Saturday, December 19, 2009

84-73 Irish Win

If you had told me that the Irish would win this game 7 weeks ago,  I would have been really excited obviously and would of thought we are gonna do great this year.  Today, however I find myself relieved and asking myself wether or not are we gonna do ok this year.  

UCLA may have taken a nose dive faster than Tiger Woods' respect level but this does not diminish the fact that the Irish were able to win on the big stage, against a big time program and on national television.

This win is nice, but conference play is when we will find out just how good this team really is.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Brey Basketball: Close game endings


This is the start of a new kind of special post devoted to the coaching strategies of Mike Brey.  Note: This article is heavily sarcastic

Today we will focus and take an in-depth look at how Coach Brey handles situations where the game is on the line.  Brey's strategy is very unique and not done by any other sane coach in the country.

When a coach finds himself in a one possession game with only seconds left most call a timeout, not Brey.  Brey prefers to have his team disorganized and frantic at this time, rather than drawing a set play.  The Brey strategy is simple - The ball is passed in to the point guard who runs it down the court and, depending on the score, will either throw up an off balance 40 foot 3 or try to make an insanely difficult off balance running jump shot inside the arc. 

Brey has stuck by his strategy at all times.  When the Irish are down 2 with seconds left, Brey will almost always look to win the game.  Instead of drawing up a play for the best post scorer in the country to get an easy deuce,  Brey prefers for his team to take a wild three point jump shot (usually off the dribble and well beyond the NBA 3 line.)  The ideal play also involves no passing.  The guard with the ball dribbles with a defender tightly guarding him and throws up a shot, then Brey and the rest of the Irish pray for it to go in. 

I know it sounds like a great strategy so lets look at the numbers shall we?

We did some research and here it is:

Games decided by less than 6 points under Coach Mike Brey.
Wins decided by less than 6 points: 19  (31%)
Losses decided by less than 6 points: 41  (69%)

Now I realize you can't win every close game or even a big majority.  But usually a Coach of a prestigious basketball program goes at least .500 in this category.  19-41 is not even close to .500.  I am not comfortable knowing that if its a close, we have a 70% chance of losing.

Games decided by Overtime under Coach Mike Brey
Wins decided in overtime: 2 (25%)
Losses decided in overtime: 6 (75%)

Time for a reform in the way we handle ourselves during a close game? Brey doesn't think so.




Sunday, December 6, 2009

Irish win 90-72

Abro

Abro

Abro

Why has Tim not played before this season.  Why? It is a simple question isn't it?  

He scored 31 points.  In a variety of ways too.  Hit 3s, scored in the post, made free throws, and hit some mid range shots.  Amazing performance and he started.

But heres the problem.  He started over the wrong player.  He started over Ty Nash instead of Jonathan Peoples.  JP is not good.  I'm sorry, he just is not good.  Let's compare Ty Nash and JP on this very day.

Nash: 23 minutes, 7 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 turnover

Peoples: 20 minutes, 0 points, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 1 turnover
-So lets say the turnover cancels out the assist...all he contributed was one defensive rebound in a full half of basketball.  Why is he starting?

That being said because of Tory Jacksons injury, peoples will be in the starting line-up next game.  However, despite that awful side effect, this injury could work out not that bad for the Irish.  Tory will be back in time for UCLA for sure (according to Mike Brey), and it could open up a spot for a freshmen to get some time in the next game.  I know that is unprecedented I do, but how amazing would it be for a FRESHMEN to get playing time?  Brey never trusts freshmen it seems but he could be forced to play one next game.  

Back to the good. Gody scored the usual 29 points.  Him and Tim led the way to an easy win.  Lets keep the momentum going, eh?

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Not the End of the World

South Bend?
Panic seams to have struck over ND land and people are nervous.  Sure this loss to Northwestern was not a good one,  but it is far too early to write the Irish off all ready.

Have you forgotten that we are a top 25 ranked team at the moment? Have you forgotten that we have the sure to be national player of the year on our team?  Have you forgotten we have the luck of the Irish?

It's WAY too early to start predicting what our Big East record will be. We had a bad game, lets wait a little longer before we raise the white flag.  It's not the end of the world, and our chances of having a successful season are unchanged.  

The people who are saying it's over now are just as bad as the people who are going to declare that we will be national champions if we beat UCLA in a few weeks.

It's too early.  

Northwestern Owns Irish 72, 58

They outplayed us it was pretty easy to see that.  But secondly, when is the last time that a Notre Dame basketball team put up 58 points?  We usually lose cause we can't play D not cause we can't score.  I mean we shot 32% from the field?  Whats going on? Is the world ending in 2012?  

Gody had 21 points and led the team.  Tyler Hansbrough's brother Ben couldn't hit the side of a barn if he tried.  1-10 from the field, and 0-7 from 3 point land.

The worst part was the Irish came back after being down 12 to cut the lead to 58-56 with 2:18 on the clock.  Then we let them end the game with a 14-2 to run, not good.

This game was not a good sign.  At the first glimpse of a not horrible team, we lose by 12.  Lets rebound off this game.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

23 ranked Irish Win Again


Keenesaw that coming.  The Irish played another cupcake and won.  No real story here except that the Irish face the first opponent that poses any threat on Friday night, the Northwestern Wildcats.  

The Irish made their way to the top 25.  Well they made there because other teams lost, not cause they beat any worthy opponents but oh well.  Lets keep on keeping on and win friday night.

The Irish are ranked 23 in the latest AP Top 25 poll.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Irish extinguish the Flames, win 91-71

Harangody dumped 32 points on Liberty as the Irish rolled past the Flames.  Nash and once again  Abro, who is the player of the week for the second straight time, scored 12 as the only other double digit scorers.

Tyler's brother did ok. Ben hit a key 3 in the first half but just finished with 6 points.

The Irish win round 1 of the Chicago Invitational Tournament and will play Tuesday against another horribly touch opponent, the Keenesaw State Owls.  The game is once again at the Joyce Center.

Let's keep rolling huh.



Thursday, November 19, 2009

49ers lose to the mighty Irish 82, 62


Mike Brey warned us this game would be tough.  He said they were Big East caliber, he said we needed a giant crowd and he was absolutely wrong.  The Long Beach State will be heading on a Long trip back to their Beach State with defeat in there eyes and disappointment on their faces.   

Gody had a typical game for him, 29 points and 12 rebounds.  I mean he has been doing it since sophomore year, he averages a double-double its crazzy.

Tyler Hanbrough's brother, Ben and Abro added 11. 

Easy win for the Irish.  3-0.

Next game: Joyce Center.  Liberty.  7pm.  

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

POLL: Who will win the Big East this year?


It promises to be a tight race to be crowned Big East king once again this year.  It is early to project anything accurate, but on the left we put the best 6 teams in the Big East (according to the AP Top 25).  

Vote today.  And Vote for ND. 

Monday, November 16, 2009

Red Flash Flashed By Irish, 95-72


That title may not make sense but the Irish did win.  A victory that even your average Detroit high school drop out of predicted came in a game that was closer than the experts predicted.  The Flashers hung around for a while before succumbing to the great Irish might.  

