2005 Notre Dame Fighting Irish Basketball Preview
2005 Notre Dame Fighting Irish Team Preview
In five years at the helm of the Notre Dame basketball program coach Mike Brey has a solid 102-56 record and a winning Big East Conference record each of those years! Still, it has been two seasons since the Fighting Irish have been to the NCAA Tournament. This may be the year they make it back into March Madness.
It’s true that for the first time in five years Brey won’t have guard Chris Thomas, who last season pumped in 14.2 PPG, had 6.7 APG, grabbed 5.0 RPG and shot 89.1% from the foul line. Stepping up at point guard will be another Chris, senior Chris Quinn. Last year Quinn led the Big East in 3-pointers, shooting 45.5% while averaging 12.8 PPG. Quinn hit a total of 66 threes, while guard Colin Falls pumped in 93 threes.
The Irish ability to throw in threes is impressive but living by the downtown shot can be extremely chancy especially when playing quality Big East teams like Connecticut, Syracuse, Louisville, and Villanova. Additionally, the Fighting Irish were not very pugilistic on defense, which meant they could not stop opponents from scoring on them. This became a big problem at the end of last season when the team was fatigued and lost five of it’s last six games.
Freshman Luke Zeller at center could make a difference. Zeller can mix it up under the basket but now he’s at the next level and Indiana’s “Mr. Basketball” needs to get tougher quickly. At forward first year man Zach Hillesland is an excellent and agile defender who may also help the Irish keep opponent’s point totals down.
Over the years coach Mike Brey has had a tendency to use players with more experience, however this year could be different since some of the new guys have the potential to keep opponents in check. If Notre Dame can play better defense and start mixing up its shot selection they’ll have a good chance of making it to the NCAA Tournament.
For more info on the 2005 Fighting Irish check out the official Notre Dame athletic site.