Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Irish Host Mount St. Mary's In Their First-Ever Meeting

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Nov. 28, 2003


DATE: Saturday, November 29, 2003
PLACE: Joyce Center (11,418)
TIME: 1:00 P.M.
RADIO: Notre Dame Sports Properties (Jack Lorri, Jack Nolan) originates the Notre Dame Radio Network (includes WNDV 92.9 FM and 1490 AM in South Bend, Ind./Michiana Region, Elkhart, Michigan City, Gary and Hammond), ESPN 1000 AM) in Chicagoland Area), ESPN 950 AM (Indianapolis), WGL 1250 in Fort Wayne), WEFM 95.9 in Michigan City and Gary and WLUV AM 1520 (Rockford, DeKalb, Beloit, Janesville). All radio broadcasts can also be heard through the World Wide Web at
REAL-TIME STATS: Live in-game statistics are available for all home games, via the Notre Dame athletic website (


  • The 2003-04 campaign marks the 99th season of basketball at Notre Dame.
  • Notre Dame is ranked 21st in the Associated Press and 20th in the ESPN/USA Today rankings.
  • The 2003-04 campaign marks the 23rd time an Irish team has been ranked in either the first poll of the year or the preseason ranking. The last time a Notre Dame team started the season ranked was the 2000-01 squad (Mike Brey’s first season). That team, which was ranked 15th in the Associated Press poll went on to win the BIG EAST West Division title and advance to the second round of the NCAA tournament.
  • Notre Dame has a been ranked in 18 consecutive polls dating back to last season.
  • Notre Dame is 81-18 (.818) all-time in season openers and have won all four of their season openers under head coach Mike Brey. Since the opening of the Joyce Center in 1968-69, Irish teams are 30-6 (.833) in home openers.
  • This is the latest that a Notre Dame team has played a season opener sincethe 1986-97 when that Irish squad opened up with a 73-66 victory over Monmouth on November 24, 1996.
  • Notre Dame is 4-2 all-time in games played on November 29. All four of the wins have been at home. The last time Notre Dame played a game on this date was in 1994 when the Irish defeated Indiania at the Joyce Center 80-79 in overtime.
  • The Irish own a 15-1 record under head coach Mike Brey in games played during the month of November.
  • Notre Dame plays eight of its first 10 games at home. That’s a big difference from the 2001-02 season when the Irish were on the road for eight of their first 11 contests.
  • Notre Dame is 17-2 in its last 19 games at the Joyce Center.


  • Notre Dame plays at home for the second time in five days when the Irish host Mount St. Mary’s in the first-ever meeting between the two teams.
  • Notre Dame is coming off of a 74-65 victory over Northern Illinois. The Irish were led by Torin Francis’ game-highs of 24 points and 19 rebounds. Both of those totals were one of his career bests. Chris Quinn, making his first career start, had career-highs of 18 points, six steals and 33 minutes. In addition, he also grabbed five rebounds in the contest and shot 7-10 from the field (3-5 from three-point range). Chris Thomas registered 17 points and seven assists in 38 minutes.
  • The Mountaineers, under first-year head coach Milan Brown, are 0-4 heading into the contest and are one of three first-time opponents for the Irish this season – the other two are Morehead State and Quinnipiac. After dropping a 94-68 decision to New Hampshire in the season opener, Mount St. Mary’s has lost its last three games by a total of 13 points. The Mountaineers dropped back-to-back overtime decision to Mississippi Valley State and Delaware and then suffered a nine-point loss at Virginia last Sunday.
  • Notre Dame held Northern Illinois to just 33.3 percent accuracy from the field (27.5 percent in the first half). It marked the lowest field goal percentage by an opponent since Notre Dame held Albany to 30.6 percent in the sixth game of last season (spanning 25 games).
  • The Irish committed just eight turnovers in the game, the fewest since last season against DePaul (10th game of the year) when Notre Dame also had eight.
  • Notre Dame had an excellent 1.75 assist-to-turnover ratio and 0.60 assist-to-basket ratio in the Northern Illinois.


