Dec. 31, 2009
Notre Dame (12-2, 1-0) vs. 10/10 Connecticut (9-3, 0-1)
Saturday, Jan. 2, 2010 o 12:00 p.m.
XL Center (16,294)
Clay Matvick (play-by-play analyst)
Bob Wenzel (color analyst)
Radio: Jack Nolan (play-by-play analyst)
LaPhonso Ellis (color analyst)
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Real-Time Stats: Live in-game statistics are available for all home games via the Notre Dame athletic website (www.und.com).
Notre Dame vs. Connecticut
- After playing 12 of its first 14 games in the friendly confines of Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center, Notre Dame (12-2, 1-0) faces its first true road test of the 2009-10 campaign as the Irish travel to Hartford, Conn., to take on the 10th-ranked Connecticut Huskies (9-3,0-1). o Notre Dame won for the 12th time in 14 outings on Wednesday night as the Irish defeated Providence, 93-78, in the BIG EAST opener for both teams.
- Notre Dame is facing its first ranked opponent of the season. The last time an Irish team defeated a top-10 opponent on the road in a true road game was on Jan. 27, 2001 in a 78-71 victory over Georgetown. Notre Dame’s last victory over a ranked opponent on the road was during the 2007-08 campaign in a 90-80 win at Villanova.
- Irish head coach Mike Brey earned his 200th win in his 10th season at Notre Dame on Wednesday night and is one of only three coaches in school history with 200 career wins. George Keogan (1923-43) won 327 games during his tenure, while Digger Phelps (1971-91) earned 393 victories during his 20-year tenure.
- A win against Connecticut this afternoon would give Mike Brey his 300th career win in 15 seasons as a head coach.
- Connecticut leads the all-time series 15-6 with all 21 meeting coming as BIG EAST foes. Nineteen of those matchups have come during the conference regular season.
- Connecticut has won three straight over the Irish and five of the last six meetings.
- Notre Dame is 1-9 all-time against the Huskies playing either at Gampel Pavilion (0-3) or the XL Center (1-6). Notre Dame’s lone road victory came in Hartford as the Irish earned a 75-70 over the second-ranked and defending national champion Huskies on Jan. 5, 2000.
- Notre Dame topped the 90-point mark for the fifth time this season and second straight in its 93-78 victory against Providence in its BIG EAST opener. Jonathan Peoples came off the bench to score a career-high 23 points, in addition to grabbing six rebounds in 26 minutes, while Tim Abromaitis also topped the 20-point mark with 22 points. Luke Harangody posted his 57th career double-double to set the Notre Dame record in that category as he finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Ben Hansbrough registered his first career double-double in his BIG EAST debut as he finished with 10 points and 10 assists, in addition to grabbing eight rebounds. Tory Jackson rounded out the double-figure scoring for the Irish as he finished with 11 points. Jackson played all 40 minutes of the contest and did not have a turnover while also dishing off seven assists.
- Luke Harangody has scored in double figures in all 14 games this season and has recorded seven double-doubles, while Tim Abromaitis has notched 10-plus points in all but one contest (Idaho State). Harangody currently is tied for fourth nationally in scoring with 23.8 points per game.
- As a team in the national statistics, Notre Dame ranks 21st in scoring offense (84.4), 9th in assists (18.9), 15th in field goal percentage (.508) and 10th in turnovers (11.3).
- Today’s game marks a homecoming for Tim Abromaitis who hails from nearby Unionville, Conn., and played his high school ball at Farmington High School.
- Abromaitis’ father, Jim, played for the Huskies from1975-80. His older brother, Jason, played at Yale.
Happy Birthday Luke
- Irish senior All-American Luke Harangody is celebrating his 22nd birthday today. Irish In BIG EAST Openers
- With Notre Dame’s win over Providence on Wednesday night, the Irish improved to 9-6 all-time in BIG EAST openers and 6-4 under head coach Mike Brey. It marked only the fifth time in 15 seasons seasons as a member of the BIG EAST Conference that the Irish opened up league play at home.
