Feb. 25, 2011
#9/9 Notre Dame (22-5, 11-4) vs. Seton Hall (11-16, 5-10)
Saturday, Feb. 26 Âº 7:00 p.m. (EST)
Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center (9,149) Âº Notre Dame, Ind.
Beth Mowins (play-by-play)
Mike Kelley (analyst)
Radio: Affiliate listings on page 10; Broadcast also on UND.com
Jack Nolan (play-by-play)
Jordan Cornette (analyst)
#9/9 IRISH RETURN HOME TO FACE SETON HALL ON SATURDAY
- Notre Dame (22-5, 11-4) will return home following a three-game road swing to face Seton Hall (11-16, 5-10) at 7:00 p.m. (ET) on Saturday inside Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center. The Irish currently are in second place in the BIG EAST.
- The Fighting Irish went 2-1 during their three-straight road contests. Notre Dame is coming off a 94-93 win on Wednesday at Providence.
- Saturday will be the 25th meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Seton Hall. The Irish lead the series 16-8, including a 9-1 advantage at home. Notre Dame has won seven of the past eight encounters in the series. This will be the first meeting at Notre Dame since the 2008-09 campaign. The Irish won that contest 88-79.
- The two teams split last season’s two showdowns. The Pirates captured a 90-87 home win over the Irish in the regular season, while Notre Dame downed Seton Hall 68-56 in the second round of the BIG EAST Tournament.
- Fighting Irish head coach Mike Brey is 10-4 all-time against Seton Hall.
- Notre Dame’s 22-5 record is the best 27-game mark under Brey.
CHASING THE MARK
- Notre Dame’s 43-26 (.623) regular-season BIG EAST record over the past four seasons matches the most league wins over a four-year span in program history. From 2006-10, the Fighting Irish went 43-27 (.614) in regular-season BIG EAST play.
- From 2006-10, Irish teams produced an overall record of 93-43 for an overall winning percentage of .684. The 93 overall victories are the most in program history. Since 2007, Notre Dame has produced a 91-40 mark (.695).
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.
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.
- In the 94-93 win over Providence on Wednesday, the Fighting Irish eclipsed the 90-point mark for the fifth time this season and for the first time in BIG EAST play. It was the first time Notre Dame reached the 90-point plateau in a BIG EAST game since a 93-78 home victory over Providence last season. It 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.
- Senior guard Ben Hansbrough scored a career-high 32 points against the Friars. It was the first 30-point effort by an Irish player since Luke Harangody netted 37 last season versus Cincinnati (Feb. 4, 2010).
- 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 nine times this season (five times in BIG EAST play).
- 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. The previous high was 46 points during the second half of the DePaul contest (Feb. 3). Notre Dame netted 46 points in the second half against Providence.
- Ben Hansbrough (32) and Tim Abromaitis (28) combined for 60 of Notre Dame’s 94 points in Wednesday’s win at Providence. They both netted 17 first-half points to account for 34 of Notre Dame’s 48 points in the opening stanza.
- It marked the third time this season that Hansbrough and Abromaitis have both scored 20-plus points in the same game. The other times were against Chicago State (Nov. 17) and Louisville (Feb. 9).
- Hansbrough has reached double-figures in points a team-high 25 times this season (out of 27 games), while Abromaitis has netted double-digits 22 times.
- Hansbrough has led the Irish in scoring a team-best 16 times this season, while Abromaitis has done so on seven occasions.
- Hansbrough has scored 20-plus points a team-best 11 times this season, while Abromaitis has done so on nine occasions.
AUSTIN CARR TO JOIN NOTRE DAME RING OF HONOR
- Former Irish great Austin Carr, who played at Notre Dame from 1968-71 and still remains the school’s all-time leader with 2,560 career points and a 34.6 career scoring average, will be the third individual to be inducted into the Notre Dame Basketball Ring of Honor inside Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center. His legacy and achievements will be celebrated during halftime of Saturday’s game.
- Carr will join Luke Harangody (2006-10) and Ruth Riley (1997-2001) as Notre Dame’s third member to the Ring of Honor. Harangody was the first honoree as he was honored in February 2010, while Riley followed him in November 2010.
