Thursday, December 07, 2006

Still Interesting

Been away a lot this very tough week, glad to have had two excellent performances by the team to boost the spirits.

A lot to like tonight vs. the Tide....

Giving a quality performance on national TV. Those haven't been too prevalent the last couple of seasons, but tonight the team put together an excellent performance under the lights.

Keeping a late lead. When the margin dwindled from 10 to three in a matter of 60 seconds, I had bad visions running through my head. But Russell Carter took the bull by the horns and hit that critical trey. That woke the team up and fueled the game-ending run.

Holding the #4 team in the nation to an A/TO ratio below 1.0 while keeping their ratio close to 2.0, giving up 42 percent shooting, and weathering 21 foul calls.

Most importantly, the minutes. Eight players in double figures. Yes, there were four of them over 34, but given the 81 points they scored, I'm willing to overlook it for now. MB stayed with the bench even though the opponent was tough, the game was close, and some of the guys didn't have eye-catching stat lines. Learning is a gradual process, and one hopes the bench usage is part of that process. Still need to work on the late-game slowdown, but one battle at a time.

Almost as importantly, in the words of Mr. Roarke, smiles everyone, smiles. It's been a couple seasons since I saw an ND basketball team enjoying itself on the court, and there was a lot of enthusiasm and energy tonight.

Speaking of energy, kudos to the student body and GA's for a strong turnout. How ... about ... a loud ... shout!

Going into the holiday lull, a good performance by everyone involved was critical to set a good tone for the NCAA resume. That tone has been set, and what will probably turn out to be a relatively weak SOS has been offset strongly by these two performances.

As I said in the preseason, if nothing else, this team is going to be interesting to watch. Color me interested.



Blogger captain jack said...

They key thing is they showed signs of blowing it, instead they pulled themselves back and blew out Alabama. Harangody continue to impress. He is not afraid to go to the hoop, hustles and will only get better.

12/08/2006 08:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The game last night was great. I was one of the most exciting & fun ND BB games I have ever seen. Congrats to the players & Coach. Keep it going I will be rooting!!
I would like to hear comments about how much impact the new coach, Mike Cross, has had on this team and Mike Brey? I have read some good things about him and was impressed by him last night. He was viable on TV several times last night. Each time he looked to be injecting some fire into the payers on & off the court.

12/08/2006 10:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was at the game, and it was the most exciting in the 2 years I have been a student here. The team plays a lot harder than last year, but it would have been nice to see some of the guards boxing out and rebounding on the backside better. I wouldn't cut the team short... it's going to be more than interesting, it will be promising.

12/08/2006 03:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great game by the Irish, although I was a bit worried at the start when we pretty much only shot 3's for the first 10-15min. When we finally started to go inside we caught up in time to tie it before half. Maybe we'll try to take it inside more often at the start.

12/08/2006 07:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very impressed with the all out intensity of ND's players. Towards the end, it kind of reminded me of those hyped-up Dukies (of old) - but in this case, I wouldn't grow weary of seeing that.

12/08/2006 10:17:00 PM  
Blogger irishinsanity86 said...

still room for improvment, the defense in the post has to get a little better, but overall a great win, its great to see that we have more guys that can shoot threes, for so long falls, was the only go to guy, didnt collapse which has been a problem in the past few years, i think that better senior leadership had a big hand in that, if they keep this up, irish fans will have something to talk about come march

12/09/2006 03:45:00 PM  
Anonymous sorin78 said...

Hustle, defense and enthusiasm - this team reminds me of the powerhouse teams of the 70's and early 80's (sorry to age myself, as i was at the Final Four in '78 at the Checkerdome in St. Louis when Duke broke my senior year dream of double national championships). I was at the Maryland game, where the Terps were very close to making a run to blow the game open early in the secod half, but it was answered by a run ignited by MacAlarney and Jackson, and then again at the end of the game whe a couple of 3 pointers made the game close. Similar to the Alabama game, this team is fearless, and really fun to watch. I look forward to more home games like Alabama, where the students come out and fill the arena in enthusiastic support for this team! Go Irish!

12/15/2006 09:33:00 PM  

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