Nov 2, 2013, 12:28 PM EDT
In the same night Jackie Moon made an appearance at the Notre Dame Football Pep Rally (played by Head Coach Mike Brey), Notre Dame Basketball held their final exhibition game in Purcell tonight against Tusculum. The team won in decisive fashion, beating the Pioneers 93-44. Tonight also marked the return of the player known as “The Pondering Knight,” forward Tom Knight.
The graduate student from Maine returned to the court after sitting out the game on Monday because of back spasms. Tom Knight showed no signs of being injured as he demonstrated why he is a valuable piece to the Irish having success this upcoming season.
Going a perfect 6-6 for Field Goals in the first half, Knight had the crowd in a frenzy with a few big shots early, including a monster dunk that shook the dome of Purcell. Finishing the game with 14 points and one offensive rebound, Tusculum had no answer for how to stop the White Knight from running rampid overtop of them.
If Knight made his presence known on offense, he made an even bigger one on defense. He racked up 4 defensive rebounds, adding to the 30 made by the rest of the team tonight. In order to have success and win consistently in the team’s first year with the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Irish are going to need to assert themselves under the basket on defense and not allow second-chance points by the opposing team.
Staying on the defensive end of the ball, Knight was a blocking machine tonight. Accounting for a third of the team’s total tonight, he made three tonight with each one more impressive than the last. Purcell was full of “Ohh’s” and “Ahh’s” watching this guy deny the Pioneers of buckets they obviously did not deserve.
Tom Knight brings a certain level of intensity to the floor for the Irish that appeared to be lost when Jack Cooley graduated last year. Knight’s new role as a vocal leader on the team can be seen by players, coaches, and fans alike.
In his 23 minutes of playing time, Knight showed the Irish faithful he is ready for the season to start next week. The whole team appears to be ready as well, scoring 188 combined points in their two exhibition games.
It is hard to believe that the start of the season begins in less than a week. However, it is a realization that Irish fans and players are going to have to come to terms with quickly as the Red Hawks of Miami (Ohio) come to town Friday at 7 PM (ET) for the season opener.
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