Your Notre Dame Fighting Irish basketball team kicked off its Maui Invitational Tournament yesterday evening with a convincing and dominant 83-56 win over the Chaminade Silverswords.
Chaminade hosts this tournament every year, and although they’ve had their moments (what’s up 1982 Ralph Sampson??), the Silverswords are almost always overmatched against the good-to-great competition that is invited to the tourney.
So, there isn’t too much to learn from the Irish routing this Division II Chaminade squad on their home floor, at least in terms of proving ND is indeed the 13th-best team in the country. Still, there are a few more random tidbits we can glean, and so let’s dive in and see what we can talk about after this one.
Even in Maui, Mike Brey is Still the Loosest Coach in America
Before I talk any basketball at all, I need to discuss AT LENGTH Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey’s fantastic outfit for this game. This one comes by specific Twitter request, although we all know I was going to talk about it anyway.
Brey has a history of wearing sliiiightly more casual clothing than most coaches (besides Bob Huggins and his sweatsuits, of course), donning mock turtlenecks and suits without ties in the past.
So, in a tournament in Hawaii where many coaches opt to wear a Hawaiian shirt and forgo the suit given the laid back Hawaiian vibes of Maui, Mike decided he needed to loosen up just a tad bit more than that, opting for this look:
And you thought the mock turtleneck was casual Mike Brey pic.twitter.com/zgCBLDBfRA— Boba Bettis (@CBusIrish) November 21, 2017
I honestly didn’t think Mike Brey could be any more endearing as the coach of a major college basketball program. He’s incredibly nice, approachable, extremely honest and original in his press conferences, very funny, is one of the best offensive minds in all of basketball right now, and has to be near the top of everyone’s list of “coaches I want to grab a beer with.”
And yet here he is, taking it one step further to relate to us, the common man, by donning the very same clothes we would wear to the gym, or on a quick trip to CVS, or just lounging around the house.
And folks on Twitter? Well, they were absolutely HERE FOR IT, and everyone took a turn describing Brey’s T-shirt and shorts style. Great success.
The real winner tonight is Mike Brey for rocking the “This is my Rolfs elliptical outfit” tonight— Paul Rigney (@PaulRRigney) November 21, 2017
Mike Brey is for the people. My man is out here in shorts and a t-shirt looking like a hungover lounge singer the morning after a two-hour set. https://t.co/a9pRlR42Xp— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) November 21, 2017
Mike Brey is in a T-shirt and shorts and that is goddamn amazing.— Brian Hamilton (@_Brian_Hamilton) November 21, 2017
Mike Brey is sick of your “Old men shouldn’t wear shorts” takes.— College Pride Press (@edupridepress) November 21, 2017
Mike Brey looks like every catholic school dad who plays racket ball at the millsop center— matt arlia (@MattArlia) November 21, 2017
Swarthy Mike Brey is the best Mike Brey... but swarthy dad-shorts Brey might be even better? ♀️— Erinaceus (@murphnd) November 21, 2017
Mike Brey looks like he’s ready to call next on the cornhole boards tonight— Todd Kelsch (@AtownToby) November 21, 2017
Mike Brey looks like he's coming off a twelve-hour slot shift at the Golden Nugget— Fat Christian Bale (@Ctrl_Alt_Dylan) November 21, 2017
Mike Brey has some work in the yard to do after the game is over.— Fake 1923 Jayhawk (@Fake1923Jayhawk) November 21, 2017
Mike Brey told his kids they had to leave in five minutes ten minutes ago https://t.co/SLPfBLVtxX— [50 characters] (@HeyYoEZ) November 21, 2017
Well, almost everyone who was tweeting about Mike Brey was tweeting about his outfit. Some basketball purists stuck to their regularly scheduled statistical analyses, though.
Betting against Mike Brey is like betting against Christian Bale in a Batman movie.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) November 21, 2017
Alternative to everything above, some people used this opportunity to take unnecessary shots at Brey, like this guy who wants to call out a pale guy’s leg color in late November:
Then, of course, there was this guy’s brazen insult directed at Brey. The reference and execution of the GIF are pretty solid, so it’s hard to be too mad about it. But still, BRAZEN DISRESPECT.
And Aaron Torres? Well, this guy just straight-up offends TWO college basketball head coaches, insulting Brey while simultaneously dragging Bob “Innocent Bystander” Huggins into the fracas. Not okay, man.