  • With his 17-point effort against Chris Thomas reached double figures for the 21st consecutive game dating back to last season. He has scored in double figures in 56 of 68 career games. The last time Thomas failed to score in double figures was against Pittsburgh on the road (January 6, 2003). He dished off seven assists in the game which marked the 39th time in his career that he has dished out seven or more assists in a game.
  • Chris Quinn earned his first collegiate start against Northern Illinois and responded with career bests of 18 points and six steals in a career-high 33 minutes. He fell one short of his career-high in rebounding as he grabbed five boards. Quinn had already registered a career-high by halftime with his 13 points. He has played in all 35 games of his Notre Dame career and scored in double figures in three games.
  • Torin Francis registered the 11th double double of his with his 24-point, 19-rebound effort against Northern Illinois. Dating back to last season it was the fourth double double in his last seven games. Francis has scored 20-plus points on five occasions in 35 career outings (all of them starts) and has registered 10 or more rebounds 13 times. He has scored in double figures in 20 of 35 career outings. Francis’ five blocks was also marked the sixth time in his career that he has blocked four or more shots in a game.
  • Torrian Jones earned the 12th start of his career in the Northern Illinois game and played a career-high 33 minutes versus Northern Illinois.
  • Jordan Cornette made the 28th start of his career against the Huskies.
  • Rick Cornett had a career-high three rebounds in four minutes in the season opener versus NIU.

This will be the first-ever meeting between the two schools.

Notre Dame owns a 17-0 record against teams from the Northeast Conference. Mount St. Mary’s is not the lone NEC team on the Irish schedule this season – they are also slated to play Quinnipiac on December 23 at the Joyce Center. The last time Notre Dame faced a team from the NEC was in the championship game of the Hawaii-Pacific Classic when the Irish defeated Monmouth 85-48 on November 25, 2001.


For the first time in the 99-year history of the Notre Dame men’s basketball program, four players will be serving as team captains. Seniors Torrian Jones and Tom Timmermans and juniors Jordan Cornette and Chris Thomas will serve as the Irish captains for the upcoming 2003-04 campaign.

Notre Dame played host to 10 sellouts at the Joyce Center during the 2002-03 season – the most since the 1985-86 campaign when 14 of the team’s 17 games drew a record capacity crowd. Three games last season – Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech and Syracuse – produced the largest crowds to ever witness a Notre Dame basketball game – 11,480. Already this season, seven games are already sold out – Indiana, Kentucky, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Connecticut, Seton Hall and Georgetown. Student tickets (2,800 to students, 400 to band and Notre Dame student-athletes) were sold out in 5-1/2 hours. Last season, student ticket packages were sold out in 36 hours.

Notre Dame is slated to play just two games in the month of November. Each of the past two campaigns, the Irish have played six games during the first month of the season. Notre Dame owns a 14-1 record during the month of November under head coach Mike Brey. In 2001-20, the Irish completed November with a perfect 6-0 slate. It marked the most wins ever by a Notre Dame team in the month of November. The only loss an suffered by the Irish during the month of November under Brey was an 80-75 setback in the championship game of the Guardians Classic in Kansas City, Mo.

Since the inaugural season (1968-69) at the Joyce Center, Notre Dame owns a 421-124 record all-time for a .772 winning percentage. The Irish are 36-10 (.783) at the Joyce Center during Mike Brey’s three seasons, and since the 1996-97 campaign, they own an 86-29 mark for a .748 winning percentage. Notre Dame was 14-2 at home in 2002-03, winning 10-plus games for the sixth time in seven years.

The 2003-04 campaign marks the 99th season of men’s basketball at Notre Dame. Irish teams have posted a 1530-838 record for a .646 winning percentage.

Since the schedule was released, there have been a couple of game time changes. Notre Dame’s contest at Marquette on December 1 has moved to a 8:00 p.m. (CST) start (9:00 p.m. in South Bend). The Irish’s home game against Central Michigan on December 6 will tip-off at 9:00 p.m. instead of the original 8:00 p.m. start time.