Brey Gets Win No. 200, Now Eyes 300
- Notre Dame’s win over Providence gave head coach Mike Brey his 200th win with the Irish. In his 10th season along the Irish sidelines, he owns a 200-103 (.660) record. His 100th with the Irish came on Feb. 16, 2005 in a 70-64 victory at home against Georgetown. o Brey also is one win shy of his 300th career win as he owns a 299-155 (.659) ledger in 15 seasons as head coach. Ironically, Brey’s 200th career win came against Providence, 62-61, in Providence, R.I., on Feb. 19, 2005.
- It’s been a busy last couple of weeks for first-year assistant men’s basketball coach Martin Ingelsby as he and his wife Colleen became first-time parents. The couple welcomed twins (William Thomas and Kate Elizabeth) on Tuesday, Dec. 15 at 9:30 a.m. Ingelsby, who played point guard for the Irish from 1997-2001 and served as Notre Dame’s coordinator of basketball operations for six years, was promoted to his current position in July 2009. o During the week the twins were born, Ingelsby was the was the assistant responsible for the UCLA scout on Dec. 19.
- Notre Dame shot a season-best 60.7 percent against Bucknell on Dec. 22. That marked the sixth time in the last seven games that the Irish have shot better than 50 percent. Notre Dame has shot better than 50.0 percent in nine of 14 games this season.
Moving Up The Charts
- Luke Harangody reached the 2,000-point plateau against Idaho State with the game’s first basket to become the program’s seventh 2,000-point scorer and joined Austin Carr – 2,560 points (1968-71); Adrian Dantley – 2,223 (1973-76); Chris Thomas – 2,195 points (2001-05); Pat Garrity – 2,085 (1994-98) and Troy Murphy – 2,058 (1998-01) in that illustrious group. He currently ranks fourth in program history with 2,156 career points. Harangody also is the first player in school history to score 2,000 points and grab 1,000 rebounds. Harangody reached the 1,000-rebound mark against Kennesaw State on Nov. 24 and now has 1,091 career rebounds, which ranks third in school history. He is just the fifth player in Notre Dame basketball history to grab 1,000 rebounds.
- Irish seniors Luke Harangody, Tory Jackson and Jonathan Peoples have logged heavy playing time in their Irish careers. The trio has played in a combined 337 contests and been in the starting lineup on 208 occasions.
- Harangody has made 97 consecutive starts in the 113 contests he has played as he earned a spot in the starting lineup in the 16th game of his freshman season. He has averaged 28.7 minutes per game throughout his playing career. He missed the only two games of his career last season when he was diagnosed with pneumonia.
- Jackson has never missed a game during his collegiate career (115 contests) and has started 101 games while averaging 31.9 minutes per game. Jackson is one of seven players in Notre Dame history with 100 or more career starts.
- Peoples has played in 109 career games. He started the first eight games of this season and has earned 10 starts overall during his career.
- Notre Dame’s 10 blocked shots against IUPUI on Dec. 9 were the most for the Irish since they blocked 10 against Mt. St. Mary’s on Nov. 29, 2003.
- Luke Harangody and Carleton Scott both registered career-high block totals with five and three, respectively, against the Jaguars. Jonathan Peoples and Tim Abromaitis also added blocks in the contest.
- Harangody currently ranks eighth in Notre Dame history with 88 career blocks.
- Luke Harangody posted his seven double-double of the season with 19 points and 13 rebounds against Providence as he became Notre Dame’s career double-doubles leader with his 57th career double-double, eclipsing the mark set by LaPhonso Ellis from 1988-92.
A New Era In Notre Dame Basketball – Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center
- Notre Dame basketball will receive a facelift in 2009-10 as the largest renovation in Joyce Center history signals the opening of Purcell Pavilion. The $26.3-million project, which began with groundbreaking ceremonies in September 2008, was made possible by lead gifts from Philip J. Purcell III, Vincent J. Naimoli and Mike Leep, Sr. The renovation encompasses construction of a new three-story structure at the south end of the arena that will include a new three-story lobby, the Notre Dame ticket operations (approximately 4,500 square feet) and a varsity shop to sell apparel and souvenirs (approximately 3,000 square feet), in addition to a new club seating and hospitality area. Replacement of the existing Joyce Center arena seating, including the installation of chair-back seating throughout the arena, took place during the summer of 2009 following Commencement Exercises in May. The entire project is scheduled for completion in January 2010.
