Dec. 5, 2003
CENTRAL MICHIGAN Chippewas (1-4) at
NOTRE DAME Fighting Irish (2-1)
Date: Saturday, December 5, 2003
Place: Joyce Center (11,418)
Time: 9:00 p.m. (EST)
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 www.und.com.
Real-Time Stats: Live in-game statistics are available for all home games, via the Notre Dame athletic website (www.und.com).
- The 2003-04 campaign marks the 99th season of basketball at Notre Dame.
- Notre Dame is ranked 23rd 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 been ranked in 19 consecutive polls dating back to last season.
- Mike Brey coached in his 100th game on Monday evening in Notre Dame’s loss at Marquette. He owns a 68-32 (.680) overall record as the Irish head coach. Brey coached in his 250th career game in eight-plus seasons against Mount St. Mary’s on November 29.
- This is the second Mid-American foe that the Irish have faced in their first four games. Notre Dame opened up the season with a 74-65 victory over Northern Illinois on November 24.
- Notre Dame owns an all-time record of 19-1 when playing games on December 6. Irish teams won 18 straight on this date before dropping an 85-65 decision to Connecticut at the Joyce Center on December 6, 1995.
- Under head coach Mike Brey, Notre Dame is 16-1 all-time during the month of November and owns a 15-5 mark in the month of December. The Irish finished with a perfect 6-0 mark in December last season.
- Notre Dame begins a two-game homestand with tonight’s matchup against Central Michigan. Following this evening’s contest, the Irish play host to in-state rival Indiana on Wednesday, December 10 at 9:00 p.m. Notre Dame opens up the 2003-04 campaign by playing eight of their first eight games in the friendly confines of the Joyce Center.
- Notre Dame is 18-2 in its last 20 games at the Joyce Center.
- The Irish have sparkled from the free throw line this seeason, hitting 79.7 percent for the season. The Irish were 19-20 from the free throw line against Mount St. Mary’s and have made 35 of their last 42 attempts.
- Notre Dame will be looking to rebound from Monday night’s 71-58 loss at Marquette.
- Tonight’s contest will mark the third meeting between Notre Dame and Central Michigan with the Irish leading the series 2-0. The game also is the second matchup of the season for the Irish with a Mid-American Conference foe. Notre Dame opened up the season with a 74-65 victory over Northern Illinois.
- Notre Dame opened up the season with a 74-65 win at home against Northern Illinois and followed that up with a 78-64 win over Mount St. Mary’s on November 29.
- Central Michigan heads into the contest with a 1-4 mark. The Chippewas lost their first three games to open the season as they dropped decisions to Dayton (82-63), Ohio State (77-71) and Santa Clara (76-62). CMU’s only win of the season came in the fourth game of the year when it earned a 71-67 decision at home. The Chippewas most recent setback was Wednesday night when they dropped a 71-65 decision at home to Bradley.
- Four players are averaging double figures for the Irish with sophmore Torin Francis leading the team in scoring with 20.0 points per game. In addition, he ranks as the team’s leading rebounder with an 11.3 average. Chris Thomas stands second in the scoring column at 16.7 points per game, while Chris Quinn is averaging 12.7 points and Torrian Jones is netting 10.3 points per game.
- Torin Francis led all scorers in Monday night’s loss to Marquette when he netted 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Torrian Jones finished with a season-high 14 points and Chris Thomas added 11 as the only three players to net double figures for the Irish.
- After shooting 54.3 percent from the field in its previous game against Mount St. Mary’s, Notre Dame connected on just 31.1 percent from the field against Marquette and hit just 17.2 percent from three-point range. It marked the second-worst shooting performance by a Mike Brey-coached team. Notre Dame’s worst shooting performance under Brey was when it connected on just 29.0 percent from the field (18-62) against Mississippi in the second round of the 2001 NCAA Tournament. In addition, the Irish made just 2 of their 14 three-point attempts (14.3 percent).
