N-I-T. That's where this heartbreaker of a season is headed. There is plenty of blame to go around. It's just getting painful to watch now.
I said Deonta Vaughn was a terrible shooter before today's game and I don't think he turned into Reggie Miller overnight. The zone was the right call against this team, our players just close slower than Shaquille O' Neal with two broken ankles. Blame who you want for that, Coach Brey certainly deserves some complaints for poorly coached D.
Mick Cronin is a punk, Jim Burr is a fool, and this team is just plain bad. Hey, at least Manti Te'o signed...
The game was lost beyond the arc. The Irish, who entered the year as the Big East's best three point threat, shot 23%. Cincinnati wen 10% over their average with a 44% clip. 9 points for us from outside versus 30. Game over.
Again, I agree with the original gameplan to force outside shots. Cincy just isn't that good from beyond the arc. If you want, blame the coaches for not switching out of the defense when it was obvious that our guys could not adequately get out to the perimeter. The players did not execute on defense, a problem that has surfaced to varying degrees for the past decade.
Tory Jackson played solidly offensively, 11 points and 6 rebounds. McAlarney was taken away once again, only attempting five threes (and missing all of them). The Irish attempted 13 for the game, a few being desperate heaves in the closing minutes. We average 23 per game. Not only were the shots not falling, we didn't attempt enough to stave off the Bearcat onslaught.
Hillesland was decent in 35 minutes. 11 points, 5 rebounds. Coach Brey obviously did not take the thought of starting Luke Zeller seriously and played Hillesland as a power forward most of the game. As such, those stats are disappointing. Cincinnati freshman Steve Toyloy grabbed 5 boards in 17 minutes, matching Zach's total in half the time. Hillesland has never been a great rebounder and it would have helped a bit tonight. However, he did attack the hoop well at times and made half his shots. Can't really lay this one on him.
As mentioned, Luke Zeller played only 10 ineffective minutes. So much for that lineup.
Luke Harangody, of course, kept the team from being a complete disgrace. 28 points, 14 boards. Shot just under 50% from the floor, his second best shooting game since Georgetown. Forced a few, but you can't blame him.
Ryan Ayers was very good off the bench. 14 points on 6-7 shooting. He played 29 minutes. Peoples pulled down a pair of boards in 13 minutes.
We saw some of Carleton Scott tonight and no Ty Nash. Not sure what the story was there, but I'd like to see both of them for at least 10 minutes a game here on in. What can it hurt? The seniors are not getting the job done and are not part of the future. Let's see if we can build something for next year.
Very depressing. Maybe we were overrated to begin with, but no one expected this. Six straight losses, with the distinct possibility of two more on the way. Heck, nothing's impossible at this point.
We expect better than this. Everyone is to blame. I know Toyloy may have shoved Zach Hillesland at the end of the half and the refs blew the call, but when a senior leader like Kyle McAlarney is starting fights and laying an egg offensively, we look like the kind of team that waltzed into a 38-3 beatdown in Los Angeles. This basketball season was supposed to make everyone forget about a horrid football team. Instead, we're counting the days until a eighteen-year-old Hawaiian steps on campus. Embarrassing.
Everyone from McAlarney to Harangody to the rest of the team and the coaching staff needs to put their heads on straight and represent the school with pride. With the effort we've shown lately, the seniors will be lucky to close out their careers in front of 2,000 fans in a home NIT game. So much for the Sweet 16.