Feb. 4, 2011
#9/8 Notre Dame (18-4, 7-3) vs. Rutgers (12-10, 3-7)
Sunday, February 6 o Noon (EST)
Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center (9,149) – Notre Dame, Ind.
TV:BIG EAST Network/WMYS Ch. 69 (South Bend)/ESPN3.com
Jim Barbar (play-by-play)
Dickey Simpkins (analyst)
Radio: Affiliate listings on page 7; Broadcast also on UND.com
Jack Nolan (play-by-play)
Jordan Cornette (analyst)
#9/8 IRISH PLAY HOST TO RUTGERS ON SUNDAY – Notre Dame (18-4, 7-3) returns home to face Rutgers (12-10, 3-7) in a Super Bowl Sunday showdown. Tip-off is slated for noon (ET) inside Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center. This is the only regular-season meeting between the two schools this season.
– The Fighting Irish came back strong following a nine-day layoff with an 83-58 win at DePaul on Thursday. Notre Dame will bring a four-game win streak into Sunday’s game versus the Scarlet Knights. The Irish currently reside in second place in the BIG EAST standings.
– This is the 29th meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Rutgers. The Irish lead the series 16-12. Rutgers won last season’s only meeting, 74-73, in Piscataway, N.J. The Fighting Irish are 9-2 at home against the Scarlet Knights. Notre Dame has won six straight home contests versus Rutgers. The last Scarlet Knight victory at Notre Dame was a 72-70 decision on Jan. 23, 1999. Irish head coach Mike Brey is 6-0 at home against Rutgers.
IRISH MATCH TOP START UNDER BREY
– Notre Dame’s 18-4 start matches the best 22-game record for the Irish under head coach Mike Brey. This is the fourth time during the Brey era that the Irish have started 18-4. The other times were 2002-03, 2006-07 and 2007-08.
– The 2002-03 squad improved to 19-4, while the 2006-07 and 2007-08 teams both lost their 23rd game of the season.
– See page 11 of this notes packet for Notre Dame’s all-time best 22-game starts.
IRISH OFF TO BIG START IN LEAGUE PLAY
– Notre Dame’s 7-3 BIG EAST record is tied for third for the best 10-game league start for the Irish under head coach Mike Brey. The Irish started 8-2 during Brey’s first season in 2000-01 (finished 11-5) and in 2007-08 (finished 14-4). The Fighting Irish began the 2002-03 BIG EAST slate with a 7-3 mark (finished 10-6).
ROLLING TO VICTORY ON THE ROAD
– Thursday’s 25-point victory (83-58) at DePaul was Notre Dame’s first win of 20 or more points in BIG EAST play since a 33-point home victory (90-57) over Louisville during the 2008-09 campaign. It was Notre Dame’s second-largest road victory in BIG EAST play. The Irish won by 26 points (95-69) at Seton Hall during the 2007-08 season.
IN THE POLLS
– Notre Dame is ranked ninth in this week’s Associated Press poll and the Irish No. 8 according to the ESPN/USA Today coaches’ poll. This is the second time this season the Fighting Irish have appeared in the top-10 of the AP poll as they were ninth in the Jan. 10 rankings. This is Notre Dame’s first appearance this season in the top-10 of the coaches’ poll.
HISTORIC WEEK FOR IRISH ATHLETICS IN THE POLLS
– With the Fighting Irish men’s basketball team rising to No. 9/8 in the latest polls, Notre Dame is the only school in the country that fields men’s and women’s basketball and hockey teams and has all three squads currently appearing in the top 10 in their respective national rankings. The women’s basketball team is ranked 8th in both polls (AP & ESPN/USA Today coaches’ poll), while hockey is 10th in the latest USA Today and USCHO.com polls.
– This week marks the first time since Dec. 9, 2002, that both Fighting Irish basketball teams are ranked in the top 10 of their respective AP polls at the same time. Notre Dame is one of only three schools in the country to have both basketball teams currently in the AP Top 10, along with Connecticut (No. 2 women/No. 6 men) and Duke (No. 3 women/No. 5 men).
ABROMAITIS EARNS ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT HONORS
– Senior forward Tim Abromaitis has been named to the Capital One Academic All-District V men’s basketball first team. Abromaitis boasts a 3.72 GPA in Notre Dame’s intensified one-year MBA program. He now will be placed on the national ballot for a chance to earn Academic All-America honors. He was a first-team Academic All-American last season.
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.
– Notre Dame recorded its 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.
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 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).
BEATING THE BEST
– Four of Notre Dame’s seven BIG EAST wins have come against a ranked opponent. The Irish defeated No. 9/9 Georgetown 69-55 in the league opener. Notre Dame topped No. 8/9 Connecticut 73-70 and downed No. 25/- Cincinnati 66-58. Most recently, the Irish upended No. 2/2 Pittsburgh 56-51.
