March 4, 2011
#8/7 Notre Dame (24-5, 13-4) vs. #16/16 Connecticut (21-8, 9-8)
Saturday, March 5 Âº 2:00 p.m. (EST)
Gampel Pavilion (10,167) Âº Storrs, Conn.
John Saunders (play-by-play)
Fran Fraschilla (analyst)
Radio: Affiliate listings on page 11; Broadcast also on UND.com
Jack Nolan (play-by-play)
Jordan Cornette (analyst)
IRISH HEAD TO CONNECTICUT FOR REGULAR-SEASON FINALE
- Notre Dame (24-5, 13-4) will conclude its regular-season slate on Saturday at Connecticut (21-8, 9-8). Tip-off is slated for 2:00 p.m. (ET) inside Gampel Pavilion.
- The Irish have won 10 of their last 11 games and they currently are in second place in the BIG EAST.
- This will be the 25th meeting all-time between the Fighting Irish and Huskies. Connecticut leads the series 16-8, yet the Irish have won the last twomatchups. Notre Dame captured a 73-70 home victory over the Huskies on Jan. 4. This is the fourth straight season that both teams will meet twice during the regular season. The Irish and Huskies split last year’s twoencounters. Every meeting in the series has occurred since Notre Dame joined the BIG EAST in 1995.
- The Fighting Irish are 1-10 all-time at Connecticut, including an 0-3 mark inside Gampel Pavilion. The last meeting at Gampel Pavilion took place during the 2008-09 campaign and the Huskies won that showdown, 72-65.
- Notre Dame’s lone win at Connecticut was a 75-70 decision on Jan. 5, 2000. That contest was played inside the Hartford Civic Center.
- Mike Brey is 5-11 against Connecticut during his Notre Dame tenure.
- The Fighting Irish are 6-2 against ranked teams this season.
A SUPER SEASON
- A win today for the Irish would match the most victories by a Notre Dame team under head coach Mike Brey. The 2007-08 squad finished 25-8 (24-6 during the regular season) to register the most wins in his 11-year tenure (see box on page 6 for additional information).
- A win today also would be the most regular-season wins in the modern era. The most regular-season victories in program history is 33, but that occurred in 1908-09 as that Irish team finished with a 33-7 record.
- This season’s 13 BIG EAST victories are the second-most in program history behind the 14 league wins (14-4) during the 2007-08 season.
WHAT A RUN
- Notre Dame has posted a 93-40 (.699) record over the past four seasons. The 93 wins ties the program record for most victories in a four-year span. It matches the win total from 2006-10 (93-43). The past four seasons also has produced the most regular-season BIG EAST victories (45-26) in school history.
IRISH SENSATIONAL ON SENIOR NIGHT
- Monday’s 93-72 win over Villanova provided several noteworthy accomplishments for the Fighting Irish …
- Notre Dame made a school-record 20 three-pointers (20-32). The previous high was 19 against South Dakota on Dec. 2, 2008. The 20 treys also matched a BIG EAST record. West Virginia made 20 against Marquette on Jan. 14, 2006.
- Tim Abromaitis tied the Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center record with nine made three-pointers (9-13). Kyle McAlarney netted nine three-pointers on Feb. 24, 2008 against Syracuse and then again on Nov. 30, 2008 against Furman. Ryan Ayers also hit nine three-pointers on Dec. 2, 2008 versus South Dakota.
- Tim Abromaitis and Ben Hansbrough both netted 30 points against Villanova. They became the first Irish players to score 30 or more points in the same contest since Chris Quinn (34) and Colin Falls (32) did so against Seton Hall on Feb. 18, 2006.
- Hansbrough and Tyrone Nash both registered double-doubles in their final games inside Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center. Hansbrough dished out a career-high tying 10 assists to go along with 30 points to produce his third career double-double (first of the season). Nash recorded his fourth double-double of the season – and fifth of his career – with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
- Hansbrough became the first Irish player to score 30-plus points and dish off 10-plus assists in a game since Chris Thomas in 2001-02 (his freshman season) when he did it against Rutgers (32 pts., 11 asts.) and Miami (32 pts., 12 asts.).
- Hansbrough made a career-high seven three-pointers (on 10 attempts) and registered a career-best five steals.
PURCELL PROVES KIND to IRISH
- Notre Dame is the only BIG EAST team that has not lost at home in 2010-11.
