Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Gimmicks, Late Execution Doom "Lady Irish"

Gameplan isn't enough to overcome green jerseys, #1 seed

"Gimmicks don't pull the train, power pulls the train."
Well, the plan was great on paper. Slow it down on offense, and play absolutely suffocating defense. The Irish had 10 steals (6 by Le'Tania Severe) and forced multiple shot clock violations. ND was aggressive on the boards, despite being a bit undersized, picking up an impressive 17 offensive rebounds. The only problem (a recurring theme): most of those rebounds came off of missed layups. Dah.
The slowdown offense worked great when the team remembered to run it. Run down the clock as much as possible, wait for an open shot, and make it. Unfortunately, towards the end of the game, ND got a little rushed and broke the gameplan. Rushing up the court and throwing up a bad shot (at least most were from within 10 feet, unlike the men's team) gave the Penn State "Lady Lions" all the momentum they needed.
I'll tell you this, though. Other than those momentary lapses on offense, I saw good promise from this team. ND women's basketball has been inconsistent and more or less wandering around aimlessly since the '01 championship. But, I look at this team, and they know what they're doing. Everyone was aggressive and attacked the basket (making layups is another story, once again...), and no one looked lost out there. I'll especially give props to freshman Crystal Erwin, who stepped on the court and showed no signs of intimidation at all (ok, so she was only 0-1 shooting, but she knows her role). The only seniors that are leaving are Severe and Mo Hernandez, two ball handlers, and Jeneka Joyce, and outside presence. Big East Most Improved Megan Duffy should be able to make up for their absence with even the slightest help from Breona Gray and Susie Powers (and, of course, Anne Weese). I see good things next year for Irish women's basketball.

Random thoughts on the UConn-Penn St. Game

  • Penn State is so bad! How did we lose to them! If they would have used ND's slowdown gameplan, maybe they could have won that game.
  • A note to ESPN announcers: Diani Taurasi can't hear you while she's playing, so you can stop kissing up to her. Now, I think I'm going to vomit for using "Diana Taurasi" and "kissing" in the same sentence.

"Lord Irish" Loss to Oregon Fundamentally Flawed

Yes, I called them the "Lord Irish." Women's teams call themselves the "Lady Lions" and the "Lady Vols," and even the "Lady Techsters." Well, a Lord is the male counterpart of a Lady, isn't it.
I heard this comment during the NCAA tournament: "The team with the best fundamentals will win. And the most basic fundamental is boxing out." Dah.
I couldn't watch or listen to this game (unless I hopped in my car and started driving west with hopes of picking up an Indiana radio station), so I can't say much. But I will tell you this:
Not rebounding, sloppy turnovers, and 7-25 shooting aren't going to get you very far.

Join us again later this week for the Transaction Wire, the beginning of an in depth look at Irish NFL hopefuls, and sooner or later I'll get around to writing that "Greatness" essay.