Three sure things in life: Death, Taxes, and John Mooney recording a double-double. Mooney is one of five college basketball players averaging a double-double, and he’s tied for the national lead with 20 of them. On a mediocre Notre Dame basketball team, Mooney has been the spark plug for the Irish offense. While Notre Dame hasn’t gotten themselves completely sorted out, and they’ll need some help to reach bubble consideration, what chances they have run through Mooney.
Shooting 45% from the field, Mooney has already put the Irish on his back in several games. One game that comes to mind is probably Notre Dame’s best win of the year, when they visited the raucous Carrier Dome to take on Syracuse. At 0-2 in ACC play, the Irish desperately needed a win, and they turned to their star senior forward to get it done. Mooney responded with a 11-21 shooting performance from the field, piling up 28 points and 14 rebounds on the Orange. It is one of three 28-point performances. He’s put up 10 or more points in 23 of 24 games this year, while collecting at least 10 rebounds in 22 games. The consistency with which Mooney performs is remarkable, as no team has proven able to stop him. Notre Dame has taken on two top-10 teams in Louisville and at Florida State, but Mooney scored 16 versus the Seminoles and recorded a double-double against Louisville with a season-high 19 boards.
Mooney does most of his damage in the paint, but he’s made up to three-pointers in multiple contests, proving his ability to help the Irish out from beyond the arc when he needs to. Notre Dame visits Duke tomorrow, and they host Florida State later in the year, not to mention an ACC tournament full of statement-win opportunities. The chances for the Irish to prove their worthiness for at at-large bid are there, and to get there, they’ll need John Mooney to lead their late-season charge. And if the Irish get there, regardless of what seed Notre Dame gets, nobody will want to be opposing this senior in march.