Showing posts with label Notre Dame. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Notre Dame. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Maui Invitational game one: Notre Dame 88, Indiana 50.

IU's first game against high major competition certainly highlighted the problems that the Hoosiers will have this season, although very few games will be against teams the caliber of #8 ND. Here's the box score. Certainly, ND has a high powered offense that will score points against nearly anyone, but IU's poor shooting in the first half, even on open shots, prevented IU from competing in the game. IU shot 31 percent in the first half before improving to 50 percent in the second half. The other story was offensive rebounding: while the announcers convinced themselves early on that IU was forcing ND into long possessions, IU pulled down only 7 offensive rebounds on 35 misses.
This game was played at Notre Dame's pace--roughly 72 possessions--but IU's 20 turnovers still are a concern, as was the 1-12 shooting from behind the arc. This is going to be a familar routine, but if IU is going to achieve any relative success this year with this guard-heavy roster, the team must shoot well from behind the arc and must take care of the ball. Notre Dame, on the other hand, shot 10-26 from three point range. While Harangody had a decent enough game, Tory Jackson and Kyle McAlarney killed IU from outside. As for IU's individuals:
  • Tom Pritchard's game looked prettier on TV than on paper. Pritchard shot 6-15 from the field and score 14 points while pulling down 6 rebounds. Still, he wasn't overwhelmed by Harangody, and put himself in position for open shots that he simply did not make. If that improves, Pritchard is going to be a fine player this season and beyond.
  • Devan Dumes likes to shoot, but it wasn't working tonight: 10 points on 13 shots.

St. Joseph's tomorrow.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Maui Invitational, game one: Notre Dame.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Current record: 2-0
Current RPI: 224
Current Sagarin: 34
Current Pomeroy: 147
2007-08 record: 25-8 (lost to Washington State in second round of NCAA Tournament)
2007-08 RPI: 28
2007-08 Sagarin: 22
2007-08 Pomeroy: 28
Series: IU leads 47-20
Last IU win: 12/10/2003 (66-63 in South Bend)
Last Notre Dame win: 12/8/2004 (55-45 in Bloomington)
Last neutral site meeting: 12/19/1967 (Fort Wayne)
Pomeroy gameplan
TV: 5:30 pm tonight, ESPN2

IU and Notre Dame play each other this afternoon for the first time in four years. This is the longest gap in the series since the teams went 15 years between meetings from 1932 to 1947. IU leads the series comfortably, although in the last meeting, ND won at Assembly Hall, breaking a 31-year skid in Bloomington and an 8-game series losing streak. ND seems likely to defeat IU in back-to-back games for the first time since the Lou Watson era, 1968 and 1969. The numbers above show why I should ignore computer rankings until mid December: ND is universally expected to be a top 10 team this year. The main reason for ND's recent renaissance (after missing the tournament three straight times from 2004-2006) is Luke Harangody, a surprisingly versatile big man who happens to be the son and brother of former IU football players. Harangody is one of the more notable recruiting misses brought on by IU's stubborn refusal to part with Mike Davis when his incompetence had been proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Giving up about a 40 point game to Harangody would be a nice illustration of IU's recent missteps: getting beat up by a guy who might have played for IU if Davis were gone, against a roster decimated by IU's post-Davis decision to hire a crook.

I don't have time to do a full workup, so I recommend this Inside the Hall post, which links to the ND preview written by John Gasaway, formerly the Big Ten Wonk. In short, ND has been great offensively, not so dominant defensively. Harangody's presence makes a competitive game even more of a longshot than it would be against many other top 10 teams. IU's only chance would seem to be foul trouble (or a self-inflicted off game) by Harangody combined with incredible shooting from Matt Roth and other IU guards. Not likely.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Around Indiana.

I'll be getting into a closer look at IU's returning and incoming players as the season approaches. Nineteen days from now, IU's opener will be in the books. For now:
  • While the season approaches for the football team, basketball-only Inside the Hall is in the middle of the offseason. Fortunately, ITH is passing the time with a countdown of the top ten all-time basketball Hoosiers, as voted on in comment threads and by ITH contributors. So far, ITH has listed two from the 1970s, one from the 1990s, and one from the old days who should be ranked much higher than he is.
  • Also from ITH, the Maui Invitational bracket has been released. IU plays Notre Dame in the first round. The two schools last met in December 2004; Notre Dame won at Assembly Hall for only the second time, 55-45. The four years between games is the longest break in the series since 1932-1947. The Maui game will be only the third time the two schools have played outside the state of Indiana. ND won both such prior matchups, which were NCAA Tournament games in 1954 (Iowa City) and 1958 (Lexington).
  • I drove through Bloomington a couple of weeks ago, and I really regret not taking any pictures. Ken Bikoff of Inside Indiana has done a really excellent job of documenting the construction up close, but it's hard to believe just how good the construction looks from a distance, particularly from the north, at the intersection of Dunn and the 45/46 Bypass. It will present a nice image to fans and recruits approaching campus from the north.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Time warp.

Who will step up to help Keith Smart and Dean Garrett fill the void created by the graduation of Steve Alford and Daryl Thomas? Will David Rivers recover from his off-season car accident and lead the Irish back to the Sweet 16? With the help of Troy Lewis and Todd Mitchell, can Gene Keady finally move beyond a gaudy regular season record and score some NCAA Tournament success?*
Those were the storylines on December 8, 1987, the last time that Indiana (#6), Purdue (#13), and Notre Dame (#19) were all ranked by the AP (it then was the top 20). Today, IU fell to #14, Notre Dame broke into the poll at #22, and Purdue made its season debut at #24. Butler is #10, so the state of Indiana is well represented.
* No.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Tyler Zeller narrows his list, but you probably knew that.

This is old news for anyone who follows recruiting religiously, and even old news for me, but highly coveted big man Tyler Zeller of Washington, Indiana (brother of Notre Dame's Luke Zeller) has decided that he will choose his college from a final four of Indiana, North Carolina, Notre Dame, and Purdue. As I have said, ultimately I root for whoever ends up on the team and don't have the patience or interest to follow the fortunes of 50 different kids as they narrow their lists, but certain high profile recruits draw my attention. Landing Zeller would serve a variety of purposes. Foremost, he's a skilled big man. Second, according to conventional wisdom, IU has come from way, way behind in this race. My impression from those more in the know than I is that a month ago, it seemed impossible that IU would make Zeller's list of finalists. Gaining a commitment from Zeller would be a victory over one of the country's best recruiters and most prominent programs (UNC), and a victory over Purdue, of course, where Matt Painter landed four top 100 Indiana kids last year.
IU should go wherever necessary to get top shelf talent. I would rather win the NCAA tournament with 12 kids from other states than finish second with 12 kids from Indiana. Nevertheless, when Indiana produces top-tier talent IU should make it a priority. Sampson's ability to make up ground in the Zeller recruitment is yet another reason for optimism.