Senior guard Ben Hansbrough averaged 22.0 points on 64.0% shooting in Notre Dame's exhibition games

Irish Set to Get Season Underway Friday

Nov. 11, 2010

Complete Release in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

Game 1 – Friday, November 12 – 8:30 p.m. (EST)
Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center (9,154)
Notre Dame Ind.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Record: 0-0, 0-0
H: 0-0; A: 0-0; N: 0-0


Georgia Southern Eagles
Record: 0-0, 0-0
H: 0-0; A: 0-0; N: 0-0

Notre Dame Vs. Georgia Southern
– Notre Dame opens up the 2010-11 campaign and its 106th season of basketball in program history against the Eagles of Georgia Southern.
– Friday will be the first meeting ever between Notre Dame and Georgia Southern. Its the season opener for both squads.
– Georgia Southern is part of the Southern Conference. The Fighting Irish are 19-1 all-time against teams currently in the Southern Conference.
– Notre Dame’s last game versus a Southern Conference foe was a 93-61 victory over Furman during the 2008-09 campaign. oThe lone Irish loss against a current member of the Southern Conference was a 54-51 setback to Davidson during the 1982-83 season.

Irish In Season Openers
– Notre Dame owns an all-time record of 87-18 (.829) in season openers and have won all 10 openers under head coach Mike Brey. Since the opening of Purcell Pavilion (formerly the Joyce Center), Notre Dame teams are 36-6 (.857). The last time Notre Dame lost a season opener at home was against Miami of Ohio on November 13, 1998.
– Notre Dame bested North Florida 86-65 at Purcell Pavilion in last season’s opener.

Busy Opening Week For The Irish
– Notre Dame will open up the campaign by playing three games in five days. After opening up the season against Georgia Southern on Friday, the Irish return less than 48 hours later when they play host to Liberty at 2:00 p.m. (ET) on Sunday. Following that contest, Notre Dame will be in action three days later against Chicago State at 7:30 p.m. (ET) on Wednesday at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center.

Fighting Irish Go 2-0 In Exhibition Play
– Notre Dame posted wins over Marian University (85-52) and Catholic University (72-47) in exhibition action.
– In the first exhibition contest against Marian, four of Notre Dame’s five starters scored in double figures. Scott Martin and Tim Abromaitis led the Irish with 15 points each. Ben Hansbrough finished with 14 points and six assists, while Carleton Scott added 13 points, hauled in seven assists and blocked three shots. Tyrone Nash netted nine points, grabbed a game-high eight rebounds and dished off five assists. Joey Brooks came off the bench and finished with six points and three rebounds in 16 minutes.
– Hansbrough poured in a game-high 30 points by connecting on 11 of his 17 shots against Catholic. The senior captain drained six three-pointers on the evening – including five in the first half – and grabbed five rebounds in 31 minutes of action.
– Abromaitis added 13 points and a game-high six assists versus Catholic, while Martin contributed 10 points and nine rebounds in 30 minutes of work. Scott paced the Irish on the defensive end of the floor, posting four blocks to go along with seven points and nine boards.

Home Cooking
– Notre Dame will open up the season by playing its first four games at home and will play eight of its 12 non-league opponents at home before opening up BIG EAST play against Georgetown on Wednesday, Dec. 29.
– Notre Dame’s first games away from Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center will be at the Old Spice Classic at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla., Nov. 25-28. The Irish open up play on Thanksgiving evening (Thursday, Nov. 25) versus Georgia and then will play either California or Temple in second-round action on Friday, Nov. 26. In the third game of the tournament on Sunday, Nov. 28, the Irish will play either Boston College, Texas A&M, Wisconsin or Manhattan.
– Notre Dame also travels to Louisville, Ky., on Wednesday, Dec. 8 for a matchup against Kentucky in the SEC/BIG EAST Invitational. The game, which will be played at Freedom Hall, is part of a doubleheader that evening (the other game features Seton Hall and Arkansas). The Wildcats head into the 2010-11 campaign ranked 11th in the Associated Press and 10th in the ESPN/USA Today preseason rankings.
– Notre Dame’s marquee matchup at home will be against Gonzaga on Saturday, Dec. 11. The first-ever matchup between the two schools is part of a two-game series. The Irish will head to Spokane during the 2011-12 campaign. The Zags are ranked 12th in both preseason polls.

2010-11 Irish
– Notre Dame returns two of its top three scorers from last year’s squad that finished with a 23-12 record and 10-8 mark in BIG EAST play. Tim Abromaitis and Ben Hansbrough, double-figure scorers a year ago, averaged 16.1 points and 12.0 points, respectively, as each played in all 35 contests. Hansbrough was one of three Irish players who started all 35 games, while Abromaitis earned the starting nod in 26 of those contests. Like Hansbrough, Tyrone Nash started all 35 games and averaged career bests of 7.8 points and 5.2 rebounds. Carleton Scott started the final nine games of the season and played in 34 games while averaging 5.0 points and 4.6 rebounds overall.
Scott Martin is looking forward to making his first official appearance in an Irish uniform. Martin sat out the 2008-09 campaign after transferring from Purdue in June 2008 and then missed all of last season after suffering a torn ACL at the beginning of October 2009. In his freshman season at Purdue, he averaged 8.5 points and 3.8 rebounds.
– Notre Dame’s sophomore class of forwards Mike Broghammer, Jack Cooley and Tom Knight and guard Joey Brooks may not have seen a lot of playing time last season (268 minutes), but this quartet could have a big impact on the team’s success this season. Cooley played in 21 contests and averaged 1.0 points and 1.8 rebounds, while Broghammer saw action in 13 games and netted 1.8 points and grabbed 1.1 rebounds. Knight did not see action in any game as a freshman. Brooks played in 22 contests and averaged 2.0 points.
– The Irish welcome three freshman guards into the mix this season. Eric Atkins, the team’s only true point guard, should see a great deal of playing time in his rookie season, and may become the team’s starter at that position at some point during the season. Jerian Grant and Alex Dragicevich will add depth to Notre Dame’s perimeter arsenal as both are strong outside shooters.

