Jan. 23, 2011
#15/14 Notre Dame (16-4, 5-3) at #2/2 Pittsburgh (19-1, 7-0)
Monday, Jan. 24 o 7:00 p.m. (EST)
Petersen Events Center (12,508) – Pittsburgh, Pa.
Sean McDonough (play-by-play)
Jay Bilas (analyst), Bill Raftery (analyst)
Radio: Affiliate listings on page 7; Broadcast also on UND.com
Jack Nolan (play-by-play)
Jordan Cornette (analyst)
#15/14 IRISH TRAVEL TO #2/2 PITTSBURGH FOR BIG MONDAY SHOWDOWN
– Notre Dame (16-4, 5-3) will travel to BIG EAST-leader Pittsburgh (19-1, 7-0) for an ESPN Big Monday showdown. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. (ET) inside the Petersen Events Center. This is the only scheduled meeting between the Fighting Irish and Panthers this season.
– Notre Dame holds a slim 28-27 edge in the series with Pittsburgh. The series is tied 12-12 since the Fighting Irish joined the BIG EAST in 1995. Notre Dame is 10-17 all-time at Pittsburgh. The Irish are 0-5 at the Petersen Events Center. Notre Dame has not been victorious at Pittsburgh since a 56-53 victory on Jan. 12, 2002.
– The Irish have won the past two encounters with the Panthers. In two wins over Pittsburgh last season, the Irish held the Panthers to just a 49.0 points-per-game average. Notre Dame topped Pittsburgh 68-53 on Feb. 24, 2010, at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center. The Irish bested the Panthers 50-45 on March 11, 2010, during the BIG EAST Tournament quarterfinals
– This is the second of three ESPN Big Monday broadcasts featuring Notre Dame this season.
IRISH AFTER 20
– Notre Dame is 16-4 through its first 20 games of a season for the first time since the 2007-08 campaign. This is the fourth time in the Mike Brey era that the Irish have won at least 16 times through their first 20 contests. Notre Dame also was 16-4 in 2006-07. The Irish opened the 2002-03 campaign with a 17-3 mark. (See box on page 11 for additional information).
TIME FOR A BREAK
– Following Monday’s game at Pittsburgh, Notre Dame will not play again until Thursday, Feb. 3 at DePaul. The nine-day layoff is Notre Dame’s longest scheduled stretch between games this season.
TALE OF TWO HALVES
– Notre Dame trailed Marquette 45-36 at halftime of Saturday’s game. That marked the fifth time this season – and the first time at home – that the Irish have been down at the intermission. Marquette’s 45 first-half points are the most points surrendered by the Irish in the first half of play this season. The previous high was 40 versus Kentucky (Dec. 8).
– Marquette shot 61.5% (16-26) from the field in the first half, yet the Irish held the Golden Eagles to 30% (9-30) in the second half. Notre Dame shot 57.1% (12-21) in the first half and 50% (11-22) in the second period.
– Notre Dame is 2-3 this season when trailing at halftime. The Fighting Irish overcame 12-point halftime deficit (37-25) to defeat Georgia in double-overtime, 89-83, at the Old Spice Classic (Nov. 25).
CAREER-HIGH FOR HANSBROUGH
– Ben Hansbrough scored a career-high 28 points on Saturday versus Marquette. He made a career-high 10 field goals (on 15 attempts). He also dished out six assists. That marked the fourth time this season he has registered at least six assists.
ICING THE GAME
– Clutch free throw shooting has been key in Notre Dame’s past two victories.
– After Marquette trimmed Notre Dame’s lead to four (69-65) with 3:21 left in Saturday’s game, the Irish went 9-10 from the charity stripe en route to the 80-75 victory. Tyrone Nash went 4-4 during that stretch, while Ben Hansbrough was 2-2 and Scott Martin connected on three of his four attempts.
– On Wednesday versus Cincinnati, the Irish led by five (57-52) with 1:18 remaining. Notre Dame went 9-10 from the free throw line down the stretch to secure the 66-58 victory. Hansbrough went 5-6, while Tim Abromaitis and Eric Atkins both were 2-2.
– Hansbrough is 35-40 (.875) from the free throw line in the final five minutes of regulation and overtime this season. (See box on page 8).
