Sunday, March 7, 2010

God, I Hate Notre Dame.

Alright, let's get this out of the way.

In a game rife with coaching mistakes -- Buzz's tech in the first half (yes, it was a bad call by the official, but Buzz had to be on guard for the Shitty Official Mistake that's described below, in the "Boner of the Week" section); Mike Brey's decision to play Luke Harangody, when it's clear that 'Gody is now in full-fledged "EWING CAN'T EVEN MOVE" territory*; Buzz failing to convince his team to stop shooting threes when we couldn't hit jack shit all game -- the most frustrating might've been the end of game clusterfuck that led to the game-tying three by Carleton Scott.

* Let's pause to consider how beneficial Harangody's injury was for the Irish. He's a vortex on offense, he's a liability on defense, and it seems like Brey's given up on coaching him. In a nutshell, his injury was the exact opposite of Dom James' injury last year: Dom was our most important player because he made everyone around him better. Harangody makes everyone around him worse. If he makes it in the NBA -- and he won't -- he'd be a great Clipper.

Some people are of the opinion that, with time winding down and your team up by three, you should foul and put the other team on the line. Some say you nut up and play good D. Now, I'm not saying that the strategy is clear-cut one way or the other; some coaches take the foul, some don't. What's frustrating is Buzz's explanation of his philosophy:
"Anytime if we're up by three with less than nine seconds to go in the game, and we're in the bonus, not the double bonus, philosophically I would foul. But not when whoever it is that we would foul, when we go to the free-throw line ... if I can't see the top of our guys' heads, I'm not going to foul. But I think if they're in the 1 and 1 there's a little bit of added pressure because now you have to make the first one, miss the second one, get an offensive rebound and a putback. But it's going to be with less than nine seconds left. But with our current team ... with as many grind-it-out games as we've been a part of, I'm not going to bet on the come bet. I'll just play on the pass line and put odds on the back."
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? Does he want to foul or not?

If this is the way he's talking to the kids in the huddle -- "Boys, I'm gonna play the pass line and put odds on the back" -- it's a wonder our guys have any idea what to do when they take the floor. "OK, guys, coach said we're not supposed to blame the cow when the milk goes sour. That means 2-3 zone ... I think ..."

Anyway, a win would've apparently moved us into Joe Lunardi's stone-cold, lead-pipe lock group. Instead, we're languishing at the top of the bubble heap. Whatever. A win on Wednesday removes all the drama. If we lose to UCONN, it might be an agonizing Selection Sunday.

The Trojan-ENZ "Boner of the Week" Call(s): Jim Burr** has been an official for roughly 82 years. Because of his advanced age, he anticipates calls more than any other official (even Higgins). Yesterday was no exception, as he called two offensive fouls -- one on 'Zar, and one on some Domer who I can't be bothered to remember -- on blatant flops that had minimal contact. It's now gotten to the point where fans can anticipate Burr anticipating the call, such that the booing starts before Jim even blows his whistle.

And special "Die in a fire" wishes go out to James Breeding, the overmatched sonofabitch who pulled a classic Shitty Official Move at the end of the first half, when he whiffed on an obvious travel by Ben Hansbrough and then called a tech on Buzz when Buzz pointed out the error. Missing a call, then T'ing up the coach because you were wrong? Yep. Classic Shitty Official Move. One of my favorites. Die in fire, Other Jim.

** You know the old saying that the best officials are the ones you don't notice? Within about 30 seconds of tipoff, you know that Jim Burr is working the game. In the upset of all upsets, Jim Burr has now moved ahead of Tim Higgins on Rubie's "People Who I'm Going to Kill When Reid Shows Me How to Shoot a Bow-and-Arrow" list. Congratulations, Jim!


Softball's Tony Gwynn said...

I wouldn't have fouled right away, but I might have fouled after Gingavitis threw up the pair that Nash grabbed before Zar swiped at it and it bounced to hansborough who threw it to scott for the game tying 3. Up until that point we had played really good defense. Cooby got sucked into the try and get the ball and left his guy wide open at the 3 point line when we just should have let ND take a 2 point shot. it would have been our ball with less than a 2 seconds.

but had we just executed with the ball and up 3 with 30 seconds left it wouldn't have mattered. a 3 from the corner isn't what we drew up. damn!

so, i'm not in favor or fouling when up 3, but it worked pretty well in in OT for ND.

PaulNoonan said...

You should foul. You can't score 3 from the charity stripe.

If you were up by 7 in football with 2 minutes to go and you had the option of forcing the other team to kick two field goals instead of trying for a TD+PAT would you do it? Of course you would.

Mr. Rumsfield's Brownies said...

Marquette is a 3pt shooting team. If they don't hit the open 3pt shot, it will be a long game. MU shot 17.4% from 3 yesterday. Nobody hit more than 1 and DJO was 0-4.

Rubie - you point out that Buzz should have changed the gameplan from shooting 3's...but what would that have been? They still had a lot of touches in the paint. With Zar in foul trouble and the Ref's calling offensive fouls, I'm not sure what else they could have done.

Zar having 4 fouls for the end of the game really really hurt MU's Defense. 2-3 of those fouls were total BS. Obviously losing Zar in the beginning of OT really really hurt.

Bottom line - MU played like shit, shot like shit, lost it's best player defensively for half the game, and OT and it still took a cluster fuck last second 3 for ND to get the win.

I think they are a lock no matter what happens on Wednesday - if they lose on Wednesday maybe they become a 12 seed...which might be better anyway

EMoney said...

I'm glad I missed this one, as it sounds like it was an all around sh*tty 45 min's of basketball (and officiating).

For the record.....Lunardi is a tool. Is this really his only job?
We are in regardless of what happens on Wednesday. I think having a potential rematch with UConn is beneficial. If we continue to shoot like sh$t, UConn is probably the best team to lose to of the remaining bottom feeders. I might feel a bit nervous if we had to play St.Johns again.

EMoney said...

I would also like to add that I really would prefer an 11 or 12 seed at this point. Now that we have lost to ND, our hopes of reaching a 6 are gone. That being said, I thinking getting an 8 or 9 would be killer. IMO, there are 4-6 teams that we would have a very slim shot at beating. That being said, potentially having to face a #1 in the 2nd round would give us little hope of getting out of the 1st weekend. I actually like our chances against a 2-4 seed if we can manage to win our first game.