- I can't believe I have not commented on this yet, but the new arena really looks great. Add in the proposed standalone practice gym and our facilities will finally approach the quality seen at high-major basketball schools around the country.
- I don't know how long this will last, but the decision to have only one championship banner (women's national championship) in the rafters is a good one. No more celebrating just making the Tournament sounds good to me.
- Once the Jonathan Peoples experiment ends (please God, let it end), this team could very well be better at every position than last year. Jackson and Harangody are back and presumably improved with time and Ty Nash is a better post guy than the very disappointing Zach Hillesland.
- At one of the other two positions, I'm really starting to like Ben Hansbrough. He looks to drive a lot more than K-Mac (which is more than, say, never) and really resembles Kyle's shooting ability. #23 was a good choice. He is a better passer and more athletic than Jonathan Peoples and could very well run the point in Tory Jackson's absence. A great first half transition stop on defense showed off what he can do on the other side of the floor, as well.
- Tim Abromaitis is also very fun to watch. If he finally does move into the final starting spot, he looks to be more complete player than last year's small forward, Ryan Ayers.
- Even with all of this improvement and what seems to be a potent offense, this could still very well be an NIT team. Last year's squad finished nowhere near the Sweet Sixteen predictions that were thrown its way. You have to think we'll find some holes in this version of the Irish, too.
- The first issue seems to be on defense, where we still look very disappointing even with all of that extra athleticism. This is clearly a coaching defect. Coach Brey has never been a stickler for D and there is no reason for him to change now. We'll have to outscore a bunch of people, as usual.
Monday, November 16, 2009
St. Francis Halftime
A little in-game blogging: