Dec. 5, 2017
As Glenn and Stacey Murphy Head Men’s Basketball Coach Mike Brey closes in on the all-time record for coaching wins at the University of Notre Dame, Fighting Irish Media will be highlighting 18 of the top moments from the Mike Brey era.
Fans can follow along all year via the hashtag #Breyteen – celebrating Coach Brey’s 18th season at Notre Dame in 2017-18. Fans also will be able to monitor and celebrate Coach Brey’s run to the record – five wins will set the all-time mark – with the hashtag #BreysChase.
For our first #Breyteen moment (which will be presented in random order this season) we look back at the Notre Dame’s three consecutive wins over top-10 ranked opponents in 2002…
Previous #Breyteen moments:
Irish Post 45 Straight Home Court Wins
Sweet Notre Dame Ending For Dan Miller
By Alan Wasielewski
Mike Brey is a D.C. guy. The District of Columbia area is where he grew up, went to high school and earned his college degree. It is safe to say that claiming the 2002 BB&T Classic championship title in D.C. was a special kind of satisfaction for the Irish leader.
“We came into Washington off the radar screen,” Brey said after the championship victory over Texas. “We are going to be all over the radar screen now.”
The Irish popped up on that radar with wins over No. 10 Marquette, No. 9 Maryland and No. 2 Texas in a six-day span in December 2002.
Looking back at that Notre Dame team, it really was no surprise that the Irish went from unranked to writing headlines by defeating three straight top-10 teams.
Sophomore Chris Thomas was arguably at the top of his game before a knee injury suffered during his junior year required surgery. Freshman Torin Francis flirted with a triple double in the victory over Texas (21 points, 10 rebounds, eight blocks) and established himself as a force in the paint during his rookie year. His career at Notre Dame would also be affected by an injury to his back in 2004.
Danny Miller, who transferred from Maryland to play his senior year at Notre Dame, relished the victories in D.C. over the Terrapins and Longhorns. With Matt Carroll, Chris Quinn and Torrian Jones in the backcourt, along with Tom Timmermans and Jordan Cornette on the front line, the elements of Notre Dame’s eventual NCAA Sweet 16 team were apparent.
At the time, however, Brey wasn’t quite sure what kind of team he had, but it was clear something special was developing.
“I can’t quite digest this week yet,” Brey said. “It’s been a fabulous stretch. In the three games this week we did a lot of growing up.”
A bit of team growth, player development and a memory that a D.C. native can carry with him the rest of his career.
Alan Wasielewski is an Associate Athletics Communication Director at the University of Notre Dame. He works primarily with the men’s basketball and rowing team. A 2000 graduate of the University, Wasielewski is entering his 17th year at Notre Dame, working in both the multimedia productions and athletics communications offices in his time on campus.