two years on and two years off given the unbalanced recruiting.
After the E8s and new practice facility, rebuilding/NIT years should be few and far between. Maybe I'm being unrealistic, but I envisioned NCAA tournament 10 seed type of teams as our "downside" with the first E8 team (a legit contender albeit not a favorite) as our upside.
I look forward to seeing these kids get older and having a fun team to follow again but this year has just really sucked. Seasons like this (following an NIT year to boot) are just demoralizing and I have to imagine that it's not going to make it easier for us to recruit the next group of kids.
I really like the way UVA has managed to build a consistent program despite not being a traditional basketball powerhouse. Are their academic restrictions that much looser than ours?
For the most part, Bennett has had unbalanced recruiting efforts, too. Much of the success of the past six years has been based on the 2012 recruiting class (Tobey, Anderson, Nolte, & transfer Gill) and the 2016 class (Guy, Jerome, Hunter, Diakite, & Huff, although Diakite reclassified and entered early). Hopefully, 2020 will be another of those classes. Probably, more significant has been Bennett's use of the redshirt. Every front court player on this year's team has redshirted with the exception of Key, and he already had two years of Div 1 experience. There have been a variety of reasons for the redshirts, but the impact remains. I am not convinced that academics are significantly different between Virginia and Notre Dame. While some majors are less demanding than others, none are really 'jock' friendly. Athletes still have to compete in the classroom with a talented general student body. Admitting players who cannot stay eligible is counter productive, IMO. Virginia does have five foreign players on the roster, but it's worth noting that two of them, Diakite and Badocchi, played their prep ball in the US. Just a few things to consider.
I was at the game: they have a lot of international players on their roster. Bennett has never really lit up the college basketball scene with elite recruits, but IMO he's able to get such consistent results from his players because he's gotten creative with where he draws his talent pool from. Perhaps it's something Brey should look into going forward, we've had a few international kids on the roster (Katenda, Geben and now Djogo come to mind in recent memory) but not to the extent that UVA features this year.
in the 20 years before Bennett's arrival. In almost ten years with him they're +68. They've won the ACC regular season outright four times in program history, Bennett has three of them.
Bennett was +10 in conference at Wash St. If you take the ten years before him and now almost ten since he left they are -176. In only three seasons he has two of the program's six NCAA berths and three of their six tourney wins.
No disrespect to Brey but I believe Virginia has a decisive edge over ND at the head coach position.
...and the number of teams who NEVER suffer a year where they miss the tournament is very small and pretty much limited to blueblood programs.
I think UVA/Bennett is a special case, and I wonder about their programs' upside. They've been a consistent 1 or 2 seed for 5 years or so and have 2 Sweet Sixteens and 1 Elite eight to show for it.
I can't imagine the uproar around ND basketball circles if ND had managed to become the first 1 seed to ever lose to a 16 seed. We lost to a 10 as a 2 and twice as a 7 and there were calls for Brey's head for poor tourney performance.
but this will be the third time in six years missing the tournament. Yes, there's some awful bad luck in there (and two E8s in between!), but it's not like next year's team is a stone cold lock to get in either.
I think we need to hope that next year's team really turns a corner, leads to ND hoops being good/relevant for 3 years and we're able to turn that into consistent recruiting this time around.
I really hate being negative as Brey's teams have given me so much joy and great moments over the years but it's hard not to be demoralized at the current state of things.
created a gap that ND never really closed. Mooney and Gibbs had 2 pts combined in 2d half, and I had left (w/ about 4:00 left) before Gibbs scored.
A team that was able to compete for 37 mins before a full house @ UNC competed for only 20 mins before a HS-sized "crowd" at Miami. Maybe they are hitting a proverbial wall. It was a discouraging night all the way around.
...earlier when I look at the game flow.
We score 13 points in the first 4 minutes of the game and led by 9.
We scored 10 points over the next 16 minutes. That's almost hard to do.
Coming out of the TV timeout Brey had changed up the lineup, taking out some of the players responsible for part of that burst and tinkering with something that was working. Then it got worse because he let that group of players out there floundering for perhaps a possession or two too long. After that it seemed like everyone was sleepwalking out there. The offense didn't move much, there didn't seem to be any plays called other than stand around the 3 point line and chuck it up. The shooting was almost comically bad as guys were even missing bunny put backs (the few times they actually go them).
So I don't know about you, but coming off a win against BC and starting out shooting lights out to start the game, I was thinking all right, maybe we're starting to turn the corner on this season a bit, claw our way back to 7 or 8 wins if we're lucky. Then the next 36 minutes happened of just putrid basketball
still felt that Irish had a halfway decent shot down 28-23 at half (da U's last-second dunk and the momentum it generated for them diminished my hopes). After Miami's opening run (think it was 6-0) in 2d half, whatever energy ND brought visibly seemed to ebb. Mooney essentially disappeared in 2d half.
I didn't decide to go until the last minute, and I wouldn't have bothered to attend had I known that the Irish would barely show up.