Friday, March 20, 2009

More Discussion of Yesterday's Game

The Irish played some really solid defense last night. It was our fourth good effort on that end in five games, a noticeable improvement over the beginning of the Big East season. The emphasis on defense has allowed Notre Dame to overcome a poor offensive performance.

Average Offensive Efficiencies in Losses- 99.4
Average Defensive Efficiencies in Losses- 116.7
Offensive Efficiency Last Night- 101.4
Defensive Efficiency Last Night- 98.6
Offensive Efficiency Last Five Games- 101.4
Defensive Efficiency Last Five Games- 93.6

Our offense has been tanking since the Providence game (want to bet if tired legs are a factor?), but it has been shadowed by an improvement in offense. While one might want to argue that it has come against easy competition, early season games against DePaul and Seton Hall were shootouts highlighted by poor effort on defense.

A commitment to man-to-man propelled us to a big win against Louisville. Since that game, there has been a noticeable difference in the success of our opponents against the man and the 2-3 zone. Our players are too slow to close out on the perimeter and struggle to shut down the lane against penetration. Stick to man-to-man and keep the other team under a point per trip. A week off should give Ryan and Kyle ample time to rest their legs and I'll wager we see a better shooting game by both players.

An Addendum-

Pomeroy Rankings of NIT Teams-

San Diego St.- 31
St. Mary's- 55
South Carolina- 64
Kansas State- 40
Illinois St.- 61
Davidson- 63
Washington St.- 37
Weber St.- 114

Auburn- 57
Virginia Tech- 56
Baylor- 50
Tulsa- 59
Northwestern- 70
Georgetown- 26
Duquesne- 86
Tenn-Martin- 126

Creighton- 74
Notre Dame- 36
New Mexico- 38
Kentucky- 48
UNLV- 71
Nebraska- 68
UAB- 45
Bowling Green- 140

Florida- 42
Penn St.- 78
Niagara- 76
Miami- 34
Providence- 81
Rhode Island- 72
George Mason- 89
Jacksonville- 129

I tend to use Pomeroy's rankings as a crutch too often and this is only one good comparison, but it is interesting to note. The Irish faced the most difficult road to the quarterfinals of any two seed and have now beaten two of the best teams in the tournament. With Washington State and Georgetown out of the tournament, only two teams remain (Miami and San Diego St.) that are ranked higher than New Mexico. Yeah, it's the NIT, but we have a good shot at winning this thing.


Anonymous said...

Pomeroy is the best. Keep using his rankings. Way superior to the RPI.
What do you think of this squad?
G Jeff Teague Wake Forest
G Robert Vaden UAB
C JaJuan Johnson Purdue
F Luke Harangody ND
F Robbie Hummel Purdue
Gordon Hayward Butler
Matt Howard Butler
Dominic James Marquette
Chris Kramer Purdue
E'Twan Moore Purdue

All played high school ball in Indiana. Any additions?

BlackandGreen said...

Those are some really good names.

Teague came onto the national scene this season, but he turns the ball over too much for my taste. Give me Dom. James as the point guard and slide Teague to shooting guard with Vaden off the bench (shoots a much lower percentage from the field and turns the ball over more than he assists).

I'll take Matt Howard over JaJuan Johnson. Johnson's 6'10", but he is only 210 lbs. Howard really impressed me against LSU. He is a gamer.

The number of Purdue players on this list really demonstrates how well Matt Painter has done since he took over. In 2007, Purdue took four of the top six recruits in Indiana. This year, it is two of the top five, though Tom Crean is starting to make his job more difficult. The upcoming recruiting battles between those two will be interesting. Say goodbye to any more homegrown talent for ND.