Gody had his usual.  27 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks.  An average day in the life of the pre-season player of the year.  He did hit a few threes which is always fun to watch.  If I had to teach proper form to kid learning to shoot I would show him Gody's shot and say now do the opposite.  His shot is so ugly and yet so misleading,  when people hear about him at first then they see the way he shoots they say "Are you kidding?,  our nations best college basketball player shoots like a some kind deformed monster?"  Yet the more they watch the more they understand, he may shoot like a deformed monster but he makes everything.  

Tyler Hansbrough's brother Ben is the new McAlarney.  So far that is.  He has only missed two 3s so far as a player for the Irish, lets hope he can keep it going.  He scored 18 points tonight and also had 9 assists.  

Abro had a great game as well.  He is hitting 3s like he was born too.  17 points for him, a very good showing.  

The highlight of the game came when Jonathan Peoples couldn't jump high enough to dunk and ended up falling while missing an off balance dunk attempt/lay up.  I laughed pretty hard.  JP has always gotten a bad rep around here, but he did have a decent game besides that one hilarious blunder. 

Irish improve to 2-0 and will play Long Beach State next!  Another barn burner for sure.  Mike Brey however said the crowd needs to be in "Big East mode" for the game.  He was obviously upset with the poor showing for the crowd today.  Go to the game and see the new stadium why don't you?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Freshmen Jack Cooley VS Gody





Who is who?  I can't tell.  Hope Jack plays as similar to Luke as he looks...

Even the numbers 44 and 45? 

Well anyway, the Irish will play the dreaded Saint Francis (PA) Red Flash tomorrow.  If not in the local area you can watch online here

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A New Day, A New Hope, Irish win 86-65




A new court (kind of), a new team (mostly), and a new season are finally here.  The 2009 season opened up today with a win over North Florida.  The expected win had a few bright spots that show us new hope for the future.

Ben Hansbrough can shoot.  Yes he can, he went 5-5 from 3 point land and added 3 assists in the Irish win.  So far he is fitting into McAlarney's role nicely. 

We can win without Gody dominating.  Harangody scored 19 points but only went 5 for 13 from the field.  When our big guy isn't dominating it's nice to know that we can still easily defeat an inferior opponent.   

JP, Abro, Jackson, and Ty Nash all had good games.  Tim Abromaitis, who played an
average of zero minutes before today had a great game. Abro came off the bench and put 
up 13 points. JP has reached as good as he will get (not good), but hey he scored 11 and
had 3 assists.

But we are in it for the long haul, while this meaningless victory is important (ha), this
season is just starting. There is no expectations, lets go prove the world wrong.

The season is here, lets see what us underdogs can do.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Low Expectations a Good Thing

3 Years Ago: Picked to finish 11th in the Big East, finished in 4th

2 Years Ago: Picked to finish in 9th, finished in 2nd

Last Year: Picked to finish in 4th, finished in 10t

We finish the opposite of what is predicted.  I welcome the low expectations for this years squad with open arms.

The loss of Scott Martin will hurt a lot.  But this is an underdog team, there is no question about it.  The thought of that makes this season so much more exciting.  

Saturday, October 3, 2009

OFF TOPIC: Tampa Bay Rays


The Rays seem to be going as strong as ever, well at least my favorite Ray fan (and his wife) seem to be going as strong as ever.  Another interesting sign was held up by the Ray's hometown hero last night and it read "Big Gun."  Sure it isn't as weird as such past signs like "Holy Cow" or as confusing as "A-Froid" but it was the context this one was used in.  This one was director to Rays superstar, BJ Upton.  BJ "Big Gun" Upton raised his average to the prestigious .243 mark and passed the glorious mark of 50 RBIs the other day by hitting for the cycle.  The Rays are calling this a historic moment.  Really?  Just last year you were the AL Champs and you already are going back to being this pathetic?  


Monday, September 21, 2009

Back to the Cupcakes


Aside from the classic against UCLA,  Coach Brey has done his best yet again to ensure the Irish have the worst competition available to get them ready for the Big East.  I love Coach Brey,  unlike many Irish fans who criticize his every mover, but this is something I have always disagreed with him upon.  Every year, except for last season, the Irish have played some of the easiest teams D-1 ball has to offer and this year will be no exception.  

So get ready for thrillers against the great Idaho State Bengels and the always formidable Long Beach State 49ers!  And who could forget the Saint Francis (PA) Red Flash?  

However, depending how good this relatively new, unknown, mysterious Irish team is, the games against Bucknell and Northwestern could serve as some form of competition.  Still, anything more than 2 loses in non-conference play should be unacceptable.  

Friday, July 31, 2009

OFF Topic: Tampa Bay Rays



It's that time a year again.  If any you remember this article, then I am sure you will understand this one.  I always have respect for people who are die-hard fans of a consistently awful team.  At the same time though, I think it makes people a little crazy.  I mean holding up signs that say Holy Cow! and Awesome doesn't exactly scream your typical fan.   Now from the same fan I caught a glimpse of another sign:  A Froid.  It looks to me like an interesting combination of A-Fraud and A-Roid.  I don't know how it makes any sense to combine the two, but then again who cares?  We're the Ray fans, we're just gonna sit here and ring our cow bells!  Yeah, we're from Florida and our team is called the Rays,  but who doesn't like the sound of cow bells? Come on.  

Ahh, I love the Rays. 

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Big East Schedule

The teams the Irish play have been announced for next years conference play.  The teams in italics are teams that the Irish play twice.

HomeCincinnatiConnecticut, DePaul, Pittsburgh, Providence, St. John's, USF, Syracuse, West Virginia
AwayCincinnatiConnecticut, Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette, Rutgers, Seton Hall,USF, Villanova

What I find interesting is the fact that this will be the third straight year in which the Irish will play UConn twice.  UConn is a tough team, but I am not going to complain since I live in Connecticut.  Every chance to see the Irish play in person I take.  In the last 10 games against the Huskies, the Irish are just 3-7,  but I welcome the challenge. 

Saturday, June 20, 2009

If You Didn't Hear...

Luke Harangody is returning for his senior season.  He has to chosen to be a star at Notre Dame instead of the the uncertain possibility of being drafted to the NBA.  He made the right decision.  And with this decision, the Irish will have a better shot at being successful.

Heres to Luke and a successful 09-10 season.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Luke Harangody Update

As far as being a late first round pick?  You can get rid of that idea.  The latest mock drafts have Gody going in the late second round or not at all.  I guess it's a little good news and bad news at the same time.  

I would love to have Gody back, but I do want to see him succeed. 

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Why Luke Should Stay





































I don't believe in any of this "testing the NBA waters" phrase people keep throwing out.  Luke Harangody has this determination about him which tells me that since he declared for the draft he intends to be drafted.  I just strongly think he shouldn't.

First of all, Luke is no fool.  He must realize that he can't get much (if any)more dominant than he already is right now.  He gets double-double game after game in the toughest conference in the country.  So you make ask yourself, why is he predicted to only be a second or late first round pick?  It's simple, height and athleticism.  I am sure Luke knows this too.  The only thing that is stopping him from being the number 1 pick are things he can't control.  It must be real frustrating.  So why risk another year where you are going to get banged up even more if it won't help you improve your resume to the NBA?  I think people are over looking simple reasons.

