Rex Pflueger vs. FDU

Irish Head To No. 3/4 Maryland For ACC/Big Ten Challenge

NOTRE DAME vs. MARYLAND

The University of Notre Dame men’s basketball team (6-1) heads to the DMV for an ACC/Big Ten Challenge matchup with No. 3/4 Maryland on ESPN Wednesday evening (7:30 p.m. ET).

  • Wednesday marks a return to the Washington DC area for Irish head coach Mike Brey (DeMatha High School), associate head coach Rod Balanis (DeMatha High School) and sophomore guard Prentiss Hubb (Gonzaga High School) as Notre Dame and Maryland renew a rivarly that was one of the premiere college basketball matchups of the 1970s and 1980s.
  • Of the previous 20 games in the series, at least one team has been ranked for 13 of the meetings, with six of the first eight meetings featuring both teams ranked in the top 25. 
  • The series is an even 6-6 since 1986 and 2-2 in the Mike Brey era (2000-01 – current).
  • Notre Dame is 3-5 on Maryland’s home court and 0-1 at the XFINITY Center.
  • The last four times Maryland has been ranked in the top 10, Notre Dame has earned victories over the Terrapins:
  • 1976 – No. 14 Notre Dame 80, No. 8 Maryland 70 in OT
  • 1981 – No. 13 Notre Dame 73, No. 10 Maryland 70
  • 1984 – Notre Dame 52, No. 5 Maryland 47
  • 2002 – Notre Dame 79, No. 9 Maryland 67
NOTRE DAMEGAME DAY INFORMATION
DateWednesday, December 4, 2019
Time7:30 p.m. ET
Site: Xfinity Center
• College Park, MD
• Capacity 17,950
TV:ESPN
• Dave Pasch (play-by-play)
• Jimmy Dykes (analyst)

Radio:Notre Dame Radio Network
• Jack Nolan (play-by-play)
• Zach Hillesland (analyst)
Available locally on WSBT AM/FM, worldwide on und.com.

Notre Dame MBB Notes at Maryland (PDF)

IRISH AT TERRAPINS – BY THE NUMBERS

1

Senior John Mooney, one of seven major conference players in the country to average a double-double, the only one of the group to average over 14 points and 13 rebounds per game. He joins Bethune Cookman’s Cletrell Pope as the only Division I players to average 14 points and 13 rebounds.

1.82

With 24 assists and just seven turnovers in the victory over Fairleigh Dickinson, Notre Dame has shot to the top of the Division I charts in team assist-turnover ratio at 1.82. Iowa State (1.65) and Virginia Tech (1.64) are second and third in the country.

5

T.J. Gibbs, Prentiss Hubb and Rex Pflueger each posted five assists in the victory over Fairleigh Dickinson, marking three years to the day for the last time that occurred. Gibbs, Bonzie Colson and Matt Farrell all had five assists against Chicago State on Nov. 26, 2016.

6

As of December 2, the Notre Dame 2019-20 schedule will feature six matchups against top-10 teams (North Carolina twice, Louisville, Maryland, at Duke, at Virginia). If the rankings remain steady, six matchups would mark the most for the program since the team faced eight top-10 ranked teams during the 2008-09 season. The Irish finished 3-5 agains the top 10 that season.

7

Notre Dame is taking part in its seventh ACC-Big Ten Challenge and owns a 4-2 record in the event. Maryland is just the fourth different opponent for the Irish in the challenge, as previously Notre Dame has faced home-and-home matchups with Iowa, Michigan State and Illinois.

8

Notre Dame ranks eighth all-time in Division I college basketball victories with 1,886. Over the next two weeks the Irish will face No. 7 (UCLA) and No. 10 (Indiana) from the NCAA the all-time wins list.

10

Notre Dame will be meeting the Associated Press’ third-ranked team (Maryland) for the 10th time in the Mike Brey era. That third-ranked spot represents the only position for a top-25 ranked team in which Brey has not earned a victory in his time at Notre Dame (0-9). Brey-coached teams own four victories over an AP No. 2 team and four more against an AP fourth-ranked opponent.

11

Graduate student Rex Pflueger has returned to the Irish lineup full time and fills up the stat sheet in each contest. In fact, Pflueger is one of just four major conference players to average 4.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.0 steals per game – and joins UNC’s Cole Anthony as the only ACC player with those averages. See page 3 for more details.