The BIG EAST Conference will play under a new league format in which every team will play each other at least once and three other schools twice during the regular season. Notre Dame is slated to play Connecticut, Pittsburgh and Syracuse twice as part of its 16-game conference slate.

The past three seasons have seen the 14-team league play under a two seven-team divisional format. Under the former system, the teams were broken down into the East and West divisions. Each school played 12 divisional contests on a home-and-home basis and crossover opponents against teams from the other divsion (two at home and two on the road), but did not face three schools from the opposite division.

In addition to its home-and-home series with the Huskies, Panthers and Orangemen, Notre Dame’s conference home slate this season also includes matchups against Georgetown, Miami, Providence, Seton Hall and West Virginia. The Irish are scheduled for road games at Boston College, Rutgers, St. John’s, Villanova and Virginia Tech.

Twelve teams will once again advance to the ’04 BIG EAST Championship at Madison Square Garden, March 10-13, with the top four finishers during the regular season receiving a first-round bye.

Chris Thomas and Torin Francis are one of 50 candidates named to the 2003-04 John R. Wooden Award Preseason All-America Team. The 50 candidates were announced in early August and selected by the Wooden Award Preseason All-America Committee.

The Irish tandem is among 11 BIG EAST players named to the team, the most of any conference. Only three other teams – Connecticut (Ben Gordon and Emeka Okafor) and Syracuse (Gerry McNamara and Hakim Warrick) -also placed two players on the list.

Thomas, an honorable mention Associated Press All-America selection, and second-team all-BIGEAST honoree as a sophomore, was among the top-30 candidates last year for the Wooden Award and also was a finalist for the Naismith and USBWA/Oscar Robertson player-of-the-year awards. Francis was a member of the BIG EAST All-Rookie Team.

The other BIG EAST players selected as candidates were: Andre Barrett (Seton Hall), Ryan Gomes (Providence), Julius Page (Pittsburgh), Darius Rice (Miami) and Craig Smith (Boston College).

The 10-player Wooden Award All-America Team will be announced on Tuesday, March 30, 2004 and one member from that squad will be awarded the Wooden Award Trophy, symbolic of the nation’s “Most Outstanding Collegiate Basketball Player of Year.” That announcement will be made on Saturday, April 10 and CBS Sports will televise the event live from The Los Angeles Athletic Club.

Thomas also is listed among the top 30 candidates for the Naismith Player of the Year honor.

The Irish will be bidding for their fourth straight NCAA tournament bid in 2004. That would be a first since Notre Dame made six consecutive appearances from 1985-90. The most consecutive NCAA tournament appearances made by Notre Dame teams was eight – from 1975-81.

THE 20-WIN MARK: Notre Dame’s 24 wins a year ago marked the 30th time in the program’s 98-year history that an Irish team reached the 20-win mark. It marked the fourth consecutive 20-win campaign and first time since 1985-89 that Irish teams posted four consecutive seasons with 20 or more wins.

In eight seasons as a member of the BIG EAST Conference, Notre Dame owns a 66-70 record all-time in conference regular-season play for a .485 winning percentage. In their first five years, Irish teams were 35-53 (.398), but since Mike Brey took over the program, Notre Dame has compiled a 31-17 (.646) mark in regular-season play.

Notre Dame is the only BIG EAST team to win 10-plus conference games during each of the last three regular seasons. The Irish finished 11-5 in 2000-01 and produced 10-6 marks in both 2001-02 and 2002-03. Notre Dame is the only BIG EAST team to make the NCAA Tournament each of the last three seasons.

Since his arrival at Notre Dame, Mike Brey has led Notre Dame to a 31-17 record in BIG EAST regular-season games for a 64.6 winning percentage and 1-3 mark in tournament play for an overall record of 32-20 (.615) against league foes. The Irish won the BIG EAST West Division title by fashioning an 11-5 record (the most conference wins in its six previous seaons in the league). Under Brey, Notre Dame is the only BIG EAST school to win 10-plus league games each of the last three seasons. Prior to Brey’s arrival at Notre Dame, Irish teams had a 35-53 (39.8 percent) regular-season record in its conference games since 1995-96.

