Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Louisville 91, Notre Dame 89

Just an awful way to lose a really hard fought game. Completely wasted possession at the end of the second overtime, but this thing should have been won in regulation. Four straight missed free throws from our guards threw it away then.

Can't fault the team for its effort, though. Without Harangody for the second straight game, our reserves showed why they should have been playing all year. Carleton Scott earned the minutes he took from Peoples, Mike Broghammer was tough as nails on both ends of the floor, and Jack Cooley picked up 5 rebounds before fouling out.

The officiating left much to be desired, as Samardo Samuels single-handedly fouled out four (almost five, with Abromaitis) of our players. While a lot of the whistles tonight were bad calls, I also have to think that guys like Broghammer and Cooley would have benefitted from more experience in their post defense.

Tory Jackson was a real leader on the floor tonight, but just couldn't get it done at the end. His shot selection in clutch time was a bit frustrating and he missed a pair of free throws in the final minutes of regulation, however. For the game, he shot very well (6-11) for 19 points and had 7 assists while playing all 50 minutes.

Ben Hansbrough was the culprit of missed freebies with just over a minute left. Other than that, he was a perfect 10 for 10 from the line, though his shooting touch failed to carry over to the rest of the contest. His three-point attempts, including a couple K-Mac-esque 25 footers, were frequently off the mark and he turned the ball as many times as he had assists (3). He did chip in with 8 boards, as the Irish were able to maintain an even rebounding total with the home team.

Carleton Scott played 34 minutes. That's a career-high (though helped by the overtimes). 9 points, 6 rebounds, 3 blocks. Coach Brey finally realized that he deserved more of a look than Peoples and he delivered. The open three he sank to put the Irish up late in the second half was a clutch shot. You expect that from our veteran guys, but it was nice to see someone who has struggled mightily with his scoring step in at a critical moment.

Tim Abromaitis finished with 29 points and 5 rebounds, his second straight big performance with Gody out. Hats off to the Alumni Hall resident once again. He very nearly fouled out, like four of his teammates, but was able to finish the contest while playing 45 minutes.

Ty Nash did foul out. Just 4 points and 4 boards in 28 minutes for him. Though he struggled, it was a bit of a mixed blessing, because I really liked what we saw from the reserves tonight. It's unlikely that they would have gotten as much playing time with him in the whole contest.

Off the bench, Mike Broghammer really stuck out for me. More than what he did in the stat sheet, he hustled all game and created opportunities with his energy. His bone-crushing screens were great to watch and the energy he displayed on defense has been missing from this team for a long time. Jack Cooley also played very well in the paint. His 5 rebounds in just 19 minutes tied for third on the team.

The commentators loved to talk about those two guys stepping up tonight after not playing all year, but the real story is how the Irish have been coached into a seven-man box when there is some talent on the bench. Neither Brogs nor Cooley is anything near starting material, of course, but you can't tell me that a few minutes for one of the two would be a worse scenario than leaving a bunch of tired started in all day. Joey Brooks should be taking a lot of Jonathan Peoples' minutes, as well. This should be happening regardless of an injury or foul trouble. Credit Coach Brey for having these guys tested enough in practice to be able to contribute in a pinch, but they should be getting more game-experience than this.

Tough, tough loss. They really deserved to win this one. Hopefully we can get Harangody back soon and continue to make things difficult for some Tournament teams down the road.

16 comments:

DJ said...

Couldn't even get a shot off.

That's how NIT teams finish games.

Anonymous said...

It's tough to win 5 on 8

BGarc said...

Brey wins out in the end, one last wasted possession out of a time-out...happens 9 out of 10 time-outs.

David said...

Thoughts:

Brey finally saw past two guys on our bench. These young guys: Cooley, the guy whose name I can’t pronounce, Brooks, etc---at least there is effort there. Right now, Jonathon People is the worst player on our team.

I’m happy with the way they played, but at this point, I’m settling for effort on the defensive end and moral victories.

Is this the third overtime loss to Louisville in the last 5 years or so?

Will Brey get praise in the media for “getting creative” with his line-up given Harangody’s injury? If so, that’s a load of bullocks. These guys have been on our team the entire year.

Just like the Cincy game, missed foul shouts killed us. For as good as Hansbrough was, the two foul shots he missed at the end of regulation kept L’Ville in the game.

The last possession was terrible. I understand going for the win, but geez, let’s not concede that a third overtime would have been our breaking point. You had 12 seconds. Take the best shot regardless of where it is.

I thought this was the worst officiated game I’ve seen all year. Did the NCAA change the 3-second in the lane rule? Do you now get 10 minutes?

I can’t stand Rick Patino. What a vile human being.

If I had to watch Samuels shoot one more foul shot, I was going to scream.

By my count, we’ve lost the last past three games by a combined 6 points. This is starting to remind me of Chris Quinn’s senior yr—’05-’06 I believe?

Since we’re destined for the NIT again, I say we choose to play in the CBI instead. Start a new trend.

“I would cry, but I have no tears left to give.”
-Cyndi Lauper (or something)

Flex said...

