Feb. 17, 2013
February 18, 2013 o 7 p.m. (ET)
Petersen Events Center (12,508)
Sean McDonough (play-by-play)
Jay Bilas (analyst)
Bill Raftery (analyst)
Broadcast on UND.com (free)
Sirius 91, XM 91
Jack Nolan (play-by-play)
Jordan Cornette (analyst)
Gametracker on UND.com
#21/21 IRISH CONCLUDE ROAD TRIP MONDAY AT #16/17 PITTSBURGH
o No. 21/21 Notre Dame (20-6, 8-5) will conclude its two-game road trip with an ESPN Big Monday showdown at Pittsburgh (20-6, 8-5). The key BIG EAST battle is scheduled for 7 p.m. (ET) inside the Petersen Events Center.
o The Fighting Irish and Panthers will bring identical overall and BIG EAST records into Monday’s meeting. The two teams currently are tied for fifth place in the league standings.
o Monday’s game can be seen on ESPN and WatchESPN.com. Sean McDonough (play-by-play), Jay Bilas (analyst) and Bill Raftery (analyst) will be on the call.
o Jack Nolan (play-by-play) and Jordan Cornette (analyst) will call the action for the Notre Dame Basketball Radio Network. The broadcast is available on Sirius 91, XM 91 and can also be heard for free on UND.com (full affiliate listings on Pg. 3).
o Monday will be the third game in a six-day stretch for the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame defeated DePaul (82-78 in OT) on Wednesday at fell at Providence (71-54) on Saturday.
PLAYING THE PANTHERS
o Monday will be the 58th meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Pittsburgh. The Irish have won the last four meetings and lead the series 30-27. Notre Dame produced a 72-59 home victory over Pittsburgh last season. That game was the BIG EAST opener for both teams.
o The current four-game win streak over Pittsburgh is the longest for the Irish in the series. The last Panther win over the Irish was a 93-80 decision on Jan. 31, 2009, in Pittsburgh.
o The Fighting Irish are 14-12 against the Panthers since joining the BIG EAST.
o Notre Dame is 11-17 all-time at Pittsburgh. The Irish won on their last visit to the Petersen Events Center, 56-51. Pittsburgh was No. 2 at the time of that contest. That victory also snapped Notre Dame’s five-game losing streak at Pittsburgh.
o Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey is 10-8 all-time against Pittsburgh.
o Not only do Notre Dame and Pittsburgh have the same BIG EAST record this season, both the Fighting Irish and Panthers have gone 78-41 (.655) in league play since the beginning of the 2006-07 campaign. That is the third-best mark in the conference during that time span.
IRISH NOTCH ANOTHER 20-WIN CAMPAIGN
o The Irish have clinched their seventh straight 20-win season. It’s the first time in program history Notre Dame has compiled seven consecutive 20-win campaigns. The Fighting Irish have reached the 20-win plateau 10 times in 13 seasons under head coach Mike Brey.
FIGHTING IRISH FACTS
o Over the last three seasons, Notre Dame is 31-1 (11-0 this season) when shooting 50% or above from the field, 51-2 (14-0 this season) when outrebounding its opponent and 54-5 (17-1 this season) when leading at halftime.
o The Fighting Irish are 3-1 against ranked teams this season. Over the last four seasons, Notre Dame is 20-13 (.606) against teams ranked in the Associated Press top-25 poll, including a 12-2 mark at home.
IRISH KNOW HOW TO FINISH STRONG IN LEAGUE PLAY
o The Fighting Irish have five games remaining on their BIG EAST regular-season schedule. Over the last six seasons, Notre Dame has gone 23-7 (.767) in its final five games of the BIG EAST regular-season slate.
BREY ALONE IN FOURTH PLACE ON BIG EAST WINS LIST
o The five-overtime win over Louisville on Feb. 9 moved Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey past former St. John’s head coach Lou Carnesecca and into sole possession of fourth place on the BIG EAST all-time wins list (both regular-season and tournament). Brey has a 141-94 (.600) BIG EAST record. He is one of 10 coaches in BIG EAST history to record 100 conference wins.
o Brey is in his 13th season along the Irish sidelines. He is the second-longest tenured coach in the BIG EAST, behind only Jim Boeheim of Syracuse.
o Notre Dame was just 36-58 (.383) in five seasons of BIG EAST play prior to Brey’s arrival.
o Senior forward Jack Cooley has posted a double-double in each of the last six games (a career-best streak). It’s the longest such streak for an Irish player since Luke Harangody produced a double-double in 11 consecutive games during the 2008-09 season.
o Cooley is third nationally with 18 double-doubles this season (nine in BIG EAST play). He has 31 career double-doubles, which all have occurred in the last two seasons.
o Cooley has produced a double-double in the first half alone twice this season (Niagara 20 pts, 10 rebs; BYU 12 pts, 10 rebs).