- The Ring of Honor was established by the Notre Dame athletics department to honor former and present men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball players who have made distinguished and noteworthy contributions during their careers while student-athletes at the University. A committee consisting of Irish coaches and administrators helps to determine the inductees.
ABROMAITIS NEARING 1,000-POINT MARK
- Tim Abromaitis needs 22 points to become the 51st player in Notre Dame history to reach the 1,000-point mark. In the 74 outings he has played in during his career, Abromaitis has 978 career points and a 13.2 career scoring average. After scoring just 20 points during his freshman season in 2007-08 and sitting out the 2008-09 campaign, Abromaitis has scored 958 points over the course of the last 62 games for a 15.5 scoring average.
ABROMAITIS NAMED TO CAPITAL ONE ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICA FIRST TEAM
- Tim Abromaitis has been named to the Capital One Academic All-America Men’s Basketball First Team for the second consecutive year. Abromaitis becomes the first Notre Dame men’s basketball player to earn first team Academic All-America honors in back-to-back seasons since Pat Garrity in 1997 and 1998.
- He is enrolled in a one-year intensified MBA program within the Mendoza College of Business and has a 3.615 grade point average. He graduated one full year ahead of his class in May of 2010 from the Mendoza College of Business with a degree in finance. A three-time member of the Dean’s List, he earned a 3.72 grade index over his eight semesters.
- Abromaitis becomes just the fourth player in program history to earn first team Academic All-America honors on multiple occasions. In addition to Garrity, Bob Arnzen and John Paxson were both multi-year first-team honorees. Arnzen ranks as Notre Dame’s only three-time Academic All-America honoree as he garnered first-team recognition in 1967, 1968 and 1969, while Paxson earned first-team recognition in both 1982 and 1983.
- Notre Dame’s other Academic All-America honorees include: Gary Novak (second team in 1972 and first team in 1974); Kelly Tripucka (first team in 1979); Rich Branning (first team in 1980) and Chris Quinn (first team in 2006).
- In all, Notre Dame has had eight different players in the 106-year history of the men’s basketball program garner Academic All-America recognition on 14 occasions.
- Abromaitis is the third Notre Dame student-athlete during the 2010-11 school year to be named an Academic All-American. Irish kicker David Ruffer was a first-team football selection, while All-American Lauren Fowlkes earned a spot on the women’s soccer first team. Overall, Notre Dame ranks second all-time in the number of Academic All-Americans it has produced with 219.
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
- Senior guard Ben Hansbrough scored a career-high 32 points on Wednesday at Providence. His 10 made field goals (10-13) matched a career-high total.
- Over the past eight games, Hansbrough is averaging 23.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.6 assists. He is shooting 54.4% (62-114) from the floor during those eight contests. The Irish are 7-1 in that stretch.
- For the season, Hansbrough is averaging a career-best – and team-high – 17.9 points per game. Hansbrough has a team-best 109 assists (4.0 apg) and a team-high 33 steals (1.2 spg). He also is averaging a team-high 35.0 minutes played per game.
- His 20.0 ppg. average in BIG EAST games ranks third in the league. His 37.1 minutes played per game in BIG EAST contests ranks fourth in the conference.
- Hansbrough has led the Irish in scoring in nine of the past 10 games and a team-best 16 times this season.
- He has made at least five three-pointers in a game five times this season. Hansbrough made a career-high six treys earlier this season versus Chicago State (Nov. 17).
- Hansbrough has notched at least five assists in a game 10 times this season.
- He is shooting 81.4% (118-145) from the free throw line overall this season and boasts an 84.8% (78-92) average in BIG EAST play, which ranks sixth.
HOME COURT ADVANTAGE
- The Fighting Irish are 15-0 at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center this season. The Irish have won 17 straight games at home. Notre Dame has won 84 of its last 90 (.933) home games and is 38-5 (.884) in its last 43 BIG EAST home contests.
- Notre Dame is averaging 82.9 points per game in its 15 home games this season, while the Irish average 67.2 points in their eight true road games, all BIG EAST contests. Notre Dame is averaging 75.6 points per game in its seven BIG EAST home games.
