Saturday, January 23, 2010

Notre Dame 87, DePaul 77

Decent win over a really bad team. After starting the game off at a breakneck pace, the game slowed down considerably. 21 points in the last 90 seconds of the game made this seem like a much more high-scoring affair than it truly was.

Will Walker had no trouble scoring 35 points, most of which came against our best defender in Tory Jackson. That's really the only negative point you can make. The Irish rebounded well, turned the ball over only twice, and played pretty decent defense against the rest of the Blue Demons. However, there is really no excuse for letting the clear star of the team have so much success.

I loved seeing Joey Brooks get into the game early in the first half. He has fantastic defensive fundamentals, keeps his head up, and moves his feet well. In the final seconds of the first half, he made a great play in backing off his man and causing a jump ball on a DePaul drive. There's no reason why this guy shouldn't be eating into Jonathan Peoples' minutes. Yet he disappeared in the second half and totaled just two minutes for the game.

Tory Jackson dished out 7 assists. He had a few nice drives into the Blue Demon zone that turned into points. We haven't seen that kind of assertiveness from Jackson as much this season, possibly an effect of having a more athletic backcourt mate. Can't argue with the numbers, however. He is still putting up big assist totals.

Hansbrough flirted with a triple double once again. 15 points, 7 assists, 10 rebounds. He shot well and played a pretty mistake-free game on offense today.

Abro was fantastic, scoring 30 points while making over half of his attempts. Add in 6 rebounds, a pretty solid total from the small forward position. He was overshadowed, however, by the three men with double-doubles. We haven't seen that since 2002.

Ty Nash had a pretty solid game. 13 points, 10 rebounds. Obviously, the competition was pretty weak today, but this performance is what we really need from him. 34 mistake-free minutes, a decent line from the charity stripe, and really good effort on both the offensive and defensive glass.

Harangody struggled with his shot at times, but still finished with some great scoring and rebound totals. He is now second all-time in career rebounds at ND and tied for third place in the Big East. Hats off to him for that. Hopefully he will continue to steadily rise up the rankings.

Not much bench production. Coach Brey kept his starters out there for 33+ minutes a piece. Once again, I am frustrated to see how Peoples managed to earn 12 minutes while Scott and Brooks got 10 minutes between them. To be honest, Brooks looked like the best player out of the three today. Maybe it's a product of only playing two or three minutes, but he was the only guy who seemed locked in on defense and showed off some good instincts.

On to Wednesday, a road trip to Nova. After that, the Irish will be favored in four of their next five games.

EDIT: Hats off to UCONN for what looks to be a VERY impressive win against #1 Texas.


Anonymous said...

Will Walker put on a show today. He was virtually unstoppable and the only reason Depaul doesn't get beat by 30. It just seems to me that Jackson is worn out and his legs are gone. Good job Brey, you wore him out earlier this year than last. Does anybody remeber Jackson dunking as a Freshman. Think that happens now?

Unknown said...

As you mentioned good day for Big East out of conference as WVU took down the Buckeyes.

DePaul is bad, but I'm glad we kept them at arms length after their upset of Marquette.

Anonymous said...

I bet #22 from DePaul will always remember this game. This is the game he got his front tooth knocked out by Luke H. I wonder what the trainer that picked it up off the floor did with it!