Game 11 - Georgetown (6-4) @ Notre Dame (4-5)
Nuts & Bolts
Date: December 16, 2023
Time: 2:15 p.m. ET
Venue: Purcell Pavilion - South Bend, IN
How to Watch: CW Network
Matchup History: Georgetown leads all-time series 16-13
Last Meeting: Georgetown def. Notre Dame 63-47 on 1/21/13
Betting Lines: Via DraftKings
Spread: Georgetown +5
Prediction: Georgetown 74, Notre Dame 69
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Georgetown hits the road for its final non-Big East game of the regular season as the Hoyas take on Notre Dame on Saturday afternoon in South Bend.
Last year, as the Georgetown season began to come to a disappointing conclusion, eventually finishing 7-25 and 2-18 in the conference, rumors began to swirl about who would replace Patrick Ewing as head coach.
Well, Saturday’s game at Notre Dame features the two coaches who were the two most-linked names to the Georgetown job; Ed Cooley and Micah Shrewsberry.
Of course, we know Ed Cooley, who left Providence to join a fellow Big East school this past Spring. But before Cooley was solidified as the man for the job, Shrewsberry was heavily linked to becoming the head coach of Georgetown.
Formerly at Penn State, Shrewsberry led the Nittany Lions to the Big 10 Tournament title game and to the Round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament.
For a team with low expectations, it was a very impressive job by Shrewsberry.
The coaches going head-to-head for the first time since the Georgetown job was taken by Cooley ought to add some fuel to the fire for the game.
The Hoyas enter the game coming off a 71-54 win over Coppin State in front of the smallest crowd of the season on Tuesday night in DC.
Georgetown’s leading scorer, Jayden Epps, did not play in the game, and there is doubt that he’ll make the trip to South Bend for the game against Notre Dame.
If Epps is out again, look for Dontrez Styles to be the go-to scoring option for Ed Cooley’s team. Styles led the team with 19 points against Coppin State and has scored in double-figures in seven of Georgetown’s ten games.
A 6-4 team against a 4-5 team should yield two squads desperate for a win before heading into conference play; we’ll see if Georgetown can snag its first road win of 2023-24.
For the first time since the 1999-2000 season, Notre Dame basketball is being led by a head coach not named Mike Brey.
Brey was in South Bend for 23 seasons, leading the Irish to 13 NCAA Tournaments along the way. However, he never reached the Final Four and reached the Big Dance just once in his final six seasons as head coach.
It was time for a change. Brey is now an assistant for the Atlanta Hawks, paving the way for Micah Shrewsberry to take over from Penn State.
Shrewsberry was the head coach at Penn State for just two years, but took the Nittany Lions from 14-17 his first year to 23-14 in his second, finishing the year with a close loss to 2-seeded Texas in the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament.
So far in 2023-24, it’s been tough sledding. Notre Dame is off to a 4-5 start and enters Saturday’s game against Georgetown fresh off its largest defeat yet, a 78-59 loss to #8 Marquette in Milwaukee.
However, this is a team that, like Georgetown, really struggled a year ago. The Fighting Irish went 11-21 last season, its worst campaign under Brey.
Notre Dame is young, led by freshman guard Markus Burton, who is the only player on the team currently averaging in double-figures with 15.7 PPG.
With Shrewsberry at the helm, it seems only a matter of time before he turns around a program with the resources of Notre Dame. If he did it at Penn State, he can do it in South Bend.