- The arena is Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center – and the new club/hospitality area (and two outdoor patios) will be named the Naimoli Family Sports Club Room. The new varsity shop will be named the Mike Leep Sr. Varsity Shop, while the three-story atrium is named after former Notre Dame athletic director Dick Rosenthal.
Class of 2010 Aims For History
- The Irish senior class of Luke Harangody, Tory Jackson, Jonathan Peoples and Tim Andree is looking to become the all-time winningest class in career and BIG EAST Conference victories at Notre Dame. The quartet has an 82-33 record for a .713 winning percentage and is 34-19 (.642) overall in BIG EAST play. They need 11 wins to surpass the 92 wins from the 1975-79 and 1977-81 classes. The most BIG EAST wins are 40 set by Irish teams from 2000-04 and 2004-08.
Andrean Honors Harangody
- Luke Harangody was honored by his alma mater, Andrean High School, in a special ceremony on Dec. 5 as the school designated the evening Luke Harangody Night. Harangody’s No. 40 jersey that he wore in high school was honored by the school in a pre-game ceremony and was the first-ever to be recognized in this special ceremony.
- Harangody led Andrean to a 67-29 record, won two Athletic Conference crowns (2005 and 2006) and three sectional titles. A two-time all-state and all-conference honoree, he finished his career with 1,527 points (18.8 ppg.) and 850 rebounds (10.5 rpg.).
Harangody Tops Associated Press Preseason All-America Team
- Luke Harangody was the leading vote-getter on the Associated Press Preseason All-America Team that was announced Nov. 2. Harangody received 57 votes from the 65-member media panel. Joining him on the preseason AP All-America team was junior Cole Aldrich of Kansas (49 votes), senior Sherron Collins of Kansas (39 votes), junior Patrick Patterson of Kentucky (35 votes) and junior Kyle Singler of Duke (30 votes).
- Harangody also was one of nine BIG EAST players named to the 50-person 2009-10 Naismith Trophy Preseason Watch List that was announced by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.
- In August, Harangody was named to the John R. Wooden All-America Team Preseason Top 50 List. Among the 50 returnees, he is the only two-time member of that squad having earned a spot on the 10-member team in both 2008 and 2009.
- Harangody also was named as one of 30 candidates in men’s basketball for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award.
Same Game, New Number
- Irish fans will not see the familiar No. 2 worn by Tory Jackson in his first three seasons as he has switched jersey numbers and is wearing No. 3 in 2009-10.
Points a Plenty
- Notre Dame has scored 80-plus points in 12 of 14 contests this season and scored 90-plus points on six occasions, including in four of the last six contests.
- The Irish topped the 90-point mark for the second time in as many outings in the 93-78 win over Providence.
- In its previous outing, a 101-69 victory over Bucknell, the Irish topped the 100-point mark for the first time this season and the 12th time during Mike Brey’s tenure.
- Currently, Notre Dame is averaging 84.4 ppg., while opponents have scored 69.7 points.
- Through its first five games, Notre Dame was averaging 86.8 points per game and yielding just 66.6 to its opponents. The Irish opened up the season scoring 80 or more points in all five games. The last time Notre Dame topped the 80-point mark in the first five games of a season was in 1978-79.
- The Irish averaged just 61.0 ppg. in the final two games of the Chicago Invitational Challenge at the UIC Pavilion. The 58 points in a 72-58 loss to Northwestern were the fewest scored by Notre Dame since a 66-48 loss to Georgetown on Jan. 6, 2007.
Irish Aim For Fourth Straight 20-Win Season
- Notre Dame will be looking for its fourth straight 20-win season in 2009-10. The Irish recorded a 24-8 record in 2006-07, finished 25-8 in 2008-09 and posted a 21-15 mark in 2008-09. Notre Dame last had three consecutive 20-win campaigns in head coach Mike Brey’s first three seasons from 2000-03. The last time Irish teams reached the 20-win mark in four straight campaigns was from 1983-89 when those Notre Dame squads under former head coach Digger Phelps had six consecutive 20-win seasons.
- Notre Dame has earned appearances in the postseason in each of the last 10 years – it’s the longest stretch in school history. The Irish have been in the NCAA Tournament on five occasions and in the National Invitation Tournament five times during this current stretch.
