Nov. 29, 2011
Notre Dame (5-2) vs. Gonzaga (3-0)
Nov. 30, 2011 – 11:15 p.m. (ET)
McCarthey Athletic Center (6,000)
Dave Flemming (play-by-play)
Sean Farnham (analyst)
Radio: Affiliate listings on Pg. 5
Broadcast on UND.com
Jack Nolan (play-by-play)
Sean Kearney (analyst)
Live Stats: GameTracker (UND.com)
IRISH HEAD WEST FOR DATE WITH GONZAGA
- Notre Dame (5-2) will travel to Spokane, Wash., for a Wednesday night showdown against Gonzaga (3-0). Tip-off between the Fighting Irish and Bulldogs is slated for 11:15 p.m. (ET). The game will be aired on ESPN2 with Dave Flemming (play-by-play) and Sean Farnham (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 second meeting ever between Notre Dame and Gonzaga. The Irish topped the Bulldogs, 83-79, last season inside Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center (Dec. 11, 2010).
- The Bulldogs are a member of the West Coast Conference (WCC). The Fighting Irish are 22-8 all-time against current members of the WCC. This is the sixth straight season that Notre Dame has faced a WCC foe. The Irish defeated Portland, 86-69, during the 2006-07 season and took down San Francisco, 84-76, during the 2007-08 campaign. Notre Dame won at Loyola Marymount, 65-54, in 2008-09 before falling to the Lions, 87-85, at home during the 2009-10 season. The Irish bested Gonzaga, 83-79, last season at Notre Dame.
- Wednesday will be Notre Dame’s first game in Spokane, Wash., since falling to Winthrop, 74-64, during the first round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament. That game was played at the Spokane Arena.
- Notre Dame’s 84-59 win over Bryant on Sunday upped the Fighting Irish home win streak to 24 games.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
- Five Irish players – Eric Atkins, Joey Brooks, Alex Dragicevich, Jerian Grant, and Scott Martin – scored in double-figures in Sunday’s 84-59 win over Bryant. 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).
- 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.
- Sophomores Jerian Grant, Eric Atkins and Alex Dragicevich along with freshman Pat Connaughton have accounted for 56% of Notre Dame’s scoring this season. They have tallied 283 of the team’s 505 points.
SHUFFLING THE LINEUP
- Notre Dame has used five different starting lineups in its first seven games of the season. Senior Scott Martin and sophomore Jerian Grant are the only two Irish players to start every game this season.
- Five different Irish players – Joey Brooks (Jr./G), Jack Cooley (Jr./F), Jerian Grant (So./G), Alex Dragicevich (So./G) and Pat Connaughton (Fr./G-F) – have made their first career start this season.
- Five Notre Dame players – Tim Abromaitis, Eric Atkins, Pat Connaughton, Jerian Grant and Scott Martin – have scored 20 or more points in a game this season.
- Notre Dame’s first six games of the season occurred in an 11-day span. Wednesday’s game at Gonzaga will end a stretch that had the Irish playing eight games in an 18-day span.
GRANT HAS ALL-AROUND GAME
- Sophomore guard Jerian Grant posted his first career double-double by notching 12 points and a career-high 11 rebounds in Sunday’s win over Bryant.
- Grant has team-high totals in points (94) and assists (34) and is tied for the team lead in steals (8). He has made a team-high 13 three-pointers.
- Grant is shooting 54.9% (28-51) from the field, which includes a 56.5% (13-23) mark from three-point range. Grant has a team-best 4.25 assist-to-turnover ratio.
- Grant has reached double-figures in points a team-best six times this season. He became the first first-year Notre Dame player to reach double-figures in points in his first four games since Luke Harangody began his career with five straight double-digit games during the 2006-07 season.
ATKINS ON THE ATTACK
- Sophomore point guard Eric Atkins has a team-best 15.4 points-per-game average this season. He has scored in double-figures in four of the five games he has played in this season. He missed two games (Sam Houston State & Delaware State) due to illness.
- Atkins dished out a career-high nine assists in Sunday’s win over Bryant.
- Atkins scored a career-high 27 points in the season-opening victory over Mississippi Valley State. Against Mississippi Valley State, Atkins was 6-of-7 from the field, including 3-of-3 from three-point range, and 12-of-12 from the free-throw line. Both the three-point and free-throw totals were career-high figures.
- Atkins is 27-33 (.818) from the charity stripe this season. He is 8-11 (.727) from three-point range.
BROOKS BOASTS BIG GAME AGAINST BRYANT
- Junior guard Joey Brooks matched a career-high total with 13 points on Sunday against Bryant. He made a career-high two three-pointers (on two attempts). Brooks also blocked a career-high three shots. Those were the first blocks of his career.
DRAINING FROM DEEP
- Notre Dame went 11-for-25 (44.0%) from three-point range in Sunday’s win over Bryant. The 11 three-pointers matched a season-high total for the Irish and it was the third time this season that they made at least 10 treys in a game. Sam Houston State (10) and Delaware State (11) were the other contests that Notre Dame deposited at least 10 treys. The Fighting Irish made 10 or more three-pointers in a game seven times last season.
415 AND COUNTING
- Notre Dame has made at least one three-pointer in 415 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.
SHARING THE ROCK
- Notre Dame dished out a season-high 24 assists (on 31 baskets) in Sunday’s win over Bryant. The Irish have registered 20 or more assists in a game three times this season.
- Pat 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).
COOLEY CRASHING THE BOARDS
- Junior forward Jack 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 7.1 rpg. average this season.
- Seven teams on Notre Dame’s 2011-12 schedule are ranked in the latest Associated Press top-25 poll. Five of the squads – #4 Syracuse, #6 Louisville, #8 Connecticut, #16 Marquette and #17 Pittsburgh – are BIG EAST foes, while the Fighting Irish faced #13 Missouri last Monday and will also meet #19 Gonzaga in non-conference action. The Irish will face eighth-ranked UConn twice during the regular season.
BACK TO THE BB&T
- Notre Dame will meet Maryland on Sunday in the BB&T Classic at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The Fighting Irish will be making their third appearance in the event, which is held annually in the nation’s capital. Each of the last two meetings between Notre Dame and Maryland has occurred at the BB&T Classic. Notre Dame topped Maryland, 79-67, in 2002 en route to the event title. The Irish bested the Terrapins, 81-74, in the 2006 BB&T Classic.
- 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.
- 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.