Ohio will look to improve to 2-0 on the season Friday at The Convo against No. 22 ranked Notre Dame in the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame Classic.
Despite being led by a new coach, the Fighting Irish boast one of the most storied programs in the country. A win for Ohio could set the tone for the rest of nonconference play.
Here’s what you need to know before Friday’s big game.
Opponent:No.22 Notre Dame (0-0)
Place: The Convo (Athens, Ohio)
Time: 12 p.m.
How to watch: ESPN+
Meet the opponent
Head coach: Niele Ivey (First year)
Forward Sam Brunelle (6’2”, sophomore)
Guard Anaya Peoples (5’10”, sophomore)
Guard Katlyn Gilbert (5’10”, junior)
Center Mikayla Vaughn (6’3”, senior)
Guard Dara Mabrey (5’7”, junior)
Forward Madeline Westbeld ( 6’3”, Freshman)
Guard Abby Prohaska (5’10, Junior)
Why the game matters
Notre Dame will be without hall of fame coach Muffet McGraw, but first-year head coach Niele Ivey is no stranger to the standards that Notre Dame is expected to live up to. Ivey played on the Fighting Irish’s National Championship squad in 2001 and was an assistant to McGraw when Notre Dame won the title in 2018.
It’s expected she’ll still coach the values that made Notre Dame a national powerhouse over McGraw’s 33 seasons. Fans in South Bend will have their eyes keen to this game. Ohio will hope to play spoiler to Ivey’s debut as coach.
Ohio has beaten elite programs in the past. Last season, the Bobcats beat Ohio State and Butler. The year before, Ohio defeated Purdue 80-73. But this current group of Bobcats has yet to face a program as storied as Notre Dame.
If Ohio wins, there will be people who criticize the young coach, but there will be others who realize a startling truth: Ohio is one of the best mid-majors in the country.