COOLEY A CONSISTENT PERFORMER
o Senior forward Jack Cooley is third nationally in double-doubles (18), fifth in rebounds per game (11.2) and ninth in field-goal percentage (.584).
o In BIG EAST play, he is second in rebounding (11.0) and first in offensive rebounds per game (4.1). He is third in field-goal percentage (.535).
o Cooley has scored in double-figures in 24 of 26 games this season. He has grabbed 10 or more rebounds 19 times this season, including a current stretch of nine straight games (a career best). Cooley has grabbed 15 or more rebounds in a game three times this season.
o Notre Dame’s eight blocked shots on Saturday at Providence were the most for the Irish in a BIG EAST game this season. Senior forwards Jack Cooley and Tom Knight both swatted away three Friar shots.
o In BIG EAST play, Knight is averaging 1.5 blocked shots per game, which ranks seventh in the league.
o Cooley is seventh in the BIG EAST (all games) in blocked shots per game this season (1.3). Cooley’s 112 career blocked shots are the seventh-most in Notre Dame history.
PRODUCTION IN THE PAINT
o Garrick Sherman (Sr./C) and Jack Cooley (Sr./F) rank second and fourth, respectively, in field-goal percentage among all BIG EAST players this season. Sherman is shooting 58.8% from the field, while Cooley has a 58.4% mark.
o Three Notre Dame frontcourt players scored in double-figures at Providence on Saturday. Cooley netted 12 points, while Sherman and Tom Knight both added 11.
o Notre Dame ranks first nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.64).
o The Irish are second nationally and first in the BIG EAST (all games) in assists per game (17.9).
o The Fighting Irish rank 11th nationally in fewest turnovers per game (10.9). Notre Dame has turned the ball over fewer than 10 times in eight games this season (six times in BIG EAST play). The Irish have turned the ball over five times or less in two games this season.
o Notre Dame has had an assist on 66.9% of its made field goals this season.
o The Irish have dished out 20 or more assists in 11 games this season (four times in BIG EAST play).
BIG EAST UPS AND DOWNS
o Notre Dame has averaged 78.9 points-per-game in its eight BIG EAST victories, while the Irish averaged just 53.8 points in their five league losses. The Fighting Irish have shot 47.9% from the field in the victories and 39.6% in the setbacks. From three-point range, Notre Dame has shot 43.9% in the wins and 22.2% in the defeats.
QUITE A CLASS
o Notre Dame’s current senior class needs six victories to become the program’s all-time winningest class. The group needs three BIG EAST wins to have the most league victories in any four-year period since the Irish joined the conference in 1995. Here is a breakdown of Notre Dame’s top classes based on wins:
2007-11: 96-42 overall/46-26 (BIG EAST)
2006-10: 93-43 overall/43-27 (BIG EAST)
2009-13: 91-37 overall/44-22 (BIG EAST)
IRISH HAVE OVERTIME EDGE
o Notre Dame defeated Louisville, 104-101, in five overtimes last Saturday and then topped DePaul, 82-78, in overtime on Wednesday. The Louisville contest was the longest game in Notre Dame history and the longest regular-season BIG EAST affair.
o Three of Notre Dame’s last five games have gone to overtime and the Irish have won all three contests.
o Notre Dame is 9-2 in its last 11 overtime affairs (3-1 this season). The Fighting Irish are 13-9 in overtime under head coach Mike Brey.
o Notre Dame is shooting 48.0% from the floor this season. That figure ranks 13th nationally and it is second among all BIG EAST squads.
o The Fighting Irish are shooting 44.9% from the field in BIG EAST play. That percentage is the third-best mark in the league.
o The Irish are 11-0 this season when they shoot 50% or above from the floor and they are 9-6 when shooting below 50%.
DRAINING FROM DEEP
o The Irish lead the BIG EAST (all games) in three-point shooting percentage (.376). That figure ranks 27th nationally. Notre Dame is shooting 36.5% from beyond the arc in BIG EAST play. That is the second-best percentage in the conference.
o The Irish were 12-for-18 from three-point range in the BIG EAST opener against Seton Hall (Jan. 5). The 66.7% three-point shooting clip is the best ever for Notre Dame in a BIG EAST contest. The 12 treys tied a season-high total for the Irish and it marked the third time this season the Irish made 10 or more three-pointers in a game.
o Notre Dame is averaging 6.5 made three-pointers per game this season (5.9 in BIG EAST play).
