Tag Archives: Luke Harangody

Massive Catch Up

image from woot.com

So I once again apologize for the complete lack of posts lately.  I’ve had a number of things on the ‘ole plate lately.  I’m just going to go through a massive recap with some random thoughts that have been swirling around in my head about Pitt, the Pens and whatever else creeps in.

  • So since we last left them, Pitt dropped a game in South Bend (which they’ll get a rematch of tomorrow), then finished off the year with a pair of wins against Providence and Rutgers.  Not very unexpected if you ask me (excluding some big shot by Ashton Gibbs I’ve heard a lot about).  Definitely a result I can live with.
  • Luke Harangody was back in today’s Irish win over Seton Hall.  He looked really good.  Especially in the first half.  I’m not going to lie: I’m a bit nervous about how Pitt will handle him.  Not necessarily the points he may put up.  It’s more the rebounding and the passing out of the post that he’s really good at that scare me.
  • Pitt’s really good when they get a lot of bench points.  It just doesn’t happen consistently.  This has been brought up before about Gil Brown (which is true), but it’s also true to a lesser extent with Travon Woodall and Dante Taylor.  When they can chip in a few points and add a few quality minutes, it makes a world of difference.
  • The Pens have been really en fuego (that’s spanish for ‘on fire’ for the monolingual people out there) since the Olympic break.  Anyone still think the Olympics were too much of a distraction?  They’ve got a long road trip coming up that will decide a lot about the playoff seeding.  But I like the team right about now.
  • Both Ponikarovsky (2 points in 2 games) and Leopold (some solid puck possession on defense) are making solid contributions so far.  It’s nice to have a GM that you can just trust to make the right moves unconditionally.  Life is so much easier that way.
  • Matt Cooke wasn’t suspended at all for his blow to the head on Marc Savard.  It’s completely obvious that he was skating directly in front of Savard for the sole reason of knocking him while his head was down.  It was a cheap shot.  If you don’t believe me, watch the tape: There’s no place for that in hockey.  It makes me sick to watch.  It makes me sicker to think I’m supporting the team he plays for.  I guess there’s a compromise here.  I’m going to continue to root for him to score goals and play well, but he’s definitely not a guy I’d buy a jersey of.
  • NCAA tournament starts next week.  This is seriously my favorite week of the year.  Just as a treat, here’s my list of dangerous mid-major teams who could steal a game in the first round (not including the teams like New Mexico and Butler that are already ranked): Old Dominion (good defense and one of the best rebounding margins in the country are a good way to build a team.  Just ask Jamie Dixon), Oakland (Keith Benson and an experienced cast of characters play a really solid game), Murray State (they can run the floor with anyone) and Woffard (another solid team that plays defense and rebounds).
  • I’m seeing a lot of upsets in the tournament this year.
  • I’m already looking forward to the World Cup.  I’m not a huge soccer fan, but the passion of some of these fan bases and the heart and soul that goes into these games draws me in.
  • The Olympics came and went.  The countries that invest money in their Olympic programs won a bunch of medals.  The ones that didn’t sent athletes that gave efforts you have to admire.  The coverage was put together by a 4th grader with no attention span, and included way way way way way too many fluffy stories about the personal lives of the athletes.  I love the Olympics (both summer and winter) because the athletes train their entire lives for this one moment and they all care a whole lot.  I’ll watch pretty much any event where the participants are really giving it their all.  But I have to admit I’m getting a little disenfranchised with the presentation of the Olympics.
  • The Pirates started spring training and I’d have to think for a while to remember half their lineup.  That makes me better than most of the city, I’m afraid.  I’d love to tell you how they’re doing, but I just don’t care.  That’s sad.  I’m also beginning to lose interest in baseball in general.  That’s worse.  I’ve found that I really need to be keeping a scorecard just to pay attention to a full game anymore.  And I mostly go to PNC Park to spend a nice few hours outside on a beautiful day with a good view and lots of people to peoplewatch.  I keep a scorecard and follow the strategies as best I can to stay awake, but I’m barely rooting for anything.  I suspect I’m not alone in that thought.

