Jan. 9, 2012
USF (9-7, 2-1) vs. Notre Dame (10-6, 2-1)
Jan. 10, 2012 o 7:00 p.m. (ET)
Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center (9,149)
Notre Dame, Ind.
BIG EAST Network (Regional)
WMYS (South Bend area)
Anthony Calhoun (play-by-play)
Brooke Weisbrod (analyst)
Broadcast on UND.com
Jack Nolan (play-by-play)
Jordan Cornette (analyst)
FIGHTING IRISH RETURN HOME TO FACE USF ON TUESDAY
- Notre Dame (10-6, 2-1) returns home following a two-game road trip to face USF (9-7, 2-1) on Tuesday inside Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center. Tip-off is slated for 7:00 p.m. (ET).
- The Irish went 1-1 on their road trip. Notre Dame fell at Cincinnati, 71-55, on Wednesday, and topped #11/10 Louisville, 67-65 in double-overtime, on Saturday.
- Tuesday’s game will be broadcast regionally on the BIG EAST Network with Anthony Calhoun (play-by-play) and Brooke Weisbrod (analyst) calling the action. The contest can be seen on WMYS in the South Bend area.
- The Fighting Irish Digital Media radio crew of Jack Nolan (play-by-play) and Jordan Cornette (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 ninth meeting all-time between the Fighting Irish and the Bulls. Notre Dame owns a 7-1 record in the series. All of the contests have occurred since USF joined the BIG EAST in 2005. The Irish topped the Bulls, 78-55, last season in Tampa, Fla. USF is 0-4 at Notre Dame.
- Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey is 7-1 all-time against USF.
- The Fighting Irish are 9-0 at home and 1-6 in road/neutral site contests this season. Notre Dame’s 28-game home win streak is the nation’s fourth longest.
- Notre Dame is off to a 2-1 start in BIG EAST play for the sixth straight season.
A GREAT DAY TO BE IRISH
- Saturday was a historic day for Notre Dame athletics. Along with the men’s basketball team’s 67-65 double-overtime victory at #10 Louisville, the third-ranked women’s basketball team defeated #2 Connecticut, 74-67 in overtime, inside Purcell Pavilion and the #3 Irish hockey team downed #5 Minnesota, 4-3, in Minneapolis, Minn.
- It was the first time both the men’s and women’s basketball teams defeated top-10 opponents on the same day. It also marked the first time both squads played an overtime contest on the same day.
- Louisville was the highest-ranked opponent the Irish men have defeated since winning at #2/2 Pittsburgh last season (Jan. 24, 2011).
IRISH AND CARDINALS WORK OVERTIME AGAIN
- Saturday was the fourth straight Notre Dame-Louisville contest that was decided in overtime (two have gone to double-overtime). The Irish are 2-2 in those games. Five of the last six Notre Dame-Louisville showdowns have gone to overtime. Six of the nine contests between Notre Dame and Louisville since the Cardinals joined the BIG EAST in 2005 have been settled in overtime. The last three games between the Irish and Cardinals in Louisville have gone to overtime, including consecutive double-overtime affairs.
FIGHTING IRISH SNAP BLUEGRASS DROUGHT
- The 67-65 double-overtime victory at Louisville snapped Notre Dame’s 16-game losing streak in the state of Kentucky. The Irish had been 0-7 versus Louisville and 0-9 against Kentucky during that stretch. Prior to Saturday, Notre Dame’s last win in the Bluegrass State was a 67-61 triumph of Kentucky on Dec. 27, 1980 in Louisville’s Freedom Hall. It also was Notre Dame’s first win against the Cardinals in Louisville since a 61-53 decision on Dec. 20, 1958.
DOUBLE-DOUBLE TIMES TWO
- Jack Cooley (18 pts, 10 rebs) and Scott Martin (11 pts, 12 rebs) both registered double-doubles in Saturday’s win at Louisville. They became the first pair of Notre Dame players to record double-doubles in the same game since Ben Hansbrough and Tyrone Nash accomplished the feat last season against Villanova (Feb. 28, 2011).
- It was Cooley’s second straight double-double. He is the first Notre Dame player to record back-to-back double-doubles since Carleton Scott did so last season against USF and West Virginia (Feb. 12 & Feb. 19, 2011). Cooley has a team-best four double-doubles this season.