11.7

The Irish continue their tradition of  ‘defend without fouling’ in 2019-20 – currently ranked second in the country in personal fouls per game (11.7 – behind Virginia’s 10.7). In the last decade, Notre Dame has finished out of the top 10 in least amount of personal fouls per game just twice (11th in 2010-11, 15th in 2013-14) and led the country in the category in 2011-12, 2015-16 and 2018-19. See page 3 for more details.

13.0

Rebounds-per-game average for John Mooney, a mark that ranks him fourth in the country and leads the ACC as of December 2.

21

Notre Dame and Maryland will be meeting for the 21st time on Wednesday evening, with the Irish leading the all-time series 11-9. It is the first meeting between the Irish and Terrapins since they were briefly ACC conference members in 2014 (a 74-66 Maryland victory on Jan. 15, 2014).

24

The Irish compiled 24 team assists in the victory over Fairleigh Dickinson, the most since the team posted 29 assists against North Carolina A&T on December 4, 2016.

302

With five assists in the victory over Fairleigh Dickinson, senior T.J. Gibbs became the 21st Notre Dame player to reach 300 career assists in a career and the 13th player to reach the plateau during the Mike Brey era.

608

With 13 more rebounds against Fairleigh Dickinson, John Mooney became the eighth Notre Dame player of the Mike Brey era (2000-01) to reach 600 career rebounds. See page 3 for more details.

796

Glenn and Stacey Murphy Head Men’s Basketball Coach Mike Brey is approaching another milestone in his career. When the Irish face traditional rival UCLA on December 14, Coach Brey will take the sidelines for his 800th career game. Creighton’s Greg McDermott is scheduled to reach the 800 game mark on the same day as Brey and they will become the 24th and 25th active coaches to reach 800 career games.

ACC/BIG TEN CHALLENGE HISTORY

Notre Dame is in its seventh season as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference and posted its fourth win in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge game against Illinois last season. The Irish are 4-2 all-time in the event that has featured three home-and-home series with Iowa, Michigan State and Illinois.

Date

Opponent

City

Site

ND Rank

Opp Rank

W/L

ND

Opp

12/3/2013

vs. Iowa

Iowa City, IA

Carver-Hawkeye Arena

23 / 24

L

93

98

12/3/2014

vs. Michigan State

Notre Dame, IN

Purcell Pavilion

19/ 18

W (OT)

79

78

12/2/2015

vs. Illinois

Champaign, IL

State Farm Center

W

84

79

11/29/2016

vs. Iowa

Notre Dame, IN

Purcell Pavilion

W

92

78

11/30/2017

vs. Michigan State

East Lansing, MI

Breslin Center

5 / 5

3 / 3

L

63

81

11/27/18

vs. Illinois

Notre Dame, IN

Purcell Pavilion

W

76

74

MOONEY HAS FOUR STRAIGHT GAMES WITH 13 OR MORE REBOUNDS

Senior John Mooney enters the game with Maryland on a run of 13 or more rebounds in the last four games in which he as played (Mooney missed the Presbyterian game with an illness).

Mooney is the first Notre Dame player to collect 13 or more rebounds in four straight games since Luke Harangody accomplished the feat in five straight games 2008-09.

MOONEY CLIMBING THE CAREER REBOUND CHART

Passing 600 career rebounds against Fairleigh Dickinson, John Mooney became the eighth Mike Brey-era (2000-01- current) player to surpass 600 career rebounds. The Notre Dame career top 25 rebounding chart begins at 715.

Player

Seasons

Rebounds

Luke Harangody

2006-10

1,222

Torin Francis

2002-06

969

Bonzie Colson

2014-18

900

Pat Connaughton

2011-15

823

Zach Auguste

2012-16

822

Jack Cooley

2009-13

792

Rob Kurz

2004-08

650

JOHN MOONEY

2015-20

608

MOONEY POSTS DOUBLE-DOUBLES IN FOUR OF FIRST FIVE GAMES

Senior forward John Mooney, who led all major conference players in rebounds per game in league action last season and was one of seven major conference players to average a double-double, is off to an even better pace in 2019-20.

The Orlando, Florida, native has posted four double-doubles in six games played this season. He paced the ACC with 20 in 33 games played last year (and 13 in conference play – the most since Tim Duncan in 1996-97) and is up to 25 total in his career (good for 18th on the all-time Notre Dame double-double list).

