Basketball: Thoughts on Notre Dame’s 83-79 win over Gonzaga


With the men’s basketball team off until Sunday because of Finals Week, and the football team not playing until New Year’s eve, Notre Dame news is a bit dry these days. This is actually quite lucky for me, considering I have finals coming up as well and have been spending the majority of my free time studying.

With that in mind, if you need your Irish fix, please check out my post-game story on the Notre Dame-Gonzaga game over at I will be helping Subway Domer with basketball coverage this season, but don’t worry, I will continue to cover Irish basketball in detail here at Slap the Sign.

As such, here are a few thoughts on the Gonzaga game that I didn’t provide in my game recap:

  • I have mixed emotions about Tyrone Nash. I love his toughness, I love how hard he plays, and I love his ability to pass the ball out of the post. Against Gonzaga, Nash was very unselfish, passing the ball to open three-point shooters when he couldn’t find an open shot. Nash had five assists and set a tone of unselfishness and crisp ball-movement. On the other hand, Nash is so limited offensively. He literally has just one offensive move. You know the one I’m talking about: Nash bumps into his man a few times, spins back to his left hand, then throws up the shot. Often (and I’m not sure how), the move works. Unfortunately, smart coaches and players are soon going to notice this tendency and force Nash to his right hand. Also, this play doesn’t work as well against bigger players, like a lot of the guys Nash will face in Big East play.
  • Jack Cooley, aka Luke Harangody Lite, provided a spark off the bench yet again. Cooley had back-to-back steals in a key first half stretch and also blocked a shot. I’m really starting to like Cooley. He doesn’t take anything off the table and he usually makes one or two positive plays a game. With more playing time, I see him developing into a reliable big man off the bench, who can play extended minutes if any starter gets in foul trouble. This is good news, considering Cooley is the only big man off the bench.
  • I continue to be shocked by Abromaitis’ ability to rebound the basketball. He’s listed at 6-8, but he’s shorter than Carleton Scott, who’s listed at 6-7. He’s not a great leaper, and he’s not particularly strong. Yet, somehow, Abro is averaging seven rebounds per game. He does a great job of using his body to block out his man and he has a nose for the ball.