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.   

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