Dec. 7, 2012
#22/25 NOTRE DAME (7-1)
December 8, 2012 – 7 p.m. (ET)
Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center (9,149)
Notre Dame, Ind.
Mike Couzens (play-by-play)
Sean Kearney (analyst)
Broadcast on UND.com (free)
Jack Nolan (play-by-play)
LaPhonso Ellis (analyst)
#22/25 IRISH BACK IN ACTION WITH HOME DATE AGAINST BROWN
- #22/25 Notre Dame (7-1) returns to action Saturday following an eight-day layoff with a home date against Brown (3-4). Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. (ET) inside Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center.
- The Fighting Irish are coming off a 64-50 win over then #8 Kentucky on Nov. 29.
- Notre Dame and Brown have met on two other occasions with the Irish winning both contests. The last meeting was an 87-54 Irish victory on Dec. 29, 2007. The first showdown occurred on Jan. 30, 1979, and the Fighting Irish prevailed 80-53. Both games took place at Notre Dame.
- Saturday’s game can be seen on ESPN3. Mike Couzens (play-by-play) and Sean Kearney (analyst) will be on the call.
- Jack Nolan (play-by-play) and LaPhonso Ellis (analyst) will call the action on radio (affiliate listings on Pg. 2). The broadcast is available on Sirius/XM 85 and can also be heard for free on UND.com.
- Following Saturday’s game, Notre Dame returns to the floor Dec. 15 against Purdue at the Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
NOVEMBERS (AND DECEMBERS) TO REMEMBER
- Last Thursday’s win over Kentucky improved Notre Dame to 46-0 at home in the month of November under head coach Mike Brey. The Irish have also been impressive at home in December under Brey, posting a 50-7 (.877) record, which includes a current 11-game win streak.
PLAYING WELL IN PURCELL
- The Fighting Irish are 106-7 in their last 113 games played at home. That .938 home winning percentage over the course of the last seven seasons ranks second nationally. Kansas is first with a .965 mark.
- The Irish are 41-1 (.976) in their last 42 home games. Notre Dame has a current 12-game home win streak.
- Notre Dame has won 24 straight non-conference home games and the Irish are 65-1 in their last 66 non-league home contests. Notre Dame’s last non-conference home loss was an 87-85 setback to Loyola Marymount on Dec. 12, 2009.
IRISH AGAINST THE IVY
- Notre Dame is 43-4, including 24-0 at home, all-time against teams from the Ivy League. The Irish have won 20 straight games against Ivy League opponents. Notre Dame’s last loss to an Ivy League foe was a 76-62 setback at Princeton on Jan. 3, 1977.
- Brown is the first Ivy League opponent for the Irish since a 65-47 win over Dartmouth on Dec. 10, 2011.
- The Fighting Irish are allowing just 58.5 points per game this season. That is the best mark for the Irish through the first eight contests of a season since 2004-05 when they allowed 57.1 points per game.
- Notre Dame opponents are shooting just 37.6% (175-465) from the floor this season. That includes a 31.0% (39-126) mark from three-point range.
- Notre Dame ranks 17th nationally in shooting percentage with a .489 (217-444) mark.
- Senior forward Jack Cooley is 24th nationally with a .603 (41-68) shooting percentage. Senior center Garrick Sherman is shooting .615 (32-52) from the field although he doesn’t have enough attempts to qualify for the NCAA rankings.
DOUBLE-DOUBLE DOMINANCE FROM COOLEY
- Senior forward Jack Cooley is tied for second nationally with six double-doubles this season. He has posted three straight double-doubles and has 19 over the last two seasons.
- Cooley is averaging team-best totals in points (14.1) and rebounds (11.3). The rebound mark ranks ninth nationally.
ATKINS ASSISTING THE IRISH EFFORT
- Junior point guard Eric Atkins ranks 12th nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (4.25) and is tied for 17th nationally in assists per game (6.4). Atkins has 21 assists and one turnover in the last three games.
- Atkins has two double-doubles this season. He registered 13 points and a career-high 11 assists versus Chicago State (Nov. 26). He also had n
- turnovers in the contest. His first career double-double was a 12-point, 10-assist effort against Saint Joseph’s on Nov. 16.
- As a team, Notre Dame is fifth nationally in assists per game (18.3) and sixth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.55).
GRANT IN A GROOVE
- Junior guard Jerian Grant has a team-best six-game double-figure scoring streak. That is the longest such streak for any Irish player this season. He tallied 13 points and six assists in the victory over Kentucky.
- He produced 22 points and a career-high 10 assists against Chicago State on Nov. 26. The point total matched a career-high output. It was the second double-double of his career.
- He also ranks second on the team with 39 assists (4.9 apg).
MARTIN NEARING 1,000 CAREER POINTS
- Scott Martin enters Saturday’s game with 962 career points (9.2 ppg). Martin has tallied 690 points in his three-plus seasons at Notre Dame. He scored 272 points during his freshman season at Purdue.