- Under 10th-year head coach Mike Brey, Notre Dame has played in the NCAA five times and NIT four times. The Irish advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2003.
Non-Conference Home Win Streak Snapped
- Notre Dame had its 41-game non-conference home win streak snapped on Dec. 12 in its 87-85 loss to Loyola Marymount. The Irish last lost to a non-conference opponent at home when they suffered a 71-57 setback to Michigan on Dec. 3, 2005.
- Seniors Luke Harangody, Tory Jackson and Jonathan Peoples have been voted captains for the 2009-10 season.
Harangody Tabbed as BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year
- For the second straight year, Luke Harangody was named the 2009-10 Preseason BIG EAST player of the year by a vote of the league’s head coaches. Harangody was chosen for the honor prior to his junior season after earning the conference’s player-of-the-year accolade in 2008. Last season, he became the first player in league history to lead the conference in both scoring (25.2) and rebounding (12.8). Harangody is the only player in Notre Dame history to score 2,000 points and grab 1,000 rebounds, ranking sixth all-time with 2,054 points and standing fifth with 1,038 rebounds. In his three-year BIG EAST career, he has scored 1,031 points (19.9 ppg.) in 52 league contests. Only three other players in BIG EAST history — Ray Allen (Connecticut), Richard Hamilton (Connecticut) and Pat Garrity (Notre Dame) — scored more than 1,000 points in three seasons.
The One And Only
- Luke Harangody reached a milestone never before achieved by an Irish basketball player – 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds – on Dec. 1 against Idaho State. He scored his 2,000th career point against the Bengals and reached the 1,000-rebound mark with his 15 boards against Kennesaw State on Nov. 24 to become only the fifth player in the 105-year history of the program to accomplish that feat.
- While he is the only player in Notre Dame basketball history with 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds, he is one of only five players to have scored 1,000 points and grabbed 1,000 rebounds:
Tom Hawkins (1956-59): 1,746 points, 1,318 rebounds
Bob Whitmore (1966-69): 1,580 points, 1,043 rebounds
LaPhonso Ellis (1988-92): 1,505 points, 1,075 rebounds
Walter Sahm (1962-65): 1,077 points, 1,146 rebounds
- Mike Brey is in his 10th season along the Irish sidelines and is the third-longest tenured coach in the BIG EAST, behind only Jim Boeheim of Syracuse and Jim Calhoun of Connecticut. Brey stands seventh all-time in the BIG EAST win 93 victories (93-69 overall that includes regular-season and tournament contests). He needs just five wins to move ahead of Steve Lappas, who coached at Villanova, on the career wins list and is eight wins shy of becoming just the sixth coach in BIG EAST history to record 100 conference wins.
BIG EAST All-Time Winningest Coaches By Victories (Includes conference regular-season and championship games)
1. Jim Boeheim, Syracuse 356
2. Jim Calhoun, Connecticut 282
3. John Thompson, Georgetown 231
4. Lou Carnesecca, St. John’s 139
5. Rollie Massimino, Villanova 123
6. Steve Lappas, Villanova 97
7. Mike Brey, Notre Dame 93
Jackson Becomes 50th 1,000-Point Scorer in Notre Dame History
- Tory Jackson became the 50th player in program history to score 1,000 career points when he reached that mark against Bucknell on Dec. 22, He owns a scoring average of 8.8 points and has played in all 115 games of his Irish career.
- With 581 career assists, he would become just the fourth player in school history with 1,000 career points and 500 assists.
- The three other Irish players with 1,000 points and 500 assists are:
Chris Thomas (2001-05): 2,195 points, 833 assists
David Rivers (1984-88): 2,011 points, 586 assists
Elmer Bennett (1956-59): 1,488 points, 516 assists
A BEN-e-ful Debut
- Senior guard Ben Hansbrough had a successful debut in an Irish uniform against North Florida in the season opener as he scored 19 points and dished off four assists in 31 minutes. Hansbrough was 5-6 from the field in the contest.
- He finished 5-5 from three-point range and in the process tied a Purcell Pavilion record for three-point field goal percentage.
- Hansbrough followed that performance up with 18 points and seven assists against St. Francis.
