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Irish Insights


Turnover woes

Notre Dame has been plagued by turnovers the last two games.

The Irish, who lead the Big East with a 1.7 assist-to-turnover ratio, have turned the ball over 27 times in their last two games. Notre Dame lost both of those games, falling 90-87 at Seton Hall on Thursday and 69-68 to St. John's at home Sunday.

Notre Dame point guard Tory Jackson committed 11 turnovers in the losses. Jackson was leading the league in assist-to-turnover ratio at one point this season and has slipped to third in the Big East at 2.9.

Guard Ben Hansbrough, who leads the Big East in assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.1, committed five turnovers in the last two games.

"I think playing a little fast. Both teams were able to speed us up a little bit," Irish coach Mike Brey said of the turnovers the last two games during a Tuesday teleconference. "I talked to Tory and Ben, you guys were one and three in the country at one point and one and two in our league in assist to turnover, you guys just got to be better with it. It's going to be in your hands a lot. We ask a lot of you and for almost all of the season you guys have been really good. But God, we just got to be really good with the basketball."

Brey said it will be even more important for Notre Dame (17-9, 6-7 Big East) to limit turnovers when it travels to play Louisville (19-9, 7-5) tonight

The Cardinals are sixth in the Big East in steals, averaging 7.9 per game, and tend to press more at home.

"They are going to pick us up and try to wear us down," Brey said. "They press there; at times we haven't handled the ball well. That's one of the things we have talked about the last two days being better with the basketball. Especially, in the first half of games. Seton Hall and St. John's, we didn't handle the ball well, and that hurt us.

"If you do that in Freedom Hall, we are going to be digging out of a hole the whole evening. That's not just one guy, that's the whole team. Our team has proven they are pretty darn good with the ball, but they haven't been the last two games. We got to be better there."