This is Luke's last chance to be a star.  He won't be a star in the NBA.  Next year is potentially the best basketball year of his life.  You know you could leave now, but why when there is so much left you can accomplish on the college level.  Especially when your team's last season was such a failure considering the expectations.  I know I wouldn't want to leave my legacy as being that great player that couldn't take is team anywhere.

Look at Tyler Hansbrough.  He is very similar to Harangody.  They both lack athleticism.  They both are respected star-players in college, but will likely only be role players in the NBA.  Tyler decided to come back for his senior season and he won an NCAA Championship, the only thing missing from his college career.  Now let's be serious, the Irish are long shots to win a championship next year but still,  wouldn't be nice to accomplish something?  Harangody was been part of some very talented Irish teams in the last 3 years, 2 NCAA bids and an NIT bid.  However, nothing was accomplished.  No Big East regular season or championship titles.  Nothing past the second round of the NCAA.  No NIT championship.  How great would it feel for Gody to be able to have something big where he can say, I was part of that team.  

Whatever Luke chooses, I will be happy for him.  I just don't think he should waste his last chance to accomplish something big.   

Friday, April 17, 2009

Luke Harangody Declares Eligibility for NBA Draft

"I think at the beginning of last year, you know, when the coach talked about it, my parents came up here.  It never really hit me until then.  People start saying things and you start to wonder, yes, maybe I do have a future in the NBA.  You know, I never thought I could play at Notre Dame.  You know, it's a long transition to male.  You know, it's exciting stuff." - Luke Harangody

Harangody does not plan on hiring an agent.  This means he can pull his name from the draft and return to school before the June 15 deadline.  Ultimately, I believe Gody should and will wait till next year.  He is not projected as a first round pick at the moment and he can still get so much done with Notre Dame.  Because let's face it, next year is Gody's last chance to be the star.  Wherever, Luke goes after college he won't be a star.  Next year he has a chance to make something special happen.  Tyler Hansbrough is the perfect example of that. 



Saturday, April 11, 2009

Projected Top 25

Here is what we think should be the Top 25 next year.  It didn't take hours to come up with this so don't panic if your team is not included.

1. Kansas

2. Syracuse

3. Michigan State

4. Texas

5. Villanova

6. West Virginia

7. Purdue

8. North Carolina

9. Duke

10. Tennessee

11. Xavier

12. Butler

13. Washington

14. Clemson

15. Gonzaga

16. Louisville

17. Pittsburgh

18. Michigan

19. California

20. Connecticut

21. Texas A&M 

22. Boston College

23. Missouri

24. Notre Dame

25. Illnois

Also considered:  Marquette, Dayton, Miss St, Oklahoma, Georgetown, Kentucky. 



Wednesday, April 1, 2009

2009-2010: The Team


2008-2009: The Team 

This season sucked.  That puts it pretty clear and straight forward.  In order for the Irish to improve, their attitude needs to change.  The Irish basketball programming has been improving, but at the same time is struggling to get to that next level.  Everyone settles for mediocrity.  Win a few tough games, compete and make it "interesting."  Fine, you tried. You did your job.  Make the NCAA Tournament, great!  Lose first or second round, it's fine.  At least you made it.  That's the attitude the whole program seems to have now.  It needs to change if ND ever wants to be a good, consistent program. 

I don't know if the people in charge need to change in order for the attitudes to change.  That could very well be the answer to put an end to this mediocrity. Maybe we need a new coach or coaching staff, or maybe just different recruits.  I don't know how, but the attitude of this team needs to improve.

That being said here is our projected starting line-up for next year:

PG: Tory Jackson
SG: Ben Hansbrough 
SF: Scott Martin
PF: Tyrone Nash
C: Luke Harangody

I personally think this line-up is better than the current one. 

PG:  Tory Jackson will need to improve his decision making skills.  Too often this season did he dribble into traffic and turn it over.  Also I found him take a fading a way jumper instead of looking for Luke or Kyle.  Without McAlarney Jackson will be on the only true point guard on the team.

SG: Kyle McAlarney and his deadly shot will be missed.  But if you had to have someone replace him then Ben Hansbrough wouldn't be a bad pick. For Miss State he averaged 11 points per game, and he has a nice shot from 3 point land.  He should do well.  Jonathan People's will once again be the 6th man off the bench at this position. 

SF: Scott Martin will be better than both Ryan Ayers and Zach Hillesland.  Another transfer, he scored 9 points per game with Purdue as a freshmen.  He rebounds and plays defense well. Something ND needs.  Also has a nice 3 point shot.  

PF: The addition of Tyrone Nash into the mix this year should have been done earlier.  It might have saved the year for the Irish if he had.  He provides intensity that others players don't on ND.  He hustles for every lose ball, he is one of the only players on the team that looks like they are giving 110%.  

C:  Nothing to say about Gody.  He had an even better season this year than last.  He just needs to work on his post defense and his stamina.  He did not look nearly as fresh during the BET as he did during  non-conference play.  I think he will be more effective if the team performs better next year.  Too many times it felt like he was trying to carry the team himself when the game was getting out of reach. 

The bench should be fairly deeper next year. That of course depends on Mike Brey's decisions, hopefully this season proves we need to go deeper than a weak 7 man rotation.  Playing only 6 people quality minutes in the Big East just won't get it done.

Charleton Scott will play next year.  He is long and plays great defense, and can score in both the post and on the perimeter.  Jonathan Peoples will also probably continue his bench player roll, even as a senior.  He plays pretty good D and has developed into a decent shooter.  We will need him to improve for next season.  Tim Abromaitis will also return as a junior who still has not played any quality minutes.  I don't think he ever will.  

There are 4 recruits coming to town as well.  Who knows who or how many will play.  

The recruits are Jack Cooley, Mike Broghammer, Joey Brooks, and Thomas Knight.  Cooley may just be Harangody's twin.  They look very much alike, and hopefully they will play alike.  Broghammer, Cooley and Knight are all big men.  Brooks will add more depth to the front court. You can see all the recruits here. 


2008-2009 Season Recap.



The 2007-2008 Season Recap.

Not a good season at all.  The expectations were over the roof for this team and they didn't even come close to living up to them.  Some of the expectations may have been a little unfair, but still, the Irish underperformed to the utmost.  A team that starts its season in the AP and ESPN Top 10 polls and then goes on to not even make the NIT is more than just a little bit disappointing.  

The season started on a promising note.  With victories over two cup cakes we went to Maui and took down a rebuilding Indiana team and won in a thriller against top 10 Texas.  The Irish then went on to play UNC and we put a decent fight. This was the high point of the season and after this things only got worse.  The team then went on to lose to Ohio State, the only other competitive team in the non-conference schedule.  The Irish entered Big East Play with only two loses.

The Big East did start off well despite a second game loss to the awful St. John's squad.  (this game really hurt in the long run.)   But wins against Seton Hall, DePaul and at the time a top 5 Georgetown team the season was still looking promising.  Georgetown collapsed right around the same time we did and also ended up in the NIT.  Then came "the stretch."  This stretch included 7 games.  6 ranked opponents and only 2 home games.  Clearly this was made for TV purposes as the Irish were one of the most nationally televised teams of the year.  The Irish dropped all 7 of them.  We went from a projected 3 seed in the tournament to almost off the NCAA bubble.  We went an entire month without winning.

