Random Thoughts
by Taxman (2017-08-27 19:34:52)

1. For some reason, I was looking through YouTube and stumbled onto the full game replay of the 5 OT win against Louisville. Then I looked at other games since then and it hit me. Since the football team laid a turd in the BCS Championship game, do you realize how many truly amazing moments the basketball team has produced? I mean really truly objective incredible moments-- not just hey how bout the scrappy little engine that could, isn't that cute moments. With all due respect to Digger and my era of the 70s, we are a Final Four appearance away from this perhaps being the golden age of ND basketball.

2. Watching the Louisville game, the other thought that hits you is what could have been had Cam Biedscheid not gone full douche mode.

3. I know Hubb has slipped in the rankings a bit, but at one point he was a top 50 guy, so go with me on this one. In a couple years we could put a team on the floor that has four top 50ish guys-- Durham, Gibbs, Hubb and Harvey. I'm pretty sure that hasn't happened in 30 plus years. If we can find another big (say a stretch four) in the top 50, we could have an entire starting lineup of top 50 recruits. How amazing would that be?

4. I said this before but it bears repeating. We are getting top 100 recruits that elicit mostly a yawn from the board. We have always bemoaned a short rotation, but (a) that has been Brey's style (and it mostly works), and (b) some of the back-ups just didn't have the same talent level as the starters (there was a pretty clear drop-off). Well, that second excuse will soon be gone.

5. I found it interesting that Brey admitted the team was running on fumes after the ACC Tournament last year and he felt lucky to have beaten Princeton. In hindsight, that was pretty obvious. That explains Vasturia losing his shot, Beachem looking out of sorts and Farrell not being quite as effective. You know Brey is going to ride Farrell and Colson until they drop this year, but it would be nice to spread the minutes of the other guys. I could see Pflueger hitting the wall if he plays 35 minutes a game. Harvey needs to be worked into the rotation over time. Before you get into a debate about why Brey should not play Farrell and Colson until they drop, I would say I understand why. I don't think this team has a really high ceiling-- with breaks it could make the Sweet Sixteen, but more realistically this is a one-and-done type team. Let's just make sure we keep the positive momentum, finish strong in the conference, make a good showing in the ACCT and get into the dance. Beyond that is gravy.

6. The 2019-2020 team is going to be the real deal. Durham, Harvey and Gibbs as upper class leaders and the new recruits. That's as much top 100 talent as we have had since Brey has been here.

Something to sooth your soul as the upcoming trainwreck of a football season unfolds.


"beyond that is gravy"
by abrogody33  (2017-09-02 02:07:23)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

You think anything better than an NCAA tournament appearance this year is gravy??? After what this program has accomplished the last three years, and the guys we have coming back, gravy??

This is a team that expects to go to a final four and has a good enough nucleus to do so.

It has always puzzled me why nobody ever really calls you out for your consistently pessimistic outlook, but I guess it's okay since the team proves you wrong year after year.


Disagree if you like, but no one needs to be 'called out' ..
by NDFanSince81  (2017-09-02 08:40:11)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

Taxman is one of the most insightful posters on this board. If you disagree with his views, fine, and say so. But there is no need to 'call out' anyone on this board.


Exactly right
by MobileIrish  (2017-09-02 12:40:33)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

Most, if not all, on this board look forward to Taxman's thoughts.

I hope he is wrong, but his opinion is very realistic. In this century, ND has made it to the second weekend 3 times. The NCAA tournament is really a crapshoot. As Taxman has said in the past, the tournament is like baseball at bats. Sometimes you strikeout. Sometimes you get a hit. You just need to keep swinging the bat.


I don't have a "dog" in this fight. But, this
by LAW83  (2017-09-02 08:22:06)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

You are chasing the wrong squirrel here! He is one of the more informative and entertaining posters. A must read! So #### off!


Seriously?
by Taxman  (2017-09-02 07:42:03)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

I am the guy who, the day Demetrius Jackson was signed, said we would make the Final Four before he left. I missed that one...by about one minute of the UK game. My bad.

