighting Irish (3-6, 0-3) played each other once last season, a 64-56 setback on the road for the Hokies.
Notre Dame leads the all-time series 9-4, but Tech has won three of the last of five games. Tech is 1-4 all-time versus Notre Dame at home and the lone win came against the Irish the last time the two played in Cassell (81-66, ’19).
YOUNG’S TRACK RECORD
Tech coach Mike Young and Notre Dame coach Mike Brey have faced each other twice, with the first matchup coming in 2005, a 74-71 victory for the Irish over Wofford.
ON THE CALL
The matchup will be broadcast on ACC Network, with Wes Durham (play-by-play) and Jordan Cornette (analyst) on the call, while Jon Laaser (play-by-play) and Mike Burnop (analyst) will broadcast on Virginia Tech Sports Network.
LAST TIME OUT
Trailing by as many as 14 points in the second half, the Hokies cut it to a one-point game with six seconds left, but missed a triple at the buzzer to fall at Louisville, 73-71. Second-a points was the difference, as UofL outscored Tech 15-5.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Jalen Cone once again rose to the occasion when Tech needed him desperately, racking up a career-high 23 points Wednesday. With little rhythm offensively, Cone provided a spark of the bench with six 3s and three rebounds.
Almost recording a double-double on the road, Justyn Mutts put together a 10-point, eight-rebound performance at UofL. Mutts has now had three games this season of owning eight or more rebounds and 10 or more points (VMI, Miami, UofL).
SCOUTING NOTRE DAME
• Notre Dame is coming off a one-point loss at North Carolina (7-4, 2-2) last Saturday, despite getting 25 points from Nate Laszewski, including seven 3-pointers, and 14 points from Prentiss Hubb in the 66-65 final.
• Brey enters his 20th season in South Bend, following a five-year stint at Delaware where he won America East Co-Coach of the Year honors. Since his arrival to Notre Dame, he has racked up the most wins by a coach in school history and has led the Irish to 12 NCAA Tournament berths.
• The Fighting Irish are led by Laszewski, who is averaging a team-high 17.2 points and a team-best 8.2 rebounds, and Hubbs, who owns 41 assists this year. Laszewski ranks fifth in the country in 3-point field-goal percentage (59.0%) and Hubbs leads the conference in minutes per game (37:35).
• One of the better shooting teams in the land, Notre Dame is first in the ACC and 26th overall in 3-point field-goal percentage, owning a 38.9 percent clip. It also plays fundamental defense and doesn’t get beat regularly to the rim, averaging the fewest fouls committed nationally (12.4).