Nov. 29, 2004
The University of Notre Dame official athletics site, www.und.com , continues its tribute today to the school’s celebration of 100 Seasons of Basketball. Spanning the entirety of the college basketball season, www.und.com, will update this section of the site every weekday 100 times in an effort to highlight Notre Dame’s 100th Basketball Season in 2004-05.
The updates will change between trivia questions, quick bios from Notre Dame’s all-century team, various “On this date in Notre Dame Basketball” elements and more.
Also available this season is the book 100 Seasons of Basketball, produced by the University of Notre Dame Sports Information Office and Notre Dame Sports Properties. The book is available exclusively through the Notre Dame Bookstore (call 800-647-4641 or to go www.ndcatalog.com).
#15 (Friday, Dec. 3, 2004)
Notre Dame Basketball Trivia
Who was the only Irish player to lead the team in rebounds, assists and steals in a single season?
A. Moose Krause
B. Elmer Bennett
C. Jim Dolan
D. Collis Jones
The answer is – C. Jim Dolan. As a sophomore, Dolan led the team in rebounds (7.4), assists (104) and steals (39).
Also – a thought for the day from former standout Irish player Kelly Tripuka (1977-81): “It’s not just a football school, and it shouldn’t be that way. A hundred years ago, we were a football school, no question about it. But we were able to change that. There is no question in my four years there that we were as good as anybody in football. But we were also as good as anybody in basketball. And that was a good feeling. We made a name for ourselves. We cut a little niche out. And we’re still the only team to get to the Final Four from that school. Unfortunately, we didn’t go back, which was really disappointing because I think we were good enough to go back. We could have been the Duke of our time. That’s how good I think we were.”
#16 (Monday, Dec. 6)
Legend of the Hardwood – LaPhonso Ellis
#14 (Thursday, Dec. 2, 2004)
Fantastic Fives – 1990s
As part of the 100 Seasons of Basketball book compiled by the Notre Dame Sports Information Office, a `Fantastic Five’ (five players for each decade of basketball at Notre Dame) feature was developed. With the wealth of talent in the Notre Dame program, it was difficult to narrow down five players from each decade. Although the final decision might lead to a few heated discussions among Irish fans, it is easy to see just how much talent the Notre Dame program has produced.
Today, we look back at the `Fantastic Five’ for the 1990s.
Elmer Bennett (1988-92)
12.0 ppg (averaged 16.5 as a senior), 1488 pts., 91 three pointers, 152 steals, 516 assists (4.2)
Daimon Sweet (1988-92)
11.6 ppg (averaged 16.8 as a senior), 1410 pts., .589 fg%
LaPhonso Ellis (1988-92)
15.5 ppg, 11.1 rpg, 1505 pts., .577 fg%, 200 blocked shots
Pat Garrity (1994-98)
18.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2085 pts., 100 three pointers (.358)
Monty Williams (1989-94)
16.1 ppg (averaged 22.4 as a senior), 8.2 rpg, 1371 pts.
Ellis, Garrity and Williams were all NBA first round draft picks, with Ellis as the #5 overall selection in 1992. Only Austin Carr, Tom Hawkins and John Shumate have been selected higher coming out of Notre Dame.
Garrity was the 1997 BIG EAST Player of the Year (the first Irish player to earn that award) and is third on the career scoring list (2,085), averaging 22.1 points and 7.8 rebounds a game during his final two seasons – a time when he faced double and triple teams.
#13 (Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2004)
On This Date In Notre Dame Basketball History…
Dec. 1, 1937 – Notre Dame plays its first game with the rule change in which there no longer is a center jump after each basket. Instead, the team that was scored against now gets the ball underneath the foe’s basket – a change that Notre Dame head coach George Keogan opposes at the time.
Dec. 1, 1951 – In John Jordan’s debut as the Irish coach, a 71-37 blowout of St. Thomas, sophomores Entee Shine and Joe Bertrand became the first black players to suit up – and start – for the Irish (Bertrand became the school’s third 1,000-point scorer, while Shine transferred to Tennessee State after becoming academically ineligible in the second semester).
Dec. 1, 1962 – Sophomore Ron Reed tallies 35 points in his varsity debut, an 87-73 victory vs. St. Joseph’s (Ind.). Reed would be on of the three members in his class who would eclipse the career 1,000-point mark, joining Walt Sahm and Larry Sheffield. A fourth, Jay Miller, finished with 988 points.
#12 (Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2004)
Adrian Dantley – Skills and Smarts
Adrian Dantley was one of the most skilled basketball players to wear an Irish uniform, but the 25-point per game scorer also used his basketball IQ to make 769 trips to the foul line – where he converted 80 percent of those opportunities.
Known for setting up his opponent early in the game – even letting his shot get blocked – Dantley (pictured on the right) would eventually blow by the same defender at a key stretch later in the game or pull out his patented head fake. An immediate star at Notre Dame, Dantley helped transform a team that had gone 6-20 in 1971-71 (two years before his arrival) to a 26-3 team his freshman season – which included the legendary win over UCLA.
After teammates John Shumate and Gary Brokaw turned pro in 1974, Dantley took off to average 30.4 points per game in 1974-75 (second in the nation) and was fourth in that category as a junior (28.6). He turned pro after his junior season and eventually returned to Notre Dame to earn his degree.
Dantley succeeded at every level of basketball, helping the 1976 Olympic Team to the gold medal by averaging 19.3 points per game – dropping 32 points in 30 minutes in the championship game vs. Yugoslavia. Dantley eventually developed into arguably Notre Dame’s top pro player, leading the league in scoring twice and finishing ninth in league history in scoring (23,177 points) and fifth in free throws made (6,832). He is currently an assistant coach with the Denver Nuggets.
#11 (Monday, Nov. 29, 2004)
Instant Classic: Irish Stun Defending National Champion Indiana
The NCAA basketball tournament began in 1939 with eight teams, eventually expanding to 22 teams in a four-region system for the 1953 season. That year marked Notre Dame’s first appearance in the NCAA tournament (Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C., decided to end Notre Dame’s self-imposed ban on postseason play) and met Indiana in the tournament, a suffering a 79-66 setback at the hands of the eventual national champion.
The Irish returned three standouts from the ’52-’53 team, led by Dick Rosenthal (future athletic director at Notre Dame). Rosenthal became the first Notre Dame player to average more than 20 points per game in a season during the ’53-’54 season (20.2) and was augmented by Jack `Junior’ Stephens (16.8) and Joe Bertrand (16.8).
The first rematch with Indiana during the ’53-’54 season came in Bloomington on Dec. 14, when the Hoosiers handed Notre Dame a 66-55 loss and established themselves as the favorite for the national championship. The Indiana loss was followed by another setback at Bradley for the Irish, who would drop out of the top 25.
That loss provided the team a measure of motivation, as the Irish ripped off 18 straight victories to earn a second-round NCAA rematch with Indiana at the University of Iowa Fieldhouse.
Rosenthal posted 25 points and 15 rebounds while holding Indiana’s 6-10 All-American Don Schlundt to 10 points (after Schlundt had scored 41 points in the previous year’s NCAA matchup with the Irish) and led the Irish to a 65-64 victory.
After knocking out the Hoosiers, Notre Dame became the favorite for the national title but Penn State, utilizing a then-gimmick full-court press defense not seem very often in the 50’s, upset Notre Dame 71-63 in the next round.
The 18-game win streak Notre Dame compiled during the 1953-54 season is the longest for the program in the post-Word War II era. The Irish also ended the 1950s with eight NCAA tournament victories, fourth-most in the country behind Kentucky (13), Kansas (13) and San Francisco (10).