Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Cincinnati 93, Notre Dame 83

N-I-T. That's where this heartbreaker of a season is headed. There is plenty of blame to go around. It's just getting painful to watch now.

I said Deonta Vaughn was a terrible shooter before today's game and I don't think he turned into Reggie Miller overnight. The zone was the right call against this team, our players just close slower than Shaquille O' Neal with two broken ankles. Blame who you want for that, Coach Brey certainly deserves some complaints for poorly coached D.

Mick Cronin is a punk, Jim Burr is a fool, and this team is just plain bad. Hey, at least Manti Te'o signed...

The game was lost beyond the arc. The Irish, who entered the year as the Big East's best three point threat, shot 23%. Cincinnati wen 10% over their average with a 44% clip. 9 points for us from outside versus 30. Game over.

Again, I agree with the original gameplan to force outside shots. Cincy just isn't that good from beyond the arc. If you want, blame the coaches for not switching out of the defense when it was obvious that our guys could not adequately get out to the perimeter. The players did not execute on defense, a problem that has surfaced to varying degrees for the past decade.

Tory Jackson played solidly offensively, 11 points and 6 rebounds. McAlarney was taken away once again, only attempting five threes (and missing all of them). The Irish attempted 13 for the game, a few being desperate heaves in the closing minutes. We average 23 per game. Not only were the shots not falling, we didn't attempt enough to stave off the Bearcat onslaught.

Hillesland was decent in 35 minutes. 11 points, 5 rebounds. Coach Brey obviously did not take the thought of starting Luke Zeller seriously and played Hillesland as a power forward most of the game. As such, those stats are disappointing. Cincinnati freshman Steve Toyloy grabbed 5 boards in 17 minutes, matching Zach's total in half the time. Hillesland has never been a great rebounder and it would have helped a bit tonight. However, he did attack the hoop well at times and made half his shots. Can't really lay this one on him.

As mentioned, Luke Zeller played only 10 ineffective minutes. So much for that lineup.

Luke Harangody, of course, kept the team from being a complete disgrace. 28 points, 14 boards. Shot just under 50% from the floor, his second best shooting game since Georgetown. Forced a few, but you can't blame him.

Ryan Ayers was very good off the bench. 14 points on 6-7 shooting. He played 29 minutes. Peoples pulled down a pair of boards in 13 minutes.

We saw some of Carleton Scott tonight and no Ty Nash. Not sure what the story was there, but I'd like to see both of them for at least 10 minutes a game here on in. What can it hurt? The seniors are not getting the job done and are not part of the future. Let's see if we can build something for next year.

Very depressing. Maybe we were overrated to begin with, but no one expected this. Six straight losses, with the distinct possibility of two more on the way. Heck, nothing's impossible at this point.

We expect better than this. Everyone is to blame. I know Toyloy may have shoved Zach Hillesland at the end of the half and the refs blew the call, but when a senior leader like Kyle McAlarney is starting fights and laying an egg offensively, we look like the kind of team that waltzed into a 38-3 beatdown in Los Angeles. This basketball season was supposed to make everyone forget about a horrid football team. Instead, we're counting the days until a eighteen-year-old Hawaiian steps on campus. Embarrassing.

Everyone from McAlarney to Harangody to the rest of the team and the coaching staff needs to put their heads on straight and represent the school with pride. With the effort we've shown lately, the seniors will be lucky to close out their careers in front of 2,000 fans in a home NIT game. So much for the Sweet 16.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Now get to far ahead of yourself saying NIT, at this point they would be lucky to make that!

BlackandGreen said...

Pathetic. This is turning out worse than Chris Thomas' senior year. At least we knew he was a head-case that hadn't made the Tournament in a while.

Anonymous said...

Notre Dame + Expectations = Disaster

notre damian said...

very disappointing.

Anonymous said...

I dont even know what to say. This is not the same team that beat Texas earlier in the year. Hell its not even the same team that beat Georgetown. I am the eternal optimist but even I dont know how this team can rebound from this. I think 18-19 wins would get them in, but they may be lucky to win 15 or 16.

