Monday, November 12, 2012

Sunday, November 11, 2012

IBB Weekly Motivator: Week 3

Just in time for the anticipated build up of Saturday's Blue and Gold Game, I felt it was my duty and obligation to post this motivator! Here's to you Steve Urkel, err, I mean Mark May, to your bold and brash predictions of the Irish. What will it be this year Mark, -1 and 12?

He went so far to predict that we will lose on Saturday. I just can't wait for September to roll and around for the Irish to start their Shock and Awe campaign on College Football!

Friday, November 9, 2012

All in the Family: Reggie Bush Developments Could Spell Trouble for USC

Poor, poor Southern Cal. With all the attention of Reggie Bush and now O.J. Mayo is receiving, it's like kicking a poodle, err, I mean dog when it is down. Whatever the outcomes may be, it definitely does not bode well for the Men of Troy.

Bush might actually go to trial in March 2009 and possibly drag Pete Carroll's program through the mud. It's about time, because no way in hell is a program that good, squeaking clean!

The farther the Bush case is distanced from 2004 and 2005, the better for the Trojans, but the damage assessment scenarios remain unchanged.

If it's determined USC had nothing to do with an alleged off-campus money grab from a dubious hanger-on, the NCAA won't hit USC with major sanctions. If USC is involved, well, that would be a good day for Notre Dame and UCLA fans!

The secret in Trojan football is to win first and ask questions later.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Trap Game Awaits Irish in New Jersey

Even though Seton Hall is 15-7 overall and 5-4 in league play, the Pirates pose a great challenge for the Irish tonight. Mike Brey has stressed to his team after the DePaul game not to overlook Seton Hall before Saturday's rematch with Marquette. The Pirates had won five straight prior to their loss last Saturday at Georgetown.

This will be the fifth time that the Pirates have faced a ranked opponent. So far Seton Hall is 1-3 in those games. They defeated #23 Virginia, 74-60, on Nov. 24 and lost to #15 Marquette, 61-56, on Jan. 8 and #20 Pittsburgh, 84-70, on Jan. 12. Then lost their contest with the Hoyas. Virginia, by the way, is currently the last place team in the ACC with an overall record of 11-9, while Pittsburgh has lost three of their last five games; which includes losses at Cincinnati and home to Rutgers!

Tonight's game features a matchup of the top two scorers in the BIG EAST Notre Dame’s Luke Harangody and Seton Hall’s Brian Laing. Cool hand Luke is averaging 28.3 points and 12.7 rebounds in last three games. Laing is leading the Pirates with 19.3 points per contest. Shutting the senior captain down might not be as big as a concern as shutting down the rest of the Pirates. Seton Hall is one of the top scoring teams in the country with an 80.9 average. They're also good with the ball and making good decisions, with a 10.2 turnover average, which is fifth in the nation.

Seton Hall can be a streaky team from the floor, but the Irish will try and force the Pirates to shoot from the outside, as they are one of the worst 3 point shooting teams at 33.6%. Look for Coach Brey to confuse Seton Hall with different defensive looks.

The key to tonight's contest, like all the Irish away games, is to get off to a good start. Just like their win over Villanova, the Irish have to establish the inside with Harangody and Rob Kurz. Kurz will be very instrumental on the offensive boards for second chance opportunities, as he has grabbed 10-plus rebounds in nine games this season. Kyle McAlarney and Tory Jackson have to keep their composure getting the ball in the right hands, as the Pirates are very pesky on defense. Look for Zach Hillesland to get plenty of tries taking the ball up the court.

Ryan Ayers has played with a lot more confidence as of late since Brey has made him the first off the bench. The fourth-leading scorer has netted double figures in seven contests, including two straight against Villanova and Providence. If Ayers can get it going from the outside, the Irish should be in good shape.

Notre Dame will come out swinging and not look back in this one. The Irish have won four straight, including last season’s 88-76 win at the Joyce Center.

Prediction: Notre Dame 79 Seton Hall 66

Baseline Bits

~ Notre Dame’s current three-game BIG EAST regular-season win streak is its longest of the season.

~ The Irish are off to their best start in BIG EAST play since 2002-03 when that squad was 7-2 through its first nine games.

~ Notre Dame leads the all-time series 13-7.

Blue & Gold Game Halftime Entertainment

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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Yeatman's Journey Still Has Plenty of Forks in the Road

He was going back and forth for quite some time with his decision, but Will Yeatman is officially transferring from the University of Notre Dame. While he has made up his mind of leaving, there are still a few other entanglements involved here.

As we all know Yeatman is a good football player and an exceptional Lacrosse player, where he earned All-America honors as a Freshman. He requested permission to talk to some schools on this past Monday, Dec. 15, and was granted that permission to do so.

Will's indecisiveness has been going on since December 5th and has been in talks with both coaches and administrators about possibilities. There were a lot of NCAA rules he had to navigate, as well as, some Notre Dame policies which will make any one's head spin.

He definitely will be playing both football and lacrosse at some institution in the near future. The question now will be how soon?

Many will be wondering if whether his decision was based on the coaches or his teammates. Rest a assure that Yeatman's decision was 100% based on the non-athletic related issues. Basically what happened is that Will feels that both sets of coaches and teammates were extremely supportive. What he can't get past and what tried to do was serve his suspension and move forward. Yeatman is not a kid that is trying to duck any punishment.

