You all will have to forgive me for being a little absent over the weekend. On Saturday I officially became a college graduate of Indiana University - Bloomington. Now the real world awaits me...oh joy.
There was plenty of action in the sports world over the weekend. There was plenty of college basketball and NFL games, as well as the start of the bowl season. The NBA and NHL are in full swing also, so there should be much to talk about. Let’s dive into the first edition of Random Monday Thoughts.
ND Basketball Squanders Another Lead
In two straight games against two top 20 opponents, the Irish have looked world beaters in the first half only to blow it in the following frame. In the game against No.1 Villanova the Irish blew an 11-point first half lead and on Saturday they one upped themselves by blowing a 14-point halftime lead to Purdue. Notre Dame has shown not to be a good second half team as they averaged exactly 27 second half points in both losses.
Who is going to step for the Irish?
Personally, the Irish lack a go-to player. They still have a little bit of time to find that guy. We all thought V.J. Beachem would be that guy, but he has disappeared in a number of games so far. Steve Vasturia is a nice player, but he usually needs the help of his teammates to produce. He is not going to take a game over by himself. Bonzie Colson has been fantastic, no questions about it. But in late game situations, I’d much rather have a guard be the go-to guy just because of the ability to handle the basketball - which gets me to the next guy.
I like Matt Farrell to develop into that guy for the Irish. I love everything about him. He’s tough, quick, and isn’t afraid to take the shot. He has that bulldog mentality you want from you point guard. Farrell makes everyone around him better. He can handle the ball real well and has shown a great shot. He’s also shown a real knack for taking his man off the dribble and getting to the basket. Because of all these traits, to me he’s the perfect guy you want in crunch time. I think he’s going to make a real name for himself when ACC play comes around.
The ND Women roll once again
The No.2 ranked ND women’s basketball team crushed Toledo by 17 points on Sunday night. Despite losing to No.1 UConn, the Irish have looked impressive in the non-conference season. ACC play starts in just 10 days and it should be a tough conference slate. Seven ACC teams are ranked in the top 25, but Notre Dame has won the conference every year since joining the league in 2013-2014, so my money is on them to take the crown again. Now only if they could just find a way to beat those Huskies...
What to think of the Mike Elko hire
I guess I’ll never really know how I feel about it until we see results, but off the bat I’m a fan of it. Basically because everything I’ve heard and read about Elko is that he’s everything BVG was not. He tailors his scheme to his players, rather than fitting square pegs into round holes. The Irish defense brings back a lot in 2017, so it will be fun to see what Elko can do with a more considerable amount of talent than he had at Wake Forest and Bowling Green.
Can’t blame Christian McCaffery and Leonard Fournette one bit
After seeing Jaylon Smith get carted off the field last year in the Fiesta Bowl, I can’t blame either of these guys not wanting to play in their bowl games. Smith lost a spot in the top 10, not to mention the millions of dollars that come with that pick. Neither McCaffery’s or Fournette’s team is in a marquee bowl game, so why run the risk of potentially losing millions of dollars?
We could have two storied franchises in the Super Bowl
If you look at the serious contenders for the Super Bowl this season, you’ll notice that most if not all are some of the more popular and storied teams in the NFL. The Cowboys, Patriots, Raiders, Giants, Steelers, Chiefs, and Seahawks all have serious shots of making to Houston in early February. A matchup with any of these teams would be the NFL’s dream. Talk about TV ratings. Personally, I would love to see Cowboys vs. Pats or Cowboys vs. Raiders.
Russell Westbrook, MVP?
I’m not an NBA guy nor will I ever claim to be, but I love basketball and what Russell Westbrook is doing this season is absurd. Through 27 games the man is averaging a triple double. The last and only guy to do that was a guy named Oscar Robertson, ever heard of him? On Saturday night Westbrook had a ridiculous performance as he tallied 26 pts, 22 assists (!!!), and 11 rebounds. He’s been on another level this season and if he keeps it up he should be the league MVP, even if his team ends up being the 7th or 8th seed in the west.
All right well that’s it for the first edition of my random thoughts. If there’s anything you’d like to see me discuss or talk about in future editions make sure to put it in the comment section. I’ll see you next week.