As a head coach at both Notre Dame and Delaware, Mike Brey has coached in 33 games against ranked opponents and owns a 12-21 record in those matchups. In three seasons at Notre Dame, he has faced ranked opponents on 27 occasions and his teams are 12-15 in those contests. Last season, his team was 5-6 versus ranked teams. The Irish were 3-6 and 4-3 during the 2001-02 and 2000-01 campaigns, respectively.

Notre Dame is 3-0 in overtime games (two on the road and one at home) under head coach Mike Brey. The Irish did not play an overtime game in Brey’s first season. The first overtime game played by Notre Dame under Brey (during the 2001-02 campaign) was the epic four-overtime classic in 2002 against Georgetown at the MCI Center in which the Irish defeated the Hoyas 116-111. The Irish played two overtime contests in ’02-’03 – at Boston College (101-96) and at home against Georgetown (93-92 in double overtime).

Notre Dame has scored 100-plus points five points during the Mike Brey era. The Irish went over the century mark twice last season – a 102-71 victory over DePaul (December 14, 2002) and 101-96 overtime against Boston College (January 25, 2003).

ELITE COMPANY: Notre Dame is one of just nine schools – Arizona, Duke, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland Misouri and Stanford – that has advanced past the final round each of the NCAA Tournament each of the last three years.

Notre Dame’s 189 blocked shots in 2002-03 set a new single-season team record with a per game average of 5.59. The former mark of 178 was set during the 2000-01 season in which Notre Dame averaged 5.93 blocks. The Irish finished the 2001-02 campaign with 163 blocks for an average of 4.94 per game. Notre Dame’s block totals each of the last three seasons rank as the top three all-time.

Notre Dame was particularly successful from the free-throw line in home games last season as the Irish were 286-373 (.767) compared to 177-257 (.689) for their opponents. In the last 11 home games of ’02-’03, Notre Dame finished 224-279 (.803) from the line as the Irish made an average of 20.4 free thores on 25.4 attempts and averaged just 5.0 misses per game. Notre Dame shot a season-best 95.7 percent from the line against Rutgers (Jan. 14, 2003) as the Irish converted 22 of their 23 attempts. Against Northern Illinois in the seasonn opener, Notre Dame was 21-29 from the line, while Northern Illinois was 9-13.

The Irish used free throw shooting as a weapon last season averaging nearly 17 free throws made per game. Notre Dame outscored their opponents 575-389 and attempted 190 more free throws (756-566). The Irish converted 76.1 percent of those attempts, while their opponents hit on 68.7 percent. On Monday night, Notre Dame made 72.4 percent of their free throws, while Northern Illinois hit on 69.2 percent of their attempts.

Sophomore guard Chris Quinn made the most of his first collegiate start on Monday night as he scored a career-high 18 points and had a personal best six steals, while playing a career-high 33 minutes. Quinn, who averaged 15.3 minutes off the bench as a rookie last season, hit 7-10 from the field and was 3-5 from three-point range in the contest. Quinn’s previous career bests had been 12 points, five steals and 29 minutes.

Notre Dame’s backcourt tandem of junior Chris Tnomas and sophomore Chris Quinn will certainly provide Irish opponents with some headaches this season. The two combined for 35 of the team’s 74 points (47.3 percent) on Monday night while taking 27 of the team’s 63 total shots (42.9 percent). They also were credited with nine of Notre Dame’s 14 assists (64.3 percent) and eight of the team’s 10 steals (80.0 percent).

Chris Thomas’ unselfish play is one of the reasons why the Irish have been successful while he has been in the Notre Dame backcourt. In the 67 games he has directed Mike Brey’s teams, Thomas has helped the Irish compile a 47-20 record for a .701 winning percentage As a freshman, he averaged 7.64 assists to rank fifth nationally in that category, and dished off 6.9 assists (eighth in the nation), as a sophomore. Thomas is the only player in Notre Dame history to dish off 200-plus assists in consecutive seasons. He has dished off 10-plus assists in 15 games during his career.

