On a big football Saturday, we take a break from watching Missouri and West Virginia audition for the national championship to catch a little college hoops.
First, let's take some pleasure in our rival's pain. That's you, Michigan. It appears Les Miles isn't 100% ready to return to Ann Arbor any time soon. In addition, former head basketball coach (as in wasn't good enough to still coach there) Tommy Amaker took his new Harvard squad and beat up on the Wolverines. Mike Brey has to be happy for his former fellow assistant coach at Duke.
To our game, not an overly dominating performance for the Irish. The Eagles hung tough, but never really had any chance of winning. Notre Dame did a good job of staying well ahead of Eastern Michigan, but failed to turn an easy game into a blowout.
Tory Jackson had another poor shooting night. Only 7 points on 3 of 10 from the floor. In addition, 4 assists to 1 turnover. Not overly impressive and would like to see a better performance on Tuesday.
Ryan Ayers played well. 3 of 4 from beyond the arc. He needs to be able to provide that kind of shooting when asked. Great to see him step it up tonight. If he can be another threat from outside and provide good perimeter defense, he will earn his minutes.
Kyle McAlarney is turning into a seriously good shooter. His scoring ability was an afterthought when we lost him last year (the passing and game control seemed more important), but after 21 points and 8 of 10 shooting overall, K-Mac has established himself as the premier scorer on the team. His three point shooting could make Notre Dame forget about Colin Falls in a hurry.
Our rebounding was unsatisfactory today. Kurz had only 7 points and 6 boards. Four assists and three blocks help, but we need bigger numbers in his primary stats.
Luke Harangody had a very good 18 points, but only 7 rebounds. 7-12 from the floor gave ND a scoring threat inside. In fairness, Bamm-Bamm and Kurz only played 25 and 27 minutes, but still should have had better outputs on the boards.
Hillesland helped a little inside. 24 minutes, only 4 points but grabbed 6 rebounds. Pretty quiet in the other statistical categories.
Jonathan Peoples scored 4 points on free throws and dished out 2 assists. Luke Zeller had three points and two rebounds.
We tweaked the lineups a little bit and looked to be getting ready for the big match up with Kansas State on Tuesday. Great shooting allowed the team to play with matchups a little bit, but it certainly would have been nice to pad that margin of victory a little bit.
56% shooting from the field, 63% from three-point land. Only 28 rebounds to Eastern's 26. 18 assists, 9 turnovers. We have the ability to keep that TO number in single digits each game and need to focus on not beating ourselves in the big matchups.
Big, big game against Kansas State at Madison Square Garden Tuesday. The Wildcats are coming off a tough OT loss to Oregon Thursday. If we can get the win there, much of the remaining sting from the Paradise Jam can be soothed.