Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Exorcising Demons

It feels good to be a Notre Dame fan again. 78-54. For all that it means, the best performance of the season for the Irish. Easy win, rivalry game, opponent we lost to earlier.

Great game for Colin Falls. I mean, great first half. #15 was outscored by 3 by DePaul in the first 20 minutes. Ended up with the 19 points he finished the first half with, but it sure looks good on paper. Made half his shots, is a coach on the floor. Hope we can send him off with a final home win Saturday.

Russell, Russell, Russell. Not a great shooting game for Carter, but still scored 13 and contributed with 5 rebounds. I just wish he would quit feeling sorry for himself at times. Left the game with his head down twice even with a big ND lead. That's one thing you can never blame Falls with. Still, should bounce back well against Marquette.

Luke Harangody was very solid once again. 13 points, 7 boards. Great inside moves. Once he can hit the jump hook, he will be a serious force. Another great effort with lots of hustle from the big man.

Rob Kurz wasn't needed as much down low, but opened the court with perfect three-point shooting tonight. 3 of 3 from deep. 15 points, 5 rebounds total.

Tory Jackson was his best this year. 13 points, 9 rebounds. 6 assists to one turnover. Lots of pressure on the young man, but he really stepped up tonight. One play in particular sticks out. With the shot clock winding down and very little getting done in the half-court game, Jackson drove to the hoop and made a circus pass outside to a wide-open Kurz for three. That play kept the Irish with the momentum in the 2nd half.

Ryan Ayers finally looks like part of the offense out there. Great job on D, but also had three rebounds and passed the ball around well. Hillesland with another solid performance all around. Zeller gave Kurz and Bamm-Bamm some rest, but provided little on the floor. Peoples played a few good minutes early; Harden and Piller cleaned it up late.

Really nice to get some revenge at home against DePaul. The Irish are finally on the verge of locking up their first NCAA bid in far too long. 1-1 should do it, but ND has a great opportunity seed-wise to beat Marquette Saturday. With a tuneup like this, the Irish should be ready to take on the #16 team nationally. Good luck to Brey and the guys and congrats for a really great win tonight.

Bloggers Poll Results-

1) Pittsburgh (10): 235 pts.
2) Georgetown (5): 230 pts.
3) Louisville: 202 pts.
4) Marquette: 183 pts.
5) West Virginia: 179 pts.
6) Notre Dame: 166 pts.
7) Villanova: 151 pts.
8) Syracuse: 135 pts.
9) DePaul: 129 pts.
10) Providence: 114 pts.
11) Connecticut: 84 pts.
12) St. John's: 76 pts.
13) Seton Hall: 60 pts.
14) South Florida: 49 pts.
15) Rutgers: 30 pts.
16) Cincinnati: 16 pts.

Player of the Week: Jeff Green, Georgetown
Freshman of the Week: Jerome Dyson, Connecticut

Ok, I admit that I'm trying to slip this in without you noticing because I took some heat for my ballot. Still, head-to-head I think the Irish get the #3 spot (Marquette's certainly up for debate, but I can't wait to see the two teams collide on Saturday). I'll eat some crow if the Golden Eagles blow us out, but you can give me a little break right now, eh?

Honestly, I think Colin Falls was the better (and more valuable) player last week, but obviously I watch a lot more ND games than Georgetown. The Irish were without a Big East player of the year candidate being 100%, but bounced back from two killer road losses to bad teams. In previous years, ND has folded down the stretch. Not this time. For all he does with the ball in his hands and as a leader on the floor, I felt Colin deserved a vote. Am I biased? Absolutely. But thanks for the input. If I wanted y'all to agree with me 24/7, this would be pointless. Keep up the banter.


c-stone said...

Tonight's game is the kind of result that speaks volumes going into post-season play. It seems that in recent years, it was the end-of-season heartbreaking 1/2pt. loss that defined the Irish squad.

Could this year be different? Only time will tell.

BlackandGreen said...

