FORT WAYNE – Notre Dame coach Mike Brey knows what his team needs – a win.
The Irish have struggled in their first season in the Atlantic Coast Conference, despite opening play in their new league on Jan. 4 with a 79-77 win over then-No. 7 Duke.
Notre Dame lost six of its last seven games and is coming off a 68-53 loss to Virginia on Tuesday.
You need one to break your way, Brey said. You need to come into that locker room and feel good about a win to kind of feel good about yourself.
Notre Dame (11-10, 2-6) will try to capture a good feeling when it plays host to Boston College (6-14, 2-5) at noon today.
Like the Irish, the Eagles are struggling, losing seven of their last nine games. But Boston College is coming off a 76-52 win over Virginia Tech on Wednesday.
Brey said he hopes that if the Irish win today it could serve as a catalyst for the team as the first half of ACC play draws to a close.
The history of us here is when you’ve been in these kinds of situations you get one or two and all of the sudden you feel a little better about yourself and one or two can become a little more, Brey said. I know a couple years ago one became nine. I don’t know if we can do that with this personnel. I’m just being flat-out honest with you. But can we pick off a couple and feel better and get more confident that way is the reality of who we are.
Along with searching for a win, today’s game will have a different feeling for Brey as his team faces a former teammate.
Boston College junior guard Alex Dragicevich began his career with Notre Dame. The 6-foot-8, 211-pounder played in 14 games as a freshman, averaging 1.4 points, and as a sophomore played in all 34 games with the Irish, averaging 6.6 points in 20.9 minutes per game.
But he decided to transfer after the 2011-12 season.
Dragicevich, who sat out last season, is averaging 4.6 points and 1.7 rebounds in 17 minutes per game for Boston College.
Alex I think has found a niche out there at BC, Brey said. I know he wasn’t playing much there for a while, but I know he’s played well. He will certainly be ready to play against us.
I have a lot of respect for Alex, because he was a part of a lot of big wins here. He was helpful to us in the years that he was here. I thoroughly understood why he decided to leave, more playing time. The reality is (Irish junior guard Pat) Connaughton started going, and that’s just college athletics.
Brey would like to get one of his current players – Zach Auguste – going more, as the Irish need the sophomore forward more as they wait to see if sophomore forward Austin Burgett can return this year after undergoing a procedure to correct an irregular heartbeat.
Brey said Burgett, who has missed the last two games and won’t play today or Monday against Syracuse, should begin rehabilitation work in the middle of next week.
I love the edge that he plays with, Brey said of Auguste, who averages 6.4 points and 3.7 rebounds. That has been helpful for us. He is back starting again now, given Austin’s situation. I think that certainly has him motivated.