October 30, 2008 // Notre Dame Basketball

Irish Basketball Ranked 9th

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The Notre Dame basketball team scored their first pre-season raking since 2004.  The #9 Irish are one of four Big East teams in the top ten.  The conference, regarded by most as the toughest in the nation, boasts seven teams in top 25.

The Irish return four starters in Luke Harangody, Zach Hillesland, Tory Jackson and Kyle McAlarney.  Their only significant loss from a year ago was Rob Kurz.  Harangody is the reigning Big East player of the year.  Mike Brey’s team is poised to make a solid run not only at the Big East crown, but could very well find themselves deep in the NCAA tournament.

The Irish return a bench which provided 21.5 points-per-game, a little over one quarter of the team’s points-per-game average.  With four returning starters, the Irish offense could be one of the best in the country.  They have an imposing perimeter attack – NCAA’s 5th best 3-point team a year ago, shooting 41% from beyond the arc – and one of the country’s best big men down low to keep defenses honest.

The Irish have posted 37 consecutive home wins, and are unbeaten at home over the past two seasons.  The schedule is bottom heavy.  The Irish open the season playing five of six games at home after they round up the preseason tournaments.  The Irish don’t pay a ranked opponent until January, when they host Georgetown in their 12th game of the season.   To close out the season, an impressive stretch of difficult opponents – 18 conference foes and UCLA – will challenge the Irish which could only help prepare them for March Madness.

Comments to this Article

  • bleednd82 commented on October 31st, 2008 at 7:07 am

    I am VERY excited for this season. There is a exibition game tonight at 9pm. Im going out to support. The teams that are ranked in front of us in the BE Uconn, Pitt, Lville are similiar to the same teams they had last year. We beat Uconn and Pitt. Lost only game to Lville. I think the BE is by far the toughest in the nation. I predict we finish 1-3 in conf play. We need someone to step up in Rob’s place. Zeller has under-performed since being on campus. Maybe this year he added a little toughness and gained some weight. We will be tested I believe in the Maui Invt early. We play most likely Texas 2nd round and probably would be UNC 3rd round. Those are some difficult tests right there early.
    Go Irish BABY!

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  • C-Dog commented on October 31st, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    It would be nice to know that Brey feels it. A final 8 appearance would be great. Yes, I’d like to see them go farther, but since the Final Four team, they haven’t gotten past the sweet sixteen and only had one good tournement under Brey. He’s a great coach, but you’d like once to see that he pushes them to get as far as possible int he tournement. Gonna be a fun season.

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  • bleednd82 commented on November 1st, 2008 at 12:29 am

    After tonite I do agree with the Ranking. We won by 39 but our rebounding was horrible. Our O is gonna be special. We scored 12 pts in one segment in 30 seconds. TJ played amazing D and actually showed improvement from the line and his shot. I feel that we need Zeller to get tough and get DL. He wonders around the 3 pt line and that helps us 0 when it comes to D rebounding and O rebounding. He is the tallest player on the floor. I mean comon. I did like how Scott played.

    Brey is an AMAZING coach and Im suprised that someone hasnt picked him up yet. He is great. He might get BE COY again.

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