- After scoring just four points against Northwestern and finishing 1-10 from the field, Hansbrough finished with 14 points against Saint Louis on 6-9 shooting from the field.
- Hansbrough scored in double figures in Notre Dame’s first three games – the second time in his career that he netted 10-plus points in three straight contests. As a freshman at Mississippi State, he scored in double figures in four straight games.
- He has netted 10-plus points in nine games this season and deposited a season-high 22 points against IUPUI on Dec. 9.
- Hansbrough scored 14 points and dished off a career-high nine assists against Loyola Marymount on Dec. 12.
- He scored Notre Dame’s first nine points in the win over UCLA en route to a 14-point performance.
BIG EAST Debut
- Ben Hansbrough didn’t display any jitters in his BIG EAST debut as he recorded his first career double-double against Providence on Wednesday night with 10 points and career-high 10 assists. He also had a career-high eight rebounds in the contest.
Making It Count
- Junior forward Tim Abromaitis, who played in just 12 games as a freshman in 2007-08 and did not play at all during the 2008-09 campaign, has had more than timely contributions in Notre Dame’s 14 games as he is averaging 16.2 points (second leading scorer) and 4.1 rebounds this season.
- Making his first career start in Notre Dame’s win over UCF on Dec. 6, he scored a career-high 31 points as he connected on 10-17 shots from the field, 3-7 from three-point range and was 8-9 from the charity stripe. He followed up that performance with 18 points in another start versus IUPUI on Dec. 9. Abromaitis was 6-11 from the field and 4-8 from three-point range against the Jaguars. oAbromaitis registered the second 20-plus outing of his career on Dec. 12 against Loyola Marymount as he scored 23 points and topped the 20-point mark for the third time with a 22-point effort against Providence, in addition to grabbing a career-high seven rebounds.
- He is shooting 56.9 percent from the field (78-137) and 51.9 from three-point range (40-77) and 91.2 percent from the free-throw line (31-34) to lead the Irish in all three of those categories.
- In the season opener against North Florida, Abromaitis came off the bench and registered then personal-bests of 21 minutes and 13 points (first career game in double figures) as he connected on 5-6 shots from the field and was 3-4 from three-point range.
- In Notre Dame’s second outing of the season, he eclipsed his career-best with a 17-point performance that also included grabbing a personal-best five rebounds.
- Abromaitis scored in double figures in Notre Dame’s first seven games and in 13 games overall.
- The only game that he has failed to score in double figures was against Idaho State when he finished that contest with nine points.
- Abromaitis stands ninth nationally in three-point field goal percentage (.519).
- Tim Abromaitis went 8-9 from the charity stripe against UCF and missed not only his first free throw of the season, but also the first one of his career.
- Overall in his career, he has converted on 38 of his 41attempts (.927). Prior to the miss against UCF, he had been good on all 21 of his free throw attempts.
- Notre Dame’s backcourt tandem of seniors Tory Jackson and Ben Hansbrough have combined for 146 assists and they have turned the ball over just 40 times.
- Jackson owns a 4.00 assist-to-turnover ratio (72 assists, 18 turnovers), while Hansbrough stands at 3.27 (74 assists, 22 turnovers). Jackson ranks fifth nationally in that category, while Hansbrough is sixth. Notre Dame is the only school in the country with two players in the top 10 in assist-to-turnover ratio.
- Jackson is averaging a turnover every 26.3 minutes, while Hansbrough is averaging a turnover every 20.7 minutes.
- Against Kennesaw State, the duo accounted for nine of Notre Dame’s 19 assists and neither one committed a turnover in the contest. Jackson played 37 minutes and dished off five assists, while Hansbrough had four assists in 30 minutes.
- Against Providence, they dished off 17 of the team’s 21 assists.
- Jackson only has committed 11 turnovers in the last 10 games and has gone without a turnover in the Kennesaw State, Northwestern, Idaho State, UCF and Providence contests.
The Peoples’ Choice
- Senior guard Jonathan Peoples scored a career-high 23 points and matched his personal best with six rebounds against Providence on Wednesday night. He was 6-7 from the field and 5-5 from three-point range. He connected on his first five shots (all from three-point range) and had already eclipsed his career high with 17 first-half points.