- The Fighting Irish concluded their 2010-11 home slate with a perfect 17-0 mark. It’s the third undefeated season at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center in the last five years and the fifth overall for Notre Dame since the building opened at the start of the 1968-69 campaign. The other perfect home seasons occurred in: 1973-74 (15-0), 1985-86 (15-0), 2006-07 (18-0) and 2007-08 (17-0).
- The Irish have won 19 straight games overall at home.
- Over the last five seasons, Notre Dame is 84-6 (.933) overall at Purcell Pavilion and 40-5 (.889) in BIG EAST play.
- Ben Hansbrough and Tim Abromaitis have accounted for 66.0% of Notre Dame’s points during the past three games.
- Hansbrough and Abromaitis both scored 30 points in Monday’s 93-72 triumph of Villanova. They accounted for 16 of Notre Dame’s school-record 20 made three-pointers (Abromaitis 9, Hansbrough 7).
- In the 60-48 win over Seton Hall on Feb. 26, Abromaitis netted 22 points, while Hansbrough had 21. Hansbrough (32) and Abromaitis (28) combined for 60 of Notre Dame’s 94 points in the win at Providence on Feb. 23.
- Including the past three contests, Abromaitis and Hansbrough have both scored 20-plus points in the same game five times this season. The other times were against Chicago State (Nov. 17) and Louisville (Feb. 9).
- Hansbrough has reached double-figures in points a team-high 27 times this season (out of 29 games), while Abromaitis has netted double-digits 24 times.
- Hansbrough has led the Irish in scoring a team-best 17 times this season, while Abromaitis has done so on nine occasions.
- Hansbrough has scored 20-plus points a team-best 13 times this season, while Abromaitis has done so on 11 occasions.
- Notre Dame has scored 90-plus points in two of its last three games and six times overall this season (twice in BIG EAST play). Notre Dame’s 94 points in a 94-93 win at Providence (Feb. 23) was the highest point-total in a BIG EAST contest for the Irish since a 103-84 win at Providence during the 2008-09 campaign.
- The Irish rank third in the BIG EAST with a 75.7 ppg. average.
- Notre Dame’s 48 first-half points versus the Friars also were the most points scored by the Irish in any half of a BIG EAST game this season.
- Notre Dame shot 56.1% (32-57) from the floor against Providence. That is Notre Dame’s highest shooting percentage in a BIG EAST game this season. Notre Dame has shot 50% or above from the floor 10 times this season (six times in BIG EAST play).
- On Monday against Villanova, the Irish were 29-52 (.558) from the floor. Notre Dame shot a blistering 62.5% from three-point range (20-32) versus the Wildcats. That was the highest three-point shooting percentage in a BIG EAST game in school history. The previous mark was 61.9% (13-21) versus Providence during the 2005-06 campaign.
IRISH SECURE FIFTH STRAIGHT 20-WIN CAMPAIGN
- Notre Dame has reached the 20-win mark for the fifth consecutive season and for the eighth time in the last 11 seasons under head coach Mike Brey. The last time Irish teams reached the 20-win plateau in five straight campaigns was from 1983-89 when those Notre Dame squads under Digger Phelps strung together six consecutive 20-win seasons.
HANSBROUGH NAMED to NAISMITH TROPHY MIDSEASON 30
- Ben Hansbrough is among a list of 30 players on the Naismith Trophy midseason list. Four other BIG EAST players also are on the list – Austin Freeman (Georgetown), Rick Jackson (Syracuse), Kemba Walker (Connecticut) and Brad Wanamaker (Pittsburgh).
HANSBROUGH STAYING HOT
- Over the past 10 games, Ben Hansbrough is averaging 23.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists. He is shooting 54.6% (77-141) from the floor during those 10 contests. The Irish are 9-1 in that stretch.
- He has scored 30 or more points in two of the past three games. Hansbrough netted a career-high 32 points on Feb. 23 at Providence. He deposited 30 on Monday against Villanova. He has scored 20-plus points seven times over the past 10 games.
- Hansbrough made a career-high seven three-pointers (on 10 attempts) against Villanova (Feb. 28). He also matched a career-high total with 10 assists versus the Wildcats to notch his first double-double of the season (third of his career).
- He currently has a career-high 12-game double-figure scoring streak. That’s the longest double-digit scoring streak for the Irish this season.
