Aaron Craft’s NBA career projection: Ben Hansbrough

ben-hansbrough

If you want to forecast how the professional basketball career of over-publicized, former Ohio State guard Aaron Craft, then look at the pro career of once over-publicized, former Notre Dame guard Ben Hanbrough.

If SIU is “Floor burn U,” then Ben Hansbrough was “Captain Floor Burn.” During his college basketball career, he was even grindier than his brother Tyler Hansbrough. Ben didn’t make any preseason Big East all-conference teams, but yet he was the 2010-11 BE POY. Ben Hansbrough and Aaron Craft aren’t that similar of players, but they do have some similarities; most importantly the bottom line of what their NBA future holds.

[Read more…]

Notre Dame vs. Florida State: Football Powers Clash for Sweet 16 Berth

 ty nash

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Florida State Seminoles have never met in college basketball. They’ve played some classic battles in college football, including #1 vs #2 “game of the century” in South Bend in 1993.

They’ll meet on the United Center hardwood Sunday night, with a NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearance on the line. Expect a tough, physical and very defensive-minded game. The Seminoles specialize in defense, and they have their main weapon back in junior forward Chris Singleton. The 6-9 forward is the ACC’s Defensive Player of the year, and a probable NBA Draft pick.

By Paul M. Banks

[Read more…]

Notre Dame Beats Akron in Atypical #2 vs. #15 Game

Ben Hansbrough

It wasn’t a typical #15 vs. #2 NCAA Tournament game, but that’s what college basketball is all about. Especially this time of year. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish won by double digits, 69-56, but they didn’t win by the margin Vegas expected them to.

And it wasn’t easy. They were never to able to get ahead by more than 16, and the Akron Zips cut it to five on two occasions late in the second half.

“It took us a long time to get away from them because they’re old, they’re smart, and they play well defensively, ” Irish Coach Mike Brey said.

“I think we can still use tape as a teaching tool.”

[Read more…]

#2 Seed Notre Dame Looking to Make Noise in Tourney

ben-hansbrough

“Ben is our nuclear weapon in a lot of ways, and Ty is a nice offset to him,” ND college basketball coach Mike Brey told the media this St. Patrick’s Day during his turn at the United Center podium.

When his #2 seeded Notre Dame Fighting Irish set to take on the #15 seed Akron Zips tomorrow in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, I guess point center Tyrone Nash would be the precision missile or the smart bomb to Ben Hansbrough’s nuclear blast.

[Read more…]

Notre Dame Basketball #4: Not bad for a Football School

Notre Dame basketball

This year’s Notre Dame team is a lot like another potential #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament; another team currently ranked in the college basketball top four- the Ohio State Buckeyes. In both South Bend and Columbus, college football comes first, foremost, and probably second, third and fourth too.

It sounds ridiculous to say, but both OSU and ND are “flying under the radar,” so to speak. Neither team gets the proper attention it deserves from it’s fanbase, because the gridiron is unquestionably king on both campuses. But hoops hotbedness is improving at the Joyce Center.

“I had four people come up to me and say, it’s a tough ticket tonight,” ND Coach Mike Brey said the night of the final home game in Purcell Pavilion.

“That’s music to my ears. I like that the place is 9,200. We want it to be a bit of a tough ticket and people scrambling in town.”

By Paul M. Banks

[Read more…]

Notre Dame’s Strong Case to be a #1 Seed in NCAA Tournament

mike_brey

The losses among the major college basketball national powers piled up last week- BYU, Purdue, Duke. Opening the door for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to grab that final #1 seed. To quote ’80s one-hit wonder Spandau Ballet, “we know this. much is true.” Ohio State is the overall top seed; Kansas and Pittsburgh will join them on the top line.

The final #1 however, is up for grabs, and ND, with a RPI of #9 can take it if they reach the Big East Tournament Final game, something the Irish and Mike Brey have never done. They don’t have to win it- just get there. Having a double-bye in the conference tournament will help.

The current No. 4 ranking is Notre Dame’s highest since being fourth in December 1980. The last time they were a #1 seed was 1979, when they lost to Magic Johnson’s national champion Michigan State Spartans. And this year, they once again have a top line resume.

By Paul M. Banks

[Read more…]

All-Big East Teams Selected, ND’s Hansbrough Only Unanimous Pick

Ben Hansbrough

The strongest college basketball conference in America named it’s best today. Six players were named to the All-BIG EAST First Team. The BIG EAST Player of the Year will come from that group. The conference will announce Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Scholar-Athlete of the Year on Tuesday, March 8.

