Sunday, December 13, 2009

Comments on Mike Brey

Good comments, all. Obviously last night was extremely disappointing not only in that it added an extra tally to our loss column, but it projects pretty terribly for the rest of the season. We saw a lot of the same issues that have plagued Notre Dame teams in the Mike Brey era: porous defense, a lack of aggression and toughness, and a tendency to desert the post on offense in favor of a perimeter attack. It's year ten and Coach Brey isn't going to change who he is at this point.

In fairness, Brey has accomplished a lot here. His career winning percentage is the second best (to Digger Phelps) of any coach at ND since the '40s. From the depths of the John MacLeod era, during which just making the NIT was an accomplishment, the Irish made it back to the Sweet Sixteen by Coach Brey's third year. To be sure, he was helped by Matt Doherty's single season as well as MacLeod's recruiting, but it took a coaching change to get Notre Dame to the next level. We might be at that point again.

Irish fans should expect a program that contends for the top 4 in the Big East and a Sweet Sixteen big year in and year out. NCAA tournament appearances should be old hat by now. If the team fails to make the Big Dance this year, it will be a huge waste of one of the greatest players in Notre Dame history. To think that Luke Harangody's junior and senior seasons might end in the NIT is a pity.

Hopefully this ends up being just a black mark on an otherwise solid season. However, all analysis both subjective and objective (we're 247th in defensive efficiency) points towards a very disappointing year.


Anonymous said...

I hope coach Brey conducted a practice with no basketballs today. The way to get kids to play defense is to tie defensive effort to playing time.
As far as toughness goes, I played mid-major D1 basketball. I was knocked out twice, in practice. Howe many ND kids do you think get knocked out in practice?

Anonymous said...

The real question is, what would it take for Mike Brey not to return? Jack is definitely not going to fire someone so close to CW being ousted. So that gives him at least two more years. I just think the administration has always seen Notre Dame basketball as secondary. It doesn't have to be! There is no reason they cannot make the tournament year in and year out. There is no reason Purdue should be a top 10 team while ND loses to Loyola. But, and that's a big BUT, the athletic department will always just be satisfied with making the tournament every couple years. I was young then, but jeez it felt like Macloud was there FOREVER. I feel like Notre Dame basketball is treated like Brey's gameday attire: Hey, I'll make an effort, put on a coat. But let's not get crazy, there's no reason to wear a tie, we're just playing basketball here. It's just kind of half hearted.

Anonymous said...

What a great post! I agree wholeheartedly about Brey's game day attire. A friend of mine from Connecticut always lets me know when the mock turtlenecks that Brey favors are on sale at Kohls so that Mike can save a few bucks.

Seriously, ND could, and should be an elite program. I know that many, including me, come on here and rant about defense, toughness, etc. Obviously those complaints go away if more talented player are recruited. Certainly the culture of "we are doing the best we can with what we have" needs to be debunked.

Temple beat Villanova over the weekend. Have you been to North Philly lately?