HANSBROUGH HELPS IN MANY WAYS
- For the season, Ben Hansbrough is averaging a career-best – and team-high – 18.4 points per game. Hansbrough has a team-best 121 assists (4.2 apg) and a team-high 39 steals (1.3 spg). He also is averaging a team-high 35.2 minutes played per game.
- His 20.6 ppg. average in BIG EAST games ranks third in the league. His 37.2 minutes played per game in BIG EAST contests also ranks third in the conference.
- Hansbrough has led the Irish in scoring in 10 of the past 12 games and a team-best 17 times this season.
- He has made at least five three-pointers in a game six times this season.
- Hansbrough has notched at least five assists in a game 11 times this season.
- He is shooting 81.8% (130-159) from the free throw line overall this season and boasts an 84.9% (90-106) average in BIG EAST play, which ranks seventh.
HANSBROUGH NEARING 1,000-POINT MARK AT NOTRE DAME
- Ben Hansbrough, who scored his 1,000th career point in the season opener against Georgia Southern, is approaching the 1,000-point mark at Notre Dame and would become the 52nd 1,000-point scorer in program history.
- In 64 career outings, he has scored 954 points for a 14.9 scoring average in an Irish uniform.
ABROMAITIS NETS 1,000TH POINT
- Tim Abromaitis netted his 1,000th career point on Feb. 26 versus Seton Hall. He is the 51st player in Notre Dame history to reach that milestone.
- Abromaitis has a 13.6 scoring average in 76 career outings. After scoring just 20 points during his freshman season in 2007-08 and sitting out the 2008-09 campaign, Abromaitis has scored 1,010 points over the course of the last 64 games for a 15.8 scoring average.
A IS FOR ABROMAITIS
- Tim Abromaitis has scored over 20 points in each of the past three games, including a season-high 30-point effort against Villanova on Monday. That was his third-career 30-plus point game. He tied the Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center record with a career-high nine made three-pointers versus Villanova.
- Abromaitis has scored in double figures in 24 of 29 games this season. He has reached double-figures in seven of the past eight games. Abromaitis has netted 20-plus points in a game 11 times this season (five times in BIG EAST play).
- Abromaitis’ point (15.4) and rebound (6.2) averages rank second on the team.
- He has scored in double-figures in 30 out of 35 BIG EAST regular-season games over the past two seasons.
- Abromaitis has two double-doubles this season (Chicago State & UMBC).
SCOTT PROVIDES A SPARK
- Notre Dame is 22-3 this season when Carleton Scott has played and the Irish are 10-1 since he’s returned from a hamstring injury.
- Scott had to leave the Syracuse contest (Jan. 1), a 70-58 loss, in the second half after suffering a hamstring injury. Notre Dame went 2-2 in the next four contests without his services. Scott returned to game action on Jan. 19 versus Cincinnati, a 66-58 Irish win.
- Scott returned to the starting lineup on Jan. 22 versus Marquette (an 80-75 win) and notched a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Scott then posted 16 points and nine rebounds in a 56-51 win at Pittsburgh.
CONSISTENCY FROM CARLETON
- Despite missing four games earlier this season 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 17 times this season (out of 25 games played).
- Scott has a team-high seven double-doubles this season and he has hauled down 10 or more rebounds in a game nine times this season.
- Scott is 23-25 (.920) from the free throw line in BIG EAST play. Overall this season, he is shooting 89.1% (49-55) from the charity stripe.
- Scott’s five made three-pointers at Pittsburgh (Jan. 24) were a career-high total. He dished out a career-high six assists versus UMBC (Dec. 22).
- He netted a career-high 23 points versus Gonzaga on Dec. 11.
- His perfect 8-8 performance from the field against Stony Brook (Dec. 19) ranks in a tie for third all-time in program history for most made field goals in a game without a miss. He was 4-4 from three-point range versus the Seawolves.
- Senior forward Carleton Scott has a team-best – and career-high – 46 blocked shots this season (1.8 per game).
- Scott has blocked at least two shots in each of the past eight games and 17 times overall this season. He has swatted three or more shots in a game seven times this season. Scott tied a career-high total with a season-high four blocked shots against Indiana State (Nov. 30).
