Heading into February, the Irish sit at 17-4 overall and 5-3 within the conference, which is once again credit to Brey and this group, especially given their lack of star power. Notre Dame continues to provide a threat to the rest of the conference, as Jack Cooley and Jerian Grant lead the way offensively.
On Saturday, however, the Irish hit the road to DePaul in a contest that can be considered the definition of a “trap game.” At 10-10 overall and 1-6 in the league, the Blue Demons are heading south yet again, a trend that continues to become a common theme, year-in and year-out. From a Notre Dame perspective, however, this contest on the road at DePaul is one that they cannot afford to lose.
The turnaround for the Fighting Irish is a quick one following Saturday’s trip to DePaul as Notre Dame must then prepare for a trip to Syracuse on Monday. So long story short, the Fighting Irish must take care of business against DePaul or face the difficulty of potentially losing back-to-back games.
DePaul has lost five consecutive games and seven of their past eight overall, so expectations are rapidly on the decline. What head coach Oliver Purnell needs is a victory, not only for the sake of yet another disappointing season, but maybe even for his job security.
It’s obvious that Cleveland Melvin and Brandon Young can’t do it all by themselves, so let’s see if that third option can step up for the Blue Demons with Notre Dame in town.
Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS