I had nothing to do last night. I let my brother have my ticket to the Purdue game against Alcorn State so I had a boring night ahead. Then I saw that Notre Dame was playing basketball ball, and decided to go and see how Scott Martin is doing. On my way to the ticket window I was asked if I just needed one by a group of three. I said yes, and they gave me a ticket to get in. This is the fourth straight time I have gotten into the Joyce Center for free. What makes it even better is that the seats were eight rows back at center court. The downside of being eight rows back and center court is that you don’t have a really good angle for pictures. Every shot seemed to have a head in it somewhere.
Notre Dame has really done a great job with the Joyce Center renovation. I saw the inside of the building last season when the Irish played Pitt, but they seemed to have kept going in the off season. The first thing I noticed when I walked into the stadium was the new scoreboard above center court. I wondered if the new scoreboard cost more than the entire stadium did when it was originally built. The video was phenomenal on it, and it is a big step up from the projector screen that they used to drop down for player introductions. Seeing the huge change inside of the Joyce Center only gets me more excited to see what Mackey will look like next season.
Really for me the big draw of the night was to see Scott Martin playing basketball again. I really thought that he left Purdue when he was just starting to play well. I was curious to see how he was playing after a two year layoff. Of course the game that I pick to go to is the one where he is out. Apparently the reason for his night off was back spasms. As the Irish were shooting around I could not find him, and then saw him in street clothes. I think that I will be back in South Bend later in the season to see Steve Lavin and St. Johns so maybe Scott will be ready by then.
On to the game. Chicago State really came to play early last night. They were only down one point ten minutes into the game. In fact they held a lead for much of that ten minute span. They were quick around the ball, and seemed to nail every three that they took. Of course the initial surge by the Cougars fell apart, and the game turned ugly pretty quick. The Irish went on a 22-2 run to pull away, and once the Irish had a huge lead it looked as if Chicago State quit.
Ben Hansbrough really led the charge for the Irish. He canned six three pointers on his way to 22 points on the night. He did the majority of his scoring to answer Chicago State early on. Tim Abromaitis chipped in with 21 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists on the night. He was one of three Irish players to record a double-double on the night. Carleton Scott had 17 points and ten rebounds and Tyrone Nash had 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Irish. The Irish ended up winning very comfortably 102-62 with the bench clearing early to get everyone into the game.
Gameball: This easily goes to Hansbrough who kept the Irish close early with his long distance shots. Once the game was opened up everyone else seemed to find their game, but Ben kept the game close.
Play of the Game: As crazy as it sounds I really cannot pick one play that stood out last night. I guess I will cheat and count the six three’s by Hansbrough as the play of the game.
I wanted to watch the Purdue game without knowing what was going on, but ESPN Scorecenter ruined that when I pulled my phone out of my camera bag. I saw the final score and my jaw dropped. After looking through Twitter and seeing what the Boilers did I knew that I was going to stay up late and watch the game before I went to bed. The Boilers just absolutely crushed Alcorn State. The final score of 103-48 really does not tell how bad the Boilers beat them. The walk on players were in with eight minutes to go and still kept them in check. This Boiler team is really good, and I don’t think that I will be missing many more games this season.
Tonight the tour of Indiana colleges continues when I will go about a half hour the other direction to Valparaiso. They are playing Purdue North Central which is the school that I started out at. They will play my other school Purdue later on this year. I am sure that Valpo will destroy PNC tonight, but games at the ARC are always fun.