Wednesday, November 28, 2007

So This Is What a Real Basketball School Is Like...

Down in Westwood for UCLA basketball. Pat, we can only dream of this environment @ the JACC.

Updated, 11:20 PM: George Washington played tough for the first half and used a hot streak from three-point land to make it close at halftime, but Ben Howland's crew played its usual shutdown defense in the second half and pulled away for an 83-60 win. Having said that, I think Notre Dame could give these #1 Bruins a game - it would require a sharp night from both Tory Jackson and Kyle McAlarney, and Luke Harangody would need to really be on in the paint. That right now appears to be UCLA's big weak spot - they don't have a punisher inside, though Kevin Love certainly will develop over the course of the season. With how athletic UCLA is across the board and the aggressive defense they play, they'll be a tough team to beat come Tournament time.


At 7:51 AM, Blogger Pat Girouard said...


How would you rate a game at Poly? Is the crowd into it or do they take for granted a great product, ala USC football?

ND can play with most teams in the country, albeit they will struggle with more atletic teams ala Memphis, UNC, Louisville. Playing with teams doesn't always equate to victories as I see the Irish coming up short in nearly any test against a top 20 team for the following reasons:

1) Lack of hard-nosed defense
2) Too much of a reliance on the 3 point shot (this can only take us so far, could lead to some upsets but also some tough loses and scoring droughts (i.e. Baylor and GT)
3) Lack of a go-to scorer. While I wouldn't usually see this as a problem, the way Brey handles end of game scenarios makes this type of player key. If ND is going to hold the ball and stall at the end of games, they need one guy that can create some offense on his own. Chris Thomas and Chris Quinn could not do this, Russell Carter could (see Alabame last year).

Overally, I expect ND to hover around 7-10 league wins, of which the ladder may get them into the tournament (of course if they lose to K-State, they will almost need to win 11-12 league games).


At 1:34 PM, Blogger George said...

For a mid-week game against a non-ranked non-conference opponent, I would say it was a pretty good crowd at Pauley. Or, more to the point, it was at least better than the Joyce crowd would be for a Monday-nighter against Colgate.

Typically, though, everybody began streaming for the exits once the clock rolled under 8:00 in the second half. I was impressed, but I really want to see the place during a game like Sunday (UCLA vs. Texas) or a big conference matchup like USC (Love vs. Mayo!) or Oregon.


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