However, the team showed strength when Louisville came back into town.  The Irish facing their 7 ranked opponent in 8 games and with their confidence at a low somehow managed to not only beat the future Big East champions and #1 overall seed, but destroy them.  The Irish won 90-57 and life was back.  The Irish then beat South Florida but then lost two must win games against West Virginia and Villanova.

No miracle run happened in the BET so the Irish were sent to the NIT.  We performed good and won some quality games, but fell short against Penn State in the semi-finals.  

The attitude of the team needs to change in order to get better.







Saturday, March 28, 2009

New Poll

Everyone should check out the new poll.  This seems to be on the mind every Irish fan right now.  What is better? Loss first round of NCAA or winning NIT.  

It's a tough question and everyone has different opinions about it.  Regardless of what you think of the question, I still think we need to win the NIT to keep any pride at all.  Penn State is a team with a lot of quality wins and they should pose a real challenge.  The key for the Irish will be their defense.  If the Irish can rebound and play strong D, then we should advance.  However, that is easier said then done since our atrocious defense is the reason we are playing in the NIT in the first place.

Go Irish.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

On to the Final Four

Notre Dame will advance to the NIT Final Four after the last victory in the Joyce Center over Kentucky.

Let's bring home the title.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Irish Advance over New Mexico


Notre Dame: 70 
New Mexico: 68

Tory Jackson was the hero.  After blowing an early sizable lead it looked as though the season was about to end.  However after battling back,  the Irish tied it up and Tory Jackson made an under hand jumper to win the game by 2.  

Jackson had 16 points.

Gody had 26 points and 11 rebounds.

The Irish will play the winner of Kentucky and Creighton.  The game will be at the Joyce Center if it is against Kentucky and at Creighton if Creighton wins.  Let's hope we get one more at home. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Irish Advance

#2 Notre Dame: 68
#7 UAB: 62

Well we didn't pack the Joyce Center, our crowd was embarrassing compared to the one in South Carolina for the Davidson game.  Oh well, imagine if it wasn't St. Patrick's Day.  

A pretty lame effort was enough for the Irish to advance.  Hopefully, they pick up the intensity for the next game. 

Let's Pack the Joyce Center





Here's one thing to cheer about, it's St. Patrick's day and the Irish are in town.  Who cares if is its the NIT.  This might be your last chance to see our 4 seniors who really helped out in the recent success the program has had (wether you include this season or not).   

Show some pride, the team deserves to be sent off with a packed house. 

Sunday, March 15, 2009

NIT

The Irish have been chosen as a 2 seed in the NIT.  Hooray.

Let's make the most of it though, go out and win the whole NIT and bring a banner to the Joyce Center.

The Irish will play the 7 seeded UAB Blazers first round.  A pretty tough match-up.  

The full bracket can be seen here.

It won't be the last game at the Joyce Center after all.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Selection Monday? What a Joke

Selection Monday is the women's version of the selection show where the 65 team field is picked for the NCAA Tournament.  I just saw a commercial for Selection Monday on ESPN and it said, "Tune in for complete coverage and a complete analysis of the bracket."  Living in Connecticut, I know just how ridiculous this is.  

C'mon lets be serious, who can even come close to beating Connecticut?  They beat #2 NC by 30, #4 Oklahoma by 30, and won the Big East Championship to #5 Louisville by 45.  There closest game this season was a 10 point win over our Lady Irish.  Connecticut is 33-0 and I promise they will finish 39-0.  

It does not matter who the other 64 teams in the tournament are, UConn is going to win no matter what.  That's my complete analysis. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Irish fall to WVU

(7) West Virginia: 71
(10) Notre Dame: 60

After the first half I thought this was going to be an all out negative post, but the Irish played with such heart in the second half that I just can't do it.  They played terrible in the first half, ok that's all I am going to say.

Being rebounded was the key, but I applaud the effort.  McAlarney and Gody did their best to get a win. 

If we had started better we would have won.

A lot of people have been criticizing Mike Brey lately.  This season was disappointing, but I still don't blame only him.  I have always been a Brey defender, however,  I admit after the first half I was fed up with him.  Zone? Really?  WV shot 3s un-contested all day, and they were just settling for those.  They could have gotten easy lay-ups every time if they really wanted.  In the second half Mike Brey redeemed himself.  He got a technical that I could watch over and over again.  It fired the team up and got them back into the game. 

If we have another bad season next year, I would think Brey needs to be reconsidered as the head coach.  Until then, he should be here to stay. 

Kyle McAlarney will obviously be missed.  It hurt me a little to see him with tears in his eyes and so disappointed after the game.  Everyone appreciates what he has done for this program.  

It's on to the NIT.  

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Irish Win First Round Game


(10) Notre Dame: 61
(15) Rutgers: 50

Rutgers gave us a run for our money, but the better team prevailed in a hard fought battle.  Notre Dame's victory became the first non-upset of this years Big East Championship and was a major sigh of relief.  With Cincinnati's and Georgetown's thin bubbles bursting earlier today, the Irish now need to most likely win two more games to be considered for a tournament spot.  The team is acting very confident, their goal is 5 games not 3.  

Kyle McAlarney and Ryan Ayers both hit their 3-point attempts today finishing with 11 and 10 points respectively.  Zach Hillesland also showed to a threat on offense early in the game, which I believe was big.  Proving he could score early made his defender have to guard him instead of just looking to help on Gody.  He finished with 6.  Tyrone Nash got his usual hustle plays as well as contributing 9 points.  A good game for him.

Gody struggled all game.  He only finished with 7 points on 3-17 shooting.  His lack-luster performance did earn him a lot of rest though.  We will obviously need him going forward in the tournament.  

Moving on to West Virginia.  The Irish lost to WV on the road in their only game to them this season.  The loss was not bad and on a neutral court it should be much closer.  I can hardly wait till next game.

BET: Day 1

SESSION 1: SESSION 2:
(16) DePaul 67  (10) Notre Dame 61
(9) Cincinnati 57 (15) Rutgers 51

(13) St. John's 64 (11) Seton Hall 68
(12) Georgetown 59 (14) USF 54

With the first session of the Big East Tournament done, both of the underdogs won upset victories.  It kind of makes me scared for the Irish game tonight.  These losses eliminate Cincinnati and Georgetown for an NCAA bid, both teams fates are now sealed to the NIT.  This means unless the Irish can make a miracle run in the tournament or unless Providence can get a few wins, the Big East will only have 7 bids in the tournament.

Providence may only have to win one game to get in, but since there next game is against DePaul, it may not be good enough.  These upset wins need to open the minds of the Irish and tell them to go get a win.  Two big competitors for a last chance NCAA bid are off the board which should provide motivation for the team.  

But like I said above,  these upsets do scare me.  Especially since Notre Dame does not exactly have a stellar Big East Tournament record.  So go play hard and get a win.


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Big East Tournament


After a very long season the BET has finally come.  The Irish are in no means where they wanted to be at the start of the season, but regardless here is the 2009 Big East Tournament Bracket

Thursday, March 5, 2009

It's Time to Start Believing

For the Irish now is time to start believing.  The Irish struggled for a variety of reasons,  but that is done.  It's in the past and there is nothing anyone can do to change the disappointing year we have experienced.  The Irish need to accept what happened and move on.  

