A strong second half by Georgetown erased a large early lead for the Irish and sent the Hoyas to the NET finals, 84-82. Russell Carter missed a very good opportunity to win in the final seconds, but it was not to be.
Carter shot 7 for 21 in the game. After starting very well, his second half was forgettable. Poor shot selection lead to a lower clip from beyond the arc. Overall, 21 points, mostly from the 1st half.
Colin Falls disappeared as well in the 2nd half. The other senior captain finished with 14, on 4 of 10 shooting.
For as much as the seniors faltered down the stretch, two freshmen very nearly pulled out a win for ND. First, Luke Harangody followed up a great performance against Syracuse with 11 points inside. Bamm-Bamm worked relentlessly on both ends of the floor matching up with Hibbert (7'2") and Ewing.
Tory Jackson, however, single-handedly kept the game close. With the team down 7 and Georgetown about to run away with it, Jackson scored 7 straight and tied the contest. Overall, 20 points for a player not known for his scoring ability. The isolation worked to perfection several times as Tory took advantage of slower defenders.
Kurz was 5 of 5 from the line, but failed to stick out as Harangody clearly was the #1 option down low. Luke Zeller saw extended minutes, but reinforced the belief that he should stay on the bench. As a shooting big man, 1-4 from beyond the arc is not enough to make up for his lack of inside ability. One shot clearly sticks out as Luke had a very good opportunity from beyond the arc when down the stretch when any points ware needed, but missed and in turn gave Georgetown the ball back.
No one else on the bench provided much more than a breather for the starters.
Of course, it's disappointing to lost such a close game. Adding insult to injury is the fact that ND had an opportunity to turn the contest into a rout early. However, Player of the Year Jeff Green played very well with 30 points and Georgetown is a clearly a very good team. We really made them earn this one.
JTII and his son seemed to have an effect on officiating, which was rather anti-ND at times. The crowd also looked on television to be rather stacked with Hoya fans. ESPN showed the Notre Dame student section just once in the second half.
The Irish shouldn't fall much in either the rankings or in terms of seeding. Virginia and Tennessee losing will actually help a little. Mike Brey's boys will have tomorrow to shake off the loss and be back on campus for Selection Sunday.
Friday, March 09, 2007
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Hard to win when you play five on eight. A great open shot at the end for Carter, but he took a poor shot. Damn.
Fixed the double post. No worries.
Also, I failed to note that Georgetown did do a very good job of taking away the three point shot in the 2nd half. That's what kept Falls from contributing. Carter is a similar story, except he just didn't make the same heavily covered looks as in the first half.
Nevertheless, the team looked very good tonight. Maybe it will serve to make them hungrier come non-NIT tourney time! I have to admit, I was overwhelmed by how well Jackson played late in the game. That bodes well.
Trying to find a positive from the negative, let's hope that such a tough game helps prepare us for the NCAA tournament.
The comment of "five vs. eight" is on-target, as is your props to our frosh. However, I wonder why Hillesland and Ayers didn't contribute more? And, is Luke Zeller the Joey Harrington of college basketball?!? Tonight's contribution: one rebound and four fouls to accompany one-for-four from the line.
Disappointing loss. There were too many people trying to make too many dangerous passes in the paint (especially last 6:00 or so) Jackson looks like the real deal and knows how to git’r done.
ND played a very good game and forced GTown to play a faster game than it would have liked. However, the statement that implies that the refs cost ND the game is ludicrous and reeks of hubris, especially when you state that JTII and his son "influenced" the refs. There were some questionable calls on BOTH sides, but neither ND or Gtown got the benefit of all calls. Indeed, the most egregious calls-the foul on Rivers going for the ball and the non-call oon Summers on an almost indentical play in the second half were in favor of ND. ND got beat because the defense could not stop BE POY Green getting points and rebounds and ND lives and dies by 3's and Oppenheimer BE COY could not pull this rabbit out of his hat. Finally, Jackson was excellent, but the result is that Falls and Carter were watching him and taken out of the game.
As a certified Joey Harrington apologist, I have to find comparing Luke Zeller to Joey offensive... to Harrington. Seriously though, it's hard to write the college basketball chapter of Luke Zeller's life with less than two years completed. It is quite possible that LZ will find his niche as a upperclassman. At this point, however, playing Zeller as the 3rd big man when he clearly lacks an inside game will mean that he will continue to produce those unimpressive stat lines.
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