- Peoples started the first eight games of the 2009-10 campaign and has made 10 starts during his career. In the season-opening win over North Florida, he played a career-high 30 minutes in the contest and notched his third career double-figure outing as he scored 11 points on 4-7 shooting, including a 3-5 performance from three-point range. Peoples also reached double figures against Long Beach State as he scored 10 points.
- Overall in his career he has scored in double figures in five games.
A Coming Out Party
- Junior forward Carleton Scott had his best outing in an Irish uniform against Kennesaw State on Nov. 24 as he notched seven points and two assists along with grabbing a career-high 11 rebounds in 22 minutes.
- He put together another solid effort against Northwestern as he played a career-high 26 minutes and had seven points and eight rebounds.
- Scott scored a career-high eight points on 4-4 shooting in 21 minutes against Idaho State.
- He had a career-high four blocks against Bucknell on Dec. 22.
Hitting The Boards
- Tyrone Nash had his best rebounding effort of the season in Notre Dame’s win over Saint Louis on Nov. 28 as he finished with a season-high 10 boards. It marked the second game in his career that he recorded 10-plus rebounds in a game.
- He scored a career-high 13 points against Loyola Marymount on Dec. 12 and also finished with nine rebounds to post one of the best outings of his career. He following that up with an 11-point performance against UCLA for his fourth double-figure scoring effort of the season and the first time in his career that he has recorded back-to-back double-figure scoring efforts.
- Nash’s other career double-digit rebounding effort came against Villanova last season when he grabbed 11 rebounds.
- In the last eight games, he is averaging 8.1 points (65 points) and 7.0 rebounds (56 rebounds).
- Freshman Mike Broghammer has become a crowd favorite and has been affectionately dubbed “The Hammer” by the Irish student body.
- Broghammer played a career-high nine minutes against Idaho State on Dec. 1 and finished with three points and three rebounds. He tallied four points in seven minutes of play against IUPUI on Dec. 9.
Getting In The Act
- Joey Brooks and Jack Cooley had “coming out parties” of their own on Dec. 22 against Bucknell. Both played career-high minutes with Brooks seeing action for 12 minutes off the bench and Cooley playing 11 minutes. Brooks scored 12 points and dished off two assists, while Cooley scored five points, grabbed eight rebounds and blocked two shots.
- Notre Dame finished first nationally in 2008-09 in two statistical categories – turnovers (9.5) and assist to turnovers (1.75).
- In 2007-08, the Irish led the nation in assists with 18.4 per game.
105 Years Young
- The 2009-10 campaign marks the 105th season of basketball at Notre Dame and the 15th season as a member of the BIG EAST Conference. Notre Dame teams have posted a 1663-910 record for a .646 winning percentage. In 15 seasons as a member of the BIG EAST, the Irish own a 124-113 (.523) record all-time in conference regular-season play.
BIG EAST Turnaround
- During head coach Mike Brey’s tenure, Notre Dame has had only two losing seasons in BIG EAST play – 6-10 in 2005-06 and 8-10 in 2008-09. Since the ’05-’06 campaign when the Irish finished 6-10 after beginning the BIG EAST campaign with a 1-8 record, Notre Dame has gone 39-21 (.650) over the last 60 regular-season league games.
BIG EAST Formula For Success
- Since his arrival at Notre Dame, Mike Brey has led the Irish to an 89-60 (.597) record in BIG EAST regular-season games and a 4-9 mark in tournament play for an overall record of 93-69 (.574) against league foes. In Brey’s first season, the Irish posted their first-ever winning record in BIG EAST play and won the league’s West Division title with an 11-5 mark. Prior to Brey’s arrival at Notre Dame, Irish teams had a 35-53 (.398) regular-season record from 1995-2000.
353 And Counting
- Entering today’s contest against Connecticut, Notre Dame has hit at least one three-pointer in 353 straight games, a mark that dates 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 as Notre Dame finished 0-7 from beyond the arc. In 2008-09, the Irish set a single-season three-point record with 319.