GRANT BRINGING HIS GAME IN LEAGUE PLAY
o Junior guard Jerian Grant has scored in double-figures in 11 of 13 BIG EAST games this season. He is averaging 13.8 points per game in league play. Grant has led Notre Dame in scoring in three of the last four games.
o Grant netted 21 points in Wednesday’s win over DePaul. That was his second game this season with 20 or more points (first in BIG EAST play). He has six career games with 20 or more points.
o His 6.2 assist-per-game average in BIG EAST contests ranks third in the conference.
ATKINS ASSISTING THE IRISH EFFORT
o Junior point guard Eric Atkins is third in the BIG EAST in three-point shooting percentage in league games (.444).
o Atkins is 12th nationally and second in the BIG EAST (all games) in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.8).
o Atkins is 22nd nationally and fourth in the BIG EAST (all games) with a 5.9 assist-per-game average this season. He has four double-doubles this season (points & assists). He has dished out 10 or more assists in a game five times this season.
o He is 14th in BIG EAST play with a 1.5 steals-per-game average. He has 105 career steals, which ranks 19th in Notre Dame history.
ATKINS PLAYING MAJOR MINUTES
o Junior point guard Eric Atkins tied a Notre Dame record by playing 60 minutes in the five-overtime victory against Louisville on Feb. 9. Atkins leads the BIG EAST by averaging 40.4 minutes per game in league play. Atkins has played 40 or more minutes in six of the last 10 contests, including Wednesday against DePaul when he was on the court for 42 minutes.
o Junior point guard Eric Atkins is fourth in the BIG EAST (22nd nationally) in assists per game (5.9), while fellow junior guard Jerian Grant is fifth in the league (30th nationally) by averaging 5.8 assists per game. They are the only set of teammates ranked in the top five of the league assists-per-game standings.
o Atkins is second in the BIG EAST (all games) in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.8), while Grant is seventh (2.2).
o In BIG EAST play, Atkins is first minutes played per game (40.4) and Grant is third (38.5).
PLAYING WELL IN PURCELL
o The Fighting Irish are 115-9 in their last 124 games played at home. That .927 home winning percentage over the course of the last seven seasons ranks second nationally. Kansas is first with a .959 mark.
o Notre Dame is 50-3 in its last 53 home games (.943).
MARTIN OUT INDEFINITELY
o Scott Martin (GS/G) is out indefinitely due to ongoing issues with his left knee. He has started all 18 games he has played this season. He has missed the last seven contests.
o Martin is averaging 7.9 points and 5.9 rebounds per game this season. He is shooting 46.3% from three-point range this season after shooting 26.1% from distance last season.
o Martin has deposited 31 treys this season after making 30 all of last season. He was 6-for-7 (.857) from three-point range against Seton Hall in the BIG EAST opener. The six made treys were a career-high total and a season-best total for the Irish.
MEN IN BLACK
o The Fighting Irish have worn their black jerseys in each of the last four road games and five times overall this season. Notre Dame is 3-2 this season when donning the black uniforms. The Irish are 13-14 all-time in black. Notre Dame first wore black jerseys during the 2005-06 season.
o Notre Dame is 4-0 this season when wearing gold jerseys. The Irish have worn their gold jerseys in each of the last three home games.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
o Seven different Irish players have posted a team-high point total this season.
o The Fighting Irish have seven players who are averaging at least 7.5 points per game, including three with a double-figure average.
o Nine different Irish players (Atkins, Auguste, Biedscheid, Connaughton, Cooley, Grant, Knight, Martin, Sherman) have notched a double-digit scoring effort this season.
o Notre Dame has had at least four double-figure scorers in 12 games this season. The Fighting Irish have boasted at least five double-digit performers seven times. The Irish had a season-high six double-digit scorers against Chicago State (Nov. 26) and Louisville (Feb. 9).
BIG EAST BEASTS
o Notre Dame is 39-14 (.736) over its last 53 BIG EAST regular-season contests.
o The Irish have gone 78-41 (.655) in BIG EAST regular-season play over the past seven seasons. That is tied with Pittsburgh for the third-best mark in the league over that time span.
o Notre Dame has gone 52-8 (.867) at home in BIG EAST play over the last seven seasons. That is the best home winning percentage for any BIG EAST school in league play over that time period. The Irish are 24-3 in their last 27 BIG EAST home contests.