- The Irish have eclipsed 80 points at home nine times this season (twice in BIG EAST play).
IRISH AMONG NATION’S BEST IN PROTECTING THE BASKETBALL
- Notre Dame boasts a 1.54 assist-to-turnover ratio. The Fighting Irish rank fourth nationally in that category and second among BIG EAST teams. The Irish have registered 450 assists on their 672 made field goals this season (.670). The Fighting Irish average just 10.8 turnovers per game, which is the 10th-best mark in the country.
- Notre Dame has notched at least 20 assists in a game eight times this season (twice 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 (16.7).
- Senior guard Ben Hansbrough leads the Irish with 109 assists (4.0 apg). Freshman point guard Eric Atkins is second with 97 (3.6 apg). Atkins has a team-best 3.03 assist-to-turnover ratio, which ranks seventh 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).
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 in five of the past six 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).
A IS FOR ABROMAITIS
- Tim Abromaitis tallied a season-high 28 points on Wednesday at Providence. His 11 made field goals (11-16) matched a career-high total.
- Abromaitis has scored in double figures in 22 of 27 games this season. He has reached double-figures in five of the past six games. Abromaitis has netted 20-plus points in a game nine times this season (three times in BIG EAST play).
- Abromaitis’ point (14.6) and rebound (6.2) averages rank second on the team.
- He has scored in double-figures in 28 out of 33 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).
- 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 16 times, including in nine of the past 10 games. 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. Jack Cooley and Tyrone Nash have led the Irish in scoring once each.
- 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 11 times, including the team’s only 30-plus point game this season. Abromaitis has scored 20-plus points nine times, while Scott has done it twice.
SCOTT PROVIDES A SPARK
- Notre Dame is 20-3 this season when Carleton Scott has played.
- 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 16 times this season (out of 23 games played). o Scott has a team-high seven double-doubles this season. He hauled down a game-high 10 rebounds at Providence on Wednesday. That marked the eighth time this season he’s had 10 or more rebounds in a game.
- Scott is 21-23 (.913) from the free throw line in BIG EAST play. Overall this season, he is shooting 88.7% (47-53) from the charity stripe, which ranks fourth among all BIG EAST players.
- 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 – 42 blocked shots this season (1.8 per game).
- Scott blocked three shots against Providence on Wednesday. That was the 15th time this season – and sixth straight contest – he has blocked at least two shots in a game. 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).
- Notre Dame matched a season-high total with eight blocked shots at USF on Feb. 12. Scott Martin led the way with a career-high tying three blocks. The Irish also had eight blocked shots versus California (Nov. 26).
MARTIN MAKING AN IMPACT
- Scott Martin has reached double-figures in points 12 times in BIG EAST play (out of 15 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.
ROOKIE HANDLING THE ROCK
- Freshman point guard Eric Atkins boasts a team-best 3.0 assist-to-turnover ratio, which ranks seventh nationally and first in the BIG EAST. He is second on the team with 97 assists (3.6 apg).
- Atkins has a 3.1 assist-to-turnover ratio in BIG EAST games, which also ranks first among all of the league’s players.
- Over the past eight games, Atkins has compiled 28 assists and just five turnovers in 169 minutes of play.
- 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.
PERFORMING IN THE POST
- Notre Dame is 13-1 this season when senior forward Tyrone Nash scores at least 10 points.
- Nash has led the Irish in assists seven times this season. He has registered five or more assists in a game five times this season, including a career-high seven versus Chicago State (Nov. 17) and Providence (Feb. 23).
- Nash’s 66 assists (2.7 apg) rank third among all Notre Dame players. He is third in rebound average (5.8) and boasts a team-high 66 offensive rebounds.
- Nash has produced three 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.
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.
FIRST HALF FLURRY
- Notre Dame opponents are averaging just 29.1 points in the first half of play this season, while the Irish are averaging 37.1 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 48 first-half points against Providence on Wednesday signified the 12th time this season (fourth in BIG EAST play) the Irish have netted at least 40 points in the first half of play. Notre Dame has scored 40 or more first-half points in three of the past four games.