– There currently are 10 Irish opponents ranked in the AP top-25 poll. The Irish are 4-2 against those squads so far this season.
– Notre Dame had five players (Hansbrough – 28, Nash – 13, Atkins – 12, Scott – 11, Martin – 10) reach double-figures in points against Marquette on Saturday. That marked the second straight game – and the fifth time this season – the Irish have had at least five double-digit scorers. (See box on page 6 for additional information).
HOME COURT ADVANTAGE
– The Fighting Irish are 13-0 at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center this season. The Irish have won 15 straight games at home. Notre Dame has won 82 of its last 88 (.932) home games and is 36-5 (.878) in its last 41 BIG EAST home contests.
– Notre Dame is averaging 82.9 points per game in its 13 home games this season, while the Irish average 56.3 points in their three true road games, all BIG EAST contests. The Fighting Irish are shooting 48.7% from the field at home, including a 42.5% mark from three-point range. Notre Dame is shooting 41.1% from the field and 25.0% from three-point range in its true road games.
– In four BIG EAST home contests this season, Notre Dame is averaging 72.8 points per game. The Irish are shooting 46.1% from the field in those games, including 42.4% from three-point range.
SCOTT PROVIDES A SPARK
– Senior forward Carleton Scott checked into the Cincinnati game on Wednesday at the 14:32 mark of the first half. That was his first game action since leaving the Syracuse game (Jan. 1) in the second half with a hamstring injury. He missed four contests with the injury. Scott connected on his first shot, a three-pointer, less than a minute after entering the Cincinnati game. Scott made both of hit shots (both three-pointers) and finished with six points in 15 minutes of action. – The Irish and Bearcats were tied (6-6) when Scott entered the game and Notre Dame proceeded to go on a 16-3 run after he entered the contest.
– Scott returned to the starting lineup on Saturday versus Marquette and notched his team-high fourth double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
– Notre Dame has held nine of its opponents to under 40% shooting from the field. The Irish held California under 30% on Nov. 26.
– Notre Dame held Cincinnati to 19 first-half points on Wednesday. That marked the third time this season that the Irish have held an opponent to fewer than 20 points in the opening stanza. Notre Dame held California to five points and Wisconsin to 19 in the first half of play in consecutive contests at the Old Spice Classic (Nov. 26 & 28).
LOOKING AT THE NUMBERS
– Notre Dame has scored less than 60 points in its four losses this season. The Irish are 2-4 this season when scoring fewer than 60 points. The Irish are averaging 56.8 points per game in the four setbacks and 80.1 points in their 16 victories.
– The Irish are surrendering 63.1 points per game in their wins and they are allowing 73.2 points per game in their losses.
– Ben Hansbrough has reached double-figures in points a team-high 18 times this season (out of 20 games), while Tim Abromaitis has netted double-digits 17 times.
– Hansbrough has led the Irish in scoring a team-best 10 times this season, while Abromaitis has done so on six occasions.
– Abromaitis and Hansbrough both have scored 20-plus points a team-best seven times this season.
HANSBROUGH HELPS IN MANY WAYS
– Senior guard Ben Hansbrough is averaging a career-best and team-high 16.4 points per game. Hansbrough has a team-best 78 assists (3.9 apg) and a team-high 25 steals.
– He scored a career-high 28 points on Saturday versus Marquette. That was his seventh 20-plus point game of the season.
– Hansbrough has reached double-digits in 41 of his 54 career games with the Irish.
ROOKIE ON A ROLL
– Freshman point guard Eric Atkins is averaging 11.5 points per game and 4.0 assists per game over the past four contests.
– The rookie has dished out five-plus assists in a game six times this season. Atkins has led the Irish in assists six times this season.
– At St. John’s on Jan. 16, Atkins scored eight points and dished out a career-high seven assists. He also matched a career-high total with three steals.
– Versus Marquette on Jan. 10, Atkins scored a career-high – and team-best – 15 points. He has scored in double-figures seven times this season.
– Atkins is averaging 7.5 points per game and he is second on the team with 71 assists (3.6 apg). He boasts a team-best 2.5 assist-to-turnover ratio, which ranks 19th nationally.
A IS FOR ABROMAITIS
– Tim Abromaitis has scored in double figures in 17 of 20 games this season. He saw his personal-best 10-game double-figure scoring streak come to an end on Saturday versus Marquette.
