A rough night on the hardwood for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish basketball team. They were defeated by the Radford Highlanders 63-60. Radford is usually a good mid major school, but this is not the type of game Notre Dame can afford to lose. It is all apart of the process this year. Mike Brey and co. are learning on the fly and slip ups could happen. This is what we learned.
This type of stuff should be expected. Notre Dame is playing more freshman than ever before in the Mike Brey era. Young players make mistakes and are not always ready to play. You can learn a lot from a loss. The young Irish team needs to use this one and make sure it does not happen again. Last years team with Matt Farrell and Bonzie Colson had a loss like this to Ball State. It even happens to good teams. The solution? Keep growing as a team.
John Mooney...Is Good?
I can never tell what to make of John Mooney, but in this game, he was the lone bright spot. He finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds. He is going to be asked to shoulder a big load down low this season. A performance like this gives you some confidence he can hang with the big boys in the ACC all year long. His improvement will prove to be rather important.
Depth Is Needed
Notre Dame needs some depth and they need it fast. The problem is that all the players who are providing that depth are freshman. This team will turn around when players like Dane Goodwin and Robby Carmody can play big minutes. Someone on the bench has to provide quality minutes for the Irish. The depth will provide a little pick-me-up for the starters who are right now bearing too much of the responsibility.
The Irish will play next on Saturday against William & Mary. You can call it an early season must win. You just cannot lose two games in a row to mid majors. The Radford game should just be a speed bump for where this young team is looking to go. It all starts on Saturday with an improved performance.