Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Onward To Victory On The Road For Brey's Boys

Mike Brey and his 12-2 Irish take to the road for their first true away game against the 15th Ranked Marquette Eagles tomorrow at the Bradley Center. Even though the Irish haven't fair so well the past several meetings with Marquette, Notre Dame is not ready to be knocked off the top spot in the Big East standings. Here are some keys to tomorrow's 2:00 pm contest:

1.) Injury Bug Hits the Big East. Marquette senior guard, Dominic James (pictured above), is the latest conference victim to go down with an injury. During the Eagles win over Seton Hall this week, James went down hard with a wrist injury in the first half, but came back in the second half. Even though James came back, you could tell his wrist was bothering him. X-Rays didn't show any fractures, but his wrist may not be at 100%. We shall see how bad his wrist really is tomorrow.

2.) The First 5 Minutes is Crucial. I know this is overly used, but in Notre Dame's case, it is very true. This is the Irish's first time facing a hostile environment, and the first few minutes will be key to whether they will have success or not. As long as the Irish play their game and minimize turnovers, they will dictate the flow of this contest.

3.) Feed the Belly of the Beast. Tomorrow's contest definitely has the same feel as the West Virginia game. Will anybody on Marquette be able to handle Luke Harangody? It was last year's contest against Marquette, that Harangody had his previous career high in points and rebounds. The Eagles will try and stop Luke with the likes of Dwight Burke (6-8, 250) and Lazar Hayward (6-6, 225). Hayward is ranked among the league leaders in field goal and free throw percentages, while Burke is only averaging 3.7 rebounds per contest.

Luke will once again have a stellar performance against the Eagles. Look for Rob Kurz and Ryan Ayers also to be key performers as well.

4.) D...D...D...Defense! One of the main reasons why the Irish have been so successful this season has been their tenacious D. Notre Dame is currently ranked 18th in the country in field goal percentage defense (.379). The Irish are also holding their opponents under 63 points per contest and stopping them behind the 3 pt. arc at .333 percentage.

Contested shots and rebounds will be crucial for the Irish's first 3-0 start in Big East play.

Prediction: Notre Dame 77 Marquette 69

Brey's boys keep the momentum going for their 11th straight win this season, as the big men have their way against a smaller Marquette squad. The Irish will have continued success from beyond the arc with K-Mac, while Notre Dame's defense comes up big once again.

Baseline Tidbits:

~ Notre Dame ranks in the top 20 of the NCAA statistics in four categories: assists (4th-19.8); rebounding margin (7th-10.2) and field goal percentage defense (18th-.379).

~ Notre Dame has played Marquette more than any other team and leads the all-time series 76-32.

~ Notre Dame is 32-21 all-time when playing Marquette in Milwaukee, but have only played at the Bradley Center on four occasions. The Irish are 1-3 in those outings
with its only victory coming in its first-ever visit, a 68-58 win on February 17, 1994. In its last visit, the Golden Eagles handed Notre Dame a 67-65 setback on January 20, 2006.

~ Notre Dame is off to a 2-0 start in conference play for the fourth time since becoming a league member in 1995-96, while no Irish team has ever started league play with a 3-0 record. The other three times that Notre Dame has started off 2-0 in the BIG EAST was 1999-2000, 2003-04 and 2004-05.

~ Since joining the BIG EAST in 2005-06, the Golden Eagles are 15-3 at the Bradley
Center in league action, including the conference-opening victory over Providence and
Tuesday night’s come-from-behind win against Seton Hall. Dating back to last season, Marquette has claimed 11-straight overall victories at home.

Friday, October 8, 2010

IBB Weekly Motivator: Week 4

Don't you miss John L. Smith? He was such a classy person, especially when he was upset at his players for not planting their flag on the 50-yard line at Notre Dame Stadium three years ago. Too bad you're not in East Lansing anymore, or I'd bitch slap you too!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Laws and Carlson Named to the NFF Hampshire Honor Society

The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) announced today the members of the 2008 NFF Hampshire Honor Society, which is comprised of college football players from all divisions of play who each maintained a 3.2 GPA or better. Seniors Trevor Laws and John Carlson were the Notre Dame recepients of the Honor Society.

Qualifications for membership in the inaugural NFF National Honor Society include:

1) Being a starter or a significant substitute in one's last year of eligibility at an accredited NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, Football Championship Subdivision, Division II, Division III, or an NAIA college or university;

2) Achieving a 3.2 cumulative grade point average throughout entire course of undergraduate study; and

3) Meeting all NCAA-mandated progress towards degree requirements.

The NFF Hampshire Honor Society capitalizes on the NFF's current National Scholar-Athlete program, greatly expanding the number of scholar-athletes the NFF can recognize each year and further strengthening its leadership role in encouraging academic performance by the student-athletes who play football at the more than 700 college and universities with football programs.

Carlson, a history major in the College of Arts and Letters, graduated with his Bachelors Degree last spring with a 3.633 cumulative grade point average. He was enrolled in graduate studies this past year.

Laws, a 2007 graduate from the Mendoza College of Business with a degree in marketing and sociology, posted a 3.220 cumulative grade point average. He was also enrolled in graduate studies this past year.

Both Laws and Carlson are a true testiment to the term Student-Athlete. They are true NOTRE DAME men and will be sorely missed for the upcoming football season.

As always GO IRISH!