August 17, 1998
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The 1998-99 basketball season will be one of transition for Notre Dame head coach John MacLeod, who enters his eighth year in charge of the Irish program.
The graduation of forward Pat Garrity leaves a major hole in the Notre Dame team. Garrity was of the most decorated players in Irish history as he earned second-team All-America honors last season from the Associated Press and The Sporting News. Garrity finished his Irish career as the third-leading scorer in school history with 2,085 points and was a two-time, first-team all-BIG EAST Conference pick.
Garrity was picked by the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of June’s National Basketball Association draft as the 19th player picked overall — then ultimately ended up on the roster of the Phoenix Suns via the trade route.
Equally impressive, Garrity was a two-time, first-team GTE Academic All-America pick and was the 1997-98 GTE Academic All-American of the Year in men’s basketball.
In addition to Garrity, the Irish lose forward Derek Manner, who started 25 of 27 games last season and played in 100 for his career. Last season, Manner averaged 6.1 points per game.
This season’s transition will have an upside for MacLeod, though, as he welcomes a highly-touted freshman class into his program.
Seniors Antoni Wyche and Phil Hickey will be the leaders of this year’s Irish team that will try to blend the freshman class, plus three seniors and two sophomores, into a successful mix.
“We certainly lost a key member of our team with Pat’s graduation,” says MacLeod. “But, we have some quality experienced players returning this year and we are bringing three talented freshmen into the program.
“We will be relying heavily on our returning players, because of the experience they have picked up over the last few seasons. They have seen the wars that take place night in and night out in the BIG EAST Conference. Our freshmen will see plenty of playing time, but you have to remember that they are just freshmen and will have to adjust to the college game.”
Hickey will lead the Irish frontcourt this season. He has played in 78 games over the past three seasons, starting 30 of them. He enjoyed his finest season as a college player in ’97-’98, as he was second on the Irish team to Garrity in both scoring and rebounding at 10.7 points per game and 8.0 rebounds. Hickey ended the season by scoring in double figures in six of the final nine contests, including a career-high 21 points in a victory over Boston College.
“Phil has worked very hard ever since he got to Notre Dame to become a better player,” says MacLeod. “Last season, his efforts really paid off as he really improved his game. Phil worked very hard this past summer and we expect him to make another jump this season.”
Wyche also has improved his point production every year he has been in the Notre Dame program. Last season, Wyche just missed averaging double-digit scoring as he put in 9.4 points per game and also dished out 61 assists.
Wyche also finished the season on a hot streak as he scored in double figures in six of the final eight games. Wyche scored a career-high 20 points against St. John’s last season at the Joyce Center.
“We need a big season from Antoni this year,” says MacLeod. “He has the most experience of any guard in the program. Antoni has to be a consistent shooter for us and we need for him to produce every game.”
Also joining the Irish program as a senior this season is forward Paul Rainey, a former walk-on who has been elevated to scholarship status this year. Senior Dennis Carroll also returns as a member of the team after spending last year on the tennis team.
The junior class consists of guard Jimmy Dillon and forward Todd Palmer. Dillon was the backup point guard last season and saw playing time in all 27 games. He recorded 47 assists and tied his career high with eight points in the home finale versus Georgetown last season. Palmer saw his first collegiate action last season after sitting out the entire ’96-’97 campaign. He played in 22 games and scored 35 points.
“Both Jimmy and Todd will be key components for us this season,” says MacLeod. “These two gained valuable experience coming off the bench last season and will need to improve even more this season for us. They are both gritty competitors and I think they will be able to live up to that challenge.”
Notre Dame’s sophomores are led by point guard Martin Ingelsby, who started all 27 games last year and was named to the BIG EAST Conference all-rookie team. Ingelsby averaged 6.6 points per game and recorded 150 assists, the seventh-highest single-season total in Irish history.
“Martin was excellent for us last season,” says MacLeod. “He played and started in every game, which is very difficult to do as a freshman. Plus, the point guard spot is probably the toughest position to adjust to in college. Martin knows the parts of the game he has to improve in and I am confident he will do that.”
Ingelsby recorded 12 assists in Notre Dame’s game at Indiana, which was the most number of assists by an opponent player at Assembly Hall in the Bobby Knight era. Ingelsby also showed his scoring abilities as he netted 15 points in a win over Georgetown in the Joyce Center season finale.
Ingelsby’s fellow sophomores are forwards Hans Rasmussen, Leviticus Williamson and Peter Okwalinga. Rasmussen saw action off the bench in all 27 games last year and started four games, while Williamson came off the bench in 24 contests and started one. Okwalinga missed the entire season with injuries.
The talented freshman class consists of 6-6 David Graves of Lexington, Ky., 6-10 Troy Murphy of Morristown, N.J., and 6-8 Harold Swanagan of Hopkinsville, Ky. The trio was rated as the second-best recruiting class in the league by the BIG EAST Briefs publication.
Graves averaged 19.3 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.2 steals per game as a senior for Lexington Catholic High School. Graves shot 58.1 percent from the field and although he is considered a perimeter player, he shot 44 percent from three-point range.
Graves was one of three finalists for “Mr. Basketball” honors in Kentucky and was a first-team all-state selection. His team finished the season with a 33-3 record and was ranked No. 17 in the final USA Today poll.