IRISH AMONG NATION’S BEST IN PROTECTING THE BASKETBALL
- Notre Dame boasts a 1.53 assist-to-turnover ratio. The Fighting Irish rank sixth nationally – and first in the BIG EAST – in that category. The Irish have registered 486 assists on their 720 made field goals this season (.675). The Fighting Irish average just 10.9 turnovers per game, which is the 16th-best mark in the country.
- Notre Dame has notched at least 20 assists in a game nine times this season (three times in BIG EAST play). The Irish had a season-high 29 assists (on 34 made field goals) versus Chicago State (Nov. 17). Notre Dame is 15th nationally in assists per game (16.8).
- Senior guard Ben Hansbrough leads the Irish with 121 assists (4.2 apg). Freshman point guard Eric Atkins is second with 99 (3.4 apg). Atkins has a team-best 2.83 assist-to-turnover ratio, which ranks 11th nationally and first in the BIG EAST.
- Notre Dame matched a season-low total by committing just seven turnovers versus Louisville (Feb. 9). The Irish have had fewer than 10 turnovers in a game nine times this season (five times in BIG EAST play).
ROOKIE HANDLING THE ROCK
- Freshman point guard Eric Atkins boasts a team-best 2.83 assist-to-turnover ratio. He ranks 11th nationally and first in the BIG EAST in that category. He is second on the team with 99 assists (3.4 apg).
- Atkins has a 2.71 assist-to-turnover ratio in BIG EAST games, which also ranks first among all of the league’s players.
- Over the past 10 games, Atkins has compiled 30 assists and just eight turnovers in 204 minutes of play (a 3.8 assist-to-turnover ratio).
- The rookie has dished out five-plus assists in a game nine times this season, including a career-high tying seven assists versus USF on Feb. 12.
- Atkins has led the Irish in assists nine times this season.
- He scored a career-high – and team-best – 15 points versus Marquette on Jan. 10.
MARTIN MAKING AN IMPACT
- Scott Martin has reached double-figures in points 12 times in BIG EAST play (out of 17 games). He has registered double-figures 16 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.
- Martin 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.
ANOTHER BIG SEASON IN LEAGUE PLAY
- Notre Dame has registered 11 BIG EAST wins for the fourth time (out of 11 seasons) under head coach Mike Brey and for the first time since the Irish notched a school-record 14 league wins in 2007-08 (14-4).
- A win on Saturday would give Notre Dame 12 BIG EAST wins for just the second time ever.
PERFORMING IN THE POST
- Notre Dame is 14-1 this season when senior forward Tyrone Nash scores at least 10 points.
- Nash has led the Irish in assists eight times this season. He has registered five or more assists in a game six times this season, including a career-high seven versus Chicago State (Nov. 17) and Providence (Feb. 23).
- Nash’s career-high 80 assists (2.8 apg) rank third among all Notre Dame players this season. He also is third in rebound average with a career-high 6.1 mark and boasts a team-high 74 offensive rebounds.
- Nash has produced four double-doubles this season.
- Sophomore forward Jack Cooley scored a career-high 18 points and hauled down a career-high tying eight rebounds on Feb. 12 at USF. Cooley made his first nine shots of the contest before missing his final attempt from the field.
- Overall, Cooley had made 15 straight field goal attempts before the miss against the Bulls. Cooley made his final field goal attempt versus Rutgers (Feb. 6) and made all five of his tries against Louisville (Feb. 9).
- Cooley gave the Irish a huge lift off the bench in the win over Louisville. He scored all 10 of his points in the first half.
- The Louisville and USF contests marked the first time Cooley ever has scored in double-figures in consecutive games. Cooley has four double-digit scoring efforts this season.
- Cooley is an efficient 48-73 (.658) from the field this season. He is 24-37 (.649) from the floor in BIG EAST play.
DRAINING FROM DEEP
- The Fighting Irish are 232-594 (.391) from three-point range this season. That mark ranks first among all BIG EAST teams. Notre Dame has hit 10 or more three pointers in a game six times this season (all wins), including a school-record 20 treys against Villanova on Monday. The Irish are averaging 8.0 made three-pointers per game.
- The Irish are 205-492 (.417) from three-point range in their 24 wins and they are 27-102 (.265) in the five losses.
- Ben Hansbrough is shooting at a team-best 43.7% clip (73-167) from beyond the arc this season. That percentage ranks fourth in the BIG EAST.