- Marquette shot 49.0 percent from the field (25-51) on Monday night after the Irish defense had held their first two opponents to under 40 percent accuracy from the field. Northern Illinois shot just 33.3 percent from the field (27.5 percent in the first half), while Mount St. Mary’s connected on 38.2 percent of their shots (26-68). Northern Illinois’ field goal percentage marked the lowest by an opponent since Notre Dame held Albany to 30.6 percent in the sixth game of last season (spanning 25 games).
- After turning the ball over just eight times in the season opener against Northern Illinois, Notre Dame has averaged 17.0 in their last two contests. The Irish turned the ball over 20 times in the Mount St. Mary’s game and 14 times versus Marquette.
Irish Player Tidbits:
- Chris Thomas heads into the game with a 16.7 scoring average and has scored in double figures in 23 consecutive games dating back to last season. He has been in double figures in 58 of 70 career games. The last time Thomas failed to score in double figures was against Pittsburgh on the road (January 6, 2003) when he netted just five points . He dished off seven assists against Northern Illinois which marked the 39th time in his career that he has dished out seven or more assists in a game. Against Marquette, Thomas’ six assists pushed his career assist total to 504 as he became just the fifth player in Notre Dame history to dish off 500 or more assists in his career.
- Chris Quinn has earned the first three starts of his career in the Irish’s opening three contests. He is averaging 12.7 points and 3.0 assists and 35.7 minutes of playing time. Quinn responded to his first career start in the season opener against Northern Illinois with career bests of 18 points and six steals. He had 15 points in the win over Mount St. Mary’s and played a career-high 38 minutes versus Marquette. Quinn has scored in double figures in four career contests.
- Torin Francis is averaging double figures in both scoring and rebounding with 20.0 and 11.3 averages, respectively. He has already scored 20-plus points in two contests, netting 24 in the season opener against Northern Illinois and 23 in Monday night’s loss at Marquette. Francis registered the 11th double double of his career in the season opener versus Northern Illinois when he also added 19 rebounds. Dating back to last season, he has had four doubles double in the last nine games. Francis also has scored 20-plus points on six occasions in 37 career outings (all of them starts) and has registered 10 or more rebounds 13 times. He has scored in double figures 22 times.
- Torrian Jones has played 33 minutes in each of Notre Dame’s first three games and is averaging 10.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists. Jones has scored in double figures in two of the Irish’s first three games – 14 points versus Marquette and 12 against Mount St. Mary’s – and seven times during his career. His double-digit scoring efforts in each of the last two games marks the first time in his career that he has scored in double figures in consecutive outings. In addition to his 12 points against the Mountaineers, he had seven rebounds and career-high six assists.
- Jordan Cornette has been in the starting lineup for each of Notre Dame’s first three games and has made 30 starts during his career. He has 100 career blocks in an Irish uniform. His season-high 10 rebounds against Marquette marked the fifth time in his career with 10 or more rebounds.
- Tom Timmermans missed the Mount St. Mary’s game with a sore back after playing 12 minutes in the season opener against Northern Illinois and played just three minutes against Marquette.
- Rick Cornett has averaged 3.3 rebounds in the first three games in 8.0 minutes per game. He played a career-high 15 minutes against Mount St. Mary’s.
- Russell Carter saw action for the first time in his career coming off the bench against Mount St. Mary’s and recorded the first collegiate points of his career when he hit a three-pointer at the buzzer right before the end of the first half. He also played Monday night against Marquette.
Series Record Vs. Central Michigan:
This will be the third meeting between the two schools and the first since the 1998-99 campaign. Notre Dame leads the all-time series 2-0. Central Michigan will be making its third visit to the Joyce Center.
Notre Dame Vs. Mid-American Conference:
Notre Dame is 52-16 (.765) all-time versus Mid-American Conference schools. Central Michigan is the second MAC foe the Irish have faced this seson as Notre Dame opened up the season at home against Northern Illinois. Prior to meeting the Huskies in the season opener, the last time an Irish team faced a team from the MAC was during the 2001-02 when Notre Dame earned a 70-69 victory at Miami of Ohio on December 8, 2001.