BIEDSCHEID A LIFT OFF THE BENCH
- Freshman forward Cameron Biedscheid is 9-14 (.643) from three-point range in the last three games.
- Biedscheid tallied 10 points and three rebounds in 17 minutes of action in the victory over Kentucky. That was his second double-figure scoring effort of the season.
TAMING THE CATS
- Kentucky’s 50 points in Notre Dame’s 64-50 triumph were the fewest allowed by the Irish against a top-10 team since a 52-47 home win over No. 5 Maryland on Jan. 28, 1984. They were the fewest points for the Wildcats since a 73-46 loss at Kansas on Jan. 7, 2006.
- Kentucky entered the contest averaging 85.2 points per game and shooting 55.8% from the field. The Wildcats managed just 50 points and shot 40.4% (19-47) from the floor
BREY VS. TOP 10
- The 64-50 win over #8 Kentucky improved Notre Dame to 17-23 (.425) against teams ranked in the top 10 of the Associated Press poll under head coach Mike Brey. That includes a 12-6 mark at home.
- Notre Dame has won four straight against top-10 opponents are 5-1 in the last six games against top-10 teams.
- The Irish are 5-4 versus non-conference top-10 opponents under Brey.
- Under Brey, unranked Notre Dame squads are 10-16 against top-10 teams.
BREY HAS HAD A FINE 400 GAMES WITH THE FIGHTING IRISH
- The Kentucky game was head coach Mike Brey’s 400th game at Notre Dame. Brey boasts a 267-133 (.668) record during his 13 seasons with the Fighting Irish.
CHALLENGING THE CHAMPS
- The win over Kentucky improved the Irish to 12-27 all-time against defending national champions. The Irish are 7-4 in their last 11 matchups against the previous season’s champion.
- The Irish are 2-5 against Kentucky when the Wildcats are the defending national champion.
DOUBLE-DOUBLE TIMES THREE
- Notre Dame had three players record double-doubles in the win over Chicago State on Nov. 26 (Jerian Grant 22 points, 10 assists; Eric Atkins 13 points, 11 assists; Jack Cooley 11 points, 11 rebounds). It’s the first time the Irish had three double-double performers since Nov. 17, 2010. That game also was against Chicago State.
- Atkins and Grant joined elite company with their efforts. In the last 15 years, only one other pair of teammates had points and assists double-doubles in the same game. That was Connecticut’s Jerome Dyson and Kemba Walker in 2010 against Notre Dame.
IRISH CASH IN AGAINST THE COUGARS
- Notre Dame scored a season-high 92 points in the win over Chicago State on Nov. 26. Those were the most points for the Irish since a 106-65 victory over Sacred Heart on Dec. 19, 2011.
- The 27-point margin of victory matched a season-best total that the Irish also achieved against Monmouth (84-57).
- Notre Dame made a season-high 12 three-pointers (on 22 attempts). The Irish made 10 treys in the first half alone (on 16 attempts).
- The Fighting Irish had a season-high 26 assists (on 36 field goals).
- The Irish shot a season-best 61.0% (36-59) from the field.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
- The Irish had six double-digit scorers in the victory against Chicago State on Nov. 26 (Jerian Grant 22, Eric Atkins 13, Garrick Sherman 12, Jack Cooley 11, Scott Martin 11, Pat Connaughton 10). It is the first time that happened for the Irish since Feb. 12, 2011 (vs. USF).
SHERMAN IS SHINING
- Senior center Garrick Sherman has scored in double-figures in three of the last four games. He is leading the team with a .615 (32-52) shooting percentage this season (minimum 20 attempts).
- During his two seasons at Michigan State, Sherman had one double-digit scoring effort and he already has notched four this season. He tallied a career-high 22 points against Monmouth (Nov. 12) and registered a game-high 18 points against George Washington (Nov. 21).
- He also hauled down a career-best nine rebounds versus Monmouth.
A VETERAN PRESENCE
- The quintet of Eric Atkins (Jr./G), Pat Connaughton (So./G-F), Jack Cooley (Sr./F), Jerian Grant (Jr./G) and Scott Martin (GS/G) has started 22 of the last 23 games for the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame has gone 17-5 in those contests, including a 6-1 mark this season.
- The Irish returned 2,003 of their 2,257 total points (88.7%) and 1,068 of their 1,144 rebounds (93.4%) from one season ago. The team also brought back 88.7% of its minutes played from last season.
BREY SIGNS HERALDED QUARTET IN NOVEMBER EARLY SIGNING PERIOD
- Irish head coach Mike Brey signed four players – V.J. Beachem (Fort Wayne, Ind./New Haven), Demetrius Jackson (Mishawaka, Ind./Marian), Austin Torres (Mishawaka, Ind./Penn) and Steve Vasturia (Medford, N.J./St. Joseph’s Prep) – to national letters of intent during the November 2012 early signing period.
- Beachem (6-6, 180-pound small forward) averaged 19.6 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 2011-12. An all-state selection he played on the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association (IBCA) Junior All-Star Team.
