Sunday, November 30, 2008

Irish Easily Defeat Furman, 93-61

After a loss to top-ranked North Carolina, the Irish easily bounced back with a win over Furman.  Luke Harangody did not play due to his health, and he is expected to be back in the lineup in 2-3 weeks.  The win also moves the home court winning streak to 39 games won in a row.  Immediately after the game the team took a picture at half court to recognize the new school record.

K-Mac lead the way with 32 points and he did all with having being elbowed in the second half which lead to five stitches in his upper lip.  Obviously his shooting 'slump' was just 2 off days in a row because he has been on fire since.  This makes McAlarney the first Irish player to score 30 points in back-to-back games since Troy Murphy in 2000.  Ryan Ayers contributed 19 points, a new career high for him. Jackson had 17 points and 8 assists.  He also got 6 boards to do his part to make up for the absence of Harangody.  

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Luke Harangody out with Pneumonia Indefinitely

Mike Brey has said there is no time table for his return, the main concern is his health.  The lucky part for the Irish is that this unfortunate situation is happening during the non-conference season where the games won't be as important and tough.  My last post I was a little tough on Luke's not so stellar performance vs North Carolina, well he played fabulous for having Pneumonia. 

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Maui Day 3: Irish fall to #1 North Carolina, 102-87

If you are not 100% you can't beat North Carolina, and the Irish showed that they were tired.  Notre Dame got outplayed, and after two easy wins for NC they seemed fresher than ever out on the floor.  Whenever you play a team that is the 'best' some players just don't play like they usually do. 

Harangody was one of them.  He didn't look like himself, maybe it was because he was sick before the game but thats not an excuse.  Gody played terrible defense, the North Carolina post players (including Hansbrough who had 34 points) walked all over him.  He also didn't look that confident offensively with the ball.  

Tory Jackson did not seem like himself out there as well.  He commit lots of turn overs that you normally never see from him.  I have never seen anyone strip the ball away from him like NC was able to do.

Kyle McAlarney had a great night however.  He didn't let the pressure or anything get to him.  He hit 10 3s and contributed 39 points for the Irish effort.  He really stepped it up when he needed to. 

Well Maui is all over, the Irish leave with second place which was probably their realistic goal.  Above is a picture of Luke Zeller's parents supporting both his and his brother, Tyler's teams. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Maui Day 2: Irish Edge #7 Texas in a Thriller, 81-80

Before this game, the closest game in this years annual Maui tournament was 18.  This game can right down to the very end however, resulting in a one point win for the Irish.  The game stayed within single digits the whole game and near the 2 minute mark it seemed Notre Dame was going to pull away for the victory once they extended their late lead to 8.  However, late 3s from the Texas team and missed free throws brought the Irish lead to 1 with 4.5 seconds left.  Harangody was fouled instantly and sent to the line.  He missed both, Texas' AJ Abrams grabbed the board and hoisted up the shot from around half court that was on target, but it hit off the front of the rim and gave the Irish the victory.

Harangody did everything he could for the Irish.  He contributed 29 points and 13 rebounds.  He even banked a deep 3 from about 4o feet as the shot clock expired in the second half.  Even though Harangody missed that last two foul shots that could of potentially threw the game away, his effort still propelled the Irish to their impressive win.  A win is a win and the team got it, as Gody said himself after the game, you can't keeping reflecting on the mistakes you made and what you could have done differently.  

Kyle McAlarney also had a stellar night.  He hit five 3s and had a total of 19 points, he was the go to guy for the Irish tonight when they needed a bucket.  Tory Jackson also had another good night with 16 points and 7 assists.  Everyone really played on their A game, which is the main reason why the Irish were able to defeat their fellow top 10 opponent.  

Notre Dame will likely take on North Carolina tomorrow night for the championship.  If Notre Dame wants to take down #1 they will definitely have to play their A game...and then some.  However, look for tomorrows game to be a close hard fought battle with a couple of family rivalries going on.  Luke Zeller's brother, Tyler, is the Tar Heels and Ben Hansbrough's brother, also Tyler, is also on the Tar Heels.  However, Tyler Zeller will not play for the Tar Heels due to injury and Ben Hansbrough will not play for the Irish under transfer rules.  While the family members may not actually play against each other, the competitiveness will still be there.  

Monday, November 24, 2008

Maui Day 1: Irish Destroy In-state Rivals Indiana, 88-50

The Hoosiers are obviously rebuilding and not going to have a year like the ones that they are accustomed to having.  However, you would never know by looking at the fans.  Both teams brought a significant amount of their faithful with them, but even when Indiana was down 30 in the second half, the Hoosier fans kept cheering at every good play their team made.  The atmosphere was really incredible for two teams at a neutral site thousands of miles away from home.