- Tim Abromaitis leads the BIG EAST with a 49.4% (42-61) mark from three-point range in league play.
- Abromaitis tied a Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center record with a career-high nine made three-pointers (on 13 attempts) against Villanova. Hansbrough deposited a career-high seven treys (on 10 attempts) versus Villanova.
403 AND COUNTING
- Heading into the Connecticut contest, Notre Dame has made at least one three-pointer in 403 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 73-9 when Irish teams have 20 or more assists and are 72-28 when making 10 or more three-pointers..
HOME COURT ADVANTAGE
- Notre Dame averaged 82.1 points per game in its 17 home games this season, while the Irish are averaging 67.2 points in their eight true road games (all BIG EAST contests). Notre Dame averaged 75.8 points per game in its nine BIG EAST home games.
- The Irish eclipsed the 80-point mark at home 10 times this season (three times in BIG EAST play).
ROLLING TO VICTORY ON THE ROAD
- Notre Dame’s 25-point victory (83-58) at DePaul on Feb. 3 was Notre Dame’s second-largest road victory ever in BIG EAST play. The Irish won by 26 points (95-69) at Seton Hall during the 2007-08 season.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
- In the 78-55 win at USF (Feb. 12), the Irish had six players reach double-figures in points for the first time ever in a BIG EAST game. Jack Cooley (18), Carleton Scott (13), Tim Abromaitis (12), Ben Hansbrough (12), Scott Martin (10) and Tyrone Nash (10) all netted double-digits. It’s the second time this season Notre Dame has had six double-figure scorers. Those same six players all did so versus Maine (Nov. 22).
- The Irish have had at least four players reach double-figures in points six of the past seven games. Notre Dame has had at least four double-figure scorers in 12 games this season.
- Notre Dame has had at least five players reach double-digits in the same contest six times (see box on page 8).
- Six 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 17 times, including one tie with Tim Abromaitis, who has led the Irish in points on eight 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. Jack Cooley and Tyrone Nash have led the Irish in scoring once each.
FIRST HALF FLURRY
- Notre Dame opponents are averaging just 29.0 points in the first half of play this season, while the Irish are averaging 37.0 points during the first stanza.
- Notre Dame held USF to just 17 first-half points on Feb 12. That marked the fourth time this season Notre Dame has held an opponent to under 20 points in the first half. The other times were against California (5 points), Wisconsin (19) and Cincinnati (19).
- Notre Dame’s 47 first-half points against Villanova on Monday signified the 13th time this season (fifth in BIG EAST play) the Irish have netted at least 40 points in the first half of play.
- Notre Dame is 19-1 this season when leading at the intermission. The only loss came at West Virginia (Feb. 19) as the Irish held a 27-26 halftime lead over the Mountaineers, yet fell 72-58.
- In the first half of their five losses, the Irish have been outscored by just 12 points combined (159-147). Notre Dame has been outscored by 68 points (206-138) in the second half of its five setbacks.
- Notre Dame has held 12 of its opponents to 40% or below shooting from the field. The Irish held California under 30% on Nov. 26
- The Irish held Seton Hall (Feb. 26) to just 30.4% (17-56) shooting from the floor. That matched the lowest shooting percentage for an Irish opponent in a BIG EAST game this season. Notre Dame also held USF (Feb. 12) to 30.4% (21-69).
- Seton Hall’s 48 points were the fewest scored by an Irish opponent in a BIG EAST game this season. It’s the second time this season the Irish have held an opponent to under 50 points. Notre Dame held California to 44 points. Prior to the Seton Hall contest, the last time the Irish held a BIG EAST foe under 50 points was in a 50-45 win over Pittsburgh during the quarterfinals of last season’s BIG EAST Tournament. The last time Notre Dame held a BIG EAST opponent under 50 during a regular-season game was a 61-48 victory over Georgetown during the 2003-04 campaign.
LIVING LARGE AT THE LINE
- The Fighting Irish have 97 more made free throws than their opponents have attempts from the charity stripe. The Fighting Irish are 524-722 (.726) from the free throw line this season, which ranks fourth among all BIG EAST teams. Irish opponents are 303-427 (.710) from the line.
- The Irish are 21-0 this season when making more free throws than their opponent.
