Ugly loss, as Arinze Onuaku shut down Luke Harangody and the Irish repeatedly shut themselves in the foot. This will leave a sour taste in the mouth until next Saturday's big game.
Tory Jackson really lead the way when it came to bad decision making. I love the guy and I think he's come a long away over his three years at ND, but the last two games have reminded me a lot of his freshman year. He hit two threes (one did have his foot brushing the line and was taken away later) in the opening minute, then proceeded to shoot like Kyle McAlarney. Added three turnovers when he really just tried to rush instead of playing his normal game.
K-Mac was a bit of a saving grace, however. He did try a shot from Rochester with plenty of time left on the shot clock (perhaps the most ridiculous shot selection I have ever seen in the normal realm of a game), but scored 24 and made half his threes. It's been awhile since Mac had one of these games and it was nice to see him back, albeit in a losing effort.
Ryan Ayers played pretty well. 11 points on 4-8 shooting. We really became a perimeter team last night, so it's understandable that Ryan would take more shots. I still want to see him be more assertive. Give me a couple midrange jumpers to expand your game. Right now, he just helps when we sell out the post and go bombs away outside.
Hillesland hasn't shown much since Big East play started. 5 rebounds, 4 fouls, nothing else. He gave us that as the sixth man at the beginning of last year. A Big East power forward needs to be better.
Having read some of the comments already, I know some of your disagree with my earlier statement about Onuaku taking away Harangody. He did have 25 and 16, but look into it a little further. 28% shooting, three attempts from beyond the arc. Every attempt Luke made was a jump hook or a jumper falling away. Onuaku completely took out the post game (with some help by the refs letting him hack) and we became a perimeter team.
Off the bench, Peoples and Zeller played pretty well. It's nice to know we can go seven deep!
That's it for today. Thanks for the comments and keep them coming. One week to recover before a huge game next Saturday.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
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1) I thought the refs were awful and I usually don't complain but it seemed everything went against us.
2) We cannot win consistently in this league playing only 7 guys. Its just too tough and too fast.
3) I don't see the intensity on Defense. A big reason is we are tired.
4) Hillesland has not shown up in league play at all. We need him and today he did not look good. He is not confident and does nothing defensively.
We will always score no matter if we are tired or not but the toughest thing to do is play good defense on tired legs. I understand Brey's thinking but we have to make a commitment to defense and that starts with substituting fresh players in. This is how all games are going to be if in this league if we don't play defense. We will always score in the 70s or 80s but will not get key stops to win.
This is a tough one and things are not going to get easier. Defense is going to win games in the Big East and we are certainly struggling in that category.
I still feel that Hillesland is hurting from the foot problem. I don't know what else to say about the 7 man rotation. We look a step slow and can't guard anyone.
Our "committment to defense" all too often consists of hoping the other team gets cold. It's been this way for the last eight years.
If that's the best Hillesland can play, he should stick to blogging.
This is a .500 Big East team that plays no defense. If the tiebreakers go bad, they could very well be playing on the first day of the Big East Tournament. A bubble NCAA team.
We need to play more guys. Yeah, maybe they're not all that great now, and maybe we have a better chance to win games now playing 7 guys, but playing in real games is the best way to get more guys up to speed. I don't care if they're not cutting it in practice. Play them now and lessen our seeding in both tournaments, but with an 8 or 9 man rotation we'll go further in both tournaments than with a 7 man rotation and a better seed.
So much for a easy eleven point victory.....
We're not good enough on defense to have many road B.E. wins. The team seemed to take a step backwards today. The passing was as bad as its been in a long time? Never do we catch a break from the refs! If 25 points 16 rebounds is being shut down I'll take it. Granted Gody didn't play his best game, but neither did anyone else. This team is not a great team.
One more thing - I hate bitching about officials, but I can't stand this "thug-ball" that is being allowed. I get that this si the Big East and I have no problem "letting them play", but the incessant traveling calls that don't get called are ridiculous. Almost every single time a Syracuse guys caught the ball, he immediately took at least 2 steps. Louisville does the same thing (and it kills me to say that, as a Louisville native and dyed-in-the-wool UofL fan until I went to ND). If they're not going to call the rules, they should change the rules. This isn't street ball. You can't change your pivot foot, or drag your foot, or carry the ball while dribbling (another thing I saw Syracuse repeatedly doing).
Just venting, but I hate that we seem to play by the rules, and our opponenets are playing by a different set of rules. Ifthe officials don't call the walking and "crab-dribbling" and "jump stop", then we should take advantage of these too.
Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. I hate Syracuse.
Looking at the schedule, I see 3-10 going out. We are terrible. It's not that we play defense poorly. We don't play defense. We clear a way to the basket.
If they call the game against UConn the same way Thabeet will have 20 "blocks" and we will lose by 30.
I keep hearing that our bench isn't good enough to win in this league. Well guess what? Neither are our starters.
I guess I'm a little overly steamed right now because I had allowed myself to get on the Brey bandwagon a little bit and really thought this team could make a run at something special this year. And like the football team, I am finally learning that modern ND hoops is and always will be a one and done BET team with the occasional loss in the round of 32 in the NCAA.
Well, at least we can get Harangody decent looks from behind the arc.
The game came down to two things: abysmal shooting and errant passes [unforced turnovers].
If we shoot anywhere near are normal efficiency, we win. If we pass anywhere near as well as normal, we win going away...
That was a really frustrating game to watch. at the 7 minute time out in the first half we were 8 for 26 from the field - at least half of those misses coming on clean looks. 30% shooting doesn't get it done in any league.
This is my first time to post on this site. I have been on it a few times over the last year.
I think that most of you expect to much from this team. I realize its a veteran group. Coach Brey has done a remarkable job in nine years considering what he has had to work with. The schools lack of interest in the program, a run down ACC and inferior talent. Some of the above are being addressed. In order to move to the next level we need two things to happen.
1. Recruiting needs to improve in a big way. I think I read someone here saying two quality players per year? I agree, it can be done.
2. The coaching staff must teach our players the art of DEFENSE!
Comment to our gracious host: Onuaku shut down Harangody. NOT
I agree wholeheartedly with Tory Jackson's comment in the SBT today. What Tory was saying is that someone needs to knock someone down when they go high flying to the hole. This is not something new in basketball. Not a dirty foul but a hard foul and a statement - Don't come down here unless you expect to get hit. I can't remember the last hard foul I saw from an ND player. Brey should understand this from K. K learned from Knight who learned from Iba. I can assure you that folks did not drive the middle against K and Knight teams without expecting to pay the price. This is another byproduct of the short bench as fouls are limited when you only play 7.
In order to move to the next level we need two things to happen.
* * *
2. The coaching staff must teach our players the art of DEFENSE!
Poor facilities are no impediment to teaching defense. Your suggestions raise the question of what has prevented Brey from emphasizing defense before now.
I'm really confused with how this team has collapsed on defense. We were top 50 the last two years and have only finished out of the top 100 in tempo free D once since 2004 (the year Ken Pomeroy started keeping track of that stuff).
We've never been great at defense, not even especially good, but it's been respectable before this year. Sure, the coaching staff has a lot of questions to answer about our porous D, but you have to point fingers at the players as well.
The thing about that one Kmac attempt was, the next time down the floor he made a shot from almost the exact same spot.
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