Thursday, February 28, 2008
"Pick him up once he gets off the bus"
Louisville head coach Rick Pitino's response when asked how to guard Kyle McAlarney.
Go Irish. Beat Cardinals!
Friday, February 22, 2008
Some fans questioned how an older, more experienced, Tenuta would handle working under defensive coordinator Corwin Brown. John made sure to clear the air in his first presser, replacing any doubts that Domers had with an eagerness to see the two working together:
"I'm an aggressive attacking guy, and Corwin is to, so we're gonna attack; we're gonna get down hill and make things happen"
Irish Alum Aaron Taylor also had some choice words to say about the new defensive coaching tandem:
"Jon Tenuta is as accomplished, innovative and aggressive as any defensive coach in the college game, and the combination of he and Corwin Brown should create some beautiful chaos together."
Beautiful chaos indeed. I can't wait to see how these coaches are able to mold the young players in this program into the dominating force all Irish fans are looking forward to.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
22 & 12: The numbers that the analysts will focus on during their game recap. Harangody put together another impressive line despite being hacked the entire game with no help from the refs.
9: The height difference in inches of 6'8" Luke Harangody and 5'11" Tory Jackson.
16 & 13: The scoring and rebounding of Bam Bam's sophomore in crime, who tied Pitt forward DeJuan Blair for the game high in rebounds.
Jackson, who has been steadily increasing the level of his play since the Providence game, once again provided enough constant energy to keep the Irish in the game against Pittsburgh. For the second straight home game, Tory rejected one of the opponent's starting forwards in the beginning of the game; three times Jackson stole the ball from Pitt to give life to his struggling team; and when the game was tied with 4:37 left, it was #2 who knocked down the big 3 to put the Irish up. Also adding 5 assists without turning the ball over, Jackson was Notre Dame's most valuable player of the night, but that doesn't mean his teammates didn't give him a little help.
There is 6:58 left in the game, Notre Dame is behind 59-55, and Pittsburgh is down to their last timeout. Jackson feeds the ball to McAlarney who ices what seems to be his first three of the night. After Pitt answers with a quick two point jumper, McAlarney (3-10 3pt) sinks another deep ball to tie it at 61. On the ensuing inbound, Harangody steals the ball in a play reminiscent of the Alabama game last year and takes it to the house for an electrifying dunk to give the Irish their first lead since the 4 minute mark of the first half.
When there was 4:23 left in the game and the Irish were only up 2, it was Luke Harangody and a clutch Ryan Ayers who stepped up to score the next 9 points in ND's final run that all but sealed the win.
And when the Panthers were down 9 with only 1:30 left, it was the experience of K-Mac and senior Rob Kurz shooting 100% at the free throw line to close out the game and earn Notre Dame its 35th straight win at the JACC.
Great Game. Go Irish!
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
The Excel chart breaks down a few key QB stats for each player. The opponent and whether ND won or lost the game is listed beneath each column. Cold hard numbers can be helpful in analyzing a situation, but they don't tell the whole story. With that in mind, lets weigh Clausen against Quinn game by game.
Game 6: In his best game of the season, Quinn threw for 350 yards (9 YPA) in a losing effort against Boston College. Even though Clausen won the game against UCLA and accomplished his task of not turning the ball over, Quinn's complete domination on the stat sheet definitely give this game to him.
Final Score: Quinn 5, Clausen 4. That's it for today; I'll try to weigh in on this information sometime in the next few days. Feel free to leave any of your opinions in the comments. Until then, Go Irish!
Friday, February 15, 2008
But now that I'm back, it's time to at least partially recap two big games played by the men's basketball team.
Notre Dame proved that they could protect this house against 16th ranked Marquette in a game that showed very solid performances from everyone on ND's roster. Out of everyone who played, Rob Kurz's 5 points was the lowest total; 5 players notched double figures, Ayers contributed 9, and The People's Court dropped 7, including some clutch free throws down the stretch. Jackson continued his streak of superb play, accumulating 8 assists and coming up with some unlikely boards. Tory once again showed his ability to give the team an energy boost when he started off the game by blocking one of Marquette's 6'8" forwards, setting the tempo for the rest of the game.
The student section also helped set the tempo; by Saturday morning, the line to get in Gate 11 stretched all the way down the old Juniper Street. Some students began camping out in one of the heating ducts adjacent Gate 11 as early as Thursday afternoon to score some premo seats. By Friday night, 4 of these ducts were filled to capacity with sleeping students. The inpromptu campground was dubbed 'Breytopia' in honor of the coach who hooked them up with some free za after noticing the large turnout.
None of the dorm rooms near me have ESPNU, and at first, things looked bleak for getting a chance to watch the UConn game, but lo and behold, I was invited to one of those fancy "meet and great" informal dinners at Legends.... where they were showing the game on a 15' projection screen. Unfortunately, ND's inability to capitalize on many Huskie mistakes late in the game prevented me from witnessing a win.
Harangody and Jackson both played very well, but the lack of production from anyone else on the team (except for McAlarney who scored 12 points with a very inefficient 4-14 shooting) ended up costing them the game. On the bright side, ND did take a top 20 team down to the wire on the road (which is considerably better than getting blown out by 30 points), held their star player to only 4 points, and best of all: the loss was on the road...
Go Irish. Beat Knights!
Thursday, February 7, 2008
1. Notre Dame was lights out. Remember the second half of the Cincinnati game? Yeah, the shooting was something like that. 55% from the floor and 47% from deep - that's some serious nylon splashing.
2. Brey was finally able to work in the freshmen at the end of this game. Nash still needs to get more PT in order to shake the deer-in-the-headlights syndrome, although I think that when he gets comfortable, he'll be a great player.
3. Notre Dame landed high school recruit Jack Cooley (picture a smaller version of Harangody) after he had a great visit to campus.
"I was really impressed with how the team was one cohesive unit," Cooley said of the Irish. "No one complained if someone else took a shot. They all got together as a team, the coaches were great, everyone came up and introduced themselves. It was a great experience. I just want to be a part of that."
4. K-Mac, among other Irish players, is a beast. This week's quotes come from some of the previous coaches that got burned by some of his 3-balls.
"He was unstoppable against us," the Wildcat coach said of McAlarney's 30-point, five-assist performance. "He came out and made a couple of threes from 25 feet, and when we got out on him he started making runners, floaters. We really could not stop him."
Villanova Coach Jay Wright
"He's one of the best players in this conference. He's got game, and shtick and attitude," Gonzalez said. "He can just play. He reminds me of Scott Skiles and Gerry McNamara and all those tough guards who could beat you in so many ways."
Seton Hall Coach Bobby Gonzalez
Go Irish. Beat Eagles!