– Abromaitis is Notre Dame’s leading rebounder (6.7 rpg) and his points-per-game average (14.9) ranks second on the team.
– He has scored in double-figures in 23 out of 26 BIG EAST regular-season games over the past two seasons.
– Abromaitis has made a three-pointer in 11 straight contests, which is the longest active streak on the team. His personal-best streak is 29 straight games, which occurred last season.
– Abromaitis has two double-doubles this season. He has three career double-doubles. He has grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds twice this season (California and UMBC).
– Notre Dame is 22-6 (.786) in its last 28 games dating back to last season. Following a double-overtime loss to Louisville (91-89) in Freedom Hall on Feb. 17, 2010, the Irish won their final four regular-season games in 2009-10 (Pittsburgh, Georgetown, Connecticut and Marquette) and won two games in the BIG EAST Tournament (Seton Hall and Pittsburgh) before losing to West Virginia in the conference championship semifinals and to Old Dominion in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament.
BEATING THE BEST
– Three of Notre Dame’s five BIG EAST wins have come against a ranked opponent. The Irish defeated No. 9/9 Georgetown 69-55 in the BIG EAST opener. Following a 70-58 setback at No. 5/5 Syracuse, Notre Dame topped No. 8/9 Connecticut 73-70. The Irish downed No. 25/- Cincinnati 66-58 on Wednesday.
TAKING DOWN A TOP-10 FOE
– The 73-70 victory over No. 8/9 Connecticut on Jan. 4 coupled with the 69-55 victory over No. 9/9 Georgetown on Dec. 29 marked the first time since the 2002-03 campaign that Notre Dame defeated two top-10 teams in a three-game span.
– Prior to the wins over Georgetown and Connecticut, the last time Notre Dame recorded back-to-back home wins over top-10 teams was during the 1960-61 season when the Irish knocked off No. 7 DePaul (61-58 on Jan. 17, 1961) and No. 7 St. John’s (64-63 on Feb. 2, 1961).
– The last time Notre Dame defeated three top-10 teams in the same season was during the 2008-09 campaign. That season, the Irish took down No. 6/7 Texas (81-80), No. 9/10 Georgetown (73-67) and No. 5/7 Louisville (90-57).
BREY REACHES BIG EAST MILESTONE
– Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey notched his 100th BIG EAST regular-season victory with the 73-70 win over Connecticut on Jan. 4. Brey is the sixth coach in BIG EAST Conference history with 100 regular-season league wins. Brey’s Irish teams are 103-71 (.592) all-time in regular-season BIG EAST play.
– Mike Brey is in his 11th season along the Irish sidelines. He is the third-longest tenured coach in the BIG EAST, behind only Jim Boeheim of Syracuse and Jim Calhoun of Connecticut. Brey stands sixth all-time in career BIG EAST victories (both regular-season and tournament) with his 109-81 (.574) mark. He is one of eight coaches in BIG EAST history to record 100 conference wins.
BIG EAST All-Time Winningest Coaches By Victories
(Includes conference regular-season and championship games)
1. Jim Boeheim, Syracuse 376-206 (.646)
2. Jim Calhoun, Connecticut 293-165 (.640)
3. John Thompson, Georgetown 231-123 (.653)
4. Lou Carnesecca, St. John’s 139-80 (.635)
5. Rollie Massimino, Villanova 123-92 (.572)
6. Mike Brey, Notre Dame 109-81 (.574)
7. Jay Wright, Villanova 103-70 (.595)
8. Jamie Dixon, Pittsburgh 101-41 (.711)
MARTIN MAKING AN IMPACT
– Scott Martin has reached double-figures in points in eight of the last nine games. He has registered double-figures 11 times overall this season.
– Martin notched his first career double-double versus Marquette (Jan. 10) as he tallied 10 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. He has led the Irish in rebounding four times this season, including on Wednesday versus Cincinnati as he hauled down eight boards.
– He has netted a season-high 15 points three times (Maine, Indiana State, UMBC). Those were his highest point outputs since he netted a career-high 17 points against Missouri State during his freshman season at Purdue.
– Martin did not play in 2008-09 due to NCAA transfer rules and he missed all of last season with an ACL injury.