Francis Named Co-BIG EAST Player of the Week:
Sophomore forward Torin Francis was named the BIG EAST Co-Player of the Week on December 1 after averaging 18.5 points and 12.5 rebounds and shooting 66.7 percent from the field in Notre Dame’s first two victories of the season versus Northern Illinois and Mount St. Mary’s. He shared the honor with sophomore guard Carl Krauser of Pittsburgh. Francis registered his 11th double double of his collegiate career when he scored 24 points and grabbed 19 rebounds in a 74-65 victory over Northern Illinois. Both of those totals were one shy of his personal bests. He followed that performance with 13 points and six rebounds in a 78-64 win against Mount St. Mary’s to earn his first career BIG EAST player-of-the-week honor. As a freshman last season, he was named to the 2003 BIG EAST All-Rookie team and earned the league’s rookie-of-the-week award on one occasion.
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.
Irish In November Under Brey:
Notre Dame played 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 16-1 record during the month of November under head coach Mike Brey. In 2001-02, 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 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., last season.
Home Sweet Home:
Since the inaugural season (1968-69) at the Joyce Center, Notre Dame owns a 422-124 record all-time for a .773 winning percentage. The Irish are 37-10 (.787) at the Joyce Center during Mike Brey’s three seasons, and since the 1996-97 campaign, they own an 87-29 mark for a .750 winning percentage. Notre Dame was 14-2 at home in 2002-03, winning 10-plus games for the sixth time in seven years. The Irish have won 18 of their last 20 games at home.
The Irish All-Time:
The 2003-04 campaign marks the 99th season of men’s basketball at Notre Dame. Irish teams have posted a 1531-839 record for a .646 winning percentage.
Notre Dame begins the 2003-04 campaign by playing eight of its first 10 games at home. That’s an advantage the Irish did not enjoy two years ago (2001-02) when they were on the road for eight of their first 11 contests.
Over the course of the last three-plus seasons, Notre Dame teams have played well in its non-conference tuneups before the start of the BIG EAST regular season during the months of November and December. Irish teams own an impressive 31-6 (.838) combined record. Six of the 37 games have been against ranked opponents and have included wins against Cincinnati (2000), Marquette (2002), Maryland (2002) and Texas (2002).
New BIG EAST Look:
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.
Francis, Thomas On Wooden Watch List; Thomas Listed Among Naismith Candidates:
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-BIG EAST 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.
Looking To Make It Four-In-A-Row:
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.
Notre Dame All-Time In The BIG EAST:
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.
BIG EAST 10:
Notre Dame is the only BIG EAST team to win 10-plus conference games during each of the last three regular-season campaigns. 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.
Brey Has The Formula For BIG EAST Success At Notre Dame:
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 seasons 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.
Brey Versus Ranked Opponents:
As a head coach at both Notre Dame and Delaware, Mike Brey has coached in 34 games against ranked opponents and owns a 12-22 record in those matchups. In three-plus seasons at Notre Dame, he has faced ranked opponents on 28 occasions and his teams are 12-16 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.
Brey And The Irish In Overtime Games:
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).
Over The Century Mark:
Notre Dame has scored 100-plus points five times 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 decision against Boston College (January 25, 2003).
Notre Dame is one of just nine schools – Arizona, Duke, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland Misouri and Stanford – that has advanced past the first round each of the NCAA Tournament each of the last three years.
Home Stripe Advantage:
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 throws 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. This season, Notre Dame has outscored their opponents 55-28 from the line and attempted 28 more free throws. As a team, the Irish have converted on 79.7 percent of their attempts. Notre Dame was 19-20 from the line against Mount St. Mary’s on November 29.
Where Charity Begins:
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. Notre Dame is averaging 18.3 made free throws per game this season and have attempted an average of 23.0 per game. Irish opponents are averaging just 9.3 made three throws per game and 13.7 attempted.
