Ben Hansbrough

Irish Conclude Two-Game Exhibition Docket On Saturday

Nov. 5, 2010

Catholic Notes in PDF FormatGet Acrobat Reader

Exhibition Game 2 – Saturday, November 6 – 7:00 p.m.

Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center (9,154)

Notre Dame Ind.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Record: 0-0, 0-0

H: 0-0; A: 0-0; N: 0-0

Catholic University Cardinals

Record: 0-0, 0-0

H: 0-0; A: 0-0; N: 0-0

Irish Set for Final Exhibition Test Before Season Opener

– Notre Dame plays the second of two exhibiton games on Saturday evening (Nov. 6) when it entertains Catholic University. The Irish were victorious in their first exhibition game on Monday (Nov. 1) in an 85-52 win over Marian. Notre Dame opens up regular-season play on Friday, Nov. 12 at 8:30 p.m. versus Georgia Southern.

Notre Dame Cruises in First Exhibition Tuneup

– Four of Notre Dame’s five starters scored in double figures as the Irish posted an 85-52 victory over Marian in its first exhibition test. Scott Martin and Tim Abromaitis led the Irish with 15 points each. The contest marked the first for Martin in two years and his first in an Irish uniform. Ben Hansbrough finished with 14 points and six assists, while Carleton Scott added 13 points, hauled in seven assists and blocked three shotst. Tyrone Nash netted nine points, grabbed a game-high eight rebounds and dished off five assists. Joey Brooks came off the bench and finished with six points and three rebounds in 16 minutes.

– The Irish shot 59.2 percent from the field (29-49) and 56.3 percent (9-16) from three-point range. Marian was limited to just 33.3 percent from the field (18-54) and 6-22 (.273) from three-point range.

– Notre Dame dished off 16 assists on its 29 baskets and committed just eight turnovers in the game. The Irish also blocked six shots and made eight steals. Busy Opening Week for the Irish

– Notre Dame will open up the campaign by playing three games in five days. After opening up the season against Georgia Southern on Nov. 12, the Irish return less than 48 hours later when they host Liberty on Sunday, Nov. 14 at 2:00 p.m. Following that contest, Notre Dame will be in action three days later against Chicago State on Wednesday, Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m.

Home Cooking

– Notre Dame will open up the season by playing its first four games at home and will play eight of its 12 non-league opponents at home before opening up BIG EAST play against Georgetown on Wednesday, Dec. 29.

– Notre Dame’s first games away from Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center will be at the Old Spice Classic at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla., Nov. 25-28. The Irish open up play against Georgia on Thanksgiving evening (Thursday, Nov. 25) versus Georgia and then will play either California or Temple in second-round action on Friday, Nov. 26. In the third game of the tournament on Sunday, Nov. 28, the Irish will play either Boston College, Texas A&M, Wisconsin or Manhattan.

– Notre Dame also travels to Louisville, Ky., on Wednesday, Dec. 8 for a matchup against Kentucky in the SEC/BIG EAST Invitational. The game, which will be played at Freedom Hall, is part of a doubleheader that evening (the other game features Seton Hall and Arkansas). The Wildcats head into the 2010-11 campaign ranked 11th in the Associated Press and 10th in the ESPN/USA Today preseason rankings.

– Notre Dame’s marquee matchup at home will be against Gonzaga on Saturday, Dec. 11. The first-ever matchup between the two schools is part of a two-game series. The Irish will head to Spokane during the 2011-12 campaign. The Zags are ranked 12th in both preseason polls.

2010-11 Irish

– Notre Dame returns two of its top three scorers from last year’s squad that finished with a 23-12 record and 10-8 mark in BIG EAST play. Tim Abromaitis and Ben Hansbrough, double-figure scorers a year ago, averaged 16.1 points and 12.0 points, respectively, as each played in all 35 contests. Hansbrough was one of three Irish players who started all 35 games, while Abromaitis earned the starting nod in 26 of those contests. Like Hansbrough, Tyrone Nash started all 35 games and averaged career bests of 7.8 points and 5.2 rebounds. Carleton Scott started the final nine games of the season and played in 34 games while averaging 5.0 points and 4.6 rebounds overall.

Scott Martin is looking forward to making his first official appearance in an Irish uniform. Martin sat out the 2008-09 campaign after transferring from Purdue in June 2008 and then missed all of last season after suffering a torn ACL at the beginning of October 2009. In his freshman season at Purdue, he averaged 8.5 points and 3.8 rebounds.

– Notre Dame’s sophomore class of forward Mike Broghammer, Jack Cooley and Tom Knight and guard Joey Brooks may not have seen a lot of playing time last season (268 minutes), but this quartet could have a big impact on the Irish’s success this season. Cooley played in 21 contests and averaged 1.0 points and 1.8 rebounds, while Broghammer saw action in 13 games and netted 1.8 points and grabbed 1.1 rebounds. Knight did not see action in any game as a freshman. Brooks played in 22 contests and averaged 2.0 points.