PROTECTING THE BASKETBALL
– The Irish have had fewer than 10 turnovers in a game six times this season. Notre Dame had a season-low seven turnovers on Saturday versus Marquette.
– Notre Dame boasts a 1.50 assist-to-turnover ratio. The Fighting Irish rank eighth nationally in that category. The Irish have registered 337 assists on its 487 made field goals this season (.692). The Fighting Irish average just 11.2 turnovers per game, which is the 27th-best mark in the country.
– Notre Dame has notched at least 20 assists in a game six times this season. The Irish had a season-high 29 assists (on 34 made field goals) versus Chicago State (Nov. 17). Notre Dame is 16th nationally in assists per game (16.9).
– Senior guard Ben Hansbrough leads the Irish with 78 assists (3.9 apg). Freshman point guard Eric Atkins is second with 71 (3.6 apg). Atkins has a team-best 2.5 assist-to-turnover ratio, which ranks 19th nationally and second in the BIG EAST.
– Three Notre Dame players, Tim Abromaitis, Ben Hansbrough and Carleton Scott, all have scored 20-plus points in a game this season. Abromaitis and Hansbrough both have accomplished the feat a team-best seven times. Scott scored 20-plus points twice.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
– Five different Notre Dame players have led the team in scoring during a game this season. Ben Hansbrough has led the Irish in scoring a team-best 10 times, which included one tie with Tyrone Nash. Tim Abromaitis has led the Irish in points on six occasions. Carleton Scott has done so three times, including one tie with Eric Atkins, who has posted a team-high point total twice this season.
– Notre Dame has had at least five players reach double-digits in the same contest five times.
– Six Notre Dame players (Abromaitis, Nash, Scott, Hansbrough, Cooley, Martin) reached double-figures in points against Maine. It marked the first time the Irish had six double-digit scorers since Jan. 14, 2003 (vs. DePaul).
FIRST HALF FLURRY
– Notre Dame opponents are averaging just 28.8 points in the first half this season, while the Irish are averaging 37.5 points during the first stanza.
– The Fighting Irish have scored 40-plus points in the first half of play nine times this season (once in BIG EAST play).
– Notre Dame is 14-0 this season when leading at the intermission.
– In the first half of their four losses, the Irish have been outscored by just 13 points combined (133-120). Notre Dame has been outscored by 53 points (160-107) in the second half of its four setbacks.
LIVING LARGE AT THE LINE
– The Fighting Irish have 86 more made free throws than their opponents have attempts from the charity stripe. The Fighting Irish are 387-529 (.732) from the free throw line this season. Irish opponents are 219-301 (.728) from the line.
– The Irish are 15-0 this season when making more free throws than their opponent.
– Notre Dame has been in the bonus before the 10-minute mark of the first half six times this season, Georgia Southern (15:36), Chicago State (10:44), Gonzaga (10:50), Stony Brook (11:55), St. John’s (10:36) and St. John’s (11:47).
– The Irish have made 20 or more free throws nine times this season. Notre Dame made a season-high 30 free throws, on 43 attempts, versus Georgia, a double-overtime Irish victory.
– Against Maine, Notre Dame shot a season-best 92.6% from the free throw line (25-27). The Fighting Irish also shot above 90% from the charity stripe against Stony Brook as they connected on 11 of 12 shots (91.7%).
HITTING THE GLASS
– Notre Dame boasts a +5.8 rebound margin this season. The Irish have a +9.0 margin in their 16 wins, while they are -7.2 in their four losses. The Fighting Irish have held the advantage in 15 of their 16 wins. The only time the Irish did not have the edge, they tied Cincinnati 32-32 on the glass. Notre Dame has been out-rebounded in all four of its losses.
– Tim Abromaitis has a team-best 134 rebounds (6.7 rpg), while Tyrone Nash has a team-high 48 offensive rebounds.
DRAINING FROM DEEP
– The Fighting Irish are 148-401 (.369) from three-point range this season. Notre Dame has hit 10 or more three pointers in a game five times this season, all wins. The Irish are 129-326 (.396) from three-point range in their 16 wins and they are 19-75 (.253) in the four losses.
– Notre Dame went 8-11 from three-point range in the first half against Maine (Nov. 22). The eight made treys matched a season-high total for a half. Notre Dame made eight three-pointers in the second half versus Chicago State (Nov. 17).
