Another tough, tough pill to swallow. Matt Causey's three pointer with 2 seconds left turned a 2 point Notre Dame lead into a Yellow Jacket victory and sent the Irish home with an extemely disappointing 4th place finish in the Virgin Islands.
There will be plenty of people who will blame Coach Brey for yet another close loss. Losing this one was not at all like our previous blunders (especially two seasons ago), so I definitely give the head coach a pass for how the game was lost. If you want to talk about how the team underperformed overall against two inferior opponents, that's a different story.
Luke Harangody was the man for the second day in a row. 22 points, 12 rebounds. He may have been at fault on that last three pointer, but overall a great performance for the young man. We need to see more of that from him.
Rob Kurz had another quiet night, slowed by 4 fouls. 15 points (6 from the line) and 6 rebounds. With such a grea performance by his fellow frontcourt mate, it would have been nice to see the senior take the game over more in the paint.
K-Mac was cold again. 3-8 for seven points is not what you need from the 2 guard. 1-5 from the three point line is also very discouraging.
Jackson had ten points, but 3 assists and 5 turnovers. Missed half his foul shots. Not a very pretty night. We must improve the guard play to be successful in the Big East.
Ryan ayers played only 18 minutes, with 3 points. Unless he was injured (I didn't get to watch the game on TV), he could lose that starting spot to Zach Hillesland.
Zach was another bright spot for the Irish. 12 points and 5 rebounds off the bench.
Peoples and Zeller were used very sparingly. Eight minutes with limited production each. Using an eight-man rotation is one thing, but I would like to see more minutes for the guys off the bench. No reason to let our best players get tired when we have several scholarship players riding the pine.
Overall, the 40% shooting was better, but not great. 31% from deep does not bode well for a team that relied on the long ball so much last season. 14/19 assist to turnover ratio is not acceptable.
Georgia Tech made their last six three pointers. You can't blame that hot shooting touch on the Irish D. With a two point lead, I can understand defending the inside shot and possibly leaving Causey open for the three. That said, this loss and entire trip ends up being very disappointing. With such a promising season ahead of us on Saturday, the last two days have made doubters out of the best Irish fans. Questions will be answered and the players know what they need to do, but there will not be another opportunity to make up for these losses until December 4th against Kansas State. Until then, the Irish must stress fundamentals and look to destroy Youngstown St., Colgate, and Eastern Michigan.
This Irish must bounce back from this. The Notre Dame nation needs this team to play well and to expectation. Please, for our sanity...