Russell Carter was one missed foul shot away from giving Providence a chance to tie the game with a three in the final minute. It should have been iced much earlier, but horrendous free throw shooting and Butterfinger Falls nearly gave away the biggest meltdown in the history of sport... but let's not talk about that. I've had enough of losing. Time to celebrate!
Starting with Falls. You know, this is the first game I haven't judged #15's performance purely by his shooting. Great overall job for Colin. Very surprised at the end line of 1-7 from three. Sure didn't look that bad from up top. All in all a very solid performance subjectively if not objectively and the Irish won.
Russell Carter may just be the most irritating player since Chris Thomas. Still, you just have to love the guy. His shot selection is about as good as a blind man in a dark alley, but everything just seems to fall. Way to go, Russ. 15 points, 5 of 9 shooting, and he didn't have to carry the team.
Zach Hillesland was back in action and was used a lot playing the key middle piece in breaking down the zone. 14 points, 8 rebounds. Every single shot down low was contested and ZH had to make weird, contorted body movements to get them to fall. Also did very well with passing to spread the defense out. Made some mistakes, but sure earns his minutes.
Give a little doxa (Greek for glory) to the man in the middle, Rob Kurz. 15 points, 9 rebounds in another blue collar effort down low. Didn't stick out a lot, but did his job.
Tory Jackson made some mistakes, missed a few open jumpers, but was alright overall. 10 points and made a few nice cutting drives to support the offensive look. Made a few beautiful passes and his teammates seemed to be more ready than earlier in the year.
Bamm-Bamm sat a lot, mostly due to offensive matchups, but did pick up four fouls. Not too bad a night, with six points. Ayers made both his shots and seems to be gathering confidence by the bucketload. The rest of the bench was used very sparingly.
It was awesome to see Chris Quinn back at the J.A.C.C. today. He's a real nice guy to talk too and seemed to be happy to be back. Of course, a guaranteed 6 figure salary tends to make you happy in all situations.
So it's a win, albeit with a slightly disappointing finsh. Really nice to write one of these again. Let's go and take out Cincy and crack the Top 25 next week.