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Irish Insights


Wearin' of the green

DAYTON, Ohio -- And now a few thoughts on (playing) style, fashion and That Game as Notre Dame prepares to take on Iowa State Friday night in the NCAA tournament:

* Programming note, America: You can leave the sunglasses at home. Notre Dame will not be wearing the Shamrock Shake uniforms that flash-seared retinas all up and down the Eastern seaboard in the Big East tournament last week.

"I think we're wearing white," Irish guard Eric Atkins said.

But what about those jerseys? What did you think?

"I liked them because they're different," guard Jerian Grant said.

"I could tell a lot of people weren't telling the truth to me when they said how they felt about them. Personally, I liked them," center Jack Cooley said.

And Atkins himself?

"I really liked the jerseys. I wish Obama was on our side about the jerseys," he said.

Ah, yes. The president's now-famous diss of the Notre Dame Hi-Liter look prompted coach Mike Brey to send him one of the uniforms.

"I did guarantee him if he wears it at a pickup game, he may be able to dribble right-handed better," Brey said. "I've seen his game, and he cannot go right at all. Matter of fact, I'm gonna offer him a scholarship to our camp and I'm gonna work on his right hand."

* Inevitably with the Irish, it always comes back to the epic five-overtime win over Louisville. And so, someone, of course, asked Brey about it again Thursday.

"You know what? It's the game of the year," he said. "Still, our fans ... that's all they know we played. They don't know of any games we lost since then, thank God. They don't remember the two thumpings Louisville gave us. They remember that one.

"You know what it did, though? It really gave us another level of confidence. It brought Garrick Sherman back, who was not playing for us, and Cam Biedscheid played 50 minutes off the bench. I've never been involved in anything like that in college basketball, but it helped us believe a little bit more."

* Iowa State won 22 games this season with an offense that barely visited the paint, renting a condo instead on the three-point line, where it had three players with 60 or more threes and led the nation with 9.8 threes per game.

Needless to say, this is not something Notre Dame saw a lot of in the block party that was the Big East. And it provoked a theory about the NCAA tournament from Cooley.

"The tournament is supposed to create fun matchups to watch and make it more difficult, and you play teams you wouldn't normally play," he said. "This is a perfect example of that where the style is so different than what we're used to playing.

"I think it makes it more fun because sometimes it gets boring having to play against teams that you know exactly what they're going to do. To kind of get thrown up against someone that you haven't played against and they haven't played against is going to be fun to watch."