He just felt like that he couldn't start over. He did take it upon himself and said numerous times to everyone that he wanted to start over and show everyone that he's of good character and can make significant contributions to the university on and off the fields. But there were other folks on campus that wouldn't let Will do that (Student Affairs and Residence Life Offices).

So Will thought maybe a fresh start is what everybody needs so that's when he decided to talk to his respective coaches. Coach Weis was very understanding and knew that North Carolina was a school that he always wanted to go to. In fact, when Yeatman was on his recruiting trip to Chapel Hill, Charlie called him and convinced him to come to Notre Dame. So UNC is the top school of where he wants to be.

The stickiness is that North Carolina is also a powerhouse in lacrosse, which happens to be on the Fighting Irish's schedule this spring. There are not a lot of schools, in fact there's 11 of them that play high level football and lacrosse. So once you take Notre Dame out of the mix, then the list narrows down to 10, and then you look at both the Irish's lacrosse and football schedules. After that, then you're pinpointing to 4 schools, which I'm not sure is real fair.

Banned List for Football
Navy: Definitely out because ND and the Middies play every year
Army: Play the Irish at Solider Field in 2010
Syracuse: Details are in the works, but definitely out as well

Banned List for Lacrosse
Air Force
Penn State
Ohio State
North Carolina
All of these schools play the Irish this season

Schools Left

This decision was something that came to Yeatman fairly recently. When everything came down originally after his latest arrest, which those charges were never filed for mind you, his first instincts were he should have left South Bend on the next plane. Instead he decided he's not going to run away from this and serve his punishment and try to start all over again here at Notre Dame. Basically he was taking his medicine and seeing how this thing wold play out.

But once October turned to November and November turned into December, the same kind of negative attitudes were coming at him. He felt that he could never start over again here, so then he decided why not go someplace where he can be happy at.

Again it had nothing to do with the football coaches or his teammates. They couldn't have been more supportive throughout this entire ordeal. Yeatman felt that another place of scenery would be the best for his well being. That's when he got the ball rolling on December 5th and met with both coaches. Coach Weis told him that he wouldn't stand in his way whatsoever.

But again there might be some entanglements that won't allow him to play lacrosse this spring and sit out another year. This will be the second year that Yeatman will be away from his best sport.

When he did speak with Coach Corrigan, there was a lot of tension because Corrigan stated a number of reasons why he should continue and stay in South Bend. Coming into this meeting, Yeatman was still undecided on whether or not he was leaving for another school. But after his meeting with Corrigan, he made up his mind and decided on another program.

When reached for comment yesterday, Coach Corrigan did not release anything about Will's status and North Carolina, except that he said this issue is still not over. So you can decide for yourself how he feels about Yeatman's decision.

Make no mistake about it, Will Yeatman loves Notre Dame, but he felt that this is not a good fit for him anymore. This was finally one of the better decisions he has made since he arrived to South Bend.

Best of luck Will on your future endeavors.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Beasts in the East: Irish Land #5 Seed

All the speculation is finally over and now let the debating begin. From who was the biggest snub to some interesting seeds, one thing is quite certain. The East Region is stacked! And for Notre Dame Fans, the Irish have a tough road to hoe.

After a wild weekend that saw the Georgia Bulldogs win the SEC, including winning two games in one day, and Pittsburgh making Madison Square Garden their second home court, the NCAA committee dished their seedings with force. In the East, you have the 10th ranked team in the country, Butler, as a #7 seed. Or Indiana, who's tied for 24th in the nation, land as the 8th seed, with a possible second round matchup with the overall # 1 seed, North Carolina looming.

To put it in perspective the East Region has six regular season champions (eight if you include both Mt. St. Mary's and Coppin State), six conference tournament champions (eight again with both play-in game participants), seven Top 25 ranked teams, which include three in the Top Ten, and an average RPI rating of 49.

Below is how the other regions stack up:

4 - Top 25 teams
2 - Top 10 teams
8 - Regular Season Champions
9 - Conference Tournament Champions
38.6 - RPI average

5 - Top 25 teams
2 - Top 10 teams
5 - Regular Season Champions
7 - Conference Tournament Champions
50.1 - RPI average

6 - Top 25 teams
2 - Top 10 teams
4 - Regular Season Champions
6 - Conference Tournament Champions
43.5 - RPI average

As for the Irish, they get the dreaded 5/12 game. One thing in their favor is that this George Mason squad is only a shell of their 2006 Final Four squad; but I'll get more in-depth about the Patriots later this week. Now the other 5/12 games are more daunting: Michigan St. v. Temple; Clemson v. Villanova; and Drake v. Western Kentucky. Usually a general rule of thumb when picking an upset of this magnitude, you look for veteran squads and injuries. With that in mind, I'm looking at both the Villanova and Western Kentucky to pull off the upsets.

George Mason is actually the lowest RPI 12 seed at 61. Western Kentucky (39), Temple (47), and Villanova (51), have a higher average than the CAA Tournament Champs. So when the ball tips off slightly before 10 pm on Thursday night, the Irish will start their second season at silencing their critics. If they do so, it will be against a murders' row of who's who in college hoops.

Tar Heels, Vols, Cardinals, Cougars, Sooners, Bulldogs, Hoosiers, Razorbacks, OH MY!

Poodle Paradise

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