Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Notre Dame 93, Providence 78

Solid win to start the conference season. A great first half had the Irish looking at a blowout victory, but the team let Providence sneak back into it with sloppy play out of the break. Once the dust settled, however, you can chalk this one down as a solid Irish win led by some unexpected individual performances on offense.

In the first half, Irish shooting was red hot (well above 50% from the floor) and the home team stretched its lead to 21 by the buzzer. Providence came back with a 13-1 run to start the second period, helped in a large way by some bad decision making from ND players on offense.

Notre Dame Possessions in the Second Half:
  • Tim Abromaitis fouled (23 seconds left on shot clock)
  • Luke Harangody missed jumper (20 seconds left on shot clock)
  • Abromaitis missed layup (3 seconds left on shot clock)
  • Tory Jackson missed three pointer (30 seconds left on shot clock)
  • Harangody missed jumper (19 seconds left on shot clock)
  • Ben Hansbrough missed three pointer (30 seconds left on shot clock)
  • Ty Nash missed layup (24 seconds left on shot clock)
  • Harangody fouled on putback- 2 missed FT
  • Nash turnover (24 seconds left on shot clock)
In a critical four minute stretch, Notre Dame went 0-6 from the floor, 1-4 from the foul line, and turned the ball over once. Even with three offensive rebounds, the Irish managed only one point in six trips down the floor. With such a big lead, all we needed to do was drain the clock and look for good scoring opportunities. Instead, seven of our eight shooting attempts (including the two on which ND players were fouled) came with well over half the shot clock remaining. That's poor clock management and shot selection. The result? A 21-point steamrolling decreased rapidly into an 11 point lead, making this game competitive once again.

In the final sixteen minutes, however, the team woke up and refused to let the Friars get any closer. Though the margin never allowed Coach Brey to rest any of his core players (with the exception of a 3 minute stretch by Carleton Scott, this was clearly a six-man rotation), a double-digit win to start the Big East slate is certainly a good result.

Five players finished in double-digits scoring, a great demonstration of balanced scoring that could bode well for the future. Our All-American looked awful all night, but Jonathan Peoples made a big splash off the bench with a career-high and team-high 23 points. Abro was great in his first Big East start and Ben Hansbrough and Tory Jackson proved to be a very unselfish backcourt tandem.

Tory played all 40 minutes, scoring 11 points and dishing out 7 assists. He missed both of his three point attempts, but was 4-5 inside the arc and found some success taking the ball to the basket.

Ben Hansbrough helped out with 11 assists of his own. Unlike Tory, he looked a bit out of control at times and turned it over on four occasions. Of course, a 2.75 assist-to-turnover ratio is still pretty damn good. He struggled from beyond the arc, even with some good looks. 1-5 out there, though he did get a few from the line and inside the arc to finish with 10 points. 8 rebounds for the night, as well, a near triple-double. I have said previously that Tory Jackson could be the second guy for Notre Dame to pick up a triple-double in the school's history, but Hansbrough just might beat him to it.

Abro had 22 points in his frist significant minutes playing in the conference. 5-8 beyond the arc, 8-14 from the floor. Chip in 7 rebounds, 4 of which came on offense. He did struggle with the ball on a few occasions, like Hansbrough, and turned the ball over 5 times.

Ty Nash was the only starter with fewer than 10 points for the night, but had a very successful game with 8 points and 8 boards. That's the kind of game we need from him in conference contests this year.

Luke Harangody was just awful. Bad shot selection the whole game, 6-21 for the night, and a horrid performance from the foul line. He gave away seven points on free throws alone. He did finish with 19 points because he attempted so many shots, but it really was an inefficient night for the big guy. 13 rebounds was a highlight, however, including 5 on offense. With the team clicking without him, I wish Coach Brey or someone would have pulled Luke aside and told him to stop wasting possessions with off-balance looks out there. It's rare, but there are games where Gody is a negative influence out there. Tonight was one of those occasions.

Peeps finished with 23, 6-7 from the field. He had a career-high scoring by the end of the first half and sunk all five three pointers. Throw in 6 rebounds for good measure. For a guy who has struggled so much this season, it was good to see him pull through for us tonight. Carleton Scott played just three minutes. This is a six-man rotation. I don't envy how these guys will be feeling by the end of a long Big East season.

Led by Gody, the team struggled shooting free throws with an uncharacteristicly low 61%. The game was won with great shooting in the first half and 50% from the beyond the arc for the night. Providence isn't that great as a team, though, and we'll find out a lot about how the Irish stack up with really good Big East competition at UCONN on Saturday.


Anonymous said...

J Peeps was feeling it in the first half, props to Hansbrough for feeding the ball to the hot hand.

If anything Brey has shortened the rotation to 6 players - this will spell disaster down the road - haven't we already seen this movie?

Providence won't win many games. Not much more than streetball. I'm surprised Davis puts up with it. I also saw something last night that I had never seen. Davis' assistants seem to make all of the substitutions.

Meghan said...

Why did Brey sit Peoples when he was red-hot? I'm not a Peoples fan by a long shot, but when a guy is hot, let him play for goodness sakes.

The thing Gody seems to be lacking is leadership - I just don't see him taking a bad stretch and turning it around for the whole team. I think this could hurt us, unless one of the other guys steps up (as Tory and Hansborough seem to do from time to time).

biggreen23 said...

Brey will always be middle-of-the-pack in the BE as he tightens his rotation beyond the normal physical limits of any team. At any point in the season, do you really play your point guard for the entire 40 min. as he did with Tory last night. We should remember the abuse of Chris Thomas in the Georgetown 5OT game playing the entire game without substitution.

The seven game losing streak in the middle of the season last year should come as no surprise this year if he can't see fit to give any of his guys a blow. Tory will break down as will the rest of the team in what is now a six man rotation if you can believe it.

Bottom line is he's only had Gody contributing as a Freshman during his ten years. Tory was forced to play as a Freshman because of the expelling of McAlarney. He has never attracted the talent or simply refuses to use it to lengthen his bench and help maintain some solid energy for the team. The BE devours you if you don't keep the troops fresh. And as we have seen in the past, his perimeter-oriented teams have off nights, and you can't expect to win a typical grind-it-out Big East game without the horses. When are you going to use a Carleton Scott for more than 3 minutes...that's absurd.