Copyright by Global Electronics Telecommunications, publishers of IrishEyes.Com
October 18, 2001
Of Irish Hoopsters
By Mark Allen
For The IrishEyes.Com News Service
(Editors Note: Despite an NCAA championship for the women and a breakthrough NCAA Tournament season for the men, there was far from a full house at Notre Dame basketballs "Moonlight Madness" last Friday night. But Mark Allen, a loyal Irish hoops fan since the Austin Carr-era, was there and filed these observations for IrishEyes. Allen, writing from the fans perspective, will be a regular contributor for IrishEyes throughout the basketball season.)
NOTRE DAME, Ind. (IE) Based on this fans observations from Notre Dames "Moonlight Madness" at the Joyce Center on October 12, here are thumbnail sketches of the 12 players (10 scholarship, two walk-ons) who will dress for the Irish during the 2001-02 season.
Matt Carroll: Seemed either slowed or maybe just cautious due to sore foot.....Matt can bomb like David Graves...gives ND the best outside shooting duo in the conference....look for Matt to have a breakout season....has improved in each of his two seasons and expect it to continue....slender, yet strong...can also drive and play "D"...defensively, he is starting to get noticed.
Jordan Cornette: First glance tells you he LOOKS like a basketball player....has long arms which will help him defensively as well as on the boards....is slender-yet solid....ND has not had very many with his build....looked like he will be good offensively as well as defensively.....combined with Jere Macura, he will be important in helping transition in post-Troy Murphy era.
David Graves: Can hit shots from Joyce Center parking lot!.....has
ability to drive and it seems his favorite shot is the floater while driving down the foul
lane.....his intensity has increased and should pay of in bigger numbers....looks a little
more solid.....has proven he is a clutch shooter with last second game winning shots vs.
Ohio State and Seton Hall his sophomore season.
Ryan Humphrey: Gives the impression that this is his team.....relaxed, confident yet intense....has incredible explosive and quick leaping ability.....will be inside force-both offensively and defensively....looked to have an improved shot from about 15 feet in.....look for all of his numbers to improve.....Potential Big East 1st or 2nd team selection.
Torrian Jones: Definitely has bulked up......6'4 and an explosive leaper with great quicks......many will consider him a surprise-but, is he a surprise or just given the chance to show what he has after a 'typical' frosh season?...has good outside shot and the ability to drive to the hoop....can post up same size and smaller guards..can also play some small forward...should play major minutes and be the first off of the bench.
Jere Macura: Look for Jere to contribute major minutes to help in the
post-Troy era.....at 6'9, he will be important on the boards.....seemed more relaxed and
confident.....had a unique dunk-leaped over a seated Tom Timmermans to slam dunk from
halfway down the foul lane...has a great first step and can drive to the hole, especially
down the lane.....can also hit the trey.
Chris Markwood: Could be the surprise of the season....about 6'4....as a guard will give ND some rebounding ability....made some good double pump moves inside, proving his knee is great!.....outside shot is unknown since he spent most time driving underneath-but, did a great job of that.....may be vastly underrated just because of "Maine Stereotype"...will prove basketball players from Maine are good too.
Harold Swanagan: Slimmed down and looks quicker and more athletic.....will be a leader on this season's team....saw him in summer and has an improved shot from about 15 feet in.....strong and agile rebounder.....should be a fan favorite with his work habits on the court......has improved every season and this season will be his best....key to rebounding...looks loose and confident...look for his numbers to improve all around
Charles Thomas: Irish walk-on was my nephews coach in basketball
camp.....has very quick feet and good ballhandling skills...passes the ball well....could
play on a lot of Division 1 schools as a scholarship player....if he needs to play, have
no fear, he can handle the ball.
Chris Thomas: Probably the best guard prospect to come to ND since David Rivers.....at 6'1 is an explosive leaper and can dunk at a standstill with ease.....good outside shot from the three range and can drive to the hole...is a 6'1 version of Torrian in this regard.....decent ballhandler, but can improve and WILL.....will start at the point from day one.....will surprise many with his defense...look for many steals and breakaways this season.
Tom Timmermans: BIG...about 6'11 with added muscle...saw him in summer and he looked like former Irish great Bill Laimbeer with his outside shot and physical play...looked a little slow at Moonlight Madness, but will be ok.....will continue to develop into a banger...has great range for a big man....hopefully will get minutes to help with rest and alleviating fouls on other big men
Dan White: Walk-on and son of Athletic Director Kevin White .thought at first, he was playing due to being athletic director's son--but, he looked good.....good ball handler....drove the ball very well.
(Mark Allen was born and raised in Cincinnati, currently lives in Indianapolis, and has remained loyal through the thick and thin of Irish basketball. A former minor league left-handed pitcher, his keen recollection of Irish basketball dates back to Austin Carr. Attended same high school as former Irish player "Joltin Joe" Frederick.)