The more we seem to struggle this season, the more my hopes rise for next year. At the moment, we seem to have earned a back-of-the-top-25 spot. We look very good at times and very poor at others.
Take a look at the problem areas. Two seniors, Zach Hillesland and Ryan Ayers, seem to be the weakest links on both offense and defense. Most people who observe the program express an interest in seeing more playing time for Ty Nash and Carleton Scott, most likely at the expense of Hillesland and Ayers.
Next season we lose the two biggest problem areas in the starting rotation and seemingly add athleticism (currently missing from the rotation) and a true power forward in Nash (though transfer Scott Martin is an interesting X-factor... he was the most highly recruited prep player currently on the ND roster). If Ben Hansbrough can replace a fraction of Kyle McAlarney's outside shot and Luke Harangody continues his development, our drop next year will not be as bad as originally feared.
Hey, it's something positive to think about as this season has hit a depressing stretch of mediocrity.
Monday, January 19, 2009
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I think you hit the nail on the head with athleticism. I am beginning to think that we were ranked too high at the beginning of the season and just don't have the horses to compete day in and day out with those that do. We can get up for the occasional big game, i.e., G-Town, but don't have the talent to do it all the time.
Not mad, just trying to be realistic. And I certainly do not blame the coach, as many seem to do.
Agree with you about the future prospects. This may just not be our year.
Sometimes it takes awhile for the light to come on......
Both Martin and Hansbrough would be in the rotation this year if available. Talk to anyone on the coaching staff?
There is a good chance Harangody is gone after this year.
I would be shocked if Harangody left after this year. Most mock drafts have him as a mid second rounder at best right now. He's a smart kid, if the money's not there (and right now, it isn't), he will come back.
Take a look at the other two Irish to win Big East Player of the Year. Pat Garrity stayed four years (he won as a junior) and was drafted 19th. Troy Murphy left after his junior season and two Player of the Year awards. He was drafted 14th overall.
Unless he can be assured of a pick that high and get the guaranteed contract (not a chance with a guy like Hansbrough projected in the 19-25 range), it is more financially beneficial to stay that extra year.
Murph projected better as an NBA guy and was probably justified to strike while the iron was hot. I love 'Gody and I think he will have a decent pro career, but there is no reason to go early (barring a deep run in March that makes his stock spike).
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