by Mike Coffey
As the late great Mike Royko once said, some things you wonder, some things you think, and some things you just know.
Given ND’s history against Kentucky, winning by the third-biggest margin ever against a defending national champion is cause for the good hard liquor to be brought out. Not that run-it-through-the-Britta-five-times stuff.
Those uniforms were awful. I know, I’m an old fart, etc. etc., I’ll cop to all that. Did not like.
Every year, Jack Cooley gets better and better. Watching him deal with his health limitations his freshman year, his improvement couldn’t make me happier. Next time someone says this staff can’t develop talent, they need to watch some film on the big guy … only the latest example of their capabilities.
What I like a lot better than the 64 points scored were the 50 points given up. The quickness and focus of this ND team on defense is going to keep it in games when the shots aren’t falling. Much like the football team, defense is showing up consistently and is helping make things happen. The ability to switch from man-to-man to zone and back again, often in the same possession, is giving opponents fits.
On the other side of the ball, ND remains unbelievably capable of controlling the tempo on offense. Teams go into the game wanting and trying to speed the Irish up, but they’re having none of it. The equivalent of imposing one’s will on the gridiron, and very well done.
I’m not sure if this is the Kentucky team we’ll see in March, but right now, their defense is horrendous. But that’s what happens when you’re breaking in a new starting lineup every year.
When you are the men’s basketball coach at Notre Dame, there are two ways you can deal with football. Either you rail against its popularity and feel put-upon, or you can embrace it and create a symbiotic relationship between the two. Mike Brey and Digger Phelps went the latter route. The two guys who bridged them didn’t, especially the one-and-done guy. Results speak for themselves.
When I was at ND, it was a great time to be a student athletically. I imagine right now is giving that time a run for its money.
41 wins in 42 home games. Yes, I know there are tomato cans in there, but that’s a damn impressive stat.
It’s amazing when you win how little talk there is about the bench. Gene Sullivan, former ND assistant and head coach at Loyola, always thought if you’re playing your bench a lot, you’re losing a lot of games. Players who are ready play, and tend to play well. Those who are not ready see what is required to change their situation.
17 minutes, 10 points, three boards, two-of-three beyond the arc, and only one turnover. Welcome to Notre Dame, Cameron Biedscheid. It only gets better from here.