The Marquette game could be very cruicial in determining the mettle of this team. The win will lock up an NCAA berth, BET bye, etc. and look good to the committee in determining our seeding. A better seed means a better chance at going deep in the tournament, and it goes on from there. Big, big opportunity Saturday.

Bryan said...

See, Now THAT was impressive...No messing around, beat a team that they needed to beat at home...

Few things:

-When/How many times has ND gone unbeaten at home? Because that would really be a HUGE accomplishment and a nice feather in Brey's cap..

-That said, a TYPICAL Brey move to beat Marquette and then lose to Rutgers to put ND back on the bubble...It's happened before, be forewarned...

-Looking ahead to the BET, which opponent would be nice/benifical to play in the first game. Personally, if ND is the 5 seed, I'd be scared to death playing SJU or UConn at MSG given past history in the BET and the HCA both teams would have, so avoiding that scenario would be nice. As a 4 Seed, playing Marquette (5) or WVA (5 or 6) again would be tempting and give a nice bump in seeding with a victory. Syracuse or Nova (or even Depaul at 5) could be playing for their bids and would provide little for the Irish seed...Thoughts??

-On a personal note, I'd really LOVE ND to play in the afternoon on Thursday so I could go to BOTH the ND game and the Islanders/Rangers game that night...

Anonymous said...

With the Marquette game coming up, I'm reminded of one of my all-time favorite responses to visiting fans making noise at the Joyce Center - the Marquette fans got a "We Are... Marquette" cheer going.

The students responded with "You Are... Marquette"

Bryan said...

BTW, on last night's game, did any one else scram off "Oh **** you, you fat tub of goo" when Rick Majerus claimed that Charlie Weis won the Commander in Chief trophy? Please tell me I wasn't the only one...

Maybe i'm paranoid for the usual Musberger/Packer comments, but the announcers were DEF. rooting for Depaul last night...

Anonymous said...

You were the only one, Bryan. Majerus was fine last night. He was merely hoping for a competitive game, and DePaul did not oblige.

BlackandGreen said...

1. Offhand, I don't think ND has gone undefeated in a regular season in the tournament era. I'll check on that when I get time. Yesterday did set a record for consecutive home wins.

2. ND lost at Rutgers or on a neutral court four straight years from '02-'05. Plenty to be worried about, especially at a place like the RAC. Still, a win against Marquette should mean that the Rutgers game would be for seeding, barring a total meltdown.

3. I'd take any team we'd get at #4 over UCONN and St. John's. Pit our fresh squad against a tired opponent. Plus, any 11 or 12 seed has tournament lives to play for. I would hope that either Marquette or West Virginia would have locked up a bid. Not to mention the fact that a bad upset to a 12-seed is just about the only thing that could knock a 10-6 ND team out of the tournament.

On the Majerus note, a woman leaned over to me last night and complained about his commentary in previous games. I've never really had more of a problem with him than any other ESPN personality, but I also don't tune in for the analysts. Is Majerus really that bad?

Anonymous said...

I personally like majerus's basketball insight along w/ his somewhat witty commentary. He seems to enjoy interjecting Catholic themed topics into his play-by-play.

Bryan said...

I was really just pissed at the C-in-C comment when they showed Weis b/c it was a leftover shot at the Football team. I suppose they were just rooting for a cose game later on, but it def seemed 'pro-Depaul' last night....I expect that from Musberger and Packer, not from Majerus

Anonymous said...

i didnt really notice the pro-depaul commentary until one of them made a comment with something like 6 minutes left where they were discussing what depaul still could do to come back. Not that a comeback like that has never happened, but if you had watched 2min of the game you would have known that there was no way that ND was losing that game b/c of attitude, hussle, momentum, etc. i also did not appreciate the commander in chief comment.

Anonymous said...

I was really not surprised by the comment. 95% of the time u r going to get a ND football reference during a ND basketball. How many times this year has majerus made a comment about carter playing for Weis?

Anonymous said...

none of the other comments have been degrading to the football program though. Majerus' ties to Marquette may have been a factor as to why it was clear he wanted ND to lose.