Torin Francis recorded the 11th double double of his career in the Northern Illinois. His scoring (24 points) and rebounding (19 rebounds) totals were the second-highest of his career. Dating back to the Syracuse game (March 4, 2003), Francis has registered four double doubles in the last seven games and in three of the Irish’s last four outings. He has scored in double figures 20 times during his career and grabbed 10 or more rebounds on 13 occasions.

Notre Dame will meet defending national champion Syracuse twice during the 2003-04 season. It will mark the second straight year the Irish will play the NCAA champion from the previous season. Notre Dame’s matchup last season with Maryland on December 7, 2002 in the first round of the BB&T Classic at the MCI Center marked the 31st time and Irish team had played a team that had won the NCAA crown the previous year. With than victory, Notre Dame owns an 8-23 mark versus those teams, but has been victorious three of the last four times it has gone up against a team which had won the national championship the previous season. The 1999-00 Irish squad beat Connecticut twice – 75-70 at the Hartford Civic Center and 68-66 at the Joyce Center – the season after the Huskies claimed the ’99 NCAA title.

In the 31 losses suffered by Irish teams in Mike Brey’s three seasons, only eight have been by 10 or more points and have been by a combined 228 points for an average of 7.35 points. Notre Dame’s two 17-point losses (at Pittsburgh and against Arizona in the semifinals of the West Regional) were the two worst by an Irish team under Brey. Prior to those two losses, the worst setback was a 16-point decision at Connecticut during Brey’s first season. Notre Dame’s 11 losses during the 2001-02 season were by a combined 49 points for an average margin of defeat of 4.45 points. Only one loss (versus Georgetown 83-73) was by double figures, while eight of those setbacks were by five points or less.

Heading into today’s game against Mount St. Mary’s, Notre Dame has hit at least one three-pointer in 147 straight games, a mark that dates back to the 1998-99 campaign. The last time and Irish team failed to hit a three-pointer was in a 101-70 loss to Connecticut in the Hartford Civic Center (January 12, 1999) as Notre Dame finished 0-7 in the contest.

Rob Kurz, a 6-8, 225-pound forward from Gwynedd, Pa., has signed a national letter of intent to play basketball at the University of Notre Dame beginning in the fall of 2004 it was announced today by Irish head basketball coach Mike Brey.

Kurz has starred the last two years for William Penn Charter High School in Philadelphia, Pa. As a junior in 2002-03, he averaged 18.0 points and 12.0 rebounds in leading his prep team to a 26-4 record overall and garnering first-team all-league honors. He earned first-team all-city honors after helping William Penn Charter capture the Philadelphia Inter-Academic League crown with a perfect 10-0 league mark that also included two victories in the postseason.

As a sophomore, he netted 19.0 points per game and guided his team to a 16-9 overall record. However, he was unable to compete in league play that season after transferring to William Penn Charter at the beginning of the 2001-02 school year.

Kurz attended the Nike All-America camp each of the past two summers (’02 and ’03) and will serve as one of the team’s co-captains during the 2003-04 campaign.

Kurz’ sister, Laura, also a high school senior, will attend Duke University and play basketball for the Blue Devils.

Junior Greg Bosl, a 6-3, 191-pound guard out of Syosset, N.Y., has joined the Irish team as a walk-on. He played prep basketball at St. Dominic High School and averaged 10.0 points, 5.0 rebounds as a senior. He captained St. Dominic’s during his final prep season and helped his team to a No. 3 ranking in the New York metro area. Bosl’s brother Mike played basketball for one year (1998-99) at Villanova and his sister Christine is a 1999 Notre Dame graduate. He is enrolled in the Mendoza College of Business and is majoring in finance.

Notre Dame compiled the nation’s highest overall graduation rate for Division I-A student-athletes to take top honors in the 2003 USA Today/NCAA Academic Achievement Awards.

Ninety-two percent of the Fighting Irish student-athletes who enrolled in 1996 earned a degree from the University. The award included a $20,000 prize and was based on federally compiled figures submitted by the NCAA member institutions.