If they were going to snap out of this funk tonight was going to be the night. I dont know what to think anymore.

Anonymous said...

Yea, I guess until they get their 12th or 13th loss they are still in contention, but that day is rapidly approaching. They arent good enough to beat anyone right now.

Anonymous said...

We all knew this was possible with a team like this. If we don't shoot well, we lose. Our defense and rebounding is pathetic so we have to simply outscore teams. Can't believe I thought this was a sweet 16 team.

Anonymous said...

Where are all those "euro" ball proponents now? Defense, rebounding and toughness are what takes you to the next level.

Anonymous said...

Two classic basketball sayings define this team. "Live by the jumper and die by the jumper" and "You couldn't guard a dead man."

samsuckalovich said...

Stick a fork in the team and in this BLOG.... I can remember Black and Green saying after the Ohio State game, we'll win the next one and remain among the countries elite. There have been many saying this was a overated team, Black and Green was just not one of them............

Anonymous said...

No way in the world this team should lose 6 in a row. Something is very wrong with this team - perhaps internal strife coupled with a little jealousy for all the attention Gody receives. Still, losing 6 in a row is simply unacceptable. Wonder how Swarbrick feels about this. Collapse of the football and basketball team in his first year. He strikes me as a guy that won't accept programmed mediocrity - and that's where we are, very mediocre.

Anonymous said...

I AM SICK OF THIS SHIT. THE BLEEDING STOPS SATURDAY. WINS OVER UCLA AND LOUISVILLE AND WE ARE BACK IN BABY!!!!

And samsuckass, not a cool thing saying this blog is dead. How about dont come on here anymore if you hate it so much. I feel sorry for you.

samsuckalovich said...

Read Feb 1 (Blog Polling) who gives a rip? No ego trips!
Talk to the coaches and go to some practices, give us some insight.
GOODBYE

Anonymous said...

just messin with you dude, calm down.

Golden Monkey said...

Put somenone athletic on Mac to make sure he doesn't get any easy shots, you know Gody will get his points and rebounds that's a given. No one else will consistantly do much. They don't play defense, so even the poor teams will score. That is the word out on N.D. The lack of effective screens to get Mac open and poor defense can only be blamed on the coaching staff. Its easy to kick someone when they're down, but eight losses in a row is probably in the cards. HELP

Anonymous said...

We are seeing the fruits of Brey's non-development of players. What player (besides Harangody) is better than they were when they stepped on campus? This, along with the continued, idiotic lack of developing a bench, equals the dead a#% team you see out there masquerading as a Big East team. Are we to "wait until next year?" Somehow I don't think Martin and Hansbrough will rocket us to the top of the Big East.

Anonymous said...

Bad time to collapse. Got seats to fill and ticket prices to raise.

BlackandGreen said...

Golden Monkey-

Hit the nail right on the head. The pre-Ohio State Irish team was a pretty solid squad. Once teams realized that Harangody (though he tries hard enough) can't carry the Irish by himself and Mac isn't quick enough to create his own shots, the offense went down the drain.

As for the defense, we're usually respectable, if not good enough for a Sweet Sixteen squad. This year has seen a 100 place drop in adjusted efficiency and the worst defensive effort since Pomeroy started keeping track of that stuff (we're 148th, 2006 was 120th). Just awful.

BlackandGreen said...

While teams have adapted to shut down our offense since that game against the Buckeyes, our coaching staff has failed to create a counterstrategy to get someone else scoring.

lucid said...

"We are seeing the fruits of Brey's non-development of players. What player (besides Harangody) is better than they were when they stepped on campus?"

Well, all of them actually... My biggest problems with the coaching this year are not 'player development' - I just think Brey is trying force Hillesland to be a 4 when he cannot be a 4. He should have realized that early on and used the early season to really develop Nash at that position with lots of playing time. This is a team with 3 6'8"ish 3's [Ayers, Hillesland, Scott] a 6'11" shooting guard and one person who can potentially play the 4 - Nash.

