Monday, March 24, 2008

2007-2008 Season Recap.

Despite Notre Dame's early second round exit in the NCAA Tournament, the Irish had an overall successful season.  It looks like the Irish are improving.  Each season it keeps getting better and better and with almost everyone returning, the Irish don't show any signs of stopping the improvement.  

25: A major benchmark happened this year.  The Irish reached 25 total wins.  That is the highest amount of wins for any Irish team under Mike Brey.  A great number and a number that should set a target for next years squad. 

The Streak: After a long hard season filled with tough games and Big East battles the Irish home court win streak is still alive.  The streak now stands at 37 games, only one behind the school record which I guarantee will be broken next year.  The streak is the second longest active streak at the moment behind only BYU.

Irish finish 2nd in Big East: The Irish second place finish is the best in recent years.  An amazing unity among the team, along with great coaching and great playing led the team to prove the preseason Big East polls wrong.

Player of the Year and Coach of the Year: When the Player of the Year and the Coach of the Year for a conference are on the same team, you know the team is good.  Luke Harangody had a terrific season. Already reaching the 1,000 point mark as a sophomore, and leading the Big East in both rebounds and points per game he was the easy choice for the Big East Player of the Year.  And Mike Brey has done it again.  Two years in a row Coach Brey has been named the Big East Coach of the Year.  Leading a team picked to finish 9th in the Big East to a second place finish is simply amazing in such a competitive conference. 

Irish finish with best National Rank since 2004:  The Irish finished the season ranked 14th nationally.  That is the best since the 2004-2005 Sweet Sixteen team.  The Irish were not even recognized in the preseason polls, but were able to work there way up and prove themselves as an elite team in the nation.

Second Tournament birth in 2 years: The second birth for the Irish was achieved through an at large bid.  The Irish entered the tournament as a 5 seed and lost in the second round to the 4 seed Washington State, after beating the Cinderella George Mason first round.  Two years ago the Irish were an NIT team, last year they lost first round, and this year they made it to the second.  Signs of an improvement and hopefully the Irish will keep it up next season. 

1,000: Thankfully for Rob Kurz the Irish made the post-season.  After the regular season the Irish senior had accumulated 999 total points throughout his career. That would have been a terrible number to end your career on.  In the post-season he was able to get over the 1,000 point number and had his name put on a list with very good company. 

Irish join 1600 win club: While there is no official club the Irish have joined in the ranks with some of the greatest programs in the country such as Kentucky, Duke and North Carolina.  The Irish are one of only 12 teams to reach this mark. 

1st in Assists, 5th in 3pt Shooting: I never expected the Irish to finish in 1st place with in the assist category.  The most unselfish team in basketball also ranks 5th in 3pt shooting.  I can see this easier because of all the players who can shoot on the team.  Two great achievements.

I'm sure you could find a lot more little things the Irish have done, but I have pretty much summed up all the major things that made the Irish so successful this year.  A great season that should no way be considered any kind of disappointment. 


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