ALL-BIG EAST FIRST TEAM
Kemba Walker, Connecticut, G, Jr., 6-1, 172, Bronx, N.Y.
Austin Freeman, Georgetown, G, Sr., 6-3.5, 227, Mitchellville, Md.
*Ben Hansbrough, Notre Dame, G, Sr., 6-3, 206, Poplar Bluff, Mo.
Ashton Gibbs, Pittsburgh, G, Jr., 6-2, 190, Scotch Plains, N.J.
Marshon Brooks, Providence, G-F, Sr., 6-5, 200, Stone Mountain, Ga.
Dwight Hardy, St. John’s, G, Sr., 6-2, 195, Bronx, N.Y.

[Read more…]

Notre Dame’s Three Point Barrage a Special Shooting Night

abromaitis

Tim Abromaitis hit a career-high nine 3-pointers and he and Hansbrough scored 30 points each as the eighth-ranked Irish routed No. 19 Villanova 93-72 on Monday night. The victory ensured a double bye in the Big East tournament for Notre Dame and wrapped up a 17-0 season at home, the only Big East team to go unbeaten on its home court this season. Abromaitis’ nine 3-pointers were one shy of the school record set by Kyle McAlarney against North Carolina in 2008.

Notre Dame (24-5, 13-4) finished 20 for 32 on 3-pointers. The Irish, shooting 37.7 percent from 3-point range this season, were 11 for 19 in the first half, including 4 of 6 from Hansbrough, to build a 47-27 lead.

[Read more…]

Notre Dame, Hansbrough Celebrate Exciting Senior Night (Video)

Ben Hansbrough

Ben Hansbrough took the microphone after the game, stood at midcourt and started complimenting all those around him. Almost like the Academy Awards. He acknowledged coach Mike Brey, the wild fans at the Purcell Pavilion and his family sitting in the stands. He was most appreciative of his teammates following his final home men’s basketball game for Notre Dame. That’s because he and the Irish made the night a memorable one with their shooting.

[Read more…]

Notre Dame Blows Out Villanova on Senior Night 93-72

#9 Notre Dame came out of the gates shooting red hot from behind the arc, and the initial surge set the evening’s tone. #14 Villanova was never able to catch their breath and catch up, as they spent pretty much the entire first twenty minutes with half as many points on the scoreboard as the Irish.

ND was especially fired up for their Senior night as they happen to start all seniors (Ben Hansbrough, Tim Abromaitis, Tyrone Nash, Carleton Scott, Scott Martin). Hansbrough got the biggest ovation of all, as the Purcell Pavilion crowd was extremely fired up all night. Interestingly, Scott, Martin and Abro all return a fifth and final year of eligibility next season.

And the Irish gave the Joyce Center crowd plenty of reason to ignite, as they hit their first five treys and shot 58% (11-19) from three in the first half. Nova, by contrast was just 2-10 from behind the arc, and therefore found themselves trailing 47-27 at halftime.

By Paul M. Banks

[Read more…]

Notre Dame Football, Basketball News and Nuggets

-Andy Katz on ESPN.com today suggested  he national coach of the year in college basketball should come from the BIG EAST – and UConn’s Jim Calhoun, Notre Dame’s Mike Brey, Louisville’s Rick Pitino and Steve Lavin of St. John’s as names that should be finalists.

-My vote is Lav all the way! Gotta be the hair.

-Jay Bilas on ESPN.com listed Notre Dame’s Ben Hansbrough as one of his“most-respected players” for this season, saying, “A worker who keeps his head down and keeps coming at you, Hansbrough has quietly joined the front-runners for Big East Player of the Year. He is skilled, strong willed, tenacious and never gives in to fatigue. He just keeps running and keeps competing. He scores and takes big shots, but he is also willing to trail Connecticut’s Kemba Walker around for 40 minutes. Hansbrough does the tough stuff, prepares like a pro and does it all without complaining.”

-And might I add, he’s really “grindy,” just like his brother

[Read more…]

Notre Dame Winning with 3 Cs: Confidence, Cohesion, Chemistry

mike_brey

Given what was expected of Notre Dame this year, versus what they’ve produced, it’s time to talk about Fighting Irish leader Mike Brey as possible conference coach of the year. He has two Big East coaching awards already (’07, ’08), but this could be the best coaching job he’s ever done.

A so-called rebuilding year has turned into a 21-4, top ten nationally ranked season. ND has won its last seven Big East games, matching the second-longest Big East regular-season win streak in program history.

Their overtime win over #15 Louisville this past week conveyed all that has been going right for ND this year.

“The whole team brought a lot of confidence,” said star guard Ben Hansbrough.

“Especially when I had that rebound and I dropped it. It was great to see my guys will their way back into it and continue to fight.”

By Paul M. Banks

[Read more…]

en_USEnglish
en_USEnglish