Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Let's Get Ready to Rumble

All that can be said has been said about the non-conference schedule and the upgrade project. Things are where they are.

But where we are right now is less than 18 hours before the season tip-off, so it's time to get fired up for what should be an excellent season on the Irish hardwood. This is a team deserving of good crowds and loud support, and it remains my fervent hope they're going to get it.

Wait a sec, you're saying. Are you now advocating these non-conference games? I thought for sure you'd be advising people to stay away and show the powers that be this kind of scheduling philosophy can't be tolerated.

The thought certainly crossed my mind. But every time it did, I was reminded of what I saw during those practices in the fall.

I saw energy on the court.

I saw a group of players that seems to really like to play together.

I saw hard work on defense and offense.

I saw freshman trying to make it tough for the coaches to not play them, and upperclassmen trying to make it easy for the coaches to ignore the frosh.

I saw a sophomore welcoming a leadership role, and a junior welcoming a challenge to return and make a difference.

I saw a big man who gave up pizza in the off-season so his team could improve.

I saw players throwing their bodies around to make a play, even if that play was through pain.

I saw coaches getting in the players' grills when the effort waned.

I saw fun basketball. And I think you all will want to see fun basketball.

Of course, I'd rather folks be in the seats at the JC. But in a new twist this year, the non-conference games will be webcast on, so everyone will get a chance to check out the product and decide for themselves if a winter trip is warranted (as I think it is). Granted, that puts us at the mercy at the heretofore sketchy availability of the CSTV video interface, but it's certainly a step forward in program marketing.

We spent the offseason dealing with the issues. But the offseason is over, and this season will see a new home-court win streak and ND's greatest player inducted into the College Hoops HOF.

Time to get our hoops schwerve on. Let's light this candle.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm ready for a good season. I'm actually in the minority insofar as I welcome our easy nonconference schedule. I am against making a practice of scheduling 200+ level RPI teams, but this season it may prove to be beneficial. I think that early on we will miss Carter and Falls. I think that Ayers has a golden opportunity but he may not yet be ready for prime time -- and these early games can give him confidence. Until Harangody comes back from injury, we will need a little bit of a softer schedule. And, KMac has to get back into the groove after being out for so long.

So, I'm looking at the early season schedule as an opportunity to gain confidence and build depth (and stay injury free) so that we can make a legitimate run under a much tougher BE slate than we've had in the past.

Also, after this football season, I just crave about any type of win.

11/01/2007 08:38:00 AM  
Anonymous Scranton Dave said...

The non conference schedule still dissapoints me but I hope that the teams we face in the Paradise Jam and Kansas St end up being good to help that non conference RPI a little. That being said, I agree I really like this team. I think K Mac will come back with a chip on his shoulder and play well and TJackson looked to be coming of age at the end of last year. With Harangody slimmed down and Hillesland ( I love him he is the most unique player ND has had since Ive been following them) a year better, I think the potential for a good NCAA tourney run is there. I cant wait to watch them play!

11/01/2007 04:32:00 PM  

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