Friday, March 19, 2010

Season Report Card

What an up-and-down year it's been. After an 11-2 nonconference record against the one of the easiest schedules in the country, the Irish caught some national headlines with a 70-68 home win against West Virginia. That one really was a shocker. Though it foreshadowed the great stretch run to come, there were a lot of frustrating results on the way. ND went 3-7 over its next ten games and placed itself well off the bubble with a 6-8 conference record. Luke Harangody was lost to a knee injury during this stretch and all seemed to be lost.

Starting with a home win against Pittsburgh, Coach Brey's decision to hit the brakes really saw some good results. Our "Burn" offense led to six straight wins over a few very talented opponents. All of a sudden, the Irish played themselves off of the bubble and into a six-seed in the NCAA Tournament, a result that exceeded my expectations at the beginning of the year. Another frustrating first round exit ended the season on a sour note, however, as the team couldn't buy a late basket against Old Dominion.

Coaching- (C+) The team's struggles led to my calling for Coach Brey's head in the middle of the season. Though I still do not believe that this coaching staff is the right one to take the program to the next level, they impressed by completely changing the offensive philosophy for the most inspiring late season turnaround I've seen in awhile. However, making the Tournament was the expectation this year. Another first round exit doesn't cut it.


Tory Jackson- (B) Not his best year statistically, but Tory showed off his leadership this season. The true heart and soul of the program, this season revolved around him. He will be greatly missed on the floor and in the locker room.

Ben Hansbrough- (B-) He impressed me this year. A more complete shooting guard than Kyle McAlarney, his style didn't always mesh with Jackson, but he provided an offensive threat from the shooting guard slot. On defense, he was one of our best on-ball defenders, but got lost frequently off-the-ball.

Jonathan Peoples- (D) A decent backup point guard who never should have sniffed a starting role. By the end of the year, his contributions were effectively nil.


Tim Abromaitis- (B+) Though he dropped off at the end, Abro had an excellent year. Until a skid over the last four games, he scored in double figures in all but three contests. Very impressive for a guy who redshirted last season and wasn't on the radar freshman year.

Carleton Scott (B) Growing from a guy who couldn't crack the starting lineup into our best rebounding threat with a pretty clutch stroke from three. He could be great next season.

Ty Nash (C+) Respectable season, but nothing flashy. Grew into a serviceable post threat, but was never able to put up big numbers. With Harangody out, it was Scott who carried the team on the glass.

Luke Harangody (C) One of the greatest players to ever put on a Notre Dame jersey, but used this season as an extended NBA tryout. His tendency to throw up bad three-pointers killed our offensive flow before his injury. Gets a decent grade due to his pure statistical greatness.


Unknown said...

Solid recap

Now that the season's over I was thinking about compiling an "All-Brey" team. Meaning the top 5 players under Brey's regime (the more cynical among us might come up with top 5 talents wasted by Brey, highlighted by Torin Francis and Luke Zeller).

PG Chris Thomas
SG Chris Quinn
SF Russell Carter
PF Luke Harangody
C Troy Murphy

(I know some of them are slightly out of position, but pretty close)

Honorable Mention Guards: Tory Jackson, Colin Falls, Matt Carroll, KMac

Honorable Mention Forwards: Rob Kurz, Torin Francis

BGarc said...

Should also include in honorable mention: Ryan Ashley Humphrey (never new about the Ashley until checking the year he graduated).
I finally watched the game yesterday, was very disappointing. But then on further reflection, I did have to remember that the Irish gave me hope at the end of the season which has been missing for about 3 years, and I got to see my first Irish victory over Georgetown in DC this year...Thanks for scrapping Irish, wish the shots could have fallen for you in the last game, or wish your coach new how to adjust in game.

Mattare said...

I like the idea of an "All-Brey Team."

G Chris Thomas
G Matt Carroll
F Rob Kurz
F Luke Harangody
F Troy Murphy

Kurz isn't one of the five best players but throwing Russell out there in the starting lineup would make it too small. Rob did all the little things and would be a perfect complement.


G Chris Quinn
G/F Russell Carter
G/F David Graves

Others deserve mention, but come on, you think the All-Brey team would go more than 7 or 8 deep?

Joe, you broke my heart not throwing Graves in there as an honorable mention. You even gave the Torinnasaurus some dap!

Unknown said...

Graves thank you!

I knew there was one sharpshooter combo guard I was forgetting.

I can't argue with the Kurz inclusion.

BlackandGreen said...

Give me Carter in the starting lineup. You need Kurz off the bench as a true reserve forward (though we didn't actually have one of those this year).

And then, what about Quinn playing point over Thomas? CT's certainly in the top-five of most talented players in the Brey-era, but his last two years were quite disappointing. I might even include a guy like Tory Jackson in the lineup over him.

BGarc said...

Oh Graves...we had a nickname for him...Kentucky ##### (starts with a b and ends with an itch). I'd take Colin Falls over Graves any day, although maybe Falls was as much of a jerk as was Graves and I just didn't see it since I wasn't on campus with him. And as for 7 to 8 under Brey, 7 is a stretch and 8 is just dreaming (thanks for pointing that out the list should be short though, made me laugh).

David said...

Ryan Humphrey has to be on this team. That guy could jump out of the building. Compared to some other transfers (Danny Miller, Dennis Lattimore), Humphrey was a breath of fresh air.

He really threw down some vicious dunks.