With the last loss to Nova,  the Irish have fallen off the map.  ESPN and everyone else has forgotten about the Irish, they are not included in any bubble talk at all.  Everyone is just expecting the team to fade away, but this thing isn't over yet.  You know, I heard a comparison today that really made me think;  the possibility of Kyle McAlarney carrying the Irish to the Big East Championship like Gerry McNamara did for the Orange.  Similar positions, similar roles on their teams and even similar last names.  If the Irish can win the BET or even make a significant 4 game run they will make the NCAA Tournament.

What I am saying is it's not too late if we keep fighting.  And their is not one reason for the Irish not to keep fighting.  It can be done.  All we need is to believe, play strong, and hope for a little luck for once.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Irish fall to Nova


#11 Villanova- 77
Notre Dame- 60

Any realistic chance of making the NCAA Tournament is lost, the Irish have officially fallen off the cliff.  This loss was the final nail in the coffin and it really is too bad.  I really feel for the seniors on the team,  you could tell they wanted it bad.  The only bright spot of the night was Ryan Ayers.  He had 25 points and I am sure everyone appreciated his single handed effort to get a win.  

There is no denying that this was a disappointing season,  because not even the critics at the start of the season thought it would be this bad.  The Irish started in the AP poll at #7 and were looking at a probable 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament.  Now, only months later,  the Irish are only 4 games over .500 and pending a miracle, the Irish will not make the tournament.  It's sad when you think about.  I think it really is simple why, the Irish were not successful.  One, the Irish were slightly over-rated from the start and two, the Irish simple underperformed.  There are 3 games the Irish should have ABSOLUTELY won.  St. John's,  Ohio State, and Cinncinati.  With those wins the Irish would of looked like; 19-9 overall and 9-8 in the Big East.  They would be in.

Now I said there are nor realistic chances for ND to make the tournament, but here are some unrealistic chances:

1.  Win the Big East Tournament, haha.

2. Beat St. John's and win 4 games in the tournament in 4 days. 

3. Beat St. Jonh's and win 3 games in the tournament and be a huge bubble team

If anything worse than scenario 3 happens, don't look for the Irish on Selection Sunday.  Scenario 3 isn't really that unbelievable when you think about it, but it would be very difficult and could also very well not be enough.

However, I still expect the Irish to play with heart going forward.  Their is nothing left to lose so it would be crazy to not have winning the Big East Tournament as your goal right now.  Just leave it all on the court, that's all you can do.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Last Stand

Think of making the tournament as trying not to fall off a cliff.  Every game you lose would be a step towards the cliff and every game you win you don't step back.   The Irish are right on the edge of the cliff, the slightest move backwards and it's over.  The Irish need to win 4 in a row starting now to make it in, it can be done.

Before I go talking about that however, we need a win tonight.  Because tonight is our last chance. 


Saturday, February 28, 2009

Irish fall at UConn

#2 UConn: 72
Notre Dame: 65

The Irish fought the entire game with heart and put forth everything they had.  That's all you can ask for, especially against the number 1 team in the country on the road.  Everyone out their hustled and rebounded.  You could tell the Irish really wanted this one.

In order to make the NCAA Tournament the Irish will need to win out, meaning a victory over ranked opponent Villanova.  Depending on who you ask, the Irish will either be in the NCAA tournament if they win out or on the bubble.  The selection committee needs to recognize that the Irish are now playing their best ball and that they gave the best team in the nation a run for their money on the road.  

Let's beat Nova.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Irish Comeback to Defeat Ruters


Notre Dame:  70
Rutgers:  65

Hope is still alive.  Notre Dame was down by double digits in the first half, but battled back to win a game that everyone considered a must-win for the team.  Mike Brey really motivated the team as well as the crowd to help get the victory.  I have never seen him so animated, you can tell he still wants this just as much as anyone.  The win for the Irish moves them to 16-11 overall and 7-8 in the Big East. Again, the win also keeps NCAA hopes alive.  

Harangody contributed 20 points and 15 rebounds, a typical game for the big guy.  Tory Jackson had 18 points with 4 assists, he really turned it on in the second half.  He was a big reason the Irish were able to comeback and win.  McAlarney also did his best and added 13 points.  Tyrone Nash also had a great game, getting big rebounds and put backs when the Irish looked like they had no answer to Rutgers.  Just work on the free throws. 

Rutger's freshmen Mike Rosario is going to be good, he contributed 20 points to his team's effort and will big a key guy for them over the next few seasons.

This win moves attention to Saturday, which is not a must win game for the Irish, but it is very important.  Most analysts are saying that the Irish need to win 2 out of their last 3 to be in tournament contention.  St. John's is a must win and that leaves UConn and Villanova left.  One of those games has to be won.  The Irish will obviously, fair better against Nova at home than the new #1 team in the nation on a hostile court,  but upsetting UConn would almost guarantee the Irish a spot in the tourney and take off the load of pressure that the Irish have on their shoulders. 

Saturday needs to be a fight and as Mike Brey would say, it needs to be interesting.  The Irish were counted out just a few weeks ago, now is not the time to backdown.   

Monday, February 23, 2009

Irish to Face Rutgers in a Must-Win Game


With their backs against the wall the Irish have performed well so far, now they face another test against the Scarlet Knights.  This is one of the easier games that the team has left but by no means is it a gimme.  Every game is a battle in the Big East and all effort needs to be focused on the game at hand.

I am tired of hearing fans talk about we need to win this many games or have this many loses.   The fact of the matter is that the Irish are back in the tournament discussion and are even predicted to get in today at a 10 seed at ESPN.com.  What needs to be done is for the team to focus all their attention and effort against the current opponent.  Forget about the upcoming games and just focus and win the one at hand.

Rutgers has only won 1 Big East game this year and have a record of 10-17.  Their officially a "spoiler" team right now.  They will go all out and do their best to try to ruin any bubble teams chances.  Any team that loses to them now and is on the bubble likely won't make the tournament.   This is why teams like Rutgers, USF, DePaul, and St. John's are very dangerous at this point,  they catch you off guard while your thinking about the next game.
Get a win tomorrow.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Notre Dame defeats Providence

Notre Dame: 103
Providence: 84

Harangody had 18 points and 8 rebounds, he failed to get his 20th double-double of the year.  However, the real story is Ryan Ayers with 28, McAlarney 25 and Nash Peoples combined to contribute 21 bench points.  

This was a must win again and the Irish again won it with their backs against the wall.  The Irish are now 15-11 and 6-8 in the Big East.  Next game vs Rutgers is another must-win.

Friday, February 20, 2009

At Providence

NCAA hopes lie on the line. Do or die.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Look at the Big East Standings

Notre Dame is a similar position to upcoming opponent, West Virginia.  In order to win, the Irish will need to play their best ball.  The Irish have not proved they can win on the road yet, and now is the time to prove it.   West Virginia is very important, almost a must win situation.

Now a lot of people have been citing the fact that Notre Dame is dominant in the series vs the two teams, which is why they will win.  Just because the Irish have won 13 of the last 14 games against the Mountaineers does not make the next game any different.  