– The Irish welcome three freshman guards into the mix this season. Eric Atkins, the team’s only true point guard, should see a great deal of playing time in his rookie season, and may in fact at some point during the season, become the team’s starter in that role. Jerian Grant and Alex Dragicevich will add depth to Notre Dame’s perimeter arsenal as both are strong outside shooters.

Irish Take Shot At Fifth Straight 20-Win Campaign

– Notre Dame will be aiming for its fifth consecutive 20-win campaign and eighth in the last 11 seasons under head coach Mike Brey. The last time Irish teams reached the 20-win mark in five straight campaigns was from 1983-89 when those Notre Dame squads under Digger Phelps strung together six consecutive 20-win seasons.

Home Court Advantage

– Notre Dame has won 69 of its last 75 (.920) home games and is 31-5 (.861) in its last 36 BIG EAST regular-season home contests.

Postseason Stretch

– Notre Dame has earned appearances in the postseason in each of the last 11 years that 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 Mike Brey, Notre Dame has played in the NCAAs six times and NIT four times.

Conference Call

Notre Dame will face three America East Conference schools during the 2010-11 campaign — Maine (Nov. 22), Stony Brook (Dec. 19) and UMBC (Dec. 22). Irish teams are 8-0 all-time versus schools from the America East. The Irish also will meet two SEC foes during the season when they play Georgia in the Old Spice Classic on Nov. 25 and Kentucky in the SEC/BIG EAST Invitational on Dec. 8.

374 and Counting

Notre Dame begins the 2010-11 season having made at least one three-pointer in 374 straight games dating back to the 1998-99 campaign. 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.

BIG EAST Formula for Success

Since his arrival at Notre Dame, Mike Brey has led the Irish to a 98-68 (.590) record in BIG EAST regular-season games and a 6-10 mark in tournament play for an overall record of 104-78 (.571) against league foes. Brey’s Irish teams have won 10 or more conference regular-season games in six of his 10 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 48-29 (.623) over the last 77 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).

BIG EAST Repeats

For the fourth consecutive season, Notre Dame will meet Connecticut in a home-and-home series during the 2010-11 BIG EAST regular season. In addition to the Huskies, the Irish also are slated to play Marquette and St. John’s twice next season. This will be the fourth year since the expansion to 16 teams that the Conference will employ an 18-game regular-season slate with all team playing each other once and three opponents twice in a home-and-away format. Notre Dame’s single-game home opponents will be Cincinnati, Georgetown, Louisville, Rutgers, Seton Hall and Villanova. The road slate also will feature visits to DePaul, Pittsburgh, Providence, USF, Syracuse and West Virginia.

Hansbrough Nearing 1,000-Point Mark

Heading into his final season, senior guard Ben Hansbrough needs just 12 points to reach the 1,000-point mark in his career. In 100 career outings, he has scored 988 points for a 9.9 career scoring average. Hansbrough scored 569 in his two seasons at Mississippi State and then scored 419 points in 2009-10 for a career best scoring average of 12.0 points.

Irish Set to Meet Kentucky in DIRECTV SEC/BIG EAST Invitational

Notre Dame is scheduled to make its first-ever appearance in the DIRECTV SEC/BIG EAST Invitational in 2010 as the Irish are scheduled to meet Kentucky at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky., on Wednesday, Dec. 8 in a game that will be televised on ESPN. The contest is part of a doubleheader that evening (Seton Hall will face Arkansas in the other game). Notre Dame and Kentucky have met at Freedom Hall on 32 occasions with the first contest played in January 1937. The Wildcats own a 32-9 advantage in the games the two schools have played at Freedom Hall. The last time the Irish and Kentucky faced each other at Freedom Hall was on Jan. 31, 1988 as the Wildcats earned a 78-69 victory.

Irish to Appear on Three BIG Monday Broadcasts

As part of its 18-game national television slate in 2010-11, Notre Dame will be part of three ESPN Big Monday broadcasts. The Irish’s first appearance will be when head coach Mike Brey’s squad travels to the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wis., to take on Marquette at 7:00 p.m. (ET) on Jan. 10 in a game that will be shown on ESPN2. Notre Dame’s matchup at Pittsburgh on Jan. 24 at 7:00 p.m. (ET) at the Petersen Events Center will be shown on ESPN. The ESPN Big Monday cameras will make their only appearance at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center on Feb. 28 at 7:00 p.m. (ET) when the Irish take on Villanova.

Lights, Camera, Action

More than half of the 144 regular-season BIG EAST Conference men’s basketball games will be seen on national television during the 2010-11 season, once again giving BIG EAST teams unprecedented exposure on the nation’s leading television outlets. In total 73 of the regular-season contests will be on national television — either on CBS Sports, ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU. This will mark the fourth straight season in which all 144 regular-season league games will be televised.