That’s pretty much all I have for now.  Hopefully I’ll be able to keep up from now on.

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2009 Big East B-Ball Preview

#6 Notre Dame Fighting Irish

 

image from scrapetv.com

 

Previous Posts

#16 DePaul

#15 USF

#14 Providence

#13 Rutgers

#12 St. John’s

#11 Cincinnati

#10 Seton Hall

#9 Marquette

#8 Syracuse

#7 Pitt

Last Year In A Nutshell:

21-15 (8-10 Big East)

Lost in the final four of the NIT to Penn St. (were a #2 seed)

Coach: Mike Brey

If I Were Coach Brey I Would Start:

Luke Harangody (F, Sr.) – No, he didn’t graduate yet (I know.  I’m just as surprised).  Huge guy in the post.  Double double machine.

Tory Jackson (G, Sr.) – Returning starter at the point.  Very quick and can provide a little bit of scoring.  Also a decent rebounder for a guard.  Very good defensively as well.

Ben Hansbrough (G, Sr.) – Yes, he’s Tyler’s brother.  Mississippi St. transfer. More of a physical guard who’s a decent shooter.

Scott Martin (G/F, Jr.) – Will play in the 4 spot.  Very good defensive player.  Can play away from the basket and is actually a bit of a shooting threat as well.

Jonathan Peoples (G, Sr.) – Probably won’t start all season, but may start out there because of experience.  He’s another point guard who is more of the classic distributor guard.

Other Key Contributors:

Joey Brooks (G, Fr.) – Will mostly play the wing.  Very strong and physical for a swing man, which will play nicely in the Big East.  Mostly a shooting threat.

Tyrone Nash (G/F, Jr.) – Role player inside.  Mostly a defensive specialist.  Not a great rebounder.

Carleton Scott (F, Jr.) – Long body.  Can step out and make a jump shot.  Not a bad defender.

Tim Abromaitis (F, Jr.) – Big guy who can play physically, but can also shot very well and may play on the wing a bit.

Overall Thoughts:

Notre Dame is once again going to be centered around Luke Harangody.  They’ve kept an inside outside punch going with him and a standout guard over the past few years.  Last year it was Kyle McAlarney.  This year it will have to be Tory Jackson.  The Irish are a very thin at the guard position, but they’ve got a ton of frontcourt players who have been sitting and waiting their turn.  Notre Dame will rely on their freshmen a bit less than most of the rest of the conference, but there is still some question marks because they lost a lot of significant number of minutes from last year.

Offensively, the name of the game in South Bend has always been balance.  That shouldn’t change much this year.  What most likely will change is the reliance on the outside shot.  This year’s backcourt seems to be more of a ballhandling, flashy style than in years past.  A lot of that comes from Jackson.  Notre Dame does some shooters in the frontcourt this year, however.  So I wouldn’t start to pack in the defenses against them quite yet.  The problem for the Irish last year was defense.  They allowed 70.7 points per game which was 12th in the Big East.  Some of that had to do with the lack of aggression on defense, and some of it was due to the lack of athleticism and quickness.   The good news is that most of the players stepping up seem to be an upgrade on the defensive end.  That’s probably the main reason I’ve put the Irish this high.  The one thing I will say about the Notre Dame defense is that it has always been physical, and I definitely see that continuing.

Overall, I think the major flaw with this team is depth.  Especially in the backcourt.  However, I see them stepping up their defense and remaining balanced on offense, so I say stock up on the Irish.  Combine that with the drop-off that many other teams in the league will see, and it could be a very good year for Notre Dame.  Keep an eye on the injury status, because the Irish can’t afford to lose anybody this year.  Also keep an eye on whether or not the lack of quickness that has hurt them in the past will hurt them again.

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