(MCT) — SOUTH BEND, Ind. — They’ll trudge through snow for an 8 a.m. Tuesday meeting, to be followed by an afternoon session. No one is quite sure what Notre Dame will do at either point. Because the coach, in the locker room, said he didn’t know where to start.
Side effects such as dizziness may occur after losses like a 63-47 bludgeoning by Georgetown on Monday. Two weeks ago, the Irish looked poised for an upper-floor Big East finish. Two weeks later, they look like they walked into an empty elevator shaft, suffering their worst home defeat in almost four years.
At .500 in the league, No. 24 Notre Dame (15-4, 3-3 Big East) is far from hopeless. But it is also far from the team it thought it could be, with losses in three of four games and talk of scratching out an NCAA tournament bid instead of grabbing one by the throat.
“If anything, we all got a little cocky after starting off in the Big East 2-0,” point guard Eric Atkins said. “We need to all come back to earth and say to ourselves we’re not that good right now.”
The effort was historically desolate Monday. The Irish set season lows for points and shooting percentage (34.7 percent). It was Notre Dame’s lowest point total at home since a 32-point effort against UCLA on Jan. 29, 1972.
Georgetown, averaging less than 60 points a game in Big East play, shot 53.3 percent. When threatened in the second half, the Hoyas (13-4, 3-3) went on an 18-0 run that sent the crowd scurrying into the snow drifts.
“It was an eerie feeling to be kind of out of it the last 10 minutes in our own building,” Irish coach Mike Brey said. “It was creepy, it wasn’t pleasant, it was very foreign territory for all of us, fans included. Unless we get our gears going, it could happen again.”
So the rev-up begins before a visit to South Florida on Saturday. Brey said lineup changes are possible. Forward Scott Martin continues to be bothered by a twice-repaired knee and has seven points, total, in his last four games.
Still, it was every bit the “thorough beating” Brey labeled it, and everyone should be on notice.
“I don’t know what it’s been lately, that’s been rocking us like this,” center Jack Cooley said. “We have to come together as a team and work out these problems. We’re just not really good at telling each other what we need to do better. There’s a lot we need to work on.”