The Burn is back, baby!
Playing without either of his star seniors, Matt Farrell and Bonzie Colson, Mike Brey took his Notre Dame team up to the Carrier Dome and knocked off Syracuse, 51-49, thanks to this game-winning tip-in by junior guard Rex Pflueger:
We discussed this on Friday’s podcast (the 27:00 mark below) but Brey is as good as any coach in the country when it comes to finding a way to make things work with the players that he has on the floor.
And in the past, when he’s lost players at the rate that he lost players in the last week, what he’s reverted to is the Burn Offense. Essentially, he plays as slowly as possible, draining the clock on every single possession and trying to take all the energy out of the game. He knows his team can execute in the half court. Can his opponents?
If the score didn’t give away that the Burn is back, the number of possessions did. There were 55 possessions in this game. The last time Notre Dame played a 55-possession game came in January of 2015 against Virginia. The last time they did it against a team not named Virginia was in February of 2014, the year in which the Irish lost Jerian Grant at the end of the first semester due to an academic issue.
It may have been in the single digits in Upstate New York, but Syracuse felt the Burn.
And as a result, Brey got his first win at Syracuse since 2007.