– Ben Hansbrough is shooting at a team-best 42.5% clip (45-106) from beyond the arc this season.
394 AND COUNTING
– Heading into the Pittsburgh contest, Notre Dame has made at least one three-pointer in 394 straight contests dating back to the 1998-99 campaign. The Fighting Irish have made at least one three pointer during every game of the Mike Brey era. The last time an Irish team failed to hit a three-pointer in a game was in a 101-70 loss to Connecticut at the Hartford Civic Center on Jan. 12, 1999. Notre Dame finished 0-7 from beyond the arc in that contest. In 2008-09, the Irish set a single-season three-point record with 319.
IRISH FUN FACT UNDER BREY
– Notre Dame teams under Mike Brey have always ranked among the best teams in the nation and BIG EAST in assists and three-point shooting. In 11 seasons with Brey on the sidelines, Notre Dame is 70-9 when Irish teams have 20 or more assists and are 71-28 when making 10 or more three-pointers.
PERFORMING IN THE POST
– Notre Dame is 10-0 this season when senior forward Tyrone Nash scores at least 10 points. Nash has netted 13 points in each of the past two games.
– Nash notched a team-high tying 13 points in addition to grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out three assists in Wednesday’s victory over Cincinnati. That was the first time in his career that he posted a team-high point total.
– Nash has led the Irish in assists five times this season. He has registered five or more assists in a game four times this season, including a career-high seven versus Chicago State (Nov. 17).
– Nash’s 55 assists (2.8 apg) rank third among all Notre Dame players. His 116 rebounds (5.8 rpg) rank second on the team, while he has a team-best 48 offensive rebounds.
– Nash has notched three double-doubles this season.
– Seniors Tim Abromaitis (F), Ben Hansbrough (G), Scott Martin (G), Tyrone Nash (F) and Carleton Scott (F) have combined for 94 of a possible 100 starts this season. Nash, Abromaitis and Hansbrough have started all 20 games this season, while Martin has 19 starts. Scott started the first 14 contests of the season before suffering a hamstring injury versus Syracuse (Jan. 1). He returned to the starting lineup on Saturday versus Marquette. Notre Dame’s game-by-game starters are listed on page 11 of this notes packet.
– Tim Abromaitis, Ben Hansbrough and Tyrone Nash all have played in the past 55 contests. Nash and Hansbrough both have started all 55 of those contests. Overall, Nash has played in a team-best 70 straight contests. The last game he did not play in was at Cincinnati on Feb. 4, 2009.
CONSISTENCY FROM CARLETON
– Despite missing four games with a hamstring injury, senior forward Carleton Scott has been one of Notre Dame’s top performers this season. Scott has scored in double-figures 11 times this season (out of 16 games played). He has reached double-digits 15 times in his career.
– Scott’s four made three-pointers against Stony Brook (Dec. 19) were a career-high total. He dished out a career-high six assists versus UMBC (Dec. 22).
– The 20-point effort against Stony Brook was Scott’s second straight game (and second of his career) with 20 or more points. He netted a career-high 23 points versus Gonzaga on Dec. 11.
– Scott has a team-high four double-doubles this season.
– Carleton Scott’s perfect 8-8 performance from the field against Stony Brook (Dec. 19) ranks in a tie for third all-time in program history. John Shumate was 9-9 versus Louisville on March 20, 1973, in the second round of the NIT. Keith Robinson also went 9-9 against UCLA on Dec. 17, 1989. Torin Francis was 8-8 versus Maryland on Dec. 7, 2002.
– Scott was 4-4 from three-point range against Stony Brook. Matt Carroll owns the program’s three-point perfection record as he went 6-6 against Tennessee-Chattanooga on Nov. 24, 2001.
– Senior forward Carleton Scott has a team-best 27 blocked shots this season (1.7 per game).
– Scott has blocked two or more shots in a game nine times this season. Scott tied a career-high total with a season-high four blocked shots against Indiana State (Nov. 30).
– Sophomore forward Jack Cooley is an efficient 30-49 (.612) from the field this season.
– Cooley scored a career-high 13 points on 6-7 shooting from the field against Maine on Nov. 22. It was the second double-digit scoring output this season for Cooley, who netted a then career-high 11 points versus Georgia Southern in the season opener.
