Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Irish Hoops Faces Tough Schedule

Mark Allen
Domer Sports Report

Notre Dame Men's Basketball

Be careful what you wish for, they say. You just might get your wish. That applies to Notre Dame basketball fans' cry for a tougher schedule. You asked for it; you got it!

The 2008-2009 edition of the Notre Dame men's basketball team returns its' top eight players from last year's team. They will need every bit of their experience against the schedule that awaits them. Not only will they face the usual murderer's row of Big East Conference competition, but they will also face a tough non-conference schedule. They will also do it on television - a lot!

Speaking of televised games...the Irish will appear on the ESPN networks no less than 14 times this season. In addition, Notre Dame will play on CBS two more times. If you are even mediocre in math, you see that that makes a total of 16 games that are guaranteed to be on television. That should satisfy your Fighting Irish hoops fix.

The non-conference schedule has been upgraded, to say the least. Sure, the Irish still will play games that are virtually guaranteed to make it into the win column (Can you say South Carolina Upstate? If you have ever heard of that school, you deserve some sort of prize.). But, they also play some very tough teams. Consider that the Irish face Big Ten power Ohio State in Indianapolis (December 6). The Irish are also in the EA Sports Maui Invitational. They drew Indiana in ghe first round. But, after that, they have the chance to play Texas and North Carolina. The latter of which appears in many polls as the number one team in the nation. Then, after getting into the Big East Conference schedule, the Irish "take a break" by going out to Los Angeles to play another top team in UCLA (February 7).

Many have Notre Dame in the top 5-10 in the country. The Irish do return some experienced talent. But, will a tougher schedule make it tougher for the Irish to get to those lofty expectations? Notre Dame, in theory, could have a better team (than last season's team), but not have as good of a record (25-8 in 2007-2008). However, should the Irish win some of those tough games, look for their best finish in years!

The full schedule has been posted on Domer Sports Report. You will find it just below the football schedule in the right margin.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The whole team looks better than last year, playing even more as a team. Noticed Kopko getting some time in scimmages - has he grown since last year?