Saturday, December 29, 2007

Notre Dame 87, Brown 54

Big time win for the Irish tonight. Great to see Notre Dame put this one away early.

We knew Damon Huffman and Mark McAndrew liked to shoot the three and both were very solid under heavy defense tonight. Huffman scored 21 on 5 of 8 from beyond the arc and McAndrew scored 10 as the only other Brown player in double figures. Except for Huffman's big night (a great performance while well covered), the Irish had a terrific defensive performance tonight.

Some touch fouls were called against the Irish under the basket early, taking away a little of our size advantage down low. In the second half, Notre Dame started with some man press to break up Brown's offensive flow and keep the game from getting competitive. Brown allowed ND to rack up a huge advantage on the boards. The Irish picked up a few free ones as the Bears dropped four defenders every time a Brown player shot free throws.

Kyle McAlarney started hot in the first half, but cooled off after halftime. Overall, 12 points, three assists, and two steals. 4 of 10 shooting from three-point land. Solid game for the Irish shooting guard on a night that he had plenty of help.

Tory Jackson had his usual poor shooting night, but was great on the other aspects of his game. 4 points, shooting one for six. Nine assists to one turnover and six rebounds. He made some nice drives to the basket, but failed to score on them. Still, that penetration allowed his teammates to grab offensive rebounds off the glass. No matter how poorly he has shot for the year (2 for 19 from beyond the arc going into the game), Tory had the confidence to keep shooting when he gets open. That is impressive, although he must be sure not to go overboard.

Ryan Ayers had his best overall game of the year. 13 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists. Made 3 of his 6 three-point attempts. Good to see him be a little more productive overall on the offensive end.

Luke Harangody was golden in the first half. Finished with 13 points and eight boards in only 21 minutes. In the second half, he earned a little extra rest. Bamm-Bamm showed some range, hitting 10 and 15 foot jumpers with ease. He really is turning into a complete offensive threat, the best we have in the post and an above-average shooter all over the court.

Rob Kurz picked up with 14th career double double, 6th of the season. 15 points and 11 rebounds in another quietly efficient game for the senior captain. Made all five free throws, a great sign for future close contests.

Luke Zeller is a big time shooter. It was great to see him hit score nine points, including two big time three-pointers. It was not so great to see him give up more than nine points with terrible perimeter defense, allowing Brown's quicker players to speed straight to the basket. He is a great perimeter shooter who can really stretch a defense. He unfortunately lacks the agility to defend guards on the outside and strength to stop power forwards down low. A huge liability on the defensive end. He is a great guy who certainly gives the team 110%, but cannot be trusted on the floor when a defensive stop is needed.

Jonathan Peoples scored eight and showed a little range with two threes. Zach Hillesland has four points, four assists, and five rebounds. Nash and Abromitis got in with 6:42 to play in the game. Ty finished with two points and four assists, while Tim dropped two free throws to make up for an 0-5 night from the floor. Walkon Tim Andree scored two points from the line, while former Ivy League recruit Tom Kopko was the only finish player without a point. Probably was too distracted by that long hair and those XXL shorts.

Great to see Notre Dame get back to normal tonight. 54 rebounds, including 22 on the offensive glass helped the Irish score 87 against a team that likes to slow down the tempo. Solid, but not great shooting night. Finally, only seven turnovers and 23 assists and a solid night from the line allowed the Irish to control all four of the crucial aspects of the game (FG%, FT, turnovers, offensive rebounds).

Two additional stats to note: 27 second-chance points for Notre Dame and 16 points off turnovers, big numbers that will help any team. Overall, a great win and should help us against former Notre Dame assistant Mat Kilcullen and the very bad North Florida Ospreys in the final nonconference tuneup Monday. After that, we have West Virginia and UCONN next week. Some big games coming up. Go Irish.

1 comment:

BlackandGreen said...

No one wants to be tops in the Big East this year. Pitt gets crushed by Dayton 80-55 tonight.

Again, that's why we don't play the Flyers.