Notre Dame is struggling with something that coach Mike Breys teams usually do not – turnovers.
The Irish have committed 58 turnovers in their last four games, and they kept their turnovers under double digits only in a 76-73 overtime win over Boston College on Feb. 1.
Notre Dame committed 17 turnovers in a 73-62 loss to North Carolina on Saturday, 12 in a 61-55 loss to Syracuse Feb. 3 and 20 in a 68-53 loss to Virginia on Jan. 28. The Irish had nine turnovers against Boston College.
Brey said holding onto the ball will be critical for the Irish (12-12, 3-8 ACC) in todays game against Clemson (15-7, 6-4) at Purcell Pavilion.
Our turnovers have hurt us here through the ACC season, Brey said during Mondays coaches teleconference. We really tried to address that (Sunday) in practice. We will get back to it (Monday) again.
While the Irish have struggled with turnovers recently, Notre Dame center Garrick Sherman has not had the struggles that hampered him throughout most of his career.
The 6-foot-11 senior, who sat out the 2011-12 season after transferring from Michigan State, averages team highs in points (14.6) and rebounds (7.9). He averaged 7 points and 3.4 rebounds last season.
Im happy for Garrick, because I know up until this year he had a frustrating career both in East Lansing and then here last year, Brey said. We went away from him for almost about a month (last season) because he just wasnt producing. Then he gets going in the five-overtime game (scoring 17 points and getting 16 rebounds in a 104-101 win over Louisville on Feb. 9, 2013) and finishes the season well, which I thought was important for him.
Then he had a real good summer.
Im really proud of him. I told him the other day in the midst of a tough season for our team, Im really proud of what youve done for us.
It could be difficult for Sherman to do what he has been doing against the Tigers.
Brey said Clemsons defense makes it difficult to get the ball into the post, and he is stressing patience on offense today.
It is tough to get anything in the lane and in the paint, Brey said. You really have to work to get shots against them. You are going to have to make some shots over the top of them. They are going to give that up a little bit. To have success and win, you are going to have to make some stuff over the top.
I dont think you can live from there. Probably the trap that people fall into is you just kind of live from outside and you dont work to get a post feed, you dont work to reverse it twice and maybe get a drive. Thats one of the things we started talking about (Sunday), where we are going to have to be patient and move it.