– Notre Dame reached 14 wins the quickest (date wise) in program history when the Irish topped St. John’s 76-61 on Jan. 8. The previous fastest was last season when the Fighting Irish secured their 14th win on Jan. 9, 2010.
– This season and the 2006-07 campaign are the only two seasons during Notre Dame’s BIG EAST era that the Irish suffered just one regular-season non-conference loss.
– Notre Dame’s loss to Kentucky on Dec. 8 was the latest calendar date the Irish had suffered their first setback of the season since the 1979-80 campaign. Notre Dame started that season 7-0 before suffering its first loss to Kentucky (86-80) on Dec. 29, 1979.
– Notre Dame’s 8-0 start was the fifth in program history and the best ever for the Irish under head coach Mike Brey. It also matched the longest win streak for an Irish team coached by Brey. Notre Dame’s last eight-game win streak came during Brey’s first season when his 2000-01 squad rattled off eight straight BIG EAST conference regular-season victories.
PASSING THE TEST
– Notre Dame has recorded a perfect score of 100 percent in each of the last three Graduation Success Rate (GSR) figures released in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and is one of just 12 schools to earn a perfect 100 percent score in each of the last three years. The 11 other schools include Binghamton, Charleston Southern, Coastal Carolina, Colgate, Holy Cross, Davidson, Loyola of Maryland, North Carolina-Wilmington, Utah State, Wake Forest and Western Kentucky.
– In the recent set of GSR scores released in the fall, Notre Dame had the highest percentage of sports with 100 percent scores (for the fifth time in six years) among the 120 Football Bowl Subdivision institutions, with a .863 figure (19 of 22).
OLD SPICE CHAMPIONS
– Notre Dame won the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla. (Nov. 25-28) by capturing wins over Georgia (89-83 in 2ot), California (57-44) and Wisconsin (58-51). It marked the first three-game in-season tournament victory for the Fighting Irish since winning the 2001 Hawaii-Pacific Thanksgiving Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii as the Irish defeated Hawaii-Pacific (98-58), Tennessee-Chattanooga (97-84) and Monmouth (85-48). Notre Dame also won the 2002 BB&T Classic in Washington, DC with wins over Maryland (79-67) and Texas (98-92).
– Notre Dame has played in an in-season tournament in each of the past five seasons and eight times during the Mike Brey era. Notre Dame is 18-6 all-time under Brey in in-season tournaments.
– In the Old Spice Classic, the Irish held California and Wisconsin to five and 19 points, respectively, in the first half of play.
– Notre Dame held California (16-61) and Wisconsin (20-57) to a combined 36-118 (.305) from the field during the final two games of the Old Spice Classic.
– Notre Dame out-rebounded Wisconsin 43-28 in the title game of the tournament.
– Notre Dame held a decisive free throw advantage in all three games of the tournament. The Irish made 20 more free throws than both Georgia (30-10) and California (26-6). Notre Dame made 16 more free throws (20-4) than Wisconsin in the title game.
– Notre Dame went a combined 13-14 from the charity stripe during both overtime periods in the 89-83 triumph of Georgia.
– Senior forward Tim Abromaitis was named the MVP of the Old Spice Classic as he averaged 14.0 ppg. and 8.7 rpg. during the three-game run. Fellow senior forward Carleton Scott also was named to the all-tournament team. Scott was the only Irish player to reach double figures in points during every game of the event.
ON A RUN
– Notre Dame used several key runs during the Old Spice Classic to secure the tournament title.
– After falling behind Georgia 38-25 early in the second half, Notre Dame erased the deficit by going on a 27-10 run to claim a four-point lead with 7:22 left in regulation. The Irish wound up winning 89-83 in double-overtime.
– After surrendering the game’s first basket to California, the Irish went on to hold a 21-5 halftime advantage over the Golden Bears. The Irish defeated Cal 57-44.
– In the championship game, Notre Dame trailed Wisconsin 43-32 with 9:21 left in regulation. The Fighting Irish finished the game on a 26-8 run to claim the 58-51 victory. Included in that stretch was a 15-0 run for the Irish.
BIG EAST TEAMS FIND SUCCESS IN PRESEASON TOURNAMENTS
– Notre Dame won the Old Spice Classic and was one of six BIG EAST teams to come away with an in-season tournament title during the month of November.