- Notre Dame is 18-1 this season when leading at the intermission. The only loss came last Saturday at West Virginia 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 Fighting Irish held USF to just 30.4% (21-69) shooting from the floor on Feb. 12. That is the lowest shooting percentage for an Irish opponent in a BIG EAST game this season.
LIVING LARGE AT THE LINE
- The Fighting Irish have 87 more made free throws than their opponents have attempts from the charity stripe. The Fighting Irish are are 495-680 (.728) from the free throw line this season, which ranks fourth among all BIG EAST teams. Irish opponents are 289-408 (.708) from the line.
- The Irish are 19-0 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, 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
- The Fighting Irish are 18-1 this season when out-rebounding their opponent. The only loss came last Saturday when they held a 39-38 edge on the glass versus West Virginia.
- Notre Dame boasts a +4.8 overall rebound margin this season, which ranks third in the BIG EAST. The Irish have a +7.2 margin in their 22 wins, while they are -5.6 in their five losses. The Fighting Irish have held the advantage on the glass in 18 of their 22 wins. Notre Dame has been out-rebounded in four of its five losses
- Senior forward Carleton Scott is averaging a team-high 7.2 rebounds per game. Tyrone Nash leads the team with 66 offensive rebounds.
DRAINING FROM DEEP
- The Fighting Irish are 204-541 (.377) from three-point range this season. That mark ranks second among all BIG EAST teams. Notre Dame has hit 10 or more three pointers in a game five times this season (all wins). The Irish are averaging 7.6 made three-pointers per game.
- The Irish are 177-439 (.403) from three-point range in their 22 wins and they are 27-102 (.265) in the five 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 42.1% clip (64-152) from beyond the arc this season.
- Tim Abromaitis is shooting a team-best 46.0% (29-63) from three-point range in BIG EAST play. That mark ranks sixth among league players.
401 AND COUNTING
- Heading into the Seton Hall contest, Notre Dame has made at least one three-pointer in 401 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 72-9 when Irish teams have 20 or more assists and are 71-28 when making 10 or more three-pointers.
SOLID SHOWING FOR IRISH ATHLETICS IN THE 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 8th in the latest USA Today poll and 9th in the USCHO.com rankings.
- Notre Dame and Duke are the only two schools in the country to have both its men’s and women’s basketball teams currently in the AP Top 10. The Blue Devils men are ranked first, while the women are ninth.
BEATING THE BEST
- Five of Notre Dame’s 11 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.
- There currently are nine Irish opponents ranked in the AP top-25 poll. The Irish are 6-3 against those squads so far this season.
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).
- The Irish have had to use comebacks in recent wins over Pittsburgh (Jan. 24), Marquette (Jan. 22) and Louisville (Feb. 9). 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 overcame a four-point (44-40) halftime deficit to defeat Louisville 89-79 in overtime.
- Notre Dame is 4-3 this season when trailing at halftime. 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 in three recent Notre Dame 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 129 of a possible 135 starts this season. Notre Dame is 18-3 when that quintet starts. Nash, Abromaitis and Hansbrough have started all 27 games this season, while Martin has 26 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 22 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 all have played in the past 62 contests. Nash and Hansbrough both have started all 62 of those contests. Overall, Nash has played in a team-best 76 straight contests. The last game he did not play in was at Cincinnati on Feb. 4, 2009.
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.
- 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 79.9 points in their 22 victories.
- The Irish are surrendering 64.3 points per game in their wins and they are allowing 73.0 points per game in their losses.
- Notre Dame is 28-7 (.800) in its last 35 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 109-72 (.602) 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 115-82 (.584) 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||381-210 (.645)|
|2. Jim Calhoun, Connecticut||297-170 (.636)|
|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||115-82 (.584)|
|7. Jay Wright, Villanova||107-75 (.588)|
|Jamie Dixon, Pittsburgh||107-43 (.713)|
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).
- 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.
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.
- 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
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).
- 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 109-72 (.602) record in BIG EAST regular-season games and a 6-10 mark in tournament play for an overall record of 115-82 (.584) 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 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 59-33 (.641) over the last 92 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 1696-925 record for a .647 winning percentage. In 15 seasons as a member of the BIG EAST, the Irish own a 144-125 (.535) 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.