Ranked #9 on BigEastBasketball.blogspot.com, the Irish expected to go 10-8 in the newly expanded Big East schedule. The NBE blog always does some great work.
- Mike Brey enters his 8th season as the fifth longest tenured coach in the conference, behind Calhoun, Boeheim, Welsh, and Crean.
- "The Irish return a solid core of players as they try to return to the NCAA Tournament in back to back seasons which has only been done in the 2001-2002-2003 seasons and 1989-1990 in recent history."
- Brey's a nice guy, expectations are high, yada yada yada...
- McAlarney should bring some swagger back to the guard position, plus a great outside touch.
- Jackson was excellent last year in K-Mac's absence and should only improve.
- Ayers must be effective on the wing on offense and defense as the Irish lack depth on the outside.
- Kurz is solid as always at the 4.
- Harangody has the best footwork in the conference.
- Zeller has yet to show enough results with such a huge potential out of high school. Needs to find a comfort zone.
- Hillesland will once again be Mr. Everything from the bench.
- Ty Nash is the most ready of the freshmen, while Scott is extremely athletic and Abromitis plays in the mold of Hillesland.
- Jackson, McAlarney, Kurz, and Harangody make a strong core of starters, but the team lacks depth.
- Ayers and McAlarney will struggle some to make up for the lack of Falls' perimeter play and Carter's athleticism.
- Two games against Marquette, DePaul, and Connecticut make it difficult to match last year's output of 11 wins.
- 10-8, 9th Place
Overall, a very well done piece that gets as close to hitting the nail on the head as one can while attempting to preview all the Big East. I think some of the fears of lacking depth are valid, but am very encouraged with Brey's ability to get newcomers ready for the conference schedule. Both Jackson and Harangody were able to collect enough minutes off the bench during last year's nonconference schedule to have enough confidence to start by the end of the year. Hopefully guys like Nash will get enough opportunity to play before the competition gets competitive.
Overall, if we stay healthy (and off the drugs...), depth will not be as much of a problem come January.