Eric Atkins 30 points against Canisius in Sunday's overtime win was the first 30-point outing of his career.

Getting Back On Track

Nov. 21, 2013

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Game 4
Santa Clara (2-1)
Notre Dame (2-1)

Friday, Nov. 22, 2013
9 p.m. (ET)
Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center
Notre Dame, Ind.

Mike Couzens (play-by-play)
Darrin Horn (analyst)

Broadcast on (free)
Sirius/XM 85 (ESPN Xtra)
Jack Nolan (play-by-play)
Colin Falls (analyst)


If Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey had it his way, the Irish would have been back on the court playing a game 48 hours following his team’s 83-70 loss at home to Indiana State last Sunday afternoon. As the 14-year head coach will tell you that is sometimes the best way for any squad to recover from a loss.

But as the schedule played out, the Irish (2-1) will have had more than five days to think about last Sunday’s setback to the Sycamores before taking the court Friday night at 9 p.m. (ET) against Santa Clara. It’s a long time to wait for both him and his players.

“The way the schedule worked its way out, we’ve had a lot of time to think about this game,” Brey says. “It’s a long time between 3 p.m. last Sunday until 9 p.m. Friday night. But I liked how we approached this week. In the locker room, I challenged our leaders to see how we would respond to the loss. We’ve not had adversity that often in the month of November, especially at home, so this will be a good test for us. `How do we bounce back?'”

Prior to Sunday’s loss to the Sycamores, Notre Dame had been 48-0 at home in the month of November under Brey and had won 51 straight games at home in the month dating back to a 76-65 setback to Miami of Ohio on Nov. 13, 1998.

Friday night’s game against the Broncos marks the second meeting ever between the two schools. The other showdown was on December 31, 1970, as the Irish came away with an 85-83 overtime victory at home.

The Broncos enter the contest with an identical 2-1 record and are coming off a loss of their own — an 86-73 defeat at Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 16.

Santa Clara finished the 2012-13 campaign with a 26-12 record that saw the Broncos win their second postseason title in three years as they captured the CBI. The Broncos are in somewhat of a rebuilding year under seventh-year head coach Kerry Keating. Santa Clara lost five seniors to graduation last spring that combined for 13,455 minutes, 6,188 career points, 2149 rebounds, 705 assists and 492 steals.

The Broncos are led by rookie Jared Browning and junior Brandon Clark who are averaging 20.3 ppg., and 15.3 ppg., respectively.

The Irish have three players averaging double figures — Jerian Grant (19.3 ppg.), Pat Connaughton (12.3) and Eric Atkins (12.0). ââ’®’

1,000-Point Scorer
The loss last Sunday left senior guard Eric Atkins in a somber mood as the three-time Irish captain had little to celebrate despite becoming the 54th player in Notre Dame basketball history to score 1,000 points. Atkins has played in 104 career games and made 76 starts. He owns a 9.7 career scoring average and has 448 career assists.

Notre Dame-Santa Clara Connection
Friday night’s game against Santa Clara will be a homecoming of sorts for Santa Clara athletic director Dan Coonan, a 1984 Notre Dame graduate. Coonan, who also has a law degree from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, has headed up the Broncos’ athletic department since August 2004. He previously worked at the University of California and the Pac-10 (now Pac-12) Office, and also served on the athletic staffs at Central Connecticut and Notre Dame.

Grant On Naismith Watch List
Jerian Grant, a member of the all-ACC Preseason Team, is one of 50 players on the Naismith Trophy Early Season Watch List. The Atlanta Tipoff Club presents the award in April. Grant, who also was named to the John R. Wooden Award Watch List, is among ACC players on the Naismith Watch List.