Dec. 9, 2011
Dartmouth (2-5) vs. Notre Dame (6-4)
Dec. 10, 2011 – 7:30 p.m. (ET)
Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center (9,149)
Notre Dame, Ind.
Anthony Calhoun (play-by-play)
Dickey Simpkins (analyst)
Affiliate listings on Pg. 5
Broadcast on UND.com
Jack Nolan (play-by-play)
Sean Kearney (analyst)
IRISH PLAY HOST TO DARTMOUTH ON SATURDAY NIGHT
- Notre Dame (6-4) returns to the floor for the second time in three days with a Saturday-night showdown against Dartmouth (2-5). Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m. (ET) inside Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center. The game will be aired on the Internet via ESPN3 with Anthony Calhoun (play-by-play) and Dickey Simpkins (analyst) calling the action.
- The Fighting Irish Digital Media radio crew of Jack Nolan (play-by-play) and Sean Kearney (analyst) will call the action on radio (affiliate listings on Pg. 5) and their broadcast can also be heard on UND.com.
- This will be the fifth meeting ever between Notre Dame and Dartmouth, but the first since the Irish topped the Big Green, 75-50, on Dec. 22, 1997. Notre Dame has won all four previous encounters with Dartmouth.
- Dartmouth will be the first Ivy League opponent Notre Dame has faced since an 87-54 home victory over Brown on Dec. 29, 2007. The Irish are 42-4 all-time against Ivy League foes. Notre Dame’s last loss against an Ivy League school was a 76-62 setback at Princeton on Jan. 3, 1977.
- Mike Brey has never faced Dartmouth during his head coaching career.
- The Fighting Irish are 60-14 (.811) in December under head coach Mike Brey.
- Notre Dame’s 87-78 win over Maine on Thursday upped its home win streak to 25 games. That is the second longest Irish win streak inside Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center in program history. The Fighting Irish won 45 straight at the Joyce Center from March 4, 2006-Jan. 10, 2009.
CAREER-HIGH FOR COOLEY
- Junior forward Jack Cooley scored a career-high 22 points to go along with 14 rebounds in Thursday’s win over Maine. It was his team-high second double-double of the season (also second career double-double).
- He also made a career-high eight free throws (on nine attempts) against the Black Bears in addition to tying a career-high total with two blocked shots.
- Cooley notched his first career double-double by registering 11 points and 17 rebounds against Delaware State (Nov. 18). The 17 rebounds, which included 10 offensive boards, were a career-high total for Cooley. He became the first Irish player to haul down that many rebounds in a game since Luke Harangody had 17 against Louisville during the 2008-09 season (Feb. 12, 2009).
- Cooley leads the Irish with a 7.8 rpg. average this season.
- With his career-high 22 points against Maine, junior forward Jack Cooley became the sixth Notre Dame player to score 20 or more points in a game this season. Tim Abromaitis, Eric Atkins, Pat Connaughton, Jerian Grant and Scott Martin are the others to post 20 or more points in a game this season.
- Sophomores Eric Atkins and Jerian Grant have both scored 20-plus points a team-best two times this season.
ATKINS ON THE ATTACK
- Sophomore point guard Eric Atkins is averaging a team-best 15.6 points-per-game this season. Atkins has scored in double-figures in six of the eight games he has played this season. He missed two games (Sam Houston State & Delaware State) due to illness.
- Atkins scored a team-high 26 points on Thursday against Maine. That was the second 20-plus point game of his career. He deposited a career-high 27 points versus Mississippi Valley State in the season opener. He has led the Irish in scoring four times this season.
- Versus Maine, he hit a career-high five three-pointers (on seven attempts). His nine made field goals against the Black Bears also were a career-best total (previous high was six).
- Atkins has played a career-high 40 minutes in each of the past two games (Maryland & Maine).
- Atkins is 35-43 (.814) from the charity stripe and he is 16-28 (.571) from three-point range. Both of those are team-best figures this season.
- Atkins dished out a career-high nine assists against Bryant (Nov. 27).
- Sophomores Jerian Grant, Eric Atkins and Alex Dragicevich along with freshman Pat Connaughton have accounted for 59% of Notre Dame’s scoring this season. They have tallied 422 of the team’s 716 points.
SHUFFLING THE LINEUP
- Notre Dame has used six different starting lineups in its first 10 games of the season. Senior Scott Martin and sophomore Jerian Grant are the only two Irish players to start every game this season (game-by-game starting lineups listed on page 7).
- The quintet of Scott Martin (Sr./G), Joey Brooks (Jr./G), Jack Cooley (Jr./F), Eric Atkins (So./G) and Jerian Grant (So./G) has started three games, which makes it the most-used starting lineup for the Irish this season. The Fighting Irish are 2-1 with that starting lineup.
- Six different Irish players – Joey Brooks (Jr./G), Jack Cooley (Jr./F), Tom Knight (Jr./F), Jerian Grant (So./G), Alex Dragicevich (So./G) and Pat Connaughton (Fr./G-F) – have made their first career start this season.
- Junior forward Tom Knight, a native of Dixfield, Maine, tied a career-high total with seven points against Maine on Thursday. He played a career-high 23 minutes versus the Black Bears.
- Knight has started each of the past two games. Those were his first two career starts.
GRANT HAS ALL-AROUND GAME
- Sophomore guard Jerian Grant, who is in his first season playing with the Irish after sitting out all of last season, has team-high totals in points (136), assists (42), steals (12) and minutes played (331). His 14 made three-pointers rank second among all Irish players.
