Jan 22, 2013, 11:42 AM EST
On Friday of last week, Luke Winn pumped out his annual Early Warnings column, which is a piece where he uses the efficiency profiles of the teams that have reached the Elite 8 and the Final Four to project who could be in trouble when it comes to makes an extended NCAA tournament run.
And according to those projections, the team with the most to worry about was Notre Dame. Here’s what Winn wrote about the Irish:
The biggest red-flaggers are the Irish, who have the worst DE ranking of any Mike Brey team in the tempo-free era (which is saying a lot). Their closest comp is the ’09-10 Notre Dame squad that went 21-10 in Luke Harangody’s final season, and was upset by 11th-seeded Old Dominion in their opening game of the NCAA tournament. That version of the Irish ranked sixth in OE and 132nd in DE.
At the time, Notre Dame had lost two of their last three games, with the one win being a three-point victory over Rutgers at home where the Irish got the benefit of a friendly whistle on a charge call in the finals seconds.
On Monday, the Irish lost to Georgetown 63-47 in what could arguably be considered their worst defensive performance of the season. It’s no secret that Georgetown has had all kinds of issues on the offensive end of the floor this season. They are ranked 146th in the country in offensive efficiency, with Clemson, West Virginia and Texas Southern being the three teams sitting directly behind them. Four times this season, the Hoyas have failed to break the 50 point plateau.
But against Notre Dame on Monday night, Georgetown not only shot 53.3% from the field and 7-15 from three-point land, they managed to score 1.15 points-per-possession, a number they have reached only twice in a game this season, against Longwood and Western Carolina.
After the loss, the Irish fell to 3-3 in the Big East and 15-4 overall. They will likely fall out of the top 25, but the ranking they need to be more concerned about is 171st. That’s where they currently sit nationally in defensive efficiency, according to Kenpom. And, as Winn has pointed out, teams that are that bad on the defensive end of the floor rarely make a run in the NCAA tournament.
If they end up making the tournament.
So where do the Irish need to improve?
They could start by forcing more turnovers, where they ranked 328th nationally. Given their tendency to pack things in defensively and their lack of physical specimens — as good as guys like Pat Connaughton, Eric Atkins and Jerian Grant are, they aren’t the kind of athletic marvel that a Victor Oladipo is — this doesn’t come as a surprise. But it does become a problem when you don’t have a team that rebounds all that well. Think about this stat: Jack Cooley is probably the nation’s bet rebounder, yet the Irish rank 150th and 91st, respectively, in offensive and defensive rebounding percentage.
If you don’t force turnovers and you aren’t great at cleaning the defensive glass, then you don’t end possessions efficiently at all.
At this point, I think it best for Brey to go full-blown Burn Offense with this group. The roster makeup is perfect for it, and by stalling and taking the energy out of the game, he can get opposing offenses out of rhythm.
He’s proven to be effective with it, and it may be his team’s only option at this point.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.
Dec 27, 2014, 11:40 PM EST
There’s one less undefeated in college basketball as the Wildcats won at Louisville.
Dec 27, 2014, 9:25 PM EST
Wiltjer finished the game with 24 points and Pangos scored 18 of his 21 in the second half Saturday evening in Provo.
Dec 27, 2014, 8:41 PM EST
Tokoto made just one field goal in UNC’s 89-58 win over UAB. Unfortunately for UAB’s WIlliam Lee, he got in the way.
Dec 27, 2014, 6:01 PM EST
Semi Ojeleye averaged 2.0 points and 1.3 rebounds per game during his time at Duke.
Dec 27, 2014, 5:31 PM EST
Louisville’s starting perimeter (Rozier, Jones and Blackshear) combined to shoot 10-for-42 in their loss to No. 1 Kentucky.
Dec 27, 2014, 4:44 PM EST
But just because he’s their best point guard doesn’t mean he’s going to be their starter.
Dec 27, 2014, 4:31 PM EST
JayQuan McCloud didn’t play in a game at Murray State before deciding to transfer to a school closer to home.
Dec 27, 2014, 2:44 PM EST
Hoyas and Hoosiers played one of the games of the season.
Dec 27, 2014, 1:42 PM EST
The UCLA front court took a hit on Saturday.
Dec 27, 2014, 1:17 PM EST
The Bulldogs are 4-8 on the season.
Dec 27, 2014, 12:00 PM EST
The Demon Deacons will likely have only nine scholarship players for Sunday’s game at Richmond.
Dec 27, 2014, 10:45 AM EST
On Monday night, Dwayne Polee II collapsed in a game against UC Riverside.
Dec 27, 2014, 9:30 AM EST
Best rivalry in college basketball headlines a full day of action.
Dec 26, 2014, 10:30 PM EST
Darrun Hilliard suffered a concussion on Dec. 20 in an overtime win over Syracuse.
Dec 26, 2014, 9:30 PM EST
Colorado State is off to its best start in school history with a 12-0 start.
Dec 26, 2014, 8:30 PM EST
What does VCU have to improve on as it enters Atlantic 10 Conference play as the favorite?
Dec 26, 2014, 7:30 PM EST
Bobby Hurley landed the third player for his incoming class.
Dec 26, 2014, 6:00 PM EST
The leading scorer for the Terrapins has been out since Nov. 28.
Dec 26, 2014, 4:45 PM EST
The sophomore forward was involved in an accident on the early hours of Nov. 1.
Dec 26, 2014, 3:30 PM EST
Jordan Price is averaging 18.8 points per game for the Explorers, and he’s scored 26 or more in each of the last three games.
- Perimeter shot selection will be key for Louisville moving forward 0
- Tyler Ulis proves he’s Kentucky’s best point guard in 58-50 win over Louisville 2
- Film Session: Louisville-Kentucky will be a Tale of Two (Different) Defenses 1
- WCC Midseason Catchup: No. 8 Gonzaga leads the way 0
- The top 15 most improved players in college basketball 3
- Late Night Snacks: George Washington wins the Diamond Head Classic 0
- New Year’s Resolutions: Arizona Wildcats 2
- Kentucky still has one more major test to pass this season and it might not come against Louisville (5)
- The ten biggest disappointments of the 2014-2015 college basketball season (4)
- ACC suspends Louisville junior forward Montrezl Harrell one game (3)
- POSTERIZED: Don’t jump with Loyola Marymount’s Evan Payne like Ron Baker did (VIDEO) (3)
- Pregame Shootaround: Six Top 15 teams in action tonight (3)