Monday, November 19, 2007

Georgia Tech 70, Notre Dame 69

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...


Anonymous said...

For a long time, I was willing to give Brey a pass because of the woeful support he has gotten from the Administration in terms of upgrading the Arena and creating a better dedicated practice facility.

But crappy facilities are no excuse for poor shooting (from the field and the line), ill-advised shooting, poor defense, and a timidity in crunch time that is disgraceful.

It's time to start looking around.

BlackandGreen said...

To be fair, losing two games in an inseason tournament is hardly the lowest point in the Brey era.

However, you're quite right that such poor performances from a talented team reflects poorly on the coaching.

Barring a total collapse, Coach Brey is safe through this year. However, if the Irish underachieve the rest of the season, there will certainly be a hot seat in South Bend. But let's hope this is just a blip on the radar and the team gets back on track.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately for Coach Brey, I think we'd lost our patience with disappointing losses this fall before the opening tipoff. That being said, this team has the talent to have a successful Big East run again this year and I hope he has them ready.

Bryan said...

Hmmm....One point losses? No execution at the end of games? Losses to teams they shouldn't lose to? Who coaches this team again?....Grrrr....

Well, this season's 'over' for all intents and purpose. Lunardi last week was saying how ND's schedule was pathetic and any losses at the beginning could lead to a 20 Win, non NCAA Syracuse-esque season for ND. Is a 12-6 BE record really enough to save them with NO big OOC wins...What a disgrace

Anonymous said...

Irrespective of Brey's coaching, I think we have an inherent weakness in our two guards being so short. They are talented, no doubt, particularly with passing, dribbling and timely penetration. However, in crunch time, they are not going to be able to successfully stretch defenses with outside shooting especially against athletic, long-armed teams who can easily play man and guard Jackson and McAlarne on the perimeter.

Here's hoping Zach, Ryan or one of the freshman steps up for outside shooting prowess.

BlackandGreen said...

Bryan- I wouldn't be too quick to turn on the entire season after one weekend, but there certainly is work to be done. What's most important is how the team rebounds from these losses. 12-6 might be required for a solid NCAA berth, but there's still plenty of basketball to be played...

I agree with the comment about how the football season made the fans lose their patience for disappointing games. Not Brey's fault, but it comes with the territory.

Mentioning the guards' heights is very important. The most overlooked asset for Falls and Carter was their 6'4" frame. I would especially like to see more from Ty Nash. If he can contribute significant minutes, it would allow us to experiment with the other players to find a good shooting rotation.

Hopefully we can use the next three games to find out what works best.