Notre Dame – Old Spice Classic
Connecticut – EA Sports Maui Invitational
Pittsburgh – 2K Sports Classic
Syracuse – Legends Classic
Georgetown – Charleston Classic
St. John’s – Great Alaska Shootout
Villanova – Preseason NIT Tip-Off
West Virginia – Puerto Rico Tip-Off
HANSBROUGH HITS 1,000 CAREER POINTS
– Senior guard Ben Hansbrough posted 20 points in the season opener against Georgia Southern (Nov. 12). With his 12th point of the contest, Hansbrough reached the 1,000th point mark for his career that spans two playing seasons at Mississippi State (2006-08) and one at Notre Dame (2009-10).
IRISH TAKE SHOT AT FIFTH STRAIGHT 20-WIN CAMPAIGN
– Notre Dame will be aiming for its fifth consecutive 20-win campaign and eighth in the last 11 seasons under head coach Mike Brey. The last time Irish teams reached the 20-win mark in five straight campaigns was from 1983-89 when those Notre Dame squads under Digger Phelps strung together six consecutive 20-win seasons.
– Notre Dame has earned appearances in the postseason in each of the last 11 years, which marks the longest stretch in school history. The Irish have been to the NCAA Tournament on six occasions and the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) five times during this current stretch. Under head coach Mike Brey, Notre Dame has played in the NCAAs six times and NIT four times.
BIG EAST FORMULA FOR SUCCESS
– Since his arrival at Notre Dame, head coach Mike Brey has led the Irish to a 103-71 (.592) record in BIG EAST regular-season games and a 6-10 mark in tournament play for an overall record of 109-81 (.574) against league foes. Brey’s Irish teams have won 10 or more conference regular-season games in six of his 10 seasons. Prior to his arrival at Notre Dame, Irish teams had just a 35-53 (.398) regular-season record from 1995-2000.
BIG EAST TURNAROUND
– During head coach Mike Brey’s tenure, Irish teams have only had two losing seasons in BIG EAST play – 6-10 in 2005-06 and 8-10 in 2008-09. Since the 2005-06 campaign when the Irish finished 6-10 after beginning the BIG EAST regular-season with a 1-8 record, Notre Dame has gone 53-32 (.624) over the last 85 regular-season contests. In addition to Notre Dame, only four other BIG EAST teams have had records of .500 or better eight or more times – Pittsburgh and Syracuse (nine times) and Notre Dame, Connecticut and Villanova (eight times).
BIG EAST REPEATS
– For the fourth consecutive season, Notre Dame will meet Connecticut in a home-and-home series during the 2010-11 BIG EAST regular season. In addition to the Huskies, the Irish also are slated to play Marquette and St. John’s twice this season. This will be the fourth year since the expansion to 16 teams that the Conference will employ an 18-game regular-season slate with all teams playing each other once and three opponents twice in a home-and-away format. Notre Dame’s single-game home opponents will be Cincinnati, Georgetown, Louisville, Rutgers, Seton Hall and Villanova. The road slate also will feature visits to DePaul, Pittsburgh, Providence, USF, Syracuse and West Virginia.
IRISH TO APPEAR ON THREE BIG MONDAY BROADCASTS
– As part of its 18-game national television slate in 2010-11, Notre Dame will be part of three ESPN Big Monday broadcasts. The first appearance for the Fighting Irish came on Monday at Marquette. The ESPN Big Monday cameras will make their only appearance at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center at 7:00 p.m. (ET) on Feb. 28 when the Irish take on Villanova.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION
– More than half of the 144 regular-season BIG EAST Conference men’s basketball games will be seen on national television during the 2010-11 season, once again giving BIG EAST teams unprecedented exposure on the nation’s leading television outlets. In total, 73 of the regular-season contests will be on national television – either on CBS Sports, ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU. This will mark the fourth straight season in which all 144 regular-season league games will be televised.
106 YEARS AND STRONG
– The 2010-11 campaign marks the 106th season of basketball at Notre Dame and the 16th season as a member of the BIG EAST Conference. Notre Dame teams have posted a 1690-924 record for a .647 winning percentage. In 15 seasons as a member of the BIG EAST, the Irish own a 138-124 (.527) record all-time in conference regular-season play.