- Grant is shooting 56.6% (43-76) from the field, which includes a 46.7% (14-30) mark from three-point range. Grant also boasts a 2.63 assist-to-turnover ratio.
- Grant matched a career-high total with 20 points on Sunday against Maryland. He also scored 20 against Georgia on Nov. 22.
- He has scored in double-figures a team-best eight times this season (out of 10 games).
- Grant posted his first career double-double by notching 12 points and a career-high 11 rebounds against Bryant on Nov. 27.
- Notre Dame’s 42 bench points against Maine on Thursday were the most points from the Irish subs since they deposited 48 in the 2010-11 season opener against Georgia Southern, a 98-61 victory on Nov. 12, 2010. Junior forward Jack Cooley spearheaded the bench attack against Maine with a career-high 22 points, while sophomore guard Alex Dragicevich added 14. Maine’s bench only produced eight points.
- The Fighting Irish bench scored 33 points against Sam Houston State on Nov. 16. Freshman Pat Connaughton led the way that night with 24 off the bench.
- Freshman Pat Connaughton has scored in double-figures four times this season.
- Connaughton’s 24 points against Sam Houston State (Nov. 16) were the most for a Notre Dame freshman since Torin Francis had 25 against Arizona in the Sweet 16 of the 2003 NCAA Tournament (March 27, 2003).
- Connaughton’s six made three-pointers (on 10 attempts) against Sam Houston State were the most for an Irish freshman since Chris Thomas had six against Connecticut in the semifinals of the 2002 BIG EAST Tournament (March 8, 2002).
- Connaughton’s 24 points off the bench in the Sam Houston State game were the most bench points by an Irish player since Chris Quinn netted 25 against Quinnipiac during the 2003-04 campaign (Dec. 23, 2003).
DRAINING FROM DEEP
- Notre Dame has hit 10 or more three-pointers in a game three times this season. The Irish deposited 11 treys against Bryant (Nov. 27) and Delaware State (Nov. 18) and they hit 10 versus Sam Houston State (Nov. 16). The Fighting Irish made 10 or more three-pointers in a game seven times last season.
418 AND COUNTING
- Notre Dame has made at least one three-pointer in 418 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.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
- Five Irish players – Eric Atkins, Joey Brooks, Alex Dragicevich, Jerian Grant, and Scott Martin – scored in double-figures in the 84-59 win over Bryant on Nov. 27. It was the first time Notre Dame had five double-figure scorers in a game since the semifinals of the 2011 BIG EAST Tournament against Louisville (March 11, 2011).
SHARING THE BALL
- The Irish have registered 20 or more assists in a game three times this season. Their season-high total was 24 (on 31 made baskets) against Bryant on Nov. 27.
- Eight teams on Notre Dame’s 2011-12 schedule are ranked in the latest Associated Press top-25 poll. Six of the squads – #3 Syracuse, #5 Louisville, #9 Connecticut, #11 Marquette, #15 Pittsburgh and #18 Georgetown – are BIG EAST foes, while the Fighting Irish faced #10 Missouri and #23 Gonzaga in non-conference action. The Irish will face ninth-ranked UConn twice during the regular season.
- Notre Dame will battle instate rival Indiana in the inaugural Crossroads Classic at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind. The game between the Irish and the Hoosiers is part of a doubleheader on Saturday, Dec. 17. Purdue and Butler meet in the first game at 2:00 p.m. (ET) followed by Notre Dame and Indiana at 4:30 p.m. (ET).
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION
- Notre Dame will have 17 television appearances during the 2011-12 season. The Irish will appear on ESPN’s family of networks 16 times in addition to being on CBS once.
- Freshman guard/forward Pat Connaughton also is a pitcher on the Fighting Irish baseball team. Connaughton is the 66th Notre Dame student-athlete to compete in both basketball and baseball and the first to do so since Tom Hansen during the 1973-74 academic year.
- Forward Tim Abromaitis suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee at a morning team practice on Nov. 25 and will miss the remainder of the 2011-12 campaign. Abromaitis, who is in his fifth season with the Irish, had played in two games (Missouri and Georgia) and was averaging 14.0 points and 7.0 rebounds. He had missed Notre Dame’s first four games due to a misunderstanding of a technicality in an NCAA rule governing seasons of competition that dated back to the 2008-09 campaign when he played in the first two exhibitions of his sophomore campaign and then sat out the remainder of that season.
- Abromaitis was selected to the 2011-12 preseason watch lists for both the John R. Wooden Award and the Naismith Trophy. Both awards are presented annually to the national player of the year. He also was named to the six-man preseason All-BIG EAST First Team. In addition, the Irish forward is one of 30 candidates up for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award.
- Tim Abromaitis and Scott Martin will captain the Fighting Irish during the 2011-12 season. Abromaitis is the 19th player in program history to serve as a two-time team captain.
WHAT A RUN
- The past four seasons has produced the most regular-season BIG EAST victories (46) in school history. The Irish have gone 46-26 in BIG EAST regular-season play over the past four seasons.
- Last season’s 27 wins overall (27-7) were the most in the modern era of Fighting Irish basketball. Notre Dame’s highest win total ever was 33 (33-7) in 1908-09.
- The 14 regular-season BIG EAST victories in 2010-11 tied the program standard. The Fighting Irish went 14-4 in BIG EAST play in 2007-08.
- Notre Dame’s 15 BIG EAST wins (14 regular season, 1 tournament) last season were the most in program history (combined regular season and tournament).
- Mike Brey is in his 12th 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 119-83 (.589) mark. He is one of eight coaches in BIG EAST history to record 100 conference wins.