Or the guy who has been on the Brey bandwagon 17 out of 17 years, even the ones without NCAA appearances. I took a lot of shit for that in the down years.

Or the guy who said 15 years ago that the hoops team would win a national championship before the football team. I'm sticking with that one.

In my 17 years on this board I have gotten some things right and some things wrong. That is the nature of posting a lot. But I am pretty sure I get a lot more right than I get wrong. In any event, when this team gets past the first weekend of the NCAA tournament next March, be sure to come back and publicly remind everyone I was wrong. Oh, and don't forget to use all caps in the subject line and lots of exclamation points.


Examples
by abrogody33  (2017-09-02 22:42:33)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

14-15 You we're discussing us as a bubble team in the preseason, we came a play away from the final four.

15-16 You said no way we overcome the losses of PC and JG and that you'd be happy with a tournament appearance. We came a game away from the Final Four.

16-17 Similar sentiments about a tournament appearance being the goal, we nearly win the ACC Championship and end up with a top 5 seed.

I can't remember a single season aside from 13-14, in which your offseason expectations have not been easily surpassed by Coach Brey and the team.

Throwing out comparisons to the football team has nothing to do with what is being discussed. You have made bold claims about the program following big commitments (DJ, Hubb) but when analyzing single seasons, you almost always predict things that the team easily surpasses.

Bonzie Colson is a top 5 player in college basketball.
Matt Farrell is a top 10 point guard in college basketball.
Mike Brey is a top 10 coach in college basketball.
Rex Pflueger and TJ Gibbs will make significant leaps as they embrace bigger roles. (As all Brey guys do as they get older)
DJ Harvey is one of the most ready freshman we've ever had in the Brey tenure.

To say that this team accomplishing anything more than an NCAA Tournament appearance in 17-18 would be gravy is nothing short of ridiculous.

I know most posters will run to your defense and cast me off as crazy for disagreeing with you, but my point here was simply to say believe in the program a little bit. Mike Brey has taken the next step and we are more than capable of contending next year.

I don't hold any ill-will towards you, I respect your status as a top dawg on this board, and I typically enjoy your posts (particularly the one's after games). Go Irish.


It doesn't have to do with "top dawg" anything
by beattherush  (2017-09-03 09:07:36)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

One of the nice things about The Pit is that it is free from the dick-measuring stuff that has detracted from Rock's over the years even after I think all participants would rather it stop.

I think the board reaction might be different if you made your own arguments for your point of view, based on your own basketball observations and insights, vs. simply tearing down someone else's.


I think this is the golden age
by Circuslunch  (2017-08-31 17:24:54)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

I agree. I have a higher ceiling for this year though. I think we could be better than expected (as is usual).


I was cleaning up the DVR last night and watched some
by cbo86  (2017-08-31 07:45:32)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

of the Princeton game and man did we look like a tired team. Maybe revisionist history but nobody seemed to have any legs. I will say that Princeton played pretty good fundamental basketball.


I think the glass is half full. But , damn I do enjoy
by LAW83  (2017-08-28 20:35:07)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

your posts!!


Good stuff as usual. Great to read your analysis again. *
by cbo86  (2017-08-28 10:32:50)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post


This season is going to be interesting.
by NDMike2001  (2017-08-28 10:06:36)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

Common sense tells us that this team has a lower ceiling than what we've been accustomed to as of late. But there are also these two guys name Bonzie and Farrell that seem to play well with massive chips on their shoulders when people underestimate them.

So there's that...


I think we will find out
by bobnd80  (2017-08-28 12:24:34)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

that losing Vasturia is a bigger loss than even Grant or DJ was. A glue guy who guarded the opposition's best player, handled the ball, made big plays at the end of games, shot over 90 percent from the line, was an unselfish passer and was a calming influence is not easily replaced. I like Rex and TJ, but there is a huge hole.

