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Notre Dame Looks for Fourth Consecutive Win at Syracuse

Written by: Jhett Garrett Writer Twitter/X: @JhettGarrett

Photo by The Irish Tribune


Despite a more than rough season for Micah Shrewsberry and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-16, 5-10 in ACC Play), they are riding a three-game win streak heading into a tough game on the road against Syracuse. With consecutive wins coming against Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, and on the road versus Louisville, the Irish have a chance to match their season win total from last season against the Orange.


The Orange on the other hand, have had an up-and-down last seven games, sitting at 3-4, with a point differential of -35. They come in off a road win against NC State behind sophomore Chris Bell’s 26-point showing. Bell, a 6’7 forward from Concord, California is averaging 18.2 points per game in his last five games, scoring 13 or more points in four of those five games, while shooting 53% from the field. Despite this, he is still the third leading scorer on the Syracuse squad behind Judah Mintz, and former Notre Dame player JJ Starling.





JJ Starling was a five-star recruit out of high school, and the number one recruit in all of New York. He was recruited by former Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey and committed to the Irish back in October of 2021. Two and a half years later, Starling will be playing on the other side of the ball, as an opponent for Notre Dame. In his sophomore season, Starling is averaging 13.7 points per game on 46.2% shooting from the field, including 11 consecutive double-digit scoring games. In those 11 games, he has put up 22 or more points in three games, and two or more threes in eight of those games. He is beginning to hit his stride as a player for the Orange and will be a definite threat in the matchup.


Judah Mintz, the leading scorer for Syracuse with an average of 18.2 points per game, comes into this one as the number one option. While Starling and Bell have been putting up better averages over the last span of games, Mintz has been the most consistent player for the Orange all season. There have only been two games this entire season that Mintz hasn’t been in double figures and 12 games with 20 or more points. And despite his high number of shots, he is still shooting 43% from the field. Similar to Notre Dame’s previous matchup with Mike James, Mintz will attack the rim at a high level and get his shots inside the arc.


While Syracuse has three viable options on the offensive side of the ball, the Notre Dame defense has been something to behold the last three games. Opponents are only averaging 57 points per game, including holding Louisville to just 50 points. With Syracuse averaging 76 points per game this season, the defense is going to have to continue to step up once more in this one.





In the preview article for the Louisville game, I said that it was a great opportunity for Braden Shrewsberry to get back on track for this Fighting Irish squad. He did just that, putting up 23 points, on 8-13 shooting, and 7-11 from three. He also turned the ball over zero times in the game, which is something that Notre Dame continues to improve on every game. If the Irish want to extend their win streak, they will have to rely on Shrewsberry hitting his shots and getting in a groove early.


While Syracuse is eyeing a double bye for the ACC Tournament, Notre Dame is taking things game-by-game trying to build on a rebuilding season. Topping last year’s forgettable season is number one on the bulletin board for Micah Shrewsberry and Co., and while they already have, they have a chance to statistically “tie it” on Saturday. This is a huge step in the right direction for building this program back up, and once again becoming a player in the ACC. Give this time, and the Irish will be the ones playing for a double-bye at the end of February.


Tip-off from JMA Wireless Dome will take place at Noon, with the game airing on ESPN.


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