Notre Dame looks to move to 2-0 on the new season as it welcomes Chicago State on Thursday evening. The Fighting Irish, who are fielding one of their youngest lineups under coach Mike Brey, had three freshmen score in double figures in an 84-67 victory over Illinois-Chicago to open the year on Tuesday night.
Guard Robby Carmody became the first freshman to start an opener for Notre Dame since 2002 and he didn't disappoint, scoring 11 points on just five field-goal attempts, while adding four rebounds and two steals. First-year forward Nate Laszewski led the Irish with 12 points and a game-high nine rebounds in 19 minutes off the bench and Dane Goodwin scored 10 points and grabbed four rebounds in his collegiate debut as the youngsters made a strong impression on their opponent. "I thought watching them in their exhibition, (Notre Dame's) young players really took a big jump from the exhibition to tonight," Illinois-Chicago coach Steve McClain told reporters after the game. Chicago-State is looking to bounce back after a tough start to the season where it lost 104-55 at Indiana on Tuesday night.
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ABOUT CHICAGO STATE (0-1): Chicago-State knew it was in for a tough night as a 37.5-point underdog against the Hoosiers but the reality is that the Cougars lost their top-four scorers from a squad that went 3-29 last season. The Cougars struggled in just about every area of the game on Tuesday, shooting just 31.7 percent from the field, turning the ball over 20 times and getting outscored 54-24 in the paint. One bright spot for Chicago-State was senior guard Anthony Harris, who scored a team-high 14 on 4-of-6 shooting from the field.
ABOUT NOTRE DAME (1-0): Notre Dame's two returning starters struggled on Tuesday night as junior guard T.J. Gibbs scored nine points on 2-of-12 shooting and senior guard Rex Pflueger had just five on 1-of-6 shooting. In fact, the Irish will be looking to improve on their overall offensive efficiency on Thursday as they made just 22 field goals on 62 attempts (35.5 percent) against Illinois-Chicago. Notre Dame was able to overcome its shooting woes with an impressive performance at the free-throw line as the team combined to make 36-of-38 (94.7 percent) from the charity stripe.
1. Notre Dame is in the midst of seven straight home games to open the season, none of which are against ranked teams.
2. The Irish came out hot against the Flames and held a 46-23 lead at the half.
3. Chicago-State is led by first-year head coach Lance Irvin, who was hired from Morgan Park High School in August.
PREDICTION: Notre Dame 85, Chicago-State 60
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