MARTIN CASHES IN ON CARDINALS
- Fifth-year senior Scott Martin produced a solid all-around effort in the win at Louisville. He posted his first double-double of the season (and second of his career) with 11 points and a career-high 12 rebounds. Martin also notched team-high tying totals in assists (3) and steals (3).
- In four career games against Louisville, Martin is averaging 12.3 ppg. and 7.3 rpg.
LOGGING MAJOR MINUTES
- Four Notre Dame players established career-high minute totals in Saturday’s double-overtime win at Louisville. Sophomore guard Eric Atkins played all 50 minutes, while Scott Martin (48), Jerian Grant (47) and Jack Cooley (43) also set career-high marks for minutes played.
BIG EAST TRENDS
- Notre Dame is 20-5 (.800) over its last 25 BIG EAST regular-season contests. The Irish stood 6-8 through 14 regular-season games during the 2009-10 campaign and then won four straight to finish 10-8. Last season, Notre Dame posted a 14-4 regular-season mark in the league.
- The Irish are 13-2 over their last 15 BIG EAST regular-season games.
- Notre Dame’s 28-game home win streak currently is the fourth-longest streak in the country. It is the second-longest win streak inside Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center in Irish history. The Fighting Irish won 45 straight at the Joyce Center from March 4, 2006-Jan. 10, 2009.
IRISH ENJOY HOME COOKING IN CONFERENCE PLAY
- Notre Dame has gone 40-5 (.889) at home in BIG EAST play over the last six seasons. That is the best home winning percentage for any BIG EAST school in league play over that time period.
- Notre Dame has won 12 straight BIG EAST games inside Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center. The Irish went undefeated at home in conference play last season. Notre Dame’s last loss at home was a 69-68 setback to St. John’s on Feb. 14, 2010.
PROTECTING THE ROCK
- Notre Dame ranks in a tie for third nationally – and first in the BIG EAST – in fewest turnovers committed per game (10.0). The Fighting Irish also have the nation’s ninth-best assist-to-turnover ratio (1.46). That mark ranks second in the BIG EAST.
- Notre Dame has committed fewer than 10 turnovers in a game seven times this season. The Irish had a season-low four turnovers in the victory over Sacred Heart (Dec. 19). The Irish also had a season-high 25 assists (on 35 made baskets) versus the Pioneers.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
- Seven different Notre Dame players have posted a team-best point total in a game this season. A different Irish player has led the team in scoring in four of the last five contests. Junior forward Jack Cooley is the only one to post multiple team-leading efforts during that stretch.
- Seven Notre Dame players – Tim Abromaitis, Eric Atkins, Pat Connaughton, Jack Cooley, Alex Dragicevich, Jerian Grant and Scott Martin – have scored 20 or more points in a game this season.
- Atkins, Cooley and Grant all have scored 20-plus points a team-best two times this season.
ATKINS ADDED AS CAPTAIN
- Sophomore point guard Eric Atkins recently was named Notre Dame’s third captain for the 2011-12 season. Seniors Tim Abromaitis, who is out for the remainder of the campaign due to a torn ACL, and Scott Martin are the other Fighting Irish captains.
SHUFFLING THE LINEUP
- Notre Dame has used eight different starting lineups this season (out of 16 games played). No Notre Dame player has started every game this season (game-by-game starting lineups listed on page 7). Jerian Grant and Scott Martin both have a team-high 15 starts this season.
- Six different Irish players – Joey Brooks (Jr./G), Jack Cooley (Jr./F), Tom Knight (Jr./F), Jerian Grant (So./G), Alex Dragicevich (So./G) and Pat Connaughton (Fr./G-F) – have made their first career start this season.
- The quintet of Eric Atkins, Jack Cooley, Alex Dragicevich, Jerian Grant and Scott Martin has started the last five games (and five games overall this season). That is the most-used starting lineup for the Irish this season. Notre Dame is 3-2 with that starting five.
THE LAST TIME
- Jack Cooley scored a team-high 18 points on 9-of-10 shooting from the floor in just 16 minutes of action in last season’s 78-55 Irish victory over USF in Tampa, Fla. (Feb. 12, 2011). Cooley also hauled down eight rebounds. He was one of six Irish players that scored in double-figures against the Bulls. Carleton Scott (13), Tim Abromaitis (12), Ben Hansbrough (12), Tyrone Nash (10) and Scott Martin (10) also reached double-figures.
