Sunday, December 14, 2008

Thoughts From Yesterday

It was a game of two very different halves.

...and that's a good thing. The Irish used halftime to make adjustments and come out invigorated in the second half. While the first 20 minutes was a display of everything that can go wrong with this Notre Dame team, the Irish outscored Boston by 13 and outrebounded them by six in the second half. That is very good, no matter who you play. The team showed more fire on defense and attacked the rim with the ball. While Mike Brey teams have been criticized for not making enough adjustments, that could certainly not be argued here.

Take away Boston's second half three-point barrage and we win by a decent margin.

While the first half demonstrated how the Irish can be beaten by a team that attacks the offensive glass, Notre Dame took away second chances after halftime. Boston had to rely on shooting 53% (8-15) from beyond the arc to delay the inevitable. Corey Lowe used a very effective step back dribble to give himself space and actually hit those shots in the second half. Without a hot shooting streak, it would have been more evident that the Irish outplayed Boston in almost all second half aspects.

Harangody needs some help on the glass.

Luke finished with ten more boards than anyone else on the team. The second half gap in rebounding was primarily due to his superior positioning and heart going after the ball. Hillesland needs to step up and get those boards, as well as Nash off the bench. As mentioned in the comments of the last post, Brey had difficulty playing Nash against such a small Boston lineup. Even Zeller was held to only 11 minutes. Against bigger Big East teams, he should see a chance to make an impact. Hopefully.

We really looked bad in the first half and that could be a blueprint for defeating the Irish in league play. Attack for offensive rebounds, double team Harangody when he gets to the post, shadow McAlarney all over the court. If the halves were inverted, we would be talking about how the Irish nearly blew a big halftime lead. As it stands, they came back and really stepped up their game when it counted. Other teams have bad days too (Texas, Tennessee, Kansas), the key is to pull out the win and learn from it. We won, now let's fix the problems we had in the first half yesterday.


Anonymous said...

Good analysis BlackandGreen. I agree that sometimes a tough, grind it out victory pays more dividends down the road than a blowout. There are areas of concern that I'm sure the coaches are aware of and attempting to correct.

Great to see that Kurz is making the most of his shot. You hope that he doesn't get caught up in a numbers game. We miss his contributions in every facet of the game.

Am I the only one that thinks Tim Abro could have helped this year? A big body, good shooter with a high basketball IQ. Scott and Nash do some nice things but they are not bangers down low - something we miss.

BlackandGreen said...

From what I've heard, Abromaitis is more of a perimeter guy who can stretch the defense with his outside shot. We already have a few of those in Mac, Ayers, and Zeller.

If he was playing this year, he wouldn't be earning much more time than Scott and Nash (probably in the high single digits). Sitting him out will give us a good shooter for an extra year since the three guys mentioned above are graduating.