– There currently are nine Irish opponents ranked in the AP top-25 poll. The Irish are 4-2 against those squads so far this season.
– Notre Dame never trailed on Thursday at DePaul, yet the Irish had to use comebacks in their recent wins over Pittsburgh (Jan. 24) and Marquette (Jan. 22). The Fighting Irish were down by nine points (45-36) at halftime to Marquette and came back to win 80-75. Against Pittsburgh, the Irish trailed by five points (28-23) at the intermission and prevailed 56-51.
– Notre Dame is 3-3 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).
LEAGUE HONORS FOR HANSBROUGH
– Ben Hansbrough was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on Monday. That marked the second straight week – and third time this season – he has received that honor. He also was named the BIG EAST Player of the Week on Jan. 10.
CHASING THE MARK
– Coming off the most successful four-year run in program history (2006-10), Notre Dame’s current four-year stretch may produce a couple of record-breaking numbers. From 2006-10, Irish teams produced an overall record of 93-43 for an overall winning percentage of .684, while finishing with a 43-27 mark (.614) in BIG EAST regular-season play. Both the 93 overall victories and 43 BIG EAST wins are both the most in program history. Since 2007, Notre Dame has produced an 87-39 mark (.690) and is 39-25 (.609) in conference regular-season contests.
– 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 12 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).
– Three Notre Dame players (Abromaitis, Hansbrough and Scott) all have scored 20-plus points in a game this season. Hansbrough has accomplished the feat a team-best eight times. Abromaitis has scored 20-plus points seven times, while Scott has done it twice.
SCOTT PROVIDES A SPARK
– Notre Dame is 14-2 this season when Carleton Scott is in the starting lineup.
– 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. After checking into that game at the 14:32 mark of the first half, the Irish proceeded to go on a 16-3 run to break open the tied contest.
– Scott returned to the starting lineup on Jan. 22 versus Marquette and notched his team-high fourth double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Scott then posted 16 points and nine rebounds in a 56-51 win at Pittsburgh.
– Notre Dame has held 11 of its opponents to 40% or below shooting from the field. The Irish held California under 30% on Nov. 26.
– Notre Dame held Cincinnati to 19 first-half points on Jan. 19. 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).
– Ben Hansbrough has reached double-figures in points a team-high 20 times this season (out of 22 games), while Tim Abromaitis has netted double-digits 18 times.
– Hansbrough has led the Irish in scoring a team-best 12 times this season, while Abromaitis has done so on six occasions.
– Hansbrough has scored 20-plus points a team-best eight times this season, while Abromaitis has done so on seven occasions.
HANSBROUGH STAYING HOT
– Senior guard Ben Hansbrough is averaging 23.7 points, 4.0 rebounds and 5.3 assists over the past three games. For the season, Hansbrough is averaging a career-best and team-high 16.9 points per game. Hansbrough has a team-best 88 assists (4.0 apg) and a team-high 27 steals (1.2 spg).
– Hansbrough has led the Irish in scoring in the past five games and in seven of the past eight contests.
– On Thursday at DePaul, Hansbrough deposited a game-high 24 points. He went 5-8 from three-point range. That marked the third time this season – and first in BIG EAST play – that he has hit at least five treys in a game.
– Hansbrough scored a career-high 28 points on Jan. 22 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 in a game.
– Hansbrough has reached double-digits in 43 of his 56 career games with the Irish.
– Hansbrough is 35-41 (.854) from the free throw line in the final five minutes of regulation and overtime this season. (See box on page 8). He is shooting 82.1% (92-112) from the line overall this season and boasts an 88.1% (52-59) average in BIG EAST play.
MARTIN MAKING AN IMPACT
– Scott Martin has reached double-figures in points in four straight games and in 10 of the last 11 games overall. He has registered double-figures 13 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.
– 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.
A IS FOR ABROMAITIS
– Tim Abromaitis has scored in double figures in 18 of 22 games this season. He deposited 13 points on Thursday versus DePaul. That snapped a two-game streak of not reaching double-figures.
– Abromaitis is Notre Dame’s leading rebounder (6.5 rpg) and his points-per-game average (14.2) ranks second on the team.
– He has scored in double-figures in 24 out of 28 BIG EAST regular-season games over the past two seasons.
– 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).
PERFORMING IN THE POST
– Notre Dame is 11-0 this season when senior forward Tyrone Nash scores at least 10 points.
– Nash deposited 10 points, eight rebounds and four assists on Thursday versus DePaul. He has scored in double-figures in three of the last four games.
– Nash has led the Irish in assists six times this season, including the DePaul contest. 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 61 assists (2.8 apg) rank third among all Notre Dame players. His 128 rebounds (5.8 rpg) rank second on the team, while he has a team-best 54 offensive rebounds.