Mooney missed the Presbyterian game with an illness.

MOONEY DOUBLE-DOUBLES IN 2019-20

Opponent

Rebounds

Points

Robert Morris

10

10

Howard

18

16

Marshall

28

16

Fairleigh Dickinson

13

13

PFLUEGER AMONG THE MOST BALANCED PLAYERS IN COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Graduate student Rex Pflueger is averaging 7.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.0 steals per game in 2019-20. He joins 11 other major conference players to average four-plus rebounds, 3-plus assists and 2-plus steals per contest: UNC’s Cole Anthony, Georgia’s Anthony Edwards, Stanford’s Tyrell Terry, Kansas’ Devon Dotson, Iowa State’s Tyrese Haliburton, Oklahoma State’s Isaac Likekele, Missouri’s Dru Smith, Kansas State’s Cariter Diarra, Penn State’s Jamari Wheeler and Arizona State’s Alonzo Verge.

Pflueger joins Anthony as the on ACC players with those noteworthy averages.

PFLUEGER MAKES WINNING PLAYS

Graduate student Rex Pflueger, who missed the final 23 games of the 2018-19 season with a torn ACL in his left leg, returned to the lineup in the season opener this season and has quickly returned to form. Dating back to his freshman season when his last-second tip in in the second round of the NCAA tournament against Stephen F. Austin pushed Notre Dame to the Sweet 16, Pflueger has been making winning plays for the Irish – with the come-from-behind victory over Toledo the latest example.

A breakdown of Pflueger’s big plays over the final three minutes and overtime of the win over the Rockets:

Time Remaining

Play

Led To

Notes

2:51

Steal

Hubb Lay Up

Cut Toledo lead to three

0:29

Steal

Pflueger FT

Cut Toledo lead back to two

1.5 seconds

Assist

Laszewski 3FG

Executed baseline out of bounds play to send game to overtime

4:21 OT

Rebound

Goodwin FG

Rebound first miss in OT

0:25 OT

Lay Up

Pflueger FG

Back door cut to open lay up, give ND lead in overtime

0:01 OT

Free Throws

Pflueger 2 FT

Two free throws provide the winning points

PFLUEGER JOINS 300-200-100 CLUB

Graduate student Rex Pflueger is one of just 10 players since 1996-97 (the year Notre Dame joined a conference) to compile 300 rebounds, 200 assists and 100 steals in a career.

The list of players who have reached the 300-200-100 plateau: Chris Thomas, Tory Jackson, David Graves, Jerian Grant, Chris Quinn, Eric Atkins, Steve Vasturia, Matt Carroll, Demetrius Jackson, T.J. Gibbs and Pflueger.

IRISH CLAIM MABC HONORS

The University of Notre Dame capped off a clean run through the 2019 Men Against Breast Cancer Invitational with a 64-62 overtime victory against Toledo on Thursday, November 21. Combined with a victory in the 2018 Gotham Classic Showcase Game, Notre Dame has won 15 of its last 16 in-season tournament contests – a run that includes the 2016 Legends Classic Championship and the 2017 Maui Inviational title.

John Mooney added to his personal trophy case by garnering MABC MVP honors (as voted on by media members attending each contest). Mooney follows up on his MVP honors in the Gotham Classic Showcase game from last season. Graduate student Rex Pfleuger and sophomore Dane Goodwin were named to the MABC All-Tournament Team as well.

A look at Mooney, Pfleuger and Goodwin’s statistics during the four game MABC Invitational:

Player

MP

FG

FGA

FG%

3FG

3FGA

3FG%

FT

FTA

FT%

REB

REB/G

AST

BLK

STL

PTS

PTS/G

Mooney

118

25

60

.417

5

19

.263

8

17

.471

57

14.3

11

3

5

63

15.8

Pflueger

104

8

27

.296

3

14

.214

8

9

.889

18

4.5

12

1

8

27

6.8

Goodwin

96

20

37

.541

6

13

.462

10

11

.909

17

4.3

4

1

3

56

14.0

DURHAM POSTS TWO NOTEWORTHY DOUBLE-DOUBLES

Senior Juwan Durham responded to the loss of John Mooney (illness) on the front line against Presbyterian with 11 points, 15 rebounds and four blocked shots to record his second career double-double. He followed up with 12 points, 11 rebounds and four more blocks against Fairleigh Dickinson. It was just the seventh and eighth time a Mike Brey era player has recorded 10+ points, 10+ rebounds and 4+ blocks – and the first time since John Mooney did it at North Carolina last season.