Murphy enjoyed an excellent career at Delbarton High School and was a first-team all-state selection in New Jersey. He averaged 33 points per game and 14.8 rebounds as a senior. In the spring he was named the national team most valuable player at the prestigious Capital Classic in Washington, D.C., as he scored 18 points and had 21 rebounds.
Swanangan joined Graves on the Kentucky first-team all-state group as he averaged 20 points and 11 rebounds per game for University Heights Academy. He led the state of Kentucky in field-goal percentage at 73.3. Swanagan led University Heights to the Class A state tournament title, which is a private organization for Kentucky’s smaller schools. He was named most valuable player of that event.
“David, Troy and Harold will all be excellent players and people for Notre Dame,” says MacLeod. “They have all played in excellent high school programs and that will be a big advantage when they start college ball. The key for them will be how quickly they can make the transition to the college game.”
Notre Dame heads into its fourth year of competition in the demanding BIG EAST and the Irish have home and away conference games against Boston College, Providence, Seton Hall, Syracuse, Villanova and West Virginia this season. Georgetown, Rutgers and Pittsburgh will also visit the Joyce Center while Notre Dame will travel to Connecticut, Miami and St. John’s.
The Irish will play their first regular season game on Friday, Nov. 13 against Miami of Ohio at the Joyce Center. Other key non-league matchups include: Saturday, Nov. 21 at Vanderbilt and Tuesday, Dec. 1 vs. Indiana at the Joyce Center. Notre Dame will also participate in the prestigious Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage from November 25-28 and will play Duke in the first round.
“We have an interesting year ahead of us,” says MacLeod. “We did lose a great player in Pat Garrity, yet we have some very talented returning players and a great group of freshmen that are ready to compete.”
Irish Quick Facts
School: University of Notre Dame
Location: Notre Dame, IN 46556
Colors: Gold and Blue
Nickname: Fighting Irish
Conference: BIG EAST
Home Arena: Joyce Athletic and Convocation Center (11,418)
President: Rev. Edward A. Malloy, C.S.C.
Provost: Dr. Nathan O. Hatch
Exec. Vice President: Rev. William A. Beauchamp, C.S.C.
Athletic Director: Michael Wadsworth
Head Coach: John MacLeod (Bellarmine ’59)
Record at Notre Dame: 92-108/seven seasons
Overall Collegiate Record: 182-177/13 seasons
1997-98 Record: 13-14 (7-11 BIG EAST)
Assistant Coaches: Fran McCaffery (Pennsylvania ’82), Parker Laketa (Kansas State ’85), Billy Taylor (Notre Dame ’95)
Coordinator of Basketball Operations: Jim Dolan (Notre Dame ’86)
Basketball Office Phone: (219) 631-6225
Sports Information Director/Assistant Athletic Director: John Heisler
Assoc. Sports Information Director: Mike Enright (Basketball Contact)
Home Phone: (219) 287-8624
Assoc. Sports Information Director: Bernie Cafarelli
Assis. Sports Information Director: Pete LaFleur
Sports Information Assistant: Eric Wachter
Publicity Assistant: Peggy Curtin
Sports Information Phone: (219) 631-7516
Sports Information Fax: (219) 631-7941
Monogram Winners Lost (4)
Pat Garrity (graduated), 6-9, 231, F, 23.2 ppg, 8.3 ppg;
Keith Friel (transferred), 6-3, 188, G, 8.9 ppg, 2.0 rpg;
Derek Manner (graduated), 6-6, 206, F, 6.1 ppg, 5.6 rpg;
Nick Wills (graduated), 6-5, 227, F, 0.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg.
Monogram Winners Returning (8)
G Jimmy Dillon, C Phil Hickey, G Martin Ingelsby, F Todd Palmer, F Paul Rainey, F Hans Rasmussen, F Leviticus Williamson, G Antoni Wyche.
1998-99 Notre Dame Men’s Basketball Roster
No. Name Pos. Hgt. Wgt. Cl. Hometown High School-- Dennis Carroll F 6-4 198 Sr. LaGrange, IL Lyons Township21 ** Jimmy Dillon G 6-1 171 Jr. Philadelphia, PA Holy Ghost Prep34 David Graves F 6-6 200 Fr. Lexington, KY Lexington Catholic55 *** Phil Hickey C 6-10 252 Sr. Wellsboro, PA Wellsboro24 * Martin Ingelsby G 5-11 169 So. Philadelphia, PA Archbishop Carroll35 Tom Krizmanich G 6-3 192 So. Warsaw, IN Warsaw10 Matt MacLeod G 6-3 188 Jr. Granger, IN St. Joseph 3 Troy Murphy F 6-10 230 Fr. Morristown, NJ Delbarton25 Peter Okwalinga F 6-8 212 So. Nairobi, Kenya Greensteds School34 Skylard Owens F 6-3 201 Jr. Shreveport, LA Loyola College Prep44 * Todd Palmer F 6-7 223 Jr. Harrington Park, NJ Don Bosco Prep15 * Paul Rainey G 6-1 184 Sr. Hattieville, AR Wonderview33 * Hans Rasmussen F 6-9 217 So. Portland, OR Central Catholic42 Harold Swanagan F 6-8 230 Fr. Hopkinsville, KY University Heights Academy20 * Leviticus Williamson F 6-6 200 So. Spring, TX Spring 4 *** Antoni Wyche G 6-4 193 Sr. Ballston Lake, NY Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons
* - denotes number of monograms won
Head Coach: John MacLeodAssistant Coaches: Fran McCaffery, Parker Laketa, Billy Taylor