- Jackson averaged 22.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.0 steals as a junior while leading Marian to the Class 3A sectional title. An honorable mention All-American by MaxPreps.com, he is an all-state honoree and two-time Northern Indiana Conference Player of the Year.
- Torres (6-6, 200-pound power forward) was an all-Northern Indiana Conference honorable mention selection after averaging 10.0 points and 7.2 rebounds. He plays on the same MBA Select AAU Team as Jackson.
- Vasturia (6-5, 190-pound shooting guard) was named MVP of the Philadelphia Catholic League after leading his team to the Philadelphia 4A state championship while averaging 21.0 points and 9.3 rebounds.
COOLEY ON WOODEN AWARD PRESEASON TOP 50 LIST
- Senior forward Jack Cooley has been named to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 by the Los Angeles Athletic Club. Chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketball media members, the list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who, based on last year’s individual performance and team records, are the early front-runners for college basketball’s most prestigious honor.
108 SEASONS AND GOING STRONG
- 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 1730-940 for a .648 winning percentage. In 17 seasons as a member of the BIG EAST, the Irish own a 160-130 (.552) record in conference regular-season play.
FIGHTING IRISH PICKED THIRD IN BIG EAST PREASEASON COACHES’ POLL
- Notre Dame was picked to finish third in the BIG EAST’s Preseason Coaches’ Poll. The Irish received one first-place vote. Defending BIG EAST tournament champion and 2012 NCAA Final Four participant, Louisville, was the choice to win this year’s regular-season crown as the Cardinals garnered 14 votes (coaches are not permitted to vote for their own team). Louisville finished the ’11-’12 campaign with a final 31-6 record. Syracuse was tabbed for second place as the Orange are coming off a program-best 34-3 season.
COOLEY AND GRANT GARNER PRESEASON BIG EAST ACCOLADES
- Senior forward Jack Cooley earned a spot on the preseason all-BIG EAST first team. Cooley was a second team all-conference selection as a junior after averaging 14.6 points and 10.2 rebounds in league play.
- Junior guard Jerian Grant was named to the league’s preseason honorable mention team. Grant averaged 12.3 points and 5.3 assists per game in BIG EAST play last season en route to being named to the conference’s all-rookie team.
- 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.
- Every Fighting Irish game during the 2012-13 season can be seen either on television or the internet. Notre Dame will have 21 of its games covered on the ESPN family of networks. The Irish also will have two games each on CBS and TruTV.
IRISH RETURN to CROSSROADS CLASSIC
- Notre Dame will battle Big Ten rival Purdue in the second annual Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind. The game between the Irish and the Boilermakers is part of a doubleheader on Saturday, Dec. 15. Indiana and Butler meet in the first game at 2 p.m. (ET) followed by Notre Dame and Purdue at 4:30 p.m. (ET).
IRISH AIM FOR SEVENTH STRAIGHT 20-WIN CAMPAIGN
- Notre Dame has reached the 20-win mark in each of the last six seasons and nine times in the last 12 seasons under head coach Mike Brey. The last time Irish teams reached the 20-win plateau in six straight campaigns was from 1983-89 under head coach Digger Phelps.
- Mike 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. Brey stands fifth all-time in career BIG EAST victories (both regular-season and tournament) with his 133-89 (.599) mark. He is one of nine coaches in BIG EAST history to record 100 conference wins.
- 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.
- 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.
- Connaughton was selected by the San Dieg
- Padres in the 50th round of the 2011 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft.
BIG EAST BEASTS
- Notre Dame is 31-9 (.775) over its last 40 BIG EAST regular-season contests, including a 24-6 (.800) mark in the last 30 league games.
- The Irish have gone 70-36 (.660) in BIG EAST regular-season play over the past six seasons. That is tied with Pittsburgh for the third-best mark in the league over that time span.
- Notre Dame has gone 47-6 (.887) at home in BIG EAST play over the last six seasons. That is the best home winning percentage for any BIG EAST school in league play over that time period.
NOTRE DAME LISTED AS POTENTIAL HOST FOR ESPN COLLEGE GAMEDAY
- The ESPN College Basketball GameDay cameras could be returning to Notre Dame during the 2012-13 campaign. ESPN released its College GameDay schedule and Notre Dame’s matchup with defending BIG EAST tournament champion and 2012 NCAA Final Four participant Louisville on February 9, 2013, at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center is listed as one of two potential sites for the game. The other game that day which could be part of the Saturday Primetime broadcast is Pittsburgh at Cincinnati.
- The site of the Feb. 9 contest will be chosen closer to the date of the game. The GameDay matchup will be played at 9 p.m. (ET) on ESPN and the game not chosen will be televised by either ESPN or ESPN2 at 6 p.m. that evening.
- Notre Dame has hosted the Saturday morning show and primetime basketball contest on one other time — Jan. 24, 2009, when the Irish played Connecticut.
IRISH RANK NUMBER ONE IN 2012 GSR
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- The four-year GSR data is based upon the entering classes from 2002 to 2005.