– Nash has produced 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 104 of a possible 110 starts this season. Notre Dame is 14-2 when that quintet starts. Nash, Abromaitis and Hansbrough have started all 22 games this season, while Martin has 21 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 17 starts this season. 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 57 contests. Nash and Hansbrough both have started all 57 of those contests. Overall, Nash has played in a team-best 72 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 12 times this season (out of 18 games played).
– Scott is 11-for-11 from the free throw line in BIG EAST play. Overall this season, he is shooting 90.2% (37-41) 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).
– His 20-point effort against Stony Brook (Dec. 19) 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.
– His perfect 8-8 performance from the field against Stony Brook 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 30 blocked shots this season (1.7 per game).
– Scott has blocked two or more shots in a game 10 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 32-52 (.615) 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.
ROOKIE ON A ROLL
– Freshman point guard Eric Atkins boasts a team-best 2.68 assist-to-turnover ratio, which ranks 23rd nationally and first in the BIG EAST. He is second on the team with 75 assists (3.4 apg).
– 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.
PROTECTING THE BASKETBALL
– The Irish have had fewer than 10 turnovers in a game seven times this season, including on Thursday when they only committed nine at DePaul. Notre Dame had a season-low seven turnovers versus Marquette on Jan. 22.
– Notre Dame boasts a 1.50 assist-to-turnover ratio. The Fighting Irish rank eighth nationally in that category. The Irish have registered 365 assists on its 533 made field goals this season (.685). The Fighting Irish average just 11.0 turnovers per game, which is the 19th-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 19th nationally in assists per game (16.6).
– Senior guard Ben Hansbrough leads the Irish with 88 assists (4.0 apg). Freshman point guard Eric Atkins is second with 75 (3.4 apg). Atkins has a team-best 2.68 assist-to-turnover ratio, which ranks 23rd nationally and first in the BIG EAST.
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 61.6 points in their five true road games, all BIG EAST contests. Notre Dame is averaging 72.8 points per game in its five BIG EAST home games.
LOOKING AT THE NUMBERS
– Notre Dame has scored less than 60 points in its four losses this season. The Irish are 3-4 this season when scoring fewer than 60 points. The Irish are averaging 56.8 points per game in the four setbacks and 78.9 points in their 18 victories.
– The Irish are surrendering 62.1 points per game in their wins and they are allowing 73.2 points per game in their losses.
– Notre Dame is 24-6 (.800) in its last 30 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 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 105-71 (.597) 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 111-81 (.578) 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 377-208 (.644)
2. Jim Calhoun, Connecticut 294-167 (.638)
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 111-81 (.578)
7. Jay Wright, Villanova 104-72 (.591)
8. Jamie Dixon, Pittsburgh 102-42 (.708)
FIRST HALF FLURRY
– Notre Dame opponents are averaging just 28.5 points in the first half this season, while the Irish are averaging 36.8 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 15-0 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 83 more made free throws than their opponents have attempts from the charity stripe. The Fighting Irish are 416-568 (.732) from the free throw line this season. Irish opponents are 239-333 (.718) from the line.
– The Irish are 16-0 this season when making more free throws than their opponent.
– The Irish have made 20 or more free throws 10 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 +4.9 rebound margin this season. The Irish have a +7.6 margin in their 18 wins, while they are -7.2 in their four losses. The Fighting Irish have held the advantage on the glass in 15 of their 18 wins. Notre Dame has been out-rebounded in all four of its losses.
– Tim Abromaitis has a team-best 140 rebounds (6.4 rpg), while his average is tied with Carleton Scott for team-high honors. Tyrone Nash leads the team with 54 offensive rebounds.
DRAINING FROM DEEP
– The Fighting Irish are 166-440 (.377) 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 147-365 (.403) from three-point range in their 18 wins and they are 19-75 (.253) in the four losses.
– Notre Dame’s season-high mark for made three-pointers was 12 versus both Chicago State (Nov. 17) and Maine (Nov. 22).
– Ben Hansbrough is shooting at a team-best 42.5% clip (92-112) from beyond the arc this season.
396 AND COUNTING
– Heading into the Rutgers contest, Notre Dame has made at least one three-pointer in 396 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.
– 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 this season 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).
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
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.
– 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.
– 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.
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 105-71 (.597) record in BIG EAST regular-season games and a 6-10 mark in tournament play for an overall record of 111-81 (.578) 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 55-32 (.632) over the last 87 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).
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 1692-924 record for a .647 winning percentage. In 15 seasons as a member of the BIG EAST, the Irish own a 140-124 (.530) 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.
– 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
– This season Notre Dame is wearing 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.