Thomas Reaches Assist Milestone:
Chris Thomas surpassed 500 career assists on Monday night against Marquette. In 70 career contests, he has 504 for a 7.2 career average. He is one of only five Irish players who have reached that mark and is one of just three players who has scored more than 1,000 points and dished off more than 500 assists in their career. Thomas has 1,203 career points. The other two players who have scored 1,000 career points and dished off 500 assists are David Rivers (1984-88 – 2,058 points and 586 assists) and Elmer Bennett (1988-92 – 1,488 points, 516 assists). Thomas stands fifth all-time in career assists and needs just 83 to break Rivers’ career assist mark.
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 already has 21 blocks in 2003-04.
The “Quinn”-Essential Player:
Sophomore guard Chris Quinn has made the most of his opportunity as a starter in the Irish lineup. He is averaging 12.7 points and is shooting 48.1 percent from the field (13-27) . Quinn is tied for second in minutes played (37.5). In his first career start in the season opener against Northern Illinois, he scored a career-high 18 points and had a personal best six steals. 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. He played a career-high 38 minutes against Marquette.
Double Dose Of “Chris” Give Irish “1”-“2” Punch:
Notre Dame’s backcourt tandem of junior Chris Thomas and sophomore Chris Quinn will certainly provide Irish opponents with some headaches this season. The two have combined for 88 of the team’s 210 points (41.9 percent) and taken 77 of the team’s 170 total shots (45.3 percent) in the first three games.
In The Spirit Of Giving:
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 70 games he has directed Mike Brey’s teams, Thomas has helped the Irish compile a 48-22 record for a .686 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.
Double The Pleasure:
Torin Francis recorded the 11th double double of his career in the Northern Illinois game. 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 nine games dating back to last season and in three of the Irish’s last six outings. He has scored in double figures 22 times during his career and grabbed 10 or more rebounds on 13 occasions.
Century Mark II:
Jordan Cornette blocked his 100th career shot against Marquette on Monday night and owns a 1.47 career average in that category. He is one of just four players in Notre Dame history who has blocked 100 or more shots during his career. LaPhonso Ellis (1988-92) holds the school mark with 200, followed by Ryan Humphrey’s (2000-02) 166 and Troy Murphy’s (1998-01) 126.
Jones Reaches Double Digits In Back-To-Back Scoring Efforts:
At the start of this season, senior Torrian Jones had averaged 3.4 points and 2.1 rebounds in 14.2 minutes per game in his first three seasons. Just three games into the 2003-04 campaign, he is averaging 10.3 points and 5.0 rebounds, while playing 33 minutes in all three contests. His back-to-back double-figure scoring efforts against Mount St. Mary’s (12 points) and Marquette (14 points), marked the first time in his career that he was in double figures in consecutive outings. Prior to the start of th season, he had scored in double figures on just five occasions.
Facing The Defending National Champions:
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.
Keeping It Close:
In the 32 losses suffered by Irish teams in Mike Brey’s three seasons, only nine have been by 10 or more points and have been by a combined 241 points for an average of 7.53 points. Notre Dame’s two 17-point losses (at Pittsburgh and against Arizona in the semifinals of the West Regional last season) were the two worst by an Irish team under Brey. Prior to those two setbacks, the worst defeat 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.
150 And Counting:
Heading into tonight’s game against Marquette, Notre Dame has hit at least one three-pointer in 150 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.
Bosl Joins Irish Roster:
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 Wins USA Today/NCAA Academic Achievement Award in 2003:
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.
Notre Dame Partners With College Sports Television:
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.
Mike Brey Radio Show:
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).
Web Site (www.und.com):
Notre Dame’s official athletic department web site can be found at www.und.com. 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 1000 To Carry Men’s Basketball Game Broadcasts:
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.
Irish Ink Rob Kurz In Early Signing Period:
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.
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.
Notre Dame All Over The Big Screen In ’03-’04:
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.
Irish in Barbados:
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.