Living Large At The Line
- Notre Dame is shooting 70.8 percent from the free throw line, led by Tim Abromaitis’ 91.2 percent accuracy as he has connected on 31-34 from the charity stripe. As a team, the Irish have outscored their opponents 226-136 from the line, while attempting 133 more free throws (9.5 per game). Notre Dame is 226-319 from the free-throw line, while opponents have made 73.1 percent (136-186). In the Spotlight o Notre Dame will appear on national television 14 times during the 2009-10 campaign and that includes two games on CBS (UCLA and Georgetown), seven contests on either ESPN or ESPN2 and five games on ESPNU. The Irish appeared on national television a school-record 23 times in 2008-09.
Now That’s Something To Talk About
- Notre Dame has won 63 of its last 67 home games that included a school-record 45-game win streak from 2006-09. The Irish also tied a BIG EAST mark by winning 20 straight conference home games during that time period. Notre Dame became the first BIG EAST team in conference history to record back-to-back undefeated seasons at home after finishing 17-0 in ’06-’07 and 18-0 in ’07-’08. Here’s a look at the dominance of the Irish over the course of the last 67 contests at home:
Notre Dame Opponents FG Pct. 1907-4015 (.475) 1672-4117 (.399) 3-FG Pct. 592-1446 (.409) 452-1366 (.331) Points/Avg. 5,560 (82.9 ppg.) 4,414 (65.9 ppg.) Margin of Victory +1,146 points (+17.1 per game)
Notre Dame has shot .500 or better in 28 of 67 games; opponents have shot .500 or better in 7 of 67 games. There have been 46 wins by 10-plus points; 24 wins by 20-plus points; 15 wins by 30-plus points; 5 wins by 40-plus points; and 1 win by 50-plus points.
Irish Sign Three Guards In Early Signing Period
- Irish head coach Mike Brey signed a trio of guards during the early signing period in November: Eric Atkins (Columbia, Md./Mount St. Joseph/6-1, 170); Alex Dragicevich (Northbrook, Ill./Glenbrook North/6-6, 210) and Jerian Grant (Bowie, Md./DeMatha/6-5, 180). Atkins averaged 23.4 points, 6.0 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 3.2 steals en route to earning Baltimore Catholic League player-of-the-year honors and first team all-Baltimore Metro honors. Dragicevich led his Glenbrook North squad to a 23-5 record in 2008-09 while averaging 20.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists and being selected as the Central Suburban League North Player of the Year. Grant will be one of three members from the current Notre Dame men’s basketball family who attended DeMatha, which also is the alma mater of Brey and assistant Rod Balanis. As a junior, he averaged 7.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists and led his team to a final 32-4 mark and the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament titles.
- When the Irish finished with a 3.168 grade point average following the 2009 spring semester, it marked the ninth time in 11 semesters that head coach Mike Brey’s squad had finished with a 3.00 grade index or higher.
- Members of the 2008-09 Irish squad earned a 3.151 following the 2008 fall semester, and, for the academic year, produced a 3.165 GPA. With the completion of the ’09 spring semester, Notre Dame players had a cumulative 3.105 grade point average, the highest ever. It also marked the 10th consecutive semester that the team has earned a cumulative GPA of above a 3.00.
- Notre Dame won the BIG EAST Academic Sport Excellence Award for men’s basketball for the second time in as many years. The BIG EAST began recognizing the highest collective grade-point averages in each conference sport in 2008. The Irish men’s basketball team has won it each of the two years it has been presented and joined two other Notre Dame squads (men’s swimming and diving and women’s tennis) as recipients in 2009.
- Seven players were named to the 2008-09 BIG EAST Academic All-Star Team, while 10 of the 14 members of the squad earned a grade point average of 3.00 or better in the spring semester.
Trends Under Brey
- Under Irish head coach Mike Brey, Notre Dame always has been a team that has had a high number of assists and very few turnovers. Here’s a look a the Irish under Brey:
Season FGs Assts TOs Asst/Bskt Asst/TO 2000-01 814 527 434 .647 1.21 2001-02 934 629 435 .673 1.45 2002-03 917 558 446 .609 1.25 2003-04 766 434 329 .567 1.32 2004-05 671 415 341 .618 1.22 2005-06 772 468 364 .606 1.29 2006-07 869 552 414 .635 1.33 2007-08 914 608 429 .665 1.42 2008-09 988 601 343 .608 1.75 2009-10 420 265 158 .631 1.67