Saturday, December 30, 2006

Stony Brook

A day later, it feels like you've been dumped by your high school sweetheart. There's a sickness in the pit of your stomach that won't go away. You have random thoughts like "I won't see his cute rainbow shot in the lane anymore." So I exaggerate a little, but that's about how I felt today. Notre Dame beat Stony Brook 95-66, but we'll get to that later.

Whether previous reports were a smokescreen or not, Kyle McAlarney was nowhere to be seen Saturday afternoon at the Joyce Center. Tory Jackson took control of the offense and the rest of the starting lineup stayed together.

I watched the first half and the start of the second before 5:30 Mass, but I'll do my best to get the story straight. Tory Jackson has an awful lot of talent. He is the best passer on the team and plays with a great passion. Unfortunately, his ball-handling skills are not the same as McAlarney's and he looked hassled when Stony Brook turned the pressure up on him. In 29 minutes, he had 3 points and 2 assists offsetting 5 turnovers.

Russell Carter had another awesome game. 8-12 shooting including 7-11 from beyond the arc. 23 points, 4 assists. Very good job, Russ. He stayed at high-octane even without the normal PG and only playing 26 minutes.

Colin Falls played well. With a younger guy playing the point, I think Falls will have a starting spot the rest of the year. His leadership was apparent several times when Jackson got flustered. Colin calmed the freshman down and called out defensive assignments all afternoon. 17 points on 6-10 shooting made his offensive effort complete. We will need Falls to be consistently giving 15-20 points a night here on out.

For Rob Kurz, another double-double, 15 points over 10 rebounds. He made a couple of bad mental mistakes, but that is the exception and thankfully not the rule for him. Zeller scored 8 points with 4 rebounds. Perfect shooting and a better night overall for him.

Harangody scored 12 before fouling out. His inside moves are pretty good and he has impressive footwork, but there is plenty of upside along the lines of offensive post play for him. Hillesland gave a solid overall performance. Ayers was ok, but needs to get more confident. He passed up several good looks. Peoples logged 13 minutes after I left, but came up empty.

Overall, Stony Brook harrassed our offense in the backcourt with its press. Jackson had trouble moving the ball past half-court and needed Falls to help him out. I would blame our deficiency both on the new point guard and a quick, tenacious Stony Brook defense. 29 points wins are good any night of the week, but they face a big test against Louisville.

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