Monday, November 24, 2008

"Gody" Picks up Where He Left Off

He is the Big East Player of the Year and he is starting off this season trying to prove it wasn't a fluke. In fact, Luke Harangody is opening the 08-09 season as arguably the best player in not only the Big East, but the country.

Harangody is second in the COUNTRY early this season in scoring and is third in rebounding. With averages of 28.5 points and 15.5 rebounds he joins only Oklahoma's Blake Griffin as the only players who rank in the nation's top 10 in both scoring and rebounding. Griffin seems to be garnering a lot of early attention as America's top player and as usual, Harangody is playing the role of the sleeper. One thing is for sure, it will be a lot harder for him to sneak up on anyone this year.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008


November 11, 2008

When thinking of a prototype shooting guard in college basketball, images of Kyle McAlarney certainly comes to mind. McAlarney is a 6-foot-1 gunslinger with a lightning quick release who can get hotter then a pistol in an instant. When his shot begins to fall, there is not a shot he can't make on the court.

As a junior, McAlarney returned from a half season's suspension to score 15 points a game. McAlarney plays with fire and passion and the confidence he exudes in his shot makes it known that he always believes his next shot is going to go down.

Last year, McAlarney connected on 108 of 245 three-point attempts, good for 44%. He eclipsed the 30-point mark three times, scoring 32 against Connecticut and 30 against both Villanova and Syracuse. The 30-point outburst against the Orange included an unthinkable nine of 11 from three-point range that afternoon in South Bend.

McAlarney is very comfortable shooting in the Joyce Center in South Bend and with Big East Pre-season Player of the Year Luke Harangody manning the paint inside, the shooting ability of McAlarney makes the Irish very difficult to defend. Sagging inside on Harangody could cost you three if you do not know when McAlarney is on the perimeter. That is the role of a shooting guard and K-Mac fills it perfectly.


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Friday, November 07, 2008


November 7, 2008

Notre Dame and Boston College enter their storied rivalry game with identical 5-3 records. However, the combined record of the five teams the Irish beat is 11-33. However, not to be outdone, the combined record of the five opponents BC beat is just 14-30, saved only by Virginia Tech's 6-3 record.


Each team has lost on the road to North Carolina, with the Irish playing the game MUCH closer and the Eagles are coming off a home loss to Clemson, while the Irish were upended in four overtimes by Pittsburgh in South Bend last week. Where has the offensive genius of Charlie Weiss gone? His self-proclaimed advantage at the chalkboard over his peers in the college football game could not draw up a way to the endzone in four overtimes when given the ball at the opponent's 25 each time?

Ouch! Quadruple ouch to be exact!

The latest NCAA Football Odds have BC favored by 3 1/2 on Saturday night. The Eagles and their fans are always ready for Notre Dame and this year should be no different.

I really think ND is going to have a tougher time getting off the mat from last week's home loss where they blew a 14-point halftime lead and could not find the endzone in the four OT's. BC, at home, will be able to get up for it just a tad bit more, although, it will be a close game.


Boston College 23
Notre Dame 20


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November 7, 2008

Verbal Commitment ALERT: Thomas Knight, 6'8 C/PF from Dirigo (ME) High School

Projected 2009-2010 Roster

Seniors: Luke Harangody (BF), Tory Jackson (PG), Jonathan Peoples (G),
Juniors: Carlton Scott (F), Tyrone Nash (F), Tim Abromaitis (F), Ben Hansbrough* (SG)
Sophomores: Scott Martin** (SF)
Freshmen: Joey Brooks (SF), Jack Cooley (BF), Mike Broghammer (PF), Thomas Knight (PF/C)

* Sitting out 2008-2009 season per NCAA transfer rules; will have two years of eligibility at Notre Dame beginning with the 2009-2010 season.

** Sitting out 2008-2009 season per NCAA transfer rules; will have three years of eligibility at Notre Dame beginning with the 2009-2010 season.

Over the summer, Thomas Knight emerged as a rare high-major prospect out of the state of Maine. His recruitment began to take off and the process was completed last Wednesday night. The Dirigo High School star made a visit to the Notre Dame campus last weekend and Knight is Ready to Fight for the Irish and Hop Aboard on Fill Boat to Notre Dame (Sun Journal).

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Thomas Knight joins an intriguing Notre Dame recruiting class that already included Joey Brooks (SF), Jack Cooley (BF) and Mike Broghammer (PF). Coach Mike Brey is certainly looking to add some beef inside to a roster that will likely have only 2009-2010 season senior Luke Harangody as a true post player. Knight stands f-foot-8 and weighs in the vicinity of 250 pounds, definitely giving the Irish some more bulk in the paint.

After visiting Davidson, Maine, Northeastern, Rutgers, and finally Notre Dame, the trip to South Bend blew Knight away and he made his decision earlier this week. Knight, even though he is built like a potential right guard, will surprise people with his perimeter skill set that will allow him to face-up and knock down shots. Knight is a hard-working player that is intelligent both on and off the court, making him a nice fit for Mike Brey's program at Notre Dame.