Cant say Ive ever seen a college hoops coach, coach a regular season game in shorts and a t-shirt before. Mike Brey out here making Bob Huggins look like a GQ model pic.twitter.com/HhWL4eINOH— Aaron Torres (@Aaron_Torres) November 21, 2017
Oh, and just for the record, Bob Huggins ALREADY looks like a GQ model. Just look at him, posing here for a photoshoot:
Finally, I want to bring to your attention that the internet is still undefeated in always having at least one or two people who are outraged by something, no matter how trivial or not offensive that something actually is.
First, we have our buddy Scott here, who believes that Mike Brey does not have class because he wore Notre Dame basketball attire to coach a Notre Dame basketball game.
Can you believe Mike Brey coach of Notre Dame is wearing shorts? No class!— Scott Kennedy (@hscottk) November 21, 2017
Second, we have our friend Dana Bourgeois, who went so far as to call the Maryland-native coach #mainlandtrash, but then also turned around and called him and the rest of Notre Dame #catholicsnobs in the same tweet.
Seems that trash and snobs are more or less opposites, Dana. You’re contradicting yourself.
Also, maybe don’t look down on “shabby, lawn-mowing attire,” Dana. You might come across as a #shameful #catholicsnob.
This person knows what I’m talking about.
All the self-important high school basketball coaches who wear ridiculous coats and ties need to watch ESPNU right now. Mike Brey is sporting shorts and a t-shirt while coaching Notre Dame in Maui. It’s a gym, not a Wall Street boardroom.— Prefenroe (@Prefenroe) November 21, 2017
Anyway, let’s all just bask in the glory that is Mike Brey and his amazingly casual Hawaii coaching gear, and thank our lucky stars that he’s coaching our #13 Fighting Irish. He’s truly a living legend.
Mike Brey is coaching the Notre Dame/Chaminade game in a t-shirt and shorts. We should all aspire to be like that man.— Walker Carey (@walkerRcarey) November 21, 2017
The Silversword Is Not a Sufficient Weapon to Stop Matt Farrell and BONZIE COLSON
I was very excited before the game about Chaminade’s nickname being the “Silverswords,” and actually believed that if their team was as excited about that fact as I was, they stood a chance of truly making a game out of this one.
However, we quickly found out that the power of the Silversword was just not enough to parry the blows that seniors BONZIE COLSON and Matt Farrell brought down upon Chaminade’s heads.
COLSON was his usual spectacular self, scoring 23 points on an efficient 8-of-11 shooting day while also collecting 8 rebounds and swatting 3 Chaminade shots. He even got that look in his eyes at one point that ND fans have learned means “I’m not messing around. I’m feelin’ it. Give me the ball and get out of the way.” BONZIE is poised to have a huge year, my friends.
Farrell was even better last night, scoring 16 of his 27 total points in the first half. He made 9 of 12 shots from the field, including 4 of 7 from deep, while additionally dishing out 4 assists. Hell, he even lost control a few times and played a little sloppy, and still managed a career high in points and was the catalyst behind Notre Dame pulling away at the end of the first half and beginning of the second.
COLSON is going to get his just about every game this year, but what will be key for ND going forward against increasingly strong competition will be how much of the load Farrell can shoulder. Guys like TJ Gibbs and Rex Pflueger and DJ Harvey can be counted on occasionally to have big games, but Farrell needs to be that All-ACC level guard every single night for this team to have any shot against the Michigan States and Dukes and North Carolinas of the world.
If he does that, this team is GOING PLACES, folks.
Freshman DJ Harvey Continues to Impress
He wasn’t dazzling or anything, but DJ Harvey didn’t need to be. What he needed to do was come in, work his way into the flow of the offense, make some shots, play okay-to-solid defense, and mix it up on the glass.
Harvey did just that, making 4 of the 5 shots he took and scoring 12 points to go along with 2 rebounds and 2 assists in his 19 minutes of action.
What’s been impressive about Harvey so far is that he just does not look too much like a freshman out there. He usually isn’t lost on offense (he has occasional freshman-esque lapses, but not that many), he hasn’t yet looked overmatched or slow on defense, and he’s hitting his shots at an incredibly efficient clip (65% from the field, 50% from 3).
If he can keep this up against better competition and add another dangerous/capable scorer to go along with COLSON, Farrell, and Gibbs, it will go a long way in terms of how difficult it will be for opponents to shut down this offense.
So far, so good for the true frosh and lone recruit in his class. Here’s to hoping he keeps it up as the season moves forward.
This tweet is incredibly true. BONZIE just gets it.
Also underrated is the ability of @Bcolson_35 to hi-five invisible teammates after made free throws.— CT Montijo (@ctmontijo3) November 21, 2017
I can’t wait to watch more closely tomorrow night against LSU or Michigan (game not yet decided as I finish writing this article) to see BONZIE high-five more invisible teammates.