Monday, February 16, 2009

Irish handle South Florida

Notre Dame:     67
South Florida:  57

The game was a must-win and the Irish won it.  That's all that counts because the game was not that pretty,  The Irish had a terrible shooting performance,  but played strong defense and forced the Bulls to take contested shots.  The good thing about the game is that the Irish were able to beat an inferior team without playing good offense,  the bad thing is that if the Irish play like that vs West Virginia then they won't win.

Luke Harangody and Kyle McAlarney both had 19 points to carry the team.  However, in my opinion the story of the game was Tyrone Nash.  He had a career high 8 points and played very good defense and rebounded well.  Whenever the ball is loose it looks like he is the only player on Notre Dame that will do anything to get it and I think someone like that is what the team was missing over the 7 game losing streak.  

With the win the Irish improve to 14-10 and 5-7.  In order to gain a sure spot in the tournament I believe the Irish need to go 5-1 the rest of the way.  4-2 could do it, but it is real risky.  The Irish should consider West Virginia a must win on Wednesday and they need to come prepared to win.  WV is a hostile court to play on, but if the Irish come out like they did against Louisville, they can win it.  


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Today's Game is a Must-win

Despite, the win over Louisville on Thrursday, the Irish still remain on the outside of the bubble looking in.  But let's look at the big picture.  Notre Dame is 13-10 and 4-7 in conference play with 7 games left to go.  4 of the last 7 are home, those are all must win games.  The toughest opponent in those four games will be Villanova, but the Irish also play St. John's and Rutgers.  There are also 3 road games ahead as well.  The best case scenario here would be to go 2-1.  The games include at Connecticut, West Virginia and Providence.  They are all tough games, but UConn stands out as a game that is almost un-winnable

Here are the scenarios that I believe will get ND into the tourney:

1. Go 7-0 the rest of the way and finish 20-10 and 11-7 in conference.  Irish will get in easily.

2. Go 6-1 the rest of the way and finsih 19-11 with a 10-8 conference record.  Irish should get in.

3. Go 5-2, finish with a 18-12 record and a 9-9 conference record AND have a strong Big East Tournament performance.  Irish should get in.

4. Anything lower than 5-2 will result in a below .500 conference record and the only way into the tournament will be a BET win. 

Numbers 2 and 3 are highly possible,  1 would be great but it is not that realistic considering the game at UConn.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Notre Dame destroys #5 Louisville




























Notre Dame:   90
#5 Louisville:  57

The 100th post of this blog sure is a good one.

"For everyone who has ever been counted out, but refused to be knocked out this one is for you."

Everyone has written off the Irish,  but today they showed there is still a lot of fight left in them.  A win tonight was crucial and proved that the Irish have not quit and that they are going on, going strong and going all the way.

The Irish ended their longest losing streak under Mike Brey ever tonight in dramatic fashion.  Louisville was one of the hottest teams in the nation, playing one of the coldest teams in the nation and boy did that change in a hurry.  Everyone on the Irish played well tonight including the slumping Hillesland and Ayers.

Luke Harangody had 32 points and finished with his 43rd career double-double.  A big night for Gody again.  Ayers had 19 points and really showed just how much potential he has.  Jackson had 14 and McAlarney 24.  Hillesland failed to reach double digits, but had a good game overall. 

This win means a lot.  If you had just watched the Irish for the frist time today, you would NEVER think that they could go on a 7 game losing streak, but none the less they did.  Whenever you lose 7 in a row, you lose a big chance of making the NCAA tournament.   The Irish need to keep this momentum going to beat South Florida and the other upcoming opponents.
 
It feels real good to win one. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Starting Line-up to Change Again

Coach Brey has stated today that he is still looking for the right mix of players to start the game.  Before the current 7 game losing streak, the Irish line-up looked like this:

PG Tory Jackson
SG Kyle McAlarney
F Ryan Ayers 
F Zach Hillesland
C Luke Harangody

Over the past 5 games, 4 different line-ups have been used to try the game.  McAlarney and Gody have never left the line-up which makes sense but if Brey wants to change up the line-up he needs to commit to it.  For example,  Jonathan Peoples started a couple games but still only played his usual 9-12 minutes.  It's not like just a different line-up will shake things up, you need changes in playing time.  This is what I think the line-up should be for Louisville tomorrow:

PG Jackson
SG McAlarney
F Tyrone Nash
F Luke Zeller
C Luke Harangody

Ayers and Hillesland have probably been the most disappointing players, over this very disappointing stretch.  Nash needs to start getting more time.  I'd also like to see the Irish go nine deep tomorrow.  Which means time from Nash and Scott aside from then usual 7.  What did they have to lose?  Sticking with our "reliable" players isn't very reliable right now.  

Notre Dame's hopes of the NCAA Tournament will be crushed if they lose tomorrow.  



Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Final Stand


     
  





































If the team loses on thursday to Louisville there is no more hope for the Irish to make the NCAA tournament as an at large bid.  The Irish are 12-10 and have zero momentum, just like any team that went from 12-3 to 12-10 would be.  This mid-season catastrophe has done everything but destroy the teams chances of making the tournament, which still hangs by a thread.  The Irish need to be tough and not let this losing streak ruin everything while they still can.

I believe that in order for the team to make the tournament, they will have to win all but 1 of their final games.  Ending the season with an 19-11 record should get the team in the tournament as maybe an 8, 9 or 10 seed, similar to Villanova last year.  An 18-12 record with a strong Big East performance could do it as well, but then the Irish would be a major bubble team probably leaning out. 

And their is still a chance that the Irish could win the Big East tournament.  If the tournament started today no way, but if the Irish can get hot and go into the post-season with some momentum, the team has the talent to do it.  

First thing is first,  the Irish absolutely need to win on Thursday vs Louisville.  That's about as much as a must win as you will ever see.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Looking Forward

5 straight loses.  That's a fact and it's not going to change.  The Irish can do two things from here on out because they have the talent to do it.  They can forget about that skid and win the rest of their winnable games (21-9 my prediction) or they can let this skid ruin their whole season and just play mediocre like they have been.  

The fate of the team is still in their hands.  Every single one of the games coming up except one are "winnable."  Meaning their is a decent chance that the game can be won.  The game at UConn is not very winnable.  The upcoming game at UCLA will be very tough, but still winnable. If the Irish can win every game but UConn, which isn't by an means an impossible task then they could still end up a 4 or 5 seed in the tournament.  The goal should not be to make the NCAA, it should be to get a good rank in it. 


Friday, January 30, 2009

Don't Lose Hope

I am going to say it straight,  the outcome for tomorrows game does not look bright at this point.  But while the schedule is not going to get any easier,  it certainly is going to simmer down a little bit.  The final stretch of 5 straight top 25 opponents comes to an end tomorrow.  And I know that we were not hoping for a 0-5 or even a 1-4 record, but it will soon will be the past.  The Irish, no matter what, are going on, going strong and going all the way to the very last game.  