The Irish started early taking a quick lead and never looking back.  Watching the game today you couldn't tell who was the star of the team.  Everyone played so unselfish it was amazing, classic Notre Dame ball.  Jackson, however, did stand out above the rest tonight.  Jackson had a career high 22 points and made lots of smart decisions with the ball.  Luke Zeller also played well picking up his first career double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.  The game was never really close, but it was very satisfying to pound on Tom Crean, the new coach of Indiana (previously the head coach of Marquette).  

The next game for the Irish will be a tough one.  The Irish will take on the 7th ranked Longhorns of Texas in a game that will be one to remember.  The game should be very interesting, seeing how it will be both teams first real test if the season.  The game will be on ESPN tomorrow at 7pm ET.  

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Maui

The Maui Invitational Tournament could be the most competitive ever.  The teams include the host Chaminade (a division 2 program), Saint Joe's, (7)Texas, (8)Notre Dame, Indiana, (1)North Carolina, Alabama, and Oregon.  The tournament should be great and real competitive, here is the full bracket showing the match-ups:

Here are the Notre Dame Basketball blog's predictions for what will happen in the tournament, staying on the winners bracket side.

1st Round Winners:
Texas (by 15)
Notre Dame (by 15)
North Carolina (by 30+)
Oregon (by 10)

2nd Round Winners:
Notre Dame (by 5)
North Carolina (by 15)

North Carolina (by 10)

While we tend to have some what biased (to say the least) predictions when it comes to Notre Dame basketball games, this prediction seems very realistic to us.  North Carolina, if Hansbrough is 100%,  should be able to handle the Irish or Texas in the finals

Notre Dame Wins... Not Easily 65-54

A W is a W but this one might have been too close for comfort.  The 8th ranked Irish had their lead cut down to three late in the second half, however they held on for an 11 point victory at Loyala Marymount. 

Harangody had an impressive game, but not out of the usual with 27 points and 17 rebounds.  Jackson also added 16 points for the Irish.

Now its on to Maui

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Irish Defeat USC Upstate 94-58

The Irish, not surprisingly, destroyed the South Carolina Upstate Spartins tonight.  Harangody contributed 30 points and 14 rebounds, another double-double, to give a Notre Dame an easy win at home.  This moves the current streak to 38, the second highest current home-court winning streak in the nation.  BYU is first.  The win tonight has also tied the Notre Dame's previous longest home-court winning streak.

Harangody wasted no time showing that he has worked on his outside game.  The Irish opened up the second half with Harangody's 4th career three-pointer.  If you remember all 3 of Luke's other 3s were made vs Louisville in one game where Harangody almost single-handedly pulled the team back into the game.  

Luke Zeller scored a career high 18 points, McAlarney added 10 and Zach Hillesland contributed 13 points to the effort.

The season is off to a good start.

Poll Results: Who will contribute most to the Irish next year?

Luke Harangody: 66%
Kyle McAlarney: 26%
Tory Jackson : 4%
Zach Hillesland 2%

It's tough competing against the Big East player of the year.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Sports Illustrated Cover

In their college basketball pre-season poll the Irish come in ranked 6.  The Irish will play their first game on Sunday, it is sure to be a blow-out but will be exciting to watch.  This is one of the few Irish games that won't be nationally televised this season, however for those who wish to watch; go to and under the mens basketball schedule their will be a link to watch the game online for free.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

AP Top 25, Irish to Set to Play Top 5 Teams

The AP has the Irish ranked 9 just as ESPN/USA Today does. The top 5 however is slightly different; 1. North Carolina, 2. UConn, 3. Louisville, 4. UCLA, 5. Pittsburgh. It's for sure that the Irish will play UConn, Louisville, UCLA, and Pittsburgh (the Huskies twice as a matter of fact.) North Carolina is likely. The Irish and North Carolina will both play in the annual Maui Invitational Tournament, I can't imagine either of the teams not making it to the finals.

So just how hard is Notre Dame's schedule? Beside playing the top 5 teams in the country, they will also face another 3 teams in the Top 25 and then compete in the toughest conference there

The full poll:

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Irish Name Captains, Defeat Briar Cliff, 103-64

Kyle McAlarney, Luke Zeller, Ryan Ayers, and Zach Hillesland have been named the captains for the 2008-2009 season and it marks the 5th time in Notre Dame history that the role of captain has been shared by 4 players.  

Notre Dame also played their first exhibition game of the season on Halloween night and easily defeated the Briar Cliff Charger.  All 5 starters scored in double digits, Ayers was on fire the whole night with 21 points, Jackson contributed with a game-high 18 points, Harangody had yet another double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds, and McAlarney and Zeller added 11 and 12 points.  Tim Abromiatis saw good minutes and picked up 8 points and 4 rebounds, and Charleton Scott also had a good night with 6 points and 4 rebounds.