The 8 AM practice this morning made one of the top headlines at ESPN. It's a good gesture, but a few of the quotes in the article stuck out to me.
First, Coach Brey mentioned that winning five of our next nine games will put us in the NCAA discussion. That would make the Irish 9-9 in the Big East, a record which most assuredly would have kept us out of the Tournament even before the loss to Rutgers. To say that finishing .500 in the conference would put us "in the discussion" is both unrealistic and disheartening. That's a pretty low standard to shoot for.
Also, Tory Jackson: "We have to outfight teams. We're not the tallest group. We're not the most athletic group," he said. "We have to be able to fight and not lay down or back off."
I can safely say that I have not seen a Notre Dame team in the last several years that consistently outfought its opponents. In the one big win of the year, against West Virginia, the Irish were still outhustled. The only thing that keeps ND in big games against superior opponents is a strong shooting streak, which is a tough thing to rely on.