Good analysis, David. Go figure. This train wreck of an Irish hoops season almost went to Louisville and pulled out a win. We'll regret two missed free throws in the last minute of regulation, and lament a bullshit blocking call with a minute left in the first OT. But you can applaud a herculean effort from the team this night. Hopefully Brey learns something from this about his team's bench and how to use it. The main beef all year has been his reluctance to play anyone else. So with Gody out, and everyone else fouling out, he had to use everyone, and they responded. Jackson had a real nice game controlling the ball being hounded all night after his disaster vs. St. Johns. We'll certainly want the last 11 seconds back, too. Enough venting.
Out.

BGarc said...

I was lamenting the fact of Brey not using his bench much (sorry I mean at all) in my mind the other night, remembering when Jere Macura transferred to Purdue. It was the first harbinger that Brey would never really let anyone beyond the 6.5th man see the floor. I was really happy with ND's effort tonight, but getting more and more frustrated with their continued mediocrity under Brey.

Good analysis David.

Kurt said...

Um... could ya'll just quiet it for a night, because this is the best game the program has played in over 2 years - and I've watched them all.

Just appreciate the incredible game ND played - players and coach alike. I've been more frustrated by 40 wins in the last several seasons than this loss.

And given the play tonight, I'm hopeful about the future of the program. Hell, we seem to have two guys that are willing to bang, and seem to do it well. We haven't had that since the early 2000's.

Anonymous said...

Brey coaches like a man desperate for his job, yet only hurts himself in the long run.

He sticks with a small group of older guys that he thinks can help him win RIGHT NOW. But really all that does is wear out the small core that he relies on....leading to more losses. Maybe the team wouldn't perpetually run out of gas at the end of games if they got a little rest once in a while.

The Hammer, Brooks and mini (though taller) Gody should've been playing more all year. Maybe they'd have better judgement at this point if they had. The growing pains wouldn't be so obvious at this point in the season.

Same could be said for Nash and Scott the previous couple years. They be further along now if they just had more opportunity to play earlier.

And we'll be paying for this next year as well when Cooley, etc still don't have enough experience under their belts to bang w/ the big boys.

And ugh.... why must we be so terrible w/ final possessions??? The team always looks panicked at the end. We need a killer that has that internal clock and the guts to take and make those shots.

So frustrating.

Cartelo transferred to Purdue, not Macura. But Macura was another player that showed promise early, but never amounted to much.

FRUSTRATING!

Mattare said...

Gut-wrenching loss. I just threw up an entire diatribe on Brey and why it's probably time to move on. As someone who obviously follows the team as closely as anyone I'd be curious to hear your take.

http://wenevergraduate.blogspot.com/2010/02/breaking-down-mike-brey.html

Anonymous said...

I'm very proud of the effort and heart that OUR team showed last night. That was the best effort I have seen from this group. The refs disgusted me with their homer calls but what else would you expect from Louisville? Pitino knows his team got outplayed and outhustled last night and that the refs were a major reason his team won. I don't think that you can understand playing in a game like that unless you have played in a game like that. I have had the good fortune of playing in a game with that same intensity, tasked with guarding the National Player of the Year. The funny thing is that things seem to actually slow down and your senses seem to be more acute. I think Abro was in that zone last night. Great job guys. I'm as hard as anyone on this team when I feel they are soft or lacking effort. Last night's performance was encouraging and welcome and illustrated the effort that is needed to compete.

Meghan said...

2 thoughts: Our guys could have mailed this one in and we would have gotten a buy b/c Gody is out and supposedly he's who carries us. They didn't, and that was impressive.

Also, maybe Gody being hurt isn't the worst thing for this team. We weren't going anywhere in the post-season this year anyhow. And now we're being "forced" to play the bench and get these guys some minutes. That could be huge come next year. Yup, always looking forward.

David said...

Good morning everyone:

This is worth a read. Tribune article about Brey.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/college/ct-spt-0217-notre-dame-basketball--20100216,0,4956445.story

Good effort last night by the team. I may be headed to the Big East Tournament in a few weeks, and hopefully grabbing a drink at Studio 54 with Coach.

Brendan O'Brien said...

A loss is a loss. This isn't CYO league. Yes the played hard. Yes they showed heart and grit and determination. All commendable. However, as David pointed out, is that now enough when it comes to this hoops program? Games like this need to be won. That probably happens if your two leaders, Hansborough and Jackson, don't each miss a pair of free throws in the final minute of regulation.

Anonymous said...

Brendan,

To quote Anton Chigurh in "No Country for Old Men" in the "Call It" scene - You don't know what you are talking about.

If you don't understand the importance of that effort last night then there is not much I can tell you - you will never understand. Sometimes it is about more than winning and losing. Do you think Hansbrough and Jackson wanted to miss those free throws? Tory Jackson is a warrior. He got up and continued to play after a spill that would have put most on the bench next to the trainer. There has been plenty to criticize this team about - last night was not one of them.

BlackandGreen said...

I agree that the effort was great to see last night, but I would wholeheartedly disagree with those who say that this was the toughest our team has played in years or demonstrates a turning point in the program.

This is how I expect the Irish to play night in and night out. With this kind of toughness and depth, the team has a chance to be a middle of the road Big East program next year. To be honest, we just might be a better TEAM without Luke Harangody. Only time will tell if they can put forth that kind of effort on a consistent basis.

BGarc said...

Thanks for the correction on Kartelo and Macura, I remember sitting in Frosh philosophy with both of them and Ivan introducing himself "My name is Ivan Kartelo, and I'm from Split Croatia". I liked the two of them and was sad to see one of them leave the program.
Hope to see this effort more from these guys.