Here is the rest of the schedule and my predictions-

at Pitt- L
at Cinn- W
at UCLA - W
vs Louisville- W
vs South Florida- W
at WVU- W
at Providence- W
vs Rutgers- W
at UCONN- L
vs Villanova- W
vs St. John's W

That's a 21-9 record.  Not great, but not bad in this conference.  I know this is optimistic, but I really do still think the recent addition of Nash into the line-up will have a huge effect on the performance of the team.  If the Irish do finish this strong and have a strong performance in the Big East I could see a 4, 5 or 6 seed in the tournament.  It's not over yet, and with everyone counting the Irish out right now, I still believe they still have some fight left in them.  

Monday, January 26, 2009

Marquette defeats Notre Dame

#8 Marquette: 71
#22 Notre Dame: 64

The Irish needed a win and they got another frustrating loss.  Look everyone knows the negatives, 3-5 Big East record, likely dropping out of the top 25, and upcoming probable loss pittsburgh.  I am going to focus on the positives of this game and moving forward I am more optimistic than yesterday about the team's chances going forward.

For one, Jonathan Peoples and Luke Zeller started.  People's really impressed me tonight, he had 8 points including two big 3s.  I always hated on him, but he looked like the obvious choice to start over Ayers.  Ayers is ice cold, his shot has no arc.  If Ayers can't shoot he sucks.   I have no comment for Hillesland's dreadful performance.  Luke Zeller played real well, hit few 3s and played strong defense for the most part.  He should start for the remainder of the season. 

Tyrone Nash did not do much, but he did play alot which was good to see.  You know. he played overall better than Ayers and Hillesland.  Out hustled them at least.  It was great to see him in there and extend the depth.

Ayers and Hillesland combined for a total of zero points.  They are really disgusting me right now.  I don't know what happened, you would think pulling them out of the starting line-up would get them going.  It didn't apparantly.

Gody carried the team, scored over 30 points and had 15 rebounds.  Simple as that.  Mac was shut down, and he cant help that when he is being face guarded.  That's when people like Ayers and Hillesland have to take advantage of the pressure on McAlarney and score themselves.  

A loss to Pittsburgh will be a major blow  If the Irish don't pick it up, it's NIT time.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Change to the Starting Line-up

This is exactly what the team needs right now.  You know, everyone seems to have written the Irish off, but I am still optimistic for the team's chances down the road.  This team has real talent and their fate is in their hands.  The have very tough games coming up, but what if they win them?  Everything will change.  Head coach Mike Brey stated through a spokesperson today that the starting line-up will change for the game against Marquette.  Brey didn't go any more specific than that.

Really the only realistic move would be to put Luke Zeller instead of either Hillesland or Ayers.  That would create a mismatch against Marquette.  I can't see Jonathan People's going to the starting line-up seeing how he is absolutely terrible. 

A gutsy move for Brey would be to put Nash in the line-up in the forward position.  That would light a spark under Ayers and Hillesland and tell them to pick up their game.  Nash also deserves more playing time,  he went all out and scored 8 points in the two minutes he played yesterday.  Brey did state that he wants to play his sophomores more (meaning Nash and Scott).  Look for at least one of them, probably Nash, to get a decent amount of time in the first half tomorrow.  

The most important thing right now is to put an end to this three game slide.  Despite the rankings, this team has the talent to compete with Marquette.  A win is crucial tomorrow.

Streak Snapped, Rethinking Needed


#3 UConn: 69
#19 Notre Dame: 61

The most frustrating thing about this loss isn't that the 45 game home winning streak has come to end, although that sure is up there. It's that the Irish played good defense for once, and the loss came down to shooting. The Irish hoisted a ton of 3s and only made 29% of them and only shot 32% from inside the arc, thats a miserable shooting performance. That is something you can't really help though, you can control how much effort you are putting in on defense but you can't help it if your not hitting your shots. It's a shame that the loss was because of one of the only poor shooting performances of the year.

Harangody had a good game against Thabeet. Thabeet did get a few blocks, but Gody stepped out a lot to take jumpers and hit two 3 pointers. Bringing Thabeet out really takes away his presence down low, which is the only thing that he has going for him. Gody finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds, another double-double.

K-Mac hit his first three 3s and then was done. He went ice cold from everywhere, but that's something that sucks but it's not really in his control. He took good shots too, they just were not falling. Give partial credit to UConn for making him work so much to get open.

Adrien seems to determined to make himself a personal enemy of Notre Dame. I don't know why, maybe it's just his nature to talk trash anytime he gets. He said another comment after the game, something about telling the fans to be quiet because this is UConn's gym now. Yeah okay, Adrien. Living in CT, I have the displeasure of seeing him play all the time and he is no better than the average post-player, you would think with a mouth so big that he could at least back it up.

Let me just say one more thing, Tyrone Nash had 8 points in 2 minutes of playing time. That says it all play him more. The kids are tired down the stretch and it shows. Nash wasn't afraid to take it right to the hoop. Nash had more points than Zeller (15 minutes of PT), Jonathan Peoples (11 minutes), Ryan Ayers (35 minutes), Zach Hillesland (29 minutes) and was just a basket away from Jackson and McAlarney. So give the kid some time, he out scored his two position players, Hillesland and Ayers, in two minutes while they had the whole game.

Rethinking is needed, and Tyrone Nash would move the barely 7 man rotation to 8, and finally give kids a break. If something is not done soon, the Irish could move to a bubble team, then to a team on the outside looking in, and then to for sure NIT. Losing like this can't happen even if it is against good teams. Expect the Irish to be un-ranked on Monday. But, Monday is another big night and once again Notre Dame are the underdogs, it's at home vs Marquette. So it will be a challenge to get 1 in a row.


Thursday, January 22, 2009

UConn Talks Trash Before the Big Game/ BLACK OUT




" I played Luke Harangody and he was not tough.  " - Hasheem Thabeet


" It's going to feel good to break Notre Dame's home winning streak. " - Jeff Adrien 

Notre Dame responded with class to the tough talk from UConn.  

Luke Harangody said that he understands that quotes are often taken out of context.  Thabeet did apologize for his comment, but it still looms in the air to motivate the Luke.  Harangody said "It gives me a little motivation"  but went on to say that he won't be taking it that seriously.  

Kyle McAlarney responded to Adrien's comment's by first stating that it is amazing that people think they can just say something like that, even after all of their wins at home.  He then said about Adrien's comments,  "Thats just the nature of the game,  that's the way it goes and it's our job to disprove that.  

This shaping up to be one for the ages.  On top of this new momentum,  the game is also the annual BLACK OUT game.  The first 10,000 fans will be given black Irish tee shirts to wear,  everyone else wear black!   Big game. 

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Irish lose to Syracuse


#8 Syracuse: 93
#12 Notre Dame: 74

Gody 25, K-Mac, 24

The first thing I want to say is all is not lost. I mean really the things I have heard since this loss are ridiculous, and the fact that they are coming from the "fans" really annoys me. I have heard "I see us going 3-10 from here on out" and "the team is terrible." It seems like everyone has lost there confidence is the teams ability to win. The fact of the matter is that the last two games were against two ranked teams on the road. I understand that you need to be able to win road games in this league, but cut the team a break. Anyone that was expecting a 6-0 start in the toughest conference the NCAA has ever seen is crazy. 4-2 would be understandable, but there was one loss the team shouldn't of had, that's it.

I do however, realize the team did not play up to there standards today. Stronger defense needs to take place, if they can't hit their shots all the time.

There is no where to look but forward at this point. The team will look to defend the longest home-court winning streak in the country against Connecticut, and if UConn wants to win they are going to have to be bring it and be nothing short of perfect. After two loses, the Irish are not about to concede their home-court winning streak without a hard fight.

Meet you in South Bend, Connecticut.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Irish fall at Louisville in OT

#23Louisville: 87
#13Notre Dame: 73

Notre Dame lost for one reason is this contest.  Fatigue.  The bench has not been deep all year, but it really showed tonight.  After regulation no one had anything left in the tank.  Jonathan Peoples was absolutely horrible tonight.  He seemed to turn it over whenever he got the ball. which caused no rest for Mac or Jackson.  

The team played great though for the first 4o minutes.  Harangody had 28 points and Kyle McAlarney had 19.  The Irish played their A game on the road vs a tough team in a  tough atmosphere.  

The loss was just due to fatigue.  With only 1 reliable bench player (Zeller),  the Irish are going to get even more tired down the road.  The road ahead is going to get tough.  This game belonged to the Irish,  but once it went into OT everyone was already running on empty. 

The Irish play at Syracuse over the weekend, which will be another tough game.  Rest up.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Irish Beat Seton Hall

#13 Notre Dame:  88
Seton Hall: 79

45 straight wins at home.  The Irish should have won by more but a win is a win.  I was still very surprised that the Pirates were threatening the home court streak even in the second half.  

Gody's energy and double-double carried the team to a win that is very important considering the next games ahead.

Monday, January 5, 2009

44


#13 Notre Dame: 73
#9 Georgetown: 67

The Irish needed a win and they got it.  Coming off a bad loss to St. Johns (ugh), the Irish were able to keep the steak alive when they knocked off the No. 9 Hoyas in a game that the Irish really controlled the whole way.  The streak is now the longest active home-court winning streak in the country.  BYU held that title previously until their streak was snapped by Wake Forest on Saturday.  The key to victory today was that the Irish set the tempo and made Georgetown play the way they wanted to play.

Harangody played real well tonight, and scored 31 points and had 14 rebounds.  Another game with a double-double.  He did it all with foul trouble all game.  He got 2 early fouls in the first half and then in 2 more early in the second half.  He played physically with 4 fouls but stayed controlled.   If he fouled out, the Irish would not have won.  At one point in the game Harangody had scored the last 15 points for the Irish.

Kyle McAlarney had a good game which is sure to boost his morale after a few disappointing games.  He finished with 17 points and shot the ball real well for how tightly he was guarded all game.  It is really impressive to score that many points when someone is on you every second.
 
The Irish are off until saturday when they play Seton Hall at home on Saturday.  That needs to be a win, because the stretch after that game is unbelievably difficult.

Irish Next 6 Games:
1/10: VS Seton Hall
1/12: AT #24 Louisville
1/17: AT #11 Syracuse
1/24: VS #5 UConn
1/26: VS #18 Marquette
1/31: AT #1 Pittsburgh

To get another idea of how tough the schedule is,  Pitt (if they stay their current rank) will be Notre Dame's SECOND game against a #1 team.  It's going to be a tough rest of January, every game from here on out is crucial.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Are you kidding me?

St. John's: 71 
# 7 Notre Dame: 65

It's almost laughable that this could happen.  St. John's is not by anyones standards a good basketball team.  They are not bound to make the tournament or even the NIT.  There's no excuse that a team coming off a 3 game losing streak (including a blow out loss against Providence) should be able to even compete with the #7 team in the country.  Every decent team that they played they lost bad, until today.  Ridiculous.  You can't afford to lose games like this.  

I have to think there are 4 main reasons why the game was lost today:

Reason #1: REBOUNDING
Out rebounded by 11.  It's hard to find anybody on the team but Gody who had any rebounds. No boxing out.  They just worked harder, simple as that.

Reason #2: DEFENSE
The Irish played defense worse than a high school JV team this game.  I mean they let everyone in the lane and didn't check any cutters.  One time really made me angry was that one of the St. John's players got an offensive rebound around 7 feet out, the Irish players just looked at him and he takes an uncontested jump shot from like lay-up range.  He missed it but still,  I didn't think it was possible against a division 1 basketball program to have time to collect yourself after a rebound and then shoot a 7 foot jumper uncontested.  Terrible defense. 

Reason #3:  NO SCORING
Aside from Harangody, no one did much.  I find it hard to believe that 65 points were even scored.  I said this after Ohio State and will say it again.  When one of the Irish stars (Gody and K-Mac) is shut down the team has a hard time winning.  Kyle McAlarney finished with 10 points but went 1-5 from deep.  Gody had 28 points and 14 bounds, obviously this loss was not one him.  

Reason #4:  Outworked
Once again aside from Luke, the team was outworked.  It seemed that Harangody was the only Irish player bringing any energy to the team.

Harangody is excused from all of the reasons but defense.  He needs to work on his defense.  The guards of St. John's were driving in and challenging him all day and kept scoring over him. 

Monday's game is now even more important than it already was.  Georgetown is also coming off a loss so they should be hungry for a win as well.  One advantage for the Irish is that the game is at home, where the 43 game in a row streak is being threatened by the strong Hoya team.  Pending the final outcome of BYU vs #6 Wake Forrest, the Irish could come home to defend the longest active home-court winning streak.

To end this embarrassing day on a good note,  practically every top 25 team lost this week so there might not be as big a drop in the polls as their normally would be.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

DePaul falls to the Irish, 92-82


# 7 Notre Dame: 92
DePaul: 82

Zach Hillesland was the star of the game tonight.  He contributed a career high 17 points and provided a lot of energy from his unexpected performance which is 11 points over his season average.  Typically, the Irish get their points from Gody down low and from the long ball.  However, Hillesland's 17 tonight came mostly from slashing and taking his man off the dribble.  The new way of scoring for the team really fired up and excited the team.  The game was very fast paced which worked in Hillesland's favor as well.

Harangody provided the usual, 26 points and 16 rebounds.  Harangody had a few nice hustle plays to get some of his hoops.  He was one of five Irish players to score in double figures tonight.  The other 3 starters scored in double figures,  Jackson with 12, K-Mac with 13, and Ayers with 14.  Tonight was an overall balanced attack from the team.  

The depth of the team is not great and looking at the box score tonight you can see that.  All but 10 points for the Irish came from the starters.  Luke Zeller had 5 and so did Jonathan Peoples.  Teams that want to go deep into March need their bench players to contribute more than just 10 points combined.
  
Enough negatives, the Irish have won their first Big East game.  With a look forward,  it is essential that the team capitalizes when it plays teams like DePaul and upcoming St. John's.  The road is going to be tough ahead and you can't afford to lose to teams that you are better than in this conference. 

Against St. John's I would personally like to see Tyrone Nash and Charleton Scott get more minutes.  St. John's is awful, so give them a chance.  I still have trouble understanding why Peoples gets more playing time than either of them.  All I really see Peoples do is turn it over and miss lay-ups.  And also, the starters need a break.  They were used a lot against DePaul and when you play in a league this tough they are not many chances to get a break, but when you do get one you have to take advantage of it.