– This year’s Notre Dame roster features several players with some strong basketball bloodlines:
– Tim Abromaitis – His father, Jim, played basketball at the University of Connecticut (1975-80) and was drafted by the New Jersey Nets. His brother, Jason, played basketball at Yale (2003-07).
– Mike Broghammer – His uncle, Christian Laettner, played professional basketball for 13 seasons and was a member of the 1992 gold medal Dream Team. He played for Duke University (1988-92) and led the Blue Devils to national championships in 1991 and 1992.
– Joey Brooks – His father, Lott J. Brooks, III, played college basketball at Eckerd College (1974-78).
– Jerian Grant – His father, Harvey, played basketball at the University of Oklahoma (1986-88), and was the 12th pick overall in the 1988 NBA Draft and played from 1988-99 in the NBA. His uncle, Horace Grant, played at Clemson, and was the 10th overall pick in the NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls. He is the owner of four NBA championship rings. His older brother, Jerai, is a senior on the Clemson basketball team, while a younger brother, Jerami is a junior on the DeMatha basketball team.
– Ben Hansbrough – His brother, Tyler, played basketball at the University of North Carolina (2005-09). A three-time All-American, he was the 2008 National Player of the Year and led the Tar Heels to the 2009 national championship. Currently, he is in his second season with the Indiana Pacers, and was the 13th pick overall in the 2009 NBA Draft.
– Tom Knight – His father, Karl, played basketball at Bowdoin (1976-80).
– Jerian Grant is the first Irish basketball player from DeMatha High School to attend Notre Dame during the Mike Brey era. Brey played and coached at DeMatha and also is the alma mater of assistant coach Rod Balanis. Former Irish players who also played at DeMatha include Bob Whitmore (1967-69), Sid Catlett (1969-71) and Adrian Dantley (1974-76).
IRISH INK ONE FOR 2011
– Pat Connaughton, a 6-5, 195-pound swingman from Arlington, Mass., was the lone early-November 2011 signee for head coach Mike Brey.
– A four-year starter at St. John’s Prep in Danvers, Mass., Connaughton averaged 24.0 points and 17.9 rebounds in 2009-10 as he led St. John’s to one of the best seasons in program history as the squad finished with a 21-3 mark. In addition, his squad won the Catholic Conference championship. His team was ranked seventh in the final Massachusetts state poll after making the school’s first appearance since 1974 in the Division 1 state finals.
– Connaughton was the only junior selected to the Boston Globe Super Team and the Boston Herald High Dream Team. He was selected as Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the Catholic Conference and was named to the Catholic Conference All-Star Team. In addition, he was selected as his team’s MVP and served as team captain.
– He is ranked 73rd nationally by Scout.com and 100th by ESPNU.
BREY SERVING AS CHAIRMAN OF THE NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL RULES COMMITTEE
– Mike Brey was elected chair of the 2010-11 NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee in May 2010 and is serving his fourth year on the rules committee.
ADIDAS AND NOTRE DAME UNVEIL LIGHTEST, MOST TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED COLLEGE BASKETBALL UNIFORMS
– At the start of the 2010-11 basketball season, adidas and the University of Notre Dame basketball teams unveiled the lightest and most technologically advanced college basketball uniforms ever. Designed and developed by adidas, the uniforms are 30 percent lighter and dry twice as fast as previous uniforms to help enhance the Fighting Irish’s performance by keeping players cooler, drier and more comfortable on the court.
– The new Notre Dame uniforms, made from 60 percent recycled materials, feature adidas’ Formotion technology, which reduces seams, decreases friction between the garment and the player’s skin and optimizes the player’s natural movement through specially constructed material. adidas reduced uniform weight and increased player comfort by switching front and back numbers from heavier, dense materials to a more breathable mesh.
– The new Notre Dame uniform absorbs moisture in less than three seconds as a result of adidas CLIMACOOL fabrics. The jersey moves heat and sweat away from the body through a combination of moisture management materials, ventilation channels and three dimensional garments, helping the uniform dry twice as quickly.
– Along with Notre Dame, 10 other schools will debut the new uniforms this season, including Cincinnati, Indiana, Kansas, Louisville, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina State, Tennessee, UCLA and Wisconsin.
– In addition to the NCAA teams wearing the new uniforms, all 30 NBA teams will wear Revolution 30 jerseys this season featuring similar adidas technology.