Happy New Year! To wrap up '06, I'd like to post grades for each player.
PG- Kyle McAlarney- (INC)- 10.3 PPG and 65 assists, but I wish he had listened when the third grade teacher told him to say "no" to drugs.
SG- Russell Carter- (A-)- Has always been able to drive to the basket. Shooting 48% from 3-point range will make him a solid player at the next level. Does force shots from time to time, but has made most of them.
SG- Colin Falls- (B)- 14.1 PPG, 40% from long range. Lacks enough mobility to be a true threat on offense and is a streaky shooter, but is a very good asset for Brey on the floor. Will be needed to produce a lot against Big East opponents.
PF- Luke Zeller- (C-)- 6.1 PPG, 3.0 RPG in 16.7 MPG. Has not become a dominant player on either end of the court, but is productive and will get better. Unfortunately, his minutes will continue to decline until Harangody takes the starting spot.
PF- Rob Kurz- (B+)- 15.8 PPG, 8.9 RPG. The most improved player in the Big East and will continue to get better. It will be hard for him in the physical Big East, but he should hold his own.
PF- Luke Harangody- (A)- Much more impressive than anyone expected. He will continue to improve as he learns inside post moves on offense. Only thing holding him back is continuing to come off the bench.
PG- Tory Jackson- (B)- Will be counted on to run the offense. Has loads of talent, but is very raw. Should improve as the season goes on, but hopefully his inexperience will not hurt the team.
SF- Zach Hillesland (B-)- Doesn't put up a lot of gaudy stats, but can really play. Athletic with a high basketball IQ, will be a good role player off the bench.
SF- Ryan Ayers- (C)- Not sold on him, yet. He will get more opportunities with K-Mac's supension, but so far has seemed tentative and unwilling to take over a game.
PG- Jonathan Peoples- (C+)- Hasn't had a lot of playing time, but ran the offense effectively against Stony Brook and seems like a reliable emergency point guard.
SF- Joe Harden- (C)- Like Peoples, has lacked playing time. Shows flashes of talent, but needs to play more.
Kieran Piller- Walk-on- Second year guy plays hard in practice and does his job well.
Tim Andree- Walk-on- Freshman injured late in nonconference play, but will not get into another game anyway.
That's it. No really bad grades, the Irish have played pretty well as a team all year.
Have a good last few hours of 2006, I'll see you in the new year.