Notre Dame vs Radford odds and expectations
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will play the Radford Highlanders in the NCAA basketball season opener on Thursday. Notre Dame finished last season 24-11, winning the game play in Dayton at March Madness ’64’ field.
The Irish defeated fellow 11th seed Rutgers 89-87 in the double overtime game before convincingly beat Alabama to reach the last 32. They battled the Texas Tech Red Raiders 27-10 for 40 minutes but lost 59-53.
Mike Bree is entering his 23rd year on the sidelines of Notre Dame this season. NBA All-ACC guard Blake Wesley broke off after a thrilling freshman campaign, but enough of the top players returned from last season’s squad to give hope to the Irish post-season fight.
Radford has been on the decline steadily since winning the Big Southern Conference in 2018. The Highlanders went 11-18 with a 7-9 conference record during the 2021-22 season.
Outside of a single returning player, Radford will have plenty of new faces, including former ESPN Top 100 recruit Brian Antoine, who hasn’t found a foothold in three years with the Villanova Wildcats.
Notre Dame vs Radford betting odds
All lines are provided by BetMGM Sportsbook
ShotQuality Tale Tape
ShotQuality shows a lot of similarities between these two non-conference opponents, both being exceptionally good on one side of the field but mediocre to poor on the other.
Notre Dame has a modified offensive shot quality (AdjOFF SQ) from 1.06 last season, good for 82nd place in the country. Meanwhile, they scored a 1.03 modified defensive shot quality (AdjDEF SQ) resulting from poor post-rebound (0.89 SQ PPP) and average play (0.79 SQ PPP).
However, to focus more on offense, they were among the best at capturing and shooting SQ PPR by 3 points (1.10 SQ PPP at 31% frequency), and the regression stats indicate that they should have been better (2%).
Cormac Ryan, one of the many Irish veterans, scored an impressive 1.17 SQ draw on three-pointers last season. They also added Niagara transfer Marcus Hammond to the mix. Big was also sharp on pickups and hunting triples, finishing at 83rd in efficiency with treys. It will also raise the level of playing Notre Dame when taking pictures from the screens. The Irish had 0.99 SQ PPP on screen shots coming in, while Hammond had 1.19 SQ PPP on screen protected and unprotected triples.
Radford is the opposite of the Irish fighter but is more amplified. They are aggressive in defense but corrupt in attack. The Highlanders must struggle to attack, given that Notre Dame’s weakness, and divergence, is not Radford’s strength.
They added former best recruit Brian Antoine to the mix, but he probably didn’t commit at Nova as he finished second in the percentage with a three-point efficiency. Defensively, the Highlanders are brave in the transition and against the midrange game.
The problem is that the Irish like to set up a half-crime under Mike Barry. The Irish’s 2021-22 show ranked 75th in the country in frequency post-up, half-court and three-point catch and shoot. Radford was subject to a half-court offense, allowing 0.99 SQ PPP and 1.03 SQ PPP on hunting and shooting triples.
Notre Dame vs Radford Prediction
How can you not love the Irish heading into season? They brought back quite a few veteran players who gained a lot of experience, and they made some buzz at the tournament last year despite being one of the luckiest teams in 2021-22.
Unfortunately they posted a funny -15.61 in SQ luck (SQ win percentage – actual win percentage) *100. With a new roster and an experienced roster, give me the Irish to dominate the season opener.
Prediction: Notre Dame-18 (-110)
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