- The Irish have made 20 or more free throws in a game 13 times this season. Notre Dame made a season-high 30 free throws (on 43 attempts) versus Georgia, an 89-83 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
- The Fighting Irish are 20-1 this season when out-rebounding their opponent.
- Notre Dame boasts a +5.1 overall rebound margin this season, which ranks third in the BIG EAST. The Irish have a +7.3 margin in their 24 wins, while they are -5.6 in their five losses. The Fighting Irish have held the advantage on the glass in 20 of their 24 wins. Notre Dame has been out-rebounded in four of its five losses.
- Senior forward Carleton Scott is averaging a team-high 7.3 rebounds per game. Tyrone Nash leads the team with 74 offensive rebounds.
- The Irish have been able to produce key comebacks en route to victory this season. Notre Dame is 5-3 this season when trailing at halftime.
- Against Seton Hall (Feb. 26), the Irish were down by 11 (25-14) late in the first half and trailed by three (27-24) at the intermission. Notre Dame out scored the Pirates by 15 (36-21) in the second half to register the 60-48 victory.
- Notre Dame staged three comebacks during a five-game stretch of BIG EAST play to provide momentum that the team is still riding. The Fighting Irish were down by nine points (45-36) at halftime to Marquette (Jan. 22) and came back to win 80-75. Against Pittsburgh (Jan. 24), the Irish trailed by five points (28-23) at the intermission and prevailed 56-51. Notre Dame overcame a four-point halftime deficit (44-40) to defeat Louisville 89-79 in overtime (Feb. 9).
- The Fighting Irish rebounded from a 12-point halftime deficit (37-25) to defeat Georgia in double-overtime, 89-83, at the Old Spice Classic (Nov. 25).
- Arguably Notre Dame’s top comeback of the season occurred during the title game of the Old Spice Classic. Notre Dame trailed Wisconsin 43-32 with 9:21 left in regulation, yet 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.
ICING THE GAME
- Clutch free throw shooting has been key for Notre Dame in three BIG EAST victories.
- Rutgers (Feb. 6) trimmed the Irish lead to three (70-67) with 59 seconds left to play, yet Ben Hansbrough went 6-for-6 from the charity stripe down the stretch to help the Irish produce the 76-69 victory. Hansbrough is 54-63 (.857) from the free throw line in the final five minutes of regulation and overtime this season (see box on page 9).
- After Marquette trimmed Notre Dame’s lead to four (69-65) with 3:21 left in the game on Jan. 22, 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 Hansbrough was 2-2 and Scott Martin connected on three of his four attempts.
- Versus Cincinnati (Jan. 19), 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.
- Seniors Tim Abromaitis (F), Ben Hansbrough (G), Scott Martin (G), Tyrone Nash (F) and Carleton Scott (F) have combined for 139 of a possible 145 starts this season. Notre Dame is 20-3 when that quintet starts. Nash, Abromaitis and Hansbrough have started all 29 games this season, while Martin has 28 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 Jan. 22 versus Marquette. Scott has 24 starts this season. Notre Dame’s game-by-game starters are listed on page 12 of this notes packet.
- Tim Abromaitis, Ben Hansbrough and Tyrone Nash have played in all 64 games over the past two seasons. Nash and Hansbrough both have started all 64 of those contests. Overall, Nash has played in a team-best 79 straight contests. The last game he did not play in was at Cincinnati on Feb. 4, 2009.
BEATING THE BEST
- Six of Notre Dame’s 13 BIG EAST wins have come against a ranked opponent. The Irish defeated #9/9 Georgetown 69-55 in the league opener. Notre Dame topped #8/9 Connecticut 73-70 and downed #25/- Cincinnati 66-58. The Irish upended #2/2 Pittsburgh 56-51 and #16/15 Louisville 89-79 in overtime. Notre Dame bested #19/19 Villanova 93-72 on Monday.
TAKING DOWN A TOP-10 FOE
- Notre Dame has defeated three top-10 teams this season. Most recently, the Irish won at No. 2/2 Pittsburgh, 56-51, on Jan. 24. Notre Dame opened BIG EAST play with a 69-55 triumph of No. 9/9 Georgetown (Dec. 29) and the Irish produced a 73-70 victory over No. 8/9 Connecticut (Jan. 4).
- Prior to this season, 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).
- This season’s wins over Georgetown and Connecticut marked the first time since the 2002-03 campaign that Notre Dame defeated twotop-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).
