Here are three things to watch for when No. 20 Notre Dame (2-1) faces BYU (2-1) on Saturday at the Barclays Center, in the consolation game of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.
Tip-off is at 7 p.m., and you can watch the game on truTV.
HANGOVER EFFECT? Both teams are coming off tough losses, in different ways, Friday night. Notre Dame fell in overtime to St. Joseph's, 79-70. BYU was blown out by Florida State, 88-70. Notre Dame blew an eight-point lead with four minutes to play in regulation. BYU, on the other hand, trailed by as many as 27 in the second half.
Which team will bounce back better? Notre Dame played the late game Friday night. The first few minutes could reveal a lot.
THE FIGHTING IRISH: Notre Dame opened the season with home wins over Evansville (by nine) and Monmouth (by 27), before the loss to St. Joe's. It was picked to finish third in the Big East this season, behind only Louisville and Syracuse.
Six-foot-9 senior forward Jack Cooley, a preseason first-team All-Big East selection, is averaging 16.3 points and 11.3 rebounds so far for the Fighting Irish. All five starters are back from last year's NCAA tournament squad, plus they've added 6-foot-10 center Garrick Sherman, a transfer from Michigan State averaging 10.7 points per game off the bench. Size, plus experience, should lead to good things this season.
THE COUGARS: BYU beat Tennessee State (by 15) and Georgia State (by 18) at home, prior to the loss to Florida State. It was picked to finish second in the West Coast Conference this season, behind Gonzaga. Last year was its first in the WCC, and BYU went to the NCAA tournament. (Remember that stunning comeback against Iona in Dayton?)
Six-foot-nine senior forward Brandon Davies is averaging 21 points and 7 rebounds per game thus far. But the Cougars' leading scorer is actually 6-foot-5 sophomore guard Tyler Haws, whos's contributing 22.3 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists per contest. Haws missed the past two seasons, while away on a Mormon mission in the Phillipines. It certainly didn't take him long to get re-acclimated.