March 30, 2000
NEW YORK – Only three players have logged over one thousand minutes of play for Notre Dame this season.
Sophomore Troy Murphy has the most minutes with sophomore David Graves coming in a close second. Murphy and Graves are the top scorers for the Irish. The other player registering over 1,000 minutes this season is senior point guard Jimmy Dillon.
It is Dillon’s condition, which is of concern for the Irish. He spent much of Wednesday nursing his left ankle after he turned it in the semifinal game. Dillon hobbled around the team hotel and had to sit out of Wednesday’s practice.
Dillon is crucial for Thursday night’s NIT championship game. Notre Dame is set to take on Wake Forest on Thursday night.
“It is going to be a challenging game,” Irish coach Matt Doherty said. “It is a big test for teams mentally because we are both happy to be here.”
At Wednesday’s press conference, his status for Thursday night’s game remained up in the air. If Dillon can not play, expect junior Martin Ingelsby to get the start. Ingelsby commanded the Irish from the point guard position for the past two years prior to this season.
Ingelsby started six games this season and logged around 600 minutes. Often Doherty turns to Ingelsby to change the tide of play. Ingelsby usually comes off the bench and drills a couple of threes to get the team and the crowd going.
Dillon is a leader for the Irish, despite not being a captain. He commands the Irish from the point guard position. Dillon does not post tremendous amounts of points for the Irish, he dished out over 200 assists this season.
Thursday’s game will be Dillon’s last game left in a Notre Dame uniform. The senior wants to play, despite the chance of seriously injuring his ankle. He realizes that Thursday’s game could very well be his last but he is willing to risk it.
Prior to this season, Dillon started only twice this career. He wants to finish his final season with another start and help bring Notre Dame its first NIT championship.
Thursday night’s game marks the fourth time Notre Dame has reached the NIT championship game. The Irish have never won the tournament. Thursday night’s game is scheduled for tip-off at 7 p.m. on Thursday night on ESPN.