And losing VJ plus Ryan's shooting will also be an issue. I think we take a step back this season unless Mooney or Harvey become primary contributors.


I said below I think this year's team will be very mercurial
by Stonebreaker9  (2017-08-28 13:22:06)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

without SV and VJ's calming influence, and the emotional side of most of our top guys.


I see the ceiling a bit higher
by Ajax  (2017-08-27 21:55:15)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

Been through this before, but you can make a CASE that they return their top 2 players. Last time that happened was 14-15. Expect TJ & Rex will take major jumps in their play ala DJ & Steve in 14-15.

The key could end up being Geben or Mooney.

Harvey is also a wild card. I expect more consistent production from him than freshman Bonzie or soph VJ. Torres we know what to expect. Any major contributions from Nik or Elijah would be a bonus.


Don't sleep on Djogo.
by Georgia Hog  (2017-08-28 07:41:50)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

I think he may be a pleasant surprise this season.


Based on some of the practice clips
by OhioIrish21  (2017-08-29 13:17:34)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

Brey seems comfortable having him check some of the better players on the team. If he can bring a defensive edge and play within himself on the offensive end, he can at least give Pflueger the chance for a rest now and again.


Or Burns
by Kayo  (2017-08-28 10:15:52)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

There are ten scholarship players who are eligible to play plus Matt Gregory, the walk-on who was awarded a scholarship for this season.

Seven guys played double digit minutes last year. Ryan played about eight minutes per game, but his time dwindled during the season. Torres played a little over seven minutes per game; but because he always played and played in key situations, I'd include him as part of the rotation. By my count, last year's rotation was nine deep early and was more like eight as Ryan played less in the second half of the season.

It easily could be nine deep again this season, and I believe every one of the ten recruited scholarship players can be a capable rotation player. We probably won't see a final rotation until February.

Eight or nine guys will force their way into the rotation. It could be all ten of them, but probability says someone won't play well.

These guys are certain to be in the rotation: Colson, Farrell, Pfleuger, Gibbs, and Torres (with the same time limitations as always). That's five.

Harvey is going to be too good to keep out of the rotation when he learns his assignments and adjusts to the speed of college basketball. That makes six.

Geben, Mooney, Burns, and Djogo will have to earn their spots in the rotation. The open question is who will play well enough to force Brey's hand when he gets the chance. Geben will have the best chance as the early starter; but like last season, he will have to play well to hold his spot.

I can't begin to handicap the others either in favor or against playing time. In part, it will depend on what the team can't get from the top six plus Geben. What they have to offer:

Djogo - extremely athletic; fearless going to the basket; don't know about his defense but he's athletic enough to be very good; has a three point shot but is inconsistent.

Mooney - typical Brey big man... can shoot, and can handle the ball; I need to see more on the boards, and I worry that his funky release will make him an inconsistent shooter.

Burns - tough guy who will mix it up on the boards and defend; allegedly had a good outside shot when ND recruited him, but I haven't seen it in practice; very quick, but not an exceptional jumper; good finisher at the basket.


You've got me wishing we could skip the football season and
by Georgia Hog  (2017-08-27 20:21:03)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

go straight to basketball season.

Okay, I already was wishing for that, but your post heightened my anticipation of the upcoming Irish basketball season.


That's the one good thing about the earlier season openers
by ShermanOaksND  (2017-08-28 10:04:50)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

Before the 1970s, it was rare when the basketball season opened while the football season was still underway, especially during the era when ND didn't play in bowl games. In 1972, the football regular season finale at Southern Cal was pushed from November 25 to December 2 for TV, so it fell on the same day as the basketball opener at Michigan. The football finale and basketball opener fell on the same day for most of the next decade, with basketball routinely opening the Saturday after Thanksgiving from 1974 on, and football usually ending that same day, with occasional deviations.

This year, the basketball team will have played 6 games by the time the football team plays its finale at Stanford. Whatever downside there might be to that, it will be a welcome distraction by November.