- Notre Dame’s win over then second-ranked Pittsburgh on Jan. 24, produced several noteworthy items as the Irish recorded their third win over a top-10 foe this season:
- The win was the highest-ranked opponent a Notre Dame team under Mike Brey had beaten on the road in a true road game.
- The victory was the first in a true road game over a top-five team for a Notre Dame team since a 75-70 win over No. 2 Connecticut on Jan. 2, 2000.
- The win matched the highest-ranked opponent an Irish squad had beaten during the Brey era. On Dec. 8, 2002, Notre Dame defeated No. 2 Texas in the championship game of the BB&T Classic in Washington, D.C., 98-92.
- Notre Dame had been winless (0-5) at the Petersen Events Center prior to victory and it marked just the 12th loss ever for a Pittsburgh team in 157 games at the PEC. The victory also snapped the Panthers’ 20-game home win streak as Pittsburgh suffered just its 11th loss ever at the PEC in BIG EAST play.
- It was the first win for an Irish team at Pittsburgh since a 56-53 victory on Jan. 12, 2002. It was Notre Dame’s third straight victory over the Panthers, its longest win streak since the Irish joined the BIG EAST Conference in 1995-96.
- The Irish held the Panthers to their lowest scoring output of the season (51 points) in their first BIG EAST loss of the 2010-11 campaign.
- Ben Hansbrough outscored the Pittsburgh 13-12 in the final 9:22 of the contest as he netted 15 of his game-high 19 points in the second half.
LOOKING AT THE NUMBERS
- Notre Dame has scored less than 60 points in its five losses this season. The Irish are 3-5 this season when scoring fewer than 60 points. The Irish are averaging 57.0 points per game in the five setbacks and 79.6 points in their 24 victories.
- The Irish are surrendering 63.9 points per game in their wins and they are allowing 73.0 points per game in their losses.
A SUCCESSFUL STRETCH
- Notre Dame is 30-7 (.811) in its last 37 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.
BREY REACHES BIG EAST MILESTONE
- Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey notched 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 111-72 (.607) 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 117-82 (.588) 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||382-210 (.645)|
|2. Jim Calhoun, Connecticut||298-171 (.635)|
|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||117-82 (.588)|
|7. Jamie Dixon, Pittsburgh||108-44 (.711)|
|8. Jay Wright, Villanova||107-77 (.582)|
A NEW ADDITION to THE SWANAGAN FAMILY
- Current Notre Dame coordinator of men’s basketball operations, Harold Swanagan, who played for the Irish from 1998-2002, and his wife Andrea (also a 2002 Notre Dame graduate), welcomed their first child, a daughter, on Super Sunday (Feb. 6). Elena Marie Swanagan was born at 10:30 p.m. and weighed seven pounds and 11 ounces. Swanagan was not present on the bench earlier that day when Notre Dame defeated Rutgers 76-69 at home.
- This season and the 2006-07 campaign are the only twoseasons 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 this season was the fifth in program history and the best ever for the Irish under head coach Mike Brey.
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 twogames of the Old Spice Classic.
- Notre Dame out-rebounded Wisconsin 43-28 in the title game of the tournament.
- 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.
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.
Connecticut – EA Sports Maui Invitational
Pittsburgh – 2K Sports Classic
Notre Dame – Old Spice Classic
Syracuse – Legends Classic
Georgetown – Charleston Classic
St. John’s – Great Alaska Shootout
Villanova – Preseason NIT Tip-Off
West Virginia – Puerto Rico Tip-Off
- 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 111-72 (.607) record in BIG EAST regular-season games and a 6-10 mark in tournament play for an overall record of 117-82 (.588) against league foes. Brey’s Irish teams have won 10 or more conference regular-season games in seven of his 11 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 twolosing 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 61-33 (.649) over the last 94 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).
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 1698-925 record for a .647 winning percentage. In 15 seasons as a member of the BIG EAST, the Irish own a 146-125 (.539) record all-time in conference regular-season play.
- Seniors Tim Abromaitis, Ben Hansbrough, Tyrone Nash and Carleton Scott will serve as captains during the 2010-11 season. All four are captains for the first time in their careers.
- 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 that included a 15-game win streak during the season. In addition, his squad won the Catholic Conference championship and finished the regular season with a 7-1 league record. 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.