I didn't see it early in the season either, but that is now the reality. Gievn that Brey is the coach, he should have seen that. It's why we get killed defensively and it is why no one can set a screen for Kyle. And it is why we miss Kurz so much.

I don't think the season is over, but I'm upset at his rotational coaching this year. And I hope in the off-season, with the class he has coming in, he thinks long and hard about how to improve that.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry Lucid, your comment that all of the players have improved must have been made in a non-lucid moment. You are telling me that Tory Jackson is better today than as a Freshman? Ryan Ayers has developed? Hillesland is better this year than last? Jon Peeps is feared across the Big East? McAlarney is light years ahead of the last two years? Look at the fg %'s my friend, they don't lie and are usually a pretty good indicator of having a good year or not.

lucid said...

Anon:

That's not what you said. You said 'since the day they stepped on campus'. All of the playrs have improved since they stepped on campus, though several sem to have backslid this year. Don't move the goalposts.

Anonymous said...

Lucid,

Big East fg% this year tells the whole story. Jackson, Peoples, Hillesland, McAlarney and Zeller have regressed snce Day 1. Look at the FG%. Basketball people know that this stat is more telling than any other - besides the embarrasingly low # of ft's Zeller, Ayers and McAlarney shoot. How the heck are you going to win games with no one getting to the line?

Anonymous said...

Sad,Sad,Sad. I hurt my neck from shaking my head so much because of this team. I never thought a Mike Brey team would play this poorly.

lucid said...

Anon:

If you won't admit that you've changed the argument, I don't suppose there is any point in arguing...

Anonymous said...

Lucid,

Tell me this. If all these guys performed like this as freshman Brey would have kept them around? I don't think so. Point out a single case of positive development besides Harangody. How do you have a 6'11" jump shooter as a senior? We do not have the luxury to put that size on the perimeter. It is very simple. you tell your 6'11' player to stay in the post. If he does not develop an inside game you tell him to rebound and set picks. McAlarny's problems are partly a result of no one knowing how to set a proper screen. Again, look at the Big East FG% and FT attempted. Players who have gotten better do not put up #'s like that. Is Tory Jackson better now than against Georgetown as a freshman in the BET?

Peace - I'm frustrated with this group. I'm tired of losing.

lucid said...

Anon -

Ayers and Hillesland didn't play much as freshmen and both of their games were vastly improved between sophomore and junior season. Kmac has seen steady imrpovement every year [and unfortunately had to sit out one BE season - a year which if he'd stayed in, I think we would have been a legit top ten team]. He is a much better player now than as a freshman and has an outside chance at getting on a NBA roster as a Steve KErr type player - if not next year, soon thereafter. Tory as a freshman had a much more limited game - no mid-range jumper, terrible on free throws, 5-6 bad turnovers a game. Zeller, well, is Zeller and has been a significant disappointment.

There has been significant player development on all of their parts - and while I am partial to many critiques of Brey, player development is not one of them because he has taken a number of kids who never had pro prospects and put them there [and don't talk to me about Thomas and Francis because they both had career ending injuries].

The problem, as I said in my original post, is that we have no natural 4 save Nash - and I think Brey should have recognized this rather than asking Hillesland to be something he's not. This has led to almost all of the problems. LH is shooting too much while Kyle can't get an open look. Tory is trying to overcompensate and falling into many of the problem patterns of his freshman season. Zack seems to be coming off his slump, but it is only because Brey has started using him more as a 3 again. Ayers? Well, I've rarely see him step up big in his entire career, but his game is tailor made to a true 4 and 5 handling the dirty work [i.e. Kurz & LH] so he can float around in the passing lanes on D and wait to be a spot up shooter on O.

There's a rumor out there that Brey might not be starting Tory tomorrow. I actually think this might be a good thing. I've noticed lately that when Kyle's running the offense with this bunch, we seem to get more production from everyone - including Kyle. We'll see.

My Brey gripe this year is that he didn't get Nash seasoning and enough practice and game reps with the 1st team ot be able to really get in the flow of the O. I think he could have been the glue guy for this season, but it is too late now.