Others who have accomplished such a double-double include current Irish assistant coach Ryan Humphrey (2001), Torin Francis twice (2003, 2004), Luke Harangody (2008) and Bonzie Colson (2017).

DURHAM ALREADY AMONG TOP SHOT BLOCKERS IN NOTRE DAME HISTORY

Blocked shots are one of the youngest official NCAA official statistics, only becoming a part of the game boxscore for the 1985-86 season. With that in mind, it is still noteworthy that senior Juwan Durham (who still retains a year of eligiblity after 2019-20) has already established himself as one of the top shot blockers in Notre Dame history.

In his first full season at Notre Dame in 2018-19, Durham swatted 63 shots which ranks fifth on the Notre Dame single-season blocked shots list.

With four more blocks against Fairleigh Dickinson, Durham pushed his career blocked-shot average to 2.30 and is one of just three Notre Dame players to average over 2.0 blocks per game:

Player

Seasons

Blocks Per Game

Ryan Humphrey

2000-02

2.8

JUWAN DURHAM

2018-current

2.3

LaPhonso Ellis

1988-92

2.1

Durham’s 80 total blocks at Notre Dame currently rank him 16th all-time. Jordan Cornette is the Notre Dame blocked shots record holder with 201 from 2001-05.

FOUR MORE FIRST-TIME OPPONENTS IN 2019-20

The 2019-20 schedule welcomes four first-time opponents to Notre Dame’s men’s basketball schedule (Robert Morris (W, 92-57), Howard (W, 79-50), Presbyterian (W, 63-53) and Alabama A&M) matching the same number from last season (UIC, Radford, Oklahoma and Jacksonville).

Under Mike Brey, the Irish are 48-5 (.906) in games featuring first-time program meetings.

GIBBS JOINS 1,000-300-200-100 CLUB

Senior T.J. Gibbs, who reached the 1,000-point career mark last season, has joined another exclusive club. With 303 assists, Gibbs has now recorded 1,000 points, 300 assists, 200 rebounds and 100 steals in his time at Notre Dame.

Only Chris Thomas, Jerian Grant, Chris Quinn, Eric Atkins, Steve Vasturia, Tory Jackson and Demetrius Jackson all reached those milestones under Mike Brey at Notre Dame.

IRISH TRADITIONALLY AMONG BEST IN THE COUNTRY AT TAKING CARE OF THE BALL

Notre Dame finished third in the NCAA last season in turnovers per game – posting the fifth consecutive season of ranking in the nation’s top-10 for least amount of turnovers in a game.

The Irish have not averaged over 10.0 turnovers per game since a 10.3 mark in 2013-14 (which was still good enough for 26th nationally).

NOTRE DAME TURNOVERS PER GAME, LAST FIVE SEASONS

Season

Turnovers/Game

National Rank

Conference Rank

2014-15

9.4

5

2

2015-16

10

10

3

2016-17

9.5

2

1

2017-18

9.9

7

2

2018-19

9.3

7

2

2019-20

9.4

t-3

1

A DECADE OF ‘NO FOUL’ CONTINUES

One of the mantras of Notre Dame basketball under Mike Brey has been to keep the amount of opponent foul shots down. Defend without fouling is a way of life for Irish basketball and the statistics bear out that trend.

In the last 10 years, Notre Dame has failed to finish among the top 10 in least amount of personal fouls committed just twice. They have also led the country in least amount of personal fouls three times. So far, in 2019-20, the Irish are second in the NCAA in least amount of fouls committed (11.7).

NOTRE DAME FOULS PER GAME NATIONAL/CONFERENCE FINAL RANKING

Year

Fouls Per Game

NCAA Raking

Conference Ranking

2009-10

15.1

10

2

2010-11

15.2

11

1

2011-12

13.8

1

1

2012-13

14.1

8

1

2013-14

16.2

15

5

2014-15

15.1

6

1

2015-16

15.1

1

1

2016-17

14.9

4

1

2017-18

13.1

1

1

2018-19

13.8

1

1

2019-20

11.7

2

2