Earlier this fall the Irish picked up a third commitment with Minnetonka (MN) native Mike Broghammer pledging for ND.

Broghammer is a 6-foot-8, 215 lb power forward that knows his role on the floor and goes to work in the paint. Last season at Hopkins High School, Broghammer averaged about 12 points and 10 rebounds for coach Ken Novak and the Royals. A player like Broghammer provides depth behind Big East player of the year Luke Harangody upon his arrival and should be a nice compliment to Jack Cooley in the class, giving ND another physical player in the tough Big East, which will naturally help the NCAA Tournament Odds of the Irish in the future.

Cooley is the heir to the throne in the post for Notre Dame that is currently occupied by Harangody. Cooley is a very similar player to Harangody as he comes to work every game and thrives in a rugged game. He is well equipped for the physical play of the Big East. Cooley is a double-double machine with Glenbrook South and knows his place is in the paint.

Cooley joins Joey Brooks, who chose Notre Dame over Arizona State, Marquette, Oklahoma State, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest back in early Novemeber of 2007. He was an AAU teammate of former Irish target Steven Tchiengang who the Irish pursued until he committed to Vanderbilt.

The 2009 class still has one scholarships available with Ty Proffitt deciding to transfer to Morehead State after Notre Dame's recent trip to Ireland. With commitments in hand from Cooley, Brooks, Knight and Broghammer, the Irish are in very good position for a strong class in 2009. They have already begun to turn their attention towards the class of 2010 by putting a full court press on Albany (NY) guard Taran Buie and Pittsburgh-area G/F Tom Droney as both visiting the same weekend as Thomas Knight. Other targets being tracked by the Irish early in the class of 2010 include another big man from New England in Evan Smotrycz, Texan guard Rickey Scott, Michigan guard Ray McCallum, Buffalo (NY) big man Will Regan and Illinois shooter-extraordinaire Ben Brust.

Notre Dame, which did not sign any high school players from the class of 2008, does have a pair of new faces in the program for the 2008-2009 season. Scott Martin played a vital role on the Purdue Boilermakers NCAA Tournament team of the 2007-2008 season. Martin averaged 8.5 points a game and nearly 4 rebounds a contest in 22 minutes a game, appearing in 32 contests for the 25-9 squad.

Martin hit 31% of his three-point attempts as a freshman and was second on the team with 78 made free throws, showing his ability to play inside and out offensively. The 6'8 wing played high school basketball at Valparaiso High School and was an AAU teammate of Irish big man Luke Harangody. After transferring from Purdue, Martin also visited Butler and Valpo, but he looks like an ideal player in Mike Brey's scheme and should step immediately into the position vacated by Ryan Ayers in the line-up after Ayers graduates. Martin will have three years of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2008-2009 season.

Earlier this spring Notre Dame added Mississippi State transfer Ben Hansbrough, the younger bother of national Player of the Year recipient Tyler Hansbrough. The native of Poplar Bluff (MO) averaged 10.5 points a game as a sophomore, connecting on 36% of his shots from beyond the arc. Hansbrough played over 33 minutes a game in his 30 contests this past season, helping Mississippi State to the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament. Hansbrough could be the heir to Kyle McAlarney when he graduates and will have two years of eligibility ofter sitting out the 2008-2009 season.

Thanks for stopping by!


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Wednesday, November 05, 2008


November 5, 2008

The true point guard that sets the tone offensively and defensively seems to be a lost art, it definitely is an under-appreciated art, in today's game. Most people judge, on paper, effectiveness by points scored, but there is something to the point guard that quarterbacks a successful team.

It comes as no surprise that Notre Dame has such a point guard. Adding winning into the equation, and Tory Jackson ranks very high among the top point guards in college basketball. How is this for an impressive stat, the Irish have not lost a home conference game with Tory Jackson as their starting point guard in two seasons!

While others will generate more attention from NBA scouts for their ability to hit three-point bombs and score with highlight reel drives to the basket, Jackson is a throwback to the days when the floor general was just that, the director of the attack on the court. Jackson controls the tempo on offense, locks down the opposition on defense and gets his share of assists and rebounds.

How is this for impressive, in a three-game stretch last season against Connecticut, Rutgers and Pittsburgh, Jackson, who stands just 5-foot-10, averaged 15 points, 6 assists and 10 (yes, TEN) rebounds a game! For the season, Jackson averaged 5.8 assists and 5.1 rebounds.

Jackson may never get the proper attention and credit he deserves because he will never score with the likes of others from the point guard position, but to his credit, he understands that. We have seen many a team excel and increase their college basketball odds of March Madness success by having just such a point guard. Afterall, someone needs to feed Luke Harangody and Kyle McAlarney consistently, and Tory Jackson is that kind of point guard and holds a special spot in the NBE Basketball Report staff rankings of top point guards in the Big East.


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