COOLEY ON WOODEN AWARD MIDSEASON TOP 25 LIST
o Senior forward Jack Cooley has been named to the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 list by the Los Angeles Athletic Club. The list is comprised of 25 student-athletes who are the front-runners for college basketball’s most prestigious honor.
AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT
o Junior point guard Eric Atkins had 130 assists and a 1.83 assist-to-turnover ratio last season. He currently has 154 assists and a 2.75 assist-to-turnover ratio this season.
o Atkins shot 39.4% from the field last season and is currently shooting at a 45.4% clip. He has improved his three-point shooting from 37.5% last season to a current mark of 42.2%.
o Sophomore guard/forward Pat Connaughton had 30 assists during his freshman campaign and already has dished out 65 assists this season. He had a 1.25 assist-to-turnover ratio last season, but has improved that to 2.83 this season.
o Junior guard Jerian Grant has improved his shooting percentage from 38.0% last season to 43.7% this season.
FEW FOULS FOR THE FIGHTING IRISH
o Notre Dame ranks fifth nationally in fewest personal fouls per game (13.7).
108 SEASONS AND GOING STRONG
o The 2012-13 campaign marks the 108th season of basketball at Notre Dame and the 18th season as a member of the BIG EAST Conference. Notre Dame teams have posted an all-time record of 1743-945 for a .648 winning percentage. In 17 seasons as a member of the BIG EAST, the Irish own a 168-135 (.554) record in conference regular-season play.
FIGHTING IRISH CAPTAINS
o Scott Martin (GS/G), Jack Cooley (Sr./F) and Eric Atkins (Jr./G) will captain the Fighting Irish during the 2012-13 season. Martin and Atkins are the 20th and 21st players in program history to serve as two-time team captains.
o Notre Dame has earned appearances in the postseason in each of the last 13 seasons, which marks the longest stretch in school history. The Irish have been to the NCAA Tournament on eight 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 eight times and NIT four times.
o Sophomore guard/forward Pat Connaughton also is a pitcher on the Fighting Irish baseball team. Last spring, he appeared in 12 games, including 10 starts, and posted a 4-4 record with a 3.18 earned-run average. He logged 45.1 innings on the mound and registered 40 strikeouts.
o Connaughton was selected by the San Diego Padres in the 50th round of the 2011 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft.
IRISH HELP HURRICANE SANDY VICTIMS
o During the first timeout of the Rutgers game on Jan. 19 inside Purcell Pavilion, a check was presented to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in the amount of $10,033 to help with relief efforts for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. A special online auction was held from Jan. 7-18 on Notre Dame’s official athletic web site UND.com and fans had the opportunity to bid on several unique items with the proceeds going to help with the relief efforts. Governor Christie is a longtime friend of Irish head coach Mike Brey.
JACKSON NAMED MCDONALD’S ALL-AMERICAN
o Demetrius Jackson, who signed a national letter of intent in November and will join the Fighting Irish next season, has been named to the 2013 McDonald’s High School All-America Team. The 2013 McDonald’s All-American Game will take place April 3 at the United Center in Chicago.
o Jackson (Mishawaka, Ind./Marian) is the 15th McDonald’s All-American to play at Notre Dame and the fifth under head coach Mike Brey. Jackson is Notre Dame’s first McDonald’s All-American since Luke Zeller in 2005.
o Jackson is part of a talented four-man class that will join the Fighting Irish for the 2013-14 campaign. Joining him will be V.J. Beachem (Fort Wayne, Ind./New Haven), Austin Torres (Mishawaka, Ind./Penn) and Steve Vasturia (Medford, N.J./St. Joseph’s Prep).
IRISH RANK NUMBER ONE IN 2012 GSR
o University of Notre Dame athletic programs again rank as the best in the country in graduation rates, based on Graduation Success Rate (GSR) figures released by the NCAA–including first-place ratings in the sports of football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball and ice hockey.
o Among the 120 Football Bowl Subdivision institutions, Notre Dame had the highest percentage of its sports with 100 percent scores (for the seventh time in eight years), with a .863 figure (19 of 22).
o In men’s basketball, Notre Dame achieved a perfect 100 GSR rating, with only Duke, Illinois, Kansas, Utah State, Wake Forest, West Virginia and Western Kentucky also reaching the top slot.
o The four-year GSR data is based upon the entering classes from 2002 to 2005.