That's how a ranked team plays on the road...
Awesome effort by the Irish tonight and a great win that makes Saturday look like a relly fun game indeed. First half effort saw Notre Dame up 20. The second half was not as solid, but outscoring a pretty decent team by 26 on the road in this conference... impressive.
Remember the Pirates beat Louisville at home and played Marquette, Georgetown, and Connecticut much tougher than our game tonight. Giving a team like this their worst loss by far while on the road says volumes about the ability and heart of this ND sqaud.
After taking their first lead a minute into the game, Coach Brey's boys used 56% shooting and some long stretches of tough defense to put the game away early. Even Abromaitis and Nash earned some playing time at the end of this one.
Tory Jackson sniffed a triple-double with a very good performance. 9 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds. 3-9 from the floor is probably his only bad stat. Hit three of his four attempts from the foul line. Four of his rebounds were on the offensive glass, creating second chances. When your point guard can be the third highest rebounder, that's a great added wrinkle to the team.
Kyle McAlarney showed off for the mom once again. 19 points. 5-8 shooting from beyond the arc. Led the team to a 45% shooting night from downtown. Also handed out 6 assists. After two cold shooting games in a row, it was great to see K-Mac back on fire.
Zach Hillesland finished with 7 points and 2 rebounds. 3 of 5 shooting from the floor and picked up the most fouls on the team, with three. Seeing how well Notre Dame jumped off to a lead speaks volumes about how Zac's hustle helps off the Irish start out of the gate. Starting slowly has been a problem in road losses in the past, but tonight's fast start created an easy win.
Rob Kurz with a double-double. 17 points, 10 rebounds. Only 1-5 from beyond the arc, so he had to pick up half of those points from the charity stripe. 8-9 with the freebies. Nice numbers for Mr. Consistent.
Luke Harangody is your Big East Player of the Year exactly halfway through the conference schedule. 22 and 13 tonight for yet another double-double. 10 of 15 from the field, just dominating the paint as Laing and Garicia (SH's top two rebounders) did not have an answer.
Off the bench, Zeller had a very nice night. 8 points, 3 rebounds. 3-5 shooting, including half his four three point shots. Congrats to the big fella and definitely hope to see more of the same in the future. Ryan Ayers was even better with a similar script. 9 points, 4-5 from the field. 4 rebounds in addition. Ryan has been a lot more productive off the bench and Coach Brey has to be happy with how the young man has handled things. Peoples with two points and not much else. Nice to see Abro and Nash get some playing time.
Outshot the Pirates 56% to 38%. Just under 70% from the line, but did get five more points that Seton Hall there. In rebounding, the Irish were dominant, 44-27. Brian Laing and freshman Jeremy Hazell did score too much for my liking, but Laing was just on his season average. Hazell's 26 are just under a career high, as he dropped 29 in their win over Louisville.
Great win for ND. Let's keep this momentum and get the victory Saturday to move up in the rankings. Keep the Streak!
Duke/UNC is a lot of fun to watch, just a really good basketball game between two great archrivals and no team I have to root for. Tune in on ESPN.
Finally, I just need to mention that Notre Dame's two big road wins have come wearing the black jerseys. Coincidence? I think not. Go Irish.
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
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Wow. Excellent showing by the Irish.
By the way, thanks for the tipoff to channelsurfing.net - that is b*d*ss. I listened to the first 3/4 of the game online, and thanks to you, watched the last 1/4.
I was there tonight. The game was over in the first 10 minutes. When this team plays within itself - each taking their roles, they are a machine. They fluidly move between loose offensive sets sometimes in a spread, sometimes working the inside out. There are so many weapons, it's tough to guard.
I've been to 2 games this year, K-State & Seton Hall. The biggest difference? Harangody has begun to master the inside out game. The Marquette & Georgetown losses & the Connecticut shut down have taught him & the team to adjust to double and triple teams. And it makes everyone on the team better offensively. After seeing this tonight live, I have a much better feeling in my gut about the Connecticut road game. I don't think you'll see Luke shut down.
The defense tonight was spectacular - arms and hands everywhere, contesting every pass Luke had 3 steals anticipating passes. Kmac, Jackson, Ayers, everyone. They contested everything. Liang's points, well, he got fouled twice on 3 pointers [one by Kurz, one by Hillesland] and he took everything from 25 feet and beyond. It's tough to defend that without giving up too much room for penetration.
My one complaint, my buddy and I were sitting in the stands screaming at Brey to bring in Nash and Abromaitis at 5:30 left. They were up by 31. It's time to test next year's potential rotations. They need game experience. Unfortunately, he waited until 3:30 to bring 'em in.
Sorry - correction, that wasn't Laing, but Hazell who got fouled twice...
love your blog. check it almost every day. woderful insights.
would love to know your thoughts on the two verbals in line for brey.
Thanks for the comments.
As for the commits, I'm not that great of an authority on scouting players, but I do like the two guys we have lined up so far.
Joey Brooks looks like a nice pickup. 6'5", 200 pounds, and a 3 star on both Scout and Rivals. His team is 24-5 and Joey has been playing pretty well for them. Has scored 25 two of the last three games and consistently leads the team in scoring.
Jack Cooley is averaging 25 and 13 for Glenbrook South and looks like to be in the mold of an ND big man with a nice midrange jumper. Needs to bulk up (210 pounds) but weighs ten more than Kurz did out of high school.
Brooks will play on the wing and Cooley down low. Need to pick up another guard and someone else for depth, but there is plenty of time. Nice to see that Coach Brey has picked up two solid guys this early against the likes of Wisconsin, Illinois, and Marquette.
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