Notre Dame's View From Three Point Land

Jim CowanCorrespondent INovember 17, 2009

NEW YORK - MARCH 11: Tory Jackson #2 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish drives to the hoop against Darryl Bryant #25 and Devin Ebanks #3 of the West Virginia Mountaineers during the second round of the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 11, 2009 in New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

In recent years Notre Dame has had their share of sharpshooters from behind the arc.

In fact, Coach Mike Brey's modus operandi, intentional or not, has been to have two or more marksmen on the court at any given time.

Their reliance on the three-point game was all too evident last season though. After a lights-out season two years ago, Big East teams, at least, adapted to the Kyle McAlarney game even as he dropped 124 three-pointers from all over the court and a few seemingly from South America!

Even when McAlarney, who ended his career with 298 three-pointers at a 43 percent click, was neutralized, teams had to be wary of Ryan Ayers.

Ayers contributed 170 career three-pointers of his own, 94 of which came last season. He was deadly as well at 42 percent.

Before the McAlarney/Ayers tandem, the Big East had to worry about the likes of Chris Quinn and Colin Falls.

Falls was generally considered more dangerous as he was the first player ever to drop 100 threes at South Bend when he made 102 in the 2005-06 season. He left with a 40 percent success rate, making 232 three-pointers.

Quinn, himself, was no slouch as he complemented Falls with Ayers-like support with 169 threes at 42 percent.

Those days are thought to be long gone. Are they though?

Not so fast says Ben Hansbrough!

It's certainly too early to predict anything this season, but over his two previous playing seasons, Hansbrough has made 42 percent of his three-point attempts, dropping 173 of them. If two games can be any indication, he's off to a good start, converting eight of 10 threes thus far.

So if Hansbrough is this season's Falls/McAlarney, who fits the bill for the Quinn/Ayers character?

It's tough to pinpoint solid candidates, if any, but there are a few indicators early on.

Jonathan Peoples and Tory Jackson drain an occasional three, but I don't think they have the green light to put it up any time they want.

Tim Abromaitis and Luke Harangody have shown they can hit from anywhere on the court. I expect both to contribute to the three-point game.

Coach Brey is fully aware their game plan must change from the previous season's, where McAlarney would throw up threes from half court and make them!

With no one expecting much out of South Bend, other than 'Gody producing MVP numbers, the Irish may be able to fly under the radar a bit and surprise some folks once again come conference play. So, I still expect to see plenty of shots from downtown and hopefully just as many drops!