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Irish Set To Face Friars

Feb. 23, 2000

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Irish coach Matt Doherty frankly summed up his sentiments about this game in his weekly press conference.

“If we’re looking beyond Providence, we’re stupid,” Doherty said.

He knows that coming off big wins like UConn and Seton Hall that his team is due for a letdown. Doherty wants to prevent that. He knows that Providence is capable of an upset, especially after the Friars knocked off the Hurricanes.

Currently the Friars are second to last in the Big East conference. Although the team is coming off a big win over Miami, 47-45. Providence’s only other conference win came at the start of play in January over Georgetown, 55-48. The team’s record stands at 2-10 in conference play and 9-16 overall.

Erron Maxey leads the Friars. The junior has scored in the double digits in the past ten games. Maxey currently ranks eighth in the conference in scoring, averaging 15.3 points per game. Also he ranks sixth in rebounding, grabbing 7.8 per game.

“This is a team that is going to come in here and compete,” Doherty said of the Friars.

Some Notre Dame fans might hear a familiar name in tonight’s Providence lineup. Freshman Romuald Augustin. Might ring a bell to avid basketball fans. Augustin verbally committed to suit up for the Irish this season. He backed out of his commitment when he found out that none of the coaches who recruited him would be there this year.

Notre Dame has been the talk of the basketball world

“It is ridiculous,” Doherty said of NCAA tournament talk. “You can’t speculate like that because you just don’t know. We have to maintain our focus.”

His team enters Wednesday’s contest riding a two game win streak. Notre Dame knocked off Seton Hall with a last second shot by David Graves. The win kept alive hopes for a NCAA tournament bid.

Currently, the team ranks 43rd in the RPI. The ranking would earn them a spot in March Madness. The speculation now is whether the Irish will be in the South or in the East bracket.