Thursday, February 12, 2009

Notre Dame 90, Louisville 57

Best game I have seen a Notre Dame team play. One of the best games the Irish have played against any opponent in the Mike Brey era.

The seven game losing streak has us still up against the wall, but if we play like this the rest of the year, we've got a great shot.

It's kind of tough to put the all my thoughts together, but I'll do my best. Everything went right, including a bad pass off of Ryan Ayers' hands that landed in the basket. The Irish scored 132.4 points per 100 possessions to Louisville's 83.8. That's a gigantic difference.

The starting lineup went back to normal with Ayers and Hillesland back, but they earned it with good games. With the possible exception of Luke Zeller and Jonathan Peoples, who played sparingly, every single guy in white was on top of his game. tonight. If the last seven games showed how poorly the Irish can play, this was a fantastic example of Notre Dame firing on all cylinders. A Final Four-caliber performance, exactly what was needed after the worst stretch of Notre Dame basketball since the mid-90s.

Tory Jackson had 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. Not a lot in the last two columns in the second half. If he had doubled his first half numbers, it would have been very close to a triple double. Nice jump shot when he got a little opening, though he forced a couple. 5 steals, the most by an Irish player in a while.

Kyle McAlarney was very good, his first game over 20 points since Syracuse. 21 points, 5-9 from beyond the arc. 3 rebounds and 3 assists. Louisville has the best defense statistically in the country, but they were unable to keep Mac in check like the rest of the league.

Ryan Ayers scored 19. 5-7 from three-point range. I've wondered why he has not been able to have Colin Falls-esque production in the ND starting lineup, but today was a little closer to that. Great game, way to step it up. We need that the rest of the year.

Zach Hillesland was solid, even with just 2 points. 9 rebounds, 3 assists. He was the guy to take the ball up the floor against the press on several occasions and performed well. Just one turnover while handling the ball on several occasions. Nice game, Zach.

Luke Harangody: 32 points, 17 rebounds. He's good.

Great game by Ty Nash off the bench. 14 minutes, 6 rebounds. Thanks to Coach Brey for giving the guy a chance to show off his skills. Luke Zeller's foul trouble (3 fouls in 5 miniutes) opened the door for a night like this and Ty took advantage. We outrebounded the Cards 48-28 and Tyrone (along with some attacking play by Hillesland) was a big reason why.

Mike Kitts gets the award for referee of the night. Nice guy who didn't mind interacting with the student body from time to time. I'll probably complain about him some time in the future, but here's a shout-out for being a good sport tonight.

We still have to go 5-2 the rest of the way to feel confident on Selection Sunday. However, a win like this makes that look more possible and opens up more possibilities seed-wise.

Need to play the same way on Sunday against South Florida. Let's start another streak.


Anonymous said...

Huge win for the Irish. Keep 'em coming, let's get back in the hunt!

Anonymous said...

Great game Irish! Basketball is a funny game.........Toughness was the difference.

Anonymous said...

This is the team I expected this year. Nash was absolutely fantastic on his interior defense. They could do nothing in the post when he was in the game. He gets 15-20 from here on out - not to mention that allows Brey to keep Luke fresh.

Anonymous said...

Nash brings inangibles that we could have used all year. Props to Hillesland for breaking the press -I really believe that is where he is most valuable.
Did anyone notice that Louisville came out for the 2nd half with about 50 seconds to go before the tip? I truly wish I could have heard what Pitino had to say!

Golden Monkey said...

I was told that some of the comments made by Brey ( They were men and we were boys, we'll never have the athletes other teams in the big east have, I'm glad the streak is over) have not set well with everyone. That either his teams play hard or they'll find someone who will. We all know how rumors get started?

I have not seen that kind of toughness against a good team in a long long time. I sit behind the bench close to some of the parents, even they seemed amazed. The look on Pitno's face coming out of the tunnel after half time. SHOCK

HOW LONG WILL IT LAST??????? Your guess is as good as mine.