Saturday, December 08, 2007

Notre Dame 108, Northern Illinois 62

Doesn't get much more fun than this. Notre Dame breaks the home winning streak record in a fine way with an easy win over Northern Illinois.

Everyone got involved for significant minutes and scored tonight. Charlie Weis and fourt-star recruit Dan McCarthy were in attendance as well. I believe Tyler Zeller was at the game as well, but he's North Carolina bound, so forget about him.

Tory Jackson was sidelined with a bruised elbow after playing just 11 minutes early in the game. He had four points and four assists against two turnovers while on the floor. Should be fine with two weeks to rest and recover before the next game.

Kyle McAlarney was on fire to start the game. Made his first four three pointers and got the Irish off to a very fast start. 1 assist and 2 rebounds in just 27 minutes of play.

Ryan Ayers had his most impressive all-around offensive game yet. 11 points and four rebounds with three assists in 19 minutes. Looked impressive calling for the ball and running the floor. Hopefully he can continue playing like he did tonight.

Luke Harangody only played 21 minutes with such a large margin of victory. He still managed a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Looked like he was playing volleyball when he kept tipping the ball in the air a few times trying to nab a board. It's great to see that kind of effort, but a little better blocking out would get the job done easier.

Rob Kurz played less than half the game, but racked up 17 points and 6 rebounds. He had to sit a little with 3 fouls, but I don't like to see him and Harangody on the bench together. Zach Hillesland is developing into a good power forward, but he needs another body down low (don't tell me he has Luke Zeller...).

Off the bench, Hillesland had eight points and five rebounds in 16 minutes. Four assists and three steals complete a great overall night for Zach.

Jonathan Peoples had eight points and four assists in 20 minutes replacing Tory Jackson after halftime. Very good overall game, even showed the ability to drive to the basket every once in a while. Definitely a solid player to have in the backcourt.

Luke Zeller had another good game. Six points on two of four shooting and five rebounds. Maybe my comment about Zeller not being a post player is a bit unfair with Luke's solid rebounding effort, but I still like him better on the perimeter. He always gives you 100% and its nice to see him with a little more product to go with the effort.

Ty Nash with his best game yet. Six points and five rebounds off three of three shooting in 18 minutes. Should have had double figures scoring, but missed all his foul shots. That left-handed stroke is pretty ugly from the line. Other than that, however, we saw plenty tonight to encourage Coach Brey to give Nash more playing time.

Tim Abromaitis also had a very nice game. Seven points and three rebounds in 13 minutes. Finished off an alley-oop from Hillesland and showed a little range with a second half three-pointer.

Ty Proffitt was the third scholarship freshman to play double figure minutes. A three-pointer, two rebounds, two assists, and a steal. He could be a guy to watch in the future. After Tory Jackson graduates, someone will need to run the point. Proffitt certainly looks ready to make himself a valuable part of the team.

Walkon Tim Andree with six minutes. Two points, three rebounds in little more than mopup time. Still, great to see a guy like that tget the opportunity to play.

Our other walkon Tom Kopko is a guy I really like. He could have grabbed a scholarship at some nice mid-major schools, but wanted to play for Notre Dame. The Chicago native received the biggest ovation of the night after his first basket broke the century mark for the Irish. Also finished with a nice three pointer. Seems like a really good guy and you have to cheer for him.

The only other guy on the roster, Carleton Scott, is redshirting and will not play this season.

Wow, never thought I'd write a paragraph review of every single player on the team. Nice to see so much involvement for the bench players.

Obviously, a great outcome. Especially nice since there was no letdown after Tuesday's big win. The team shot 62% for the game, 72% in the first half. 56% shooting from beyond the arc. Outrebounded N. Illinois 52 to 27 and finished with 27 assists to just 11 turnovers. The fast pace of the game allowed the Huskies to score a little more in the second half. Still, the defense held NIU to 34% shooting for the game. Switching from zone and man to the half-court trap mixed up the pressure and slowed Northern Illinois down.

So, two weeks off... We'll keep up the posting, but it will cover more national competition and analyse the statistics from Notre Dame's first nine games. Speaking of college hoops around the country, #3 Kansas took down DePaul and #15 Marquette beat #23 Wisconsin. Other ranked games included #22 BYU's loss to Michigan State. I don't believe this will break the Cougars' home winning streak, since it was at the Utah Jazz's home court, but I'm not 100% sure on that. Dayton ruined Rick Pitino's hope for win #500 as the 11th ranked Cardinals fell at home. There have been some rumors about a possible home-and-home series between the Irish and the Flyers, but I certainly would be wary of such a contract. Dayton's home atmosphere is great and they demonstrated today that they know how to win on the road as well.

Good way to finish off a Saturday. Have a nice weekend...


Anonymous said...

I really enjoy your blog, it has the in depth anlysis of a decent basketball squad that the big sports networks don't take the time to do. Do you go to all the home games, cause I live in the Bend and most of the non-conference games are not televised? Keep up the good work, and don't forget Wisconsin lost at home, so that brings the Irish to
3rd place on current home win streak

BlackandGreen said...

Thanks for the comment. I completely passed over the Wisconsin result without thinking of its significance. Our Big East friend Marquette helps the Irish up to #3.

I do go to all the home games, or at least every one I can make (I only missed one or two last year). Thanks for reading the blog!

Jason Gatties said...

I was at the game tonight and the Irish played a near perfect game. A good way to go into a 2 week break.

I know ND was picked to finish like 9th pre season in the Big East, but I could see them finishing 4th or 5th easily.