The NCAA bases graduation rates on the raw percentage of student-athletes who entered an institution and graduated within six years. Students who leave or transfer, regardless of academic standing, are considered non-graduates. Notre Dame’s graduation rate for student-athletes who complete all fours of athletic eligibility is 99 percent.

College Sports Television (CSTV) and Notre Dame are in a multi-year, multi-sport agreement by which CSTV is the year-round home of Fighting Irish athletics. CSTV airs a Notre Dame programming block every Sunday night called “Notre Dame Primetime,” featuring live and classic Fighting Irish events as wll as programming. In addition, CSTV has the rights to televise several Irish Olympic sporting events throughout the year.

For the second consecutive year, Mike Brey will host a 30-minute radio show live on Tuesday evenings (beginning on December 9) from 7:30-8:00 p.m. at Logan’s Roadhouse on Main Street in Mishawaka. The show will air from December 9, 2003-March 2, 2004 (no shows on December 23, January 20 and February 24) and will broadcast live on 92.9-FM (U93 in South Bend).

Notre Dame’s official athletic department web site can be found at with the extensive offerings including live audio for all Irish women’s basketball games (home and away), as well as real-time statistics for all Notre Dame home games.

ESPN Radio 1000 (WMVP-AM) in Chicago will carry 17 regular-season Notre Dame men’s basketball games live in 2003-04 and another seven on delayed basis, as part of a multi-year agreement that will make ESPN 1000 the home for Irish men’s basketball in that market.

As part of the agreement ESPN 1000 for the first time this coming season will handle all production for the Notre Dame Basketball Network, which is under the auspices of Notre Dame Sports Properties (NDSP).

Notre Dame will make more national television appearances -13 – than any other BIG EAST team this season. The Irish will be appear on CBS four times, ESPN five times and ESPN2 on four occasions. It will mark the most single-season national television appearances ever by a Notre Dame basketball team. Connecticut will appear on 11 national broadcasts (excluding the Preseason NIT) during the regular season.

Notre Dame spent its fall break (Oct. 18-25) in Barbados and played three games. The Irish finished with a 2-1 record on its foreign tour. Notre Dame became the first-ever college team to play a game in Barbados. Coach Mike Brey and his team got a head start on the season with the first of its 10 practices (allowed by the NCAA before a tour) on September 4. ESPN Magazine followed the Irish on their seven-day trip and is featured in this week’s edition of the magazine. The Irish played the Milton Keynes Lions, a member of the British Basketball League, twice, and face off against the Barbados National Team in its other contest.

Game 1 (Notre Dame 93, Milton Keynes Lions 67): Chris Thomas scored 20 points and Chris Quinn added 18 to lead the Irish to a 26-point victory in its first contest in the opening round of the BWIA Hoops Challenge at the Sir Garfield Sobers Sports Complex. The Notre Dame backcourt duo led five players in double figures. Jordan Cornette and Colin Falls each added 12 points, while Torrian Jones tossed in 10 points. Jones and Tom Timmermans led the Irish with seven rebounds each, while Torin Francis and Cornette grabbed six and five boards, respectively. Timmermans also finished with eight points, while Rick Cornett netted six points and Russell Carter added five.

Game 2 (Notre Dame 112, Barbados National Team 65): Chris Thomas and Torrian Jones scored 20 points each to lead six Notre Dame players in double figures as the Irish recorded a 47-point win. Jordan Cornette added 18 points, while Rick Cornett came off the bench to score 12 points and grab 11 rebounds. Torin Francis also finished with a double double as he netted 11 points and hauled in 11 rebounds. Chris Quinn ended the game with 11 points to round out the double-figure scoring for the Irish.

Game 3 (Milton Keynes Lions 77, Notre Dame 74): Just three days after recording a 26-point victory over Milton Keynes, the Irish saw its second-half rally fall short with a three-point loss. Notre Dame battled back from an eight-point deficit, but had to fight the affects of playing on consecutive nights and the heat and humidity of the gym. Chris Thomas led the Irish with 23 points and six assists, while Torin Francis finished with 17 points and four rebounds. Jordan Cornette was the only other Irish player in double figures as he finished with 11 points and a team-high seven rebounds.