Archives For Jim Larranaga

T.G.I.F: Thank God It’s Friartown 02.15.13

@FriarFrenzy —  February 15th, 2013 11:47 AM —  Comments


-The South Florida game was a tale of two halves.  In the first half it appeared the previously improved Friar defense either replaced Nemo on the missing person’s list or was not able to get plowed out of the Rhode Island snow.  However in the second half we saw what could be a critical sign of progress for this team.

-It is not that Providence was able to erase a double-digit deficit.  You know we have seen that before.  It was how they did it.

-The Friars imposed their will on the Bulls and took the game from them.  South Florida had no chance once the Friars started playing ‘their game’.

-The key being that it appears the Friars are really starting to solidify what ‘their game’ is.

-They appeared to turn a corner from a confidence and identity standpoint.

-An identity forged upon toughness and defense.

-You hear the term ‘match intensity’ thrown around a lot but a big key to winning consistently is to establish an identity that forces opponents to take notice and have to plan and adjust to what you do, rather than your always trying to figure out what style to play to best compete with an opponent.

-In other words if you can dictate intensity, toughness and tempo you are better off than having to raise yourself to whatever level the other team establishes.

-And that is what we are beginning to see with the Friars.

-Kris Dunn has a lot to do with it because, when he is able to stay on the court, he allows the Friars to be who they want to be defensively.

-As evidenced by the South Florida game.  Dunn picked up his second foul with 15:52 to go in the first half and had to take a seat on the bench for the remainder of the stanza.  He started the second half, never picked up another foul and the rest was history.

-With Dunn’s aggressive, on the ball, defensive style he will pick up some fouls and that has to be expected and accepted.

-However the offensive charges he is prone to represent the difference between staying on the court and not so he will need to work to avoid them.

-There’s no truth to the rumor that deer antler spray was applied at halftime in Tampa.

-Bryce Cotton is in a bit of a shooting slump.  Over the last four games Ice is shooting 29.2% (14 for 48) and 27% (9 for 34) from three point range.

-But Cotton has continued to put points on the board during this period by getting to the line and shooting free throws at a 92% (23 for 25) clip.

-The Friars are undefeated in February.

-But don’t get too happy yet.  A very good, and well coached, Notre Dame team will visit The Dunk on Saturday afternoon in what is shaping up to be a big game.

-There’s something great about the anticipation of a meaningful late-season home game.

-I think this is always the case but perhaps the feeling is enhanced because we have not had many of them around here in recent years.

-The Fighting Irish have been busy lately, going to overtime in three of their last four games, twice against DePaul and, of course, that epic five overtime game with Louisville.

-Interestingly, they won all three of the extra-session games, sandwiched around a loss in regulation at Syracuse.

-Saturday could be a bit of a trap game for Notre Dame as they face a quick turnaround (playing at nationally ranked Pittsburgh on Monday) and an unfriendly schedule thereafter to finish the regular season (Cincinnati, at Marquette, St. John’s and at Louisville).

-So it is in the best interest of the Friars to really bring it.

-Kadeem Batts is dialed in.  He is playing hard, smart and efficiently on both ends of the court.

-And staying out of foul trouble for the most part recently, which you’d have to think is contributing to his success.

- Forget about dimes, Batts has been putting himself in position to receive silver dollars courtesy of Vincent Council, Cotton and Dunn.
-Speaking of assists, Vincent Council had eight on Wednesday and now is just three away from passing Ernie D. for the all time Friar lead.

-Josh Fortune appears to be settling into his adjusted role and gaining confidence.

-The “A Wish Come True”, which is a Rhode Island children’s charity, segment on the ‘Friars All-Access’ show was awesome.

-Nerlens Noel’s getting injured is sad and you certainly have to feel for him, especially from the standpoint that this was going to be his only collegiate season all along and he now will not get to participate NCAA Tournament.

-And now maybe his Kentucky team won’t get to either.

-However missing the rest of the season will have little impact to Noel’s draft position, provided his rehab does not face significant setbacks.

-And this is because he went to school, proved his abilities and showed tremendous growth on the collegiate stage this year.

-Certainly still enough to warrant a top five pick.

-My personal all-time snowstorm tracker: Plow guy 67, My mailbox 0.

Much like the Friars, my mailbox is tough and resilient. Doesn't have a great jumper though.

Much like the Friars, my mailbox is tough and resilient. Doesn’t have a great jumper though.

-So the east coast Mecca of Performance Enhancing Drugs is in Coral Gables, Florida, home of the University of Miami?

-Color me shocked.

-Speaking of ‘The U’, former Friar player, and current Hurricane head coach, Jim Larranaga has it rolling down there.

-I am all for Gus Johnson doing soccer games.

-I am all for Johnson announcing anything for that matter because I believe his enthusiasm is genuine.

-And watching sports is supposed to be fun, right?

-Tim Welsh used the term ‘removed from the program’ when describing Sidiki Johnson’s status during Wednesday’s broadcast.

-Yesterday was Valentine’s Day.  If you guys have not given anything to your significant other by now,  you might want to take up scrapbooking or something because you are about to have a lot more free time on your hands.

Have a great weekend Friartown.  Be safe.