Friday, July 18, 2008

Schedule Shaping up to be Toughest Yet

Irish fans are accustomed to an easy non-conference schedule.  Mike Brey has always loved to stack the non-conference schedule with 'gimmes' against teams who most people have never even heard of.  Even though the full Irish schedule has not been released yet,  information has spread from other teams and the news is very exciting.

As most of you know in early November the Irish are set to play in Maui, and against some very tough opponents.  The opposition includes Alabama, Indiana, North Carolina, Oregon, St. Joe's, and Texas.  A very prestigious group of teams to say the least.  I really hope the Irish get shot at North Carolina.  A Harangody-Hansbrough game would have the media in a frenzy!  Also it would give Luke Zeller a chance to play against his going to be freshmen brother, Tyler Zeller who signed with the Tar Heels.  And with Ben Hansbrough on the bench this year, he will be able to see his brother play against his team.  It would be one big family re-union and one great game.  A Maui Tournament win could almost guarantee a play-off birth for the Irish.

UCLA has just recently announced their full schedule and guess who is in it? Yup, Notre Dame.  On December 2nd, right in the thick of ruthless conference play, the Irish will head on over to the west coast for a game against the Bruins.   The Bruins had an amazing season last year finishing in the top 5 and making it to the Final Four as a 1 seed.  UCLA will have a good chunk off their team back and will be strong once again.  I will be looking forward to this game as well.

Just announced recently, the Irish have been slated for a double-header on December 6th.  The Irish will play Ohio State while Indiana, with new evil coach Tom Crean, will play Gonzaga.  These games are to be played at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. 

I am assuming that these will be the main non-conference contests, but I could be wrong.  Once the Big East figures out the conference game dates and the full schedule is announced we will find out.  

Monday, July 7, 2008

Mike Brey Staying Put at Notre Dame

Mike Brey is showing no signs of leaving the Irish basketball organization anytime soon.  Mike Brey has just signed an extension to his contract that will tack on another two years.  This means that Brey will be with us at least till 2015.  

Brey already has nine years under his belt along the sidelines of Notre Dame and is not planning on leaving.  This is obviously good news for the program.  In his nine seasons Brey has a very impressive 167-86 record and has advanced his team to the post-season every time, including 5 NCAA Tournament Births.  On top of that, in the last two seasons Brey has been named the Big East Coach of the Year.

While some criticize Brey for his poor post-season performances, I am very happy that he is returning.  Although his post-season record is far worse than his overall, I still believe that he is the perfect coach for the team.  I am very confident that the post-season record will improve over time.  And I don't think it is fair to give him all the blame for the mediocre post-seasons the Irish have had. 

I predict that Brey will retire here.  I am sure that Brey will bring more successful seasons to the organization.  This move will be great for the long-term success of the program

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Irish to play Huskies, Red Storm, and Cardinals Twice

While the whole 2008-2009 schedule is not released yet, it is confirmed that the Big East schedule will remain in the same format.  18 games total, in which everyone plays everyone once and 3 teams twice.  

Two Irish-Huskies games has made me excited.  From Connecticut, I am happy I will be able to see the Irish play more than just at the Big East Tourney.  It surprises me too because last year the Huskies were one of the teams the Irish played twice and I didn't expect to see it scheduled the same way again this year.  Nonetheless, I expect two really good games again.

St. John's was not much of a threat last year and they don't seem to have improved drastically this year.  This might turn into too relatively easy wins for the Irish, if there is such a thing in the Big East.  Louisville finished second in the conference last year, tied with the Irish, they will certainly provide two tough games. 

At home the Irish will see Connecticut, Louisville, St. John's. Georgetown, Maurquette, Rutgers, Seton Hall, South Florida and Villanova from the Big East.  Now the streak will have a tough time surviving these teams, but hey, there is no way you are going to get an easy schedule if you are in this conference.

When the full schedule is up, I will post a link.