COOLEY COMING TO PLAY
- Since missing the Maryland game on Dec. 4 due to illness, junior forward Jack Cooley has averaged 16.6 ppg., 10.1 rpg. and 2.3 bpg. in the past seven contests. He is shooting 66.2% (43-65) from the field and 78.9% (30-38) from the free throw line during that stretch.
- Cooley notched his second straight double-double – and team-best fourth of the season – with a game-high 18 points and 10 rebounds on Saturday at Louisville.
- He has a team-high six double-digit rebounding games this season, including three in a row.
- Against Delaware State (Nov. 18), Cooley hauled down a career-high 17 rebounds, which included 10 offensive boards. He became the first Irish player to haul down that many rebounds in a game since Luke Harangody had 17 against Louisville on Feb. 12, 2009.
- Cooley leads the Irish with an 8.5 rpg. average this season, which includes 3.7 offensive boards per game. He also has a team-high 22 blocked shots, which already is a career-high total for the junior.
SUCCESS AT THE STRIPE
- The Irish have made more free throws (271) than their opponents have attempted (256). Notre Dame is 271-377 (.719) from the charity stripe this season.
- The Fighting Irish were 22-29 (.759) from the free throw line on Saturday against Louisville.
ATKINS ON THE ATTACK
- Sophomore point guard Eric Atkins has a team-best 13.6 ppg. average this season. Atkins has scored in double-figures in 10 of the 14 games he has played in this season. He missed two games (Sam Houston State & Delaware State) due to illness. He has led Notre Dame in scoring a team-high five times this season.
- Atkins has dished out a career-high nine assists twice this season (Sacred Heart, Dec. 19 & Bryant, Nov. 27).
- Atkins deposited a career-high 27 points versus Mississippi Valley State in the season opener.
- Atkins is 55-70 (.786) from the free throw line and 20-47 (.426) from three-point range this season.
GRANT HAS ALL-AROUND GAME
- Sophomore guard Jerian Grant, who is in his first season playing with the Irish after sitting out all of last season, has team-high totals in points (214), assists (73), steals (21) and minutes played (545). His 26 made three-pointers also are a team-high total. Grant is shooting a team-best 78.9% (60-76) from the free throw line this season.
- Grant ranks seventh nationally – and first in the BIG EAST – with a 3.32 assist-to-turnover ratio.
- Grant has scored in double-figures a team-best 13 times this season. He currently has a career-best five-game double-figure scoring streak.
- He scored a career-high 20 points against both Georgia (Nov. 22) and Maryland (Dec. 4).
- Grant dished out a career-high nine assists versus Pittsburgh in the BIG EAST opener.
- Grant posted his first career double-double by notching 12 points and a career-high 11 rebounds against Bryant (Nov. 27).
GET TO 60
- Notre Dame is 9-1 this season when scoring 60 or more points, while the Irish are 1-5 when scoring less than 60 points. The Fighting Irish are averaging 78.7 ppg. in their 10 wins, while they are averaging 58.7 ppg. in the six losses.
- Notre Dame is allowing 60.3 ppg. in its wins and 73.2 ppg. in its setbacks.
CRASHING THE BOARDS
- The Fighting Irish have a +5.2 rebound margin in their 10 wins, while they have been out-rebounded by a 9.7 margin in their six setbacks.
BEYOND THE ARC
- Notre Dame has hit 10 or more three-pointers in a game three times this season. The Irish deposited 11 treys against Bryant (Nov. 27) and Delaware State (Nov. 18) and they hit 10 versus Sam Houston State (Nov. 16). The Fighting Irish made 10 or more three-pointers in a game seven times last season.
424 AND COUNTING
- Notre Dame has made at least one three-pointer in 424 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.
- Nine teams on Notre Dame’s 2011-12 schedule are ranked in the latest Associated Press top-25 poll (Jan. 9), including three in the top 10. Six of the squads – #1 Syracuse, #11 Georgetown, #14 Louisville, #17 Connecticut, #24 Seton Hall and #25 Marquette – are BIG EAST foes, while the Fighting Irish faced #7 Indiana, #9 Missouri and #21 Gonzaga in non-conference action. The Irish will meet 17th-ranked UConn twice during the regular season. Notre Dame is 2-3 against ranked opponents this season.
- 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.