The first game of the ACC season for the Duke Blue Devils will be a test right away: nobody loves going to South Bend to face the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. It will be against a new team in the ACC and it will be a road game right away. The ACC will be much deeper this year and it starts with the three teams coming in from the Big East including Notre Dame.
Notre Dame will not be one of the top teams in the ACC this year but should make for a hard matchup for every team. They will be good enough to finish just outside the top five this year. They should be a strong team at home and could be a challenge for Duke in the first game of the ACC schedule.
Notre Dame is a team that plays hard in every game because that’s how they compete with some of the better teams in the country. They lost players from last season but did manage a good recruiting class coming in to the season. They will be a younger team this year but will still look to sneak into the NCAA tournament and a win against the Blue Devils will help. Notre Dame teams under Mike Brey have always worked hard and have been fundamentally sound, that makes them a dangerous team for anyone.
Notre Dame will look to as they always have to slow down the game and create less possessions for their opponents. They will look to slow down the Blue Devils and look to play an inside out game against them. On defense Notre Dame will have to look to keep them from getting out and running and look to make Duke a jump shooting team.
The Blue Devils will try to get out and run against this team, and look to use their athleticism to create offense and mismatches. They will look to get out and take advantage of the one on one matchups that they will be able to create. They should have the advantage against Notre Dame in most matchups and will have to win individual battles to win in South Bend.
On defense the Blue Devils will look to pressure to speed up the game. They will also look to turn them over and hopefully create offense off of their mistakes. The defense will be all about ball pressure and switching and catching them off guard like most games this year. They will have to be smarter and apply more situations while on defense to get turnovers.
Notre Dame is good at controlling the ball, but with a young backcourt, this could be a year that they don’t protect it as well. Duke is hoping this is the case especially still by the time they meet up, but with it being later on in the season they should know what is expected of them.
This game is in South Bend with a team and a fan base that will be fired up for a home game against the Blue Devils, and also a team that plays hard and disciplined could be a trap game for the Blue Devils. Even with all that said, this should be another win for the Blue Devils, but they will have to look to Rodney Hood or Jabari Parker to make some big shots.