Irish Take Shot At Fifth Straight 20-Win Campaign
– Notre Dame will be aiming for its fifth consecutive 20-win campaign and eighth in the last 11 seasons under head coach Mike Brey. The last time Irish teams reached the 20-win mark in five straight campaigns was from 1983-89 when those Notre Dame squads under Digger Phelps strung together six consecutive 20-win seasons.

Home Court Advantage
– Notre Dame has won 69 of its last 75 (.920) home games and is 31-5 (.861) in its last 36 BIG EAST regular-season home contests.

Postseason Stretch
– Notre Dame has earned appearances in the postseason in each of the last 11 years, which marks the longest stretch in school history. The Irish have been to the NCAA Tournament on six occasions and the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) five times during this current stretch. Under head coach Mike Brey, Notre Dame has played in the NCAAs six times and NIT four times.

Conference Call
– Notre Dame will face three America East Conference schools during the 2010-11 campaign – Maine (Nov. 22), Stony Brook (Dec. 19) and UMBC (Dec. 22). Irish teams are 8-0 all-time versus schools from the America East. The Irish also will meet two SEC foes during the season when they play Georgia in the Old Spice Classic on Nov. 25 and Kentucky in the SEC/BIG EAST Invitational on Dec. 8.

374 And Counting
– Notre Dame begins the 2010-11 season having made at least one three-pointer in 374 straight games dating 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. 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.

BIG EAST Formula For Success
– Since his arrival at Notre Dame, head coach Mike Brey has led the Irish to a 98-68 (.590) record in BIG EAST regular-season games and a 6-10 mark in tournament play for an overall record of 104-78 (.571) against league foes. Brey’s Irish teams have won 10 or more conference regular-season games in six of his 10 seasons. Prior to his arrival at Notre Dame, Irish teams had just a 35-53 (.398) regular-season record from 1995-2000.

BIG EAST Turnaround
– During head coach Mike Brey’s tenure, Irish teams have only had two losing seasons in BIG EAST play – 6-10 in 2005-06 and 8-10 in 2008-09. Since the 2005-06 campaign when the Irish finished 6-10 after beginning the BIG EAST regular-season with a 1-8 record, Notre Dame has gone 48-29 (.623) over the last 77 regular-season contests. In addition to Notre Dame, only four other BIG EAST teams have had records of .500 or better eight or more times – Pittsburgh and Syracuse (nine times) and Notre Dame, Connecticut and Villanova (eight times).

BIG EAST Repeats
– For the fourth consecutive season, Notre Dame will meet Connecticut in a home-and-home series during the 2010-11 BIG EAST regular season. In addition to the Huskies, the Irish also are slated to play Marquette and St. John’s twice this season. This will be the fourth year since the expansion to 16 teams that the Conference will employ an 18-game regular-season slate with all team playing each other once and three opponents twice in a home-and-away format. Notre Dame’s single-game home opponents will be Cincinnati, Georgetown, Louisville, Rutgers, Seton Hall and Villanova. The road slate also will feature visits to DePaul, Pittsburgh, Providence, USF, Syracuse and West Virginia.

Hansbrough Nearing 1,000-Point Mark
– Heading into his final season, senior guard Ben Hansbrough needs just 12 points to reach the 1,000-point mark in his career. In 100 career outings, he has scored 988 points for a 9.9 career scoring average. Hansbrough scored 569 in his two seasons at Mississippi State and then scored 419 points in 2009-10 for a career best scoring average of 12.0 points.

Irish Set to Meet Kentucky In DIRECTV SEC/BIG EAST Invitational
– Notre Dame is scheduled to make its first-ever appearance in the DIRECTV SEC/BIG EAST Invitational in 2010 as the Irish are scheduled to meet Kentucky at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky., on Wednesday, Dec. 8 in a game that will be televised on ESPN. The contest is part of a doubleheader that evening (Seton Hall will face Arkansas in the other game).
– Notre Dame and Kentucky have met at Freedom Hall on 32 occasions with the first contest played in January 1937. The Wildcats own a 32-9 advantage in the games the two schools have played at Freedom Hall. The last time the Notre Dame and Kentucky faced each other at Freedom Hall was on Jan. 31, 1988 as the Wildcats earned a 78-69 victory.

Irish to Appear On Three BIG Monday Broadcasts
– As part of its 18-game national television slate in 2010-11, Notre Dame will be part of three ESPN Big Monday broadcasts. The first appearance for the Fighting Irish will be when head coach Mike Brey’s squad travels to the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wis., to take on Marquette at 7:00 p.m. (ET) on Jan. 10 in a game that will be shown on ESPN2. Notre Dame’s matchup at Pittsburgh on Jan. 24 at 7:00 p.m. (ET) at the Petersen Events Center will be shown on ESPN. The ESPN Big Monday cameras will make their only appearance at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center at 7:00 p.m. (ET) on Feb. 28 when the Irish take on Villanova.

Lights, Camera, Action
– More than half of the 144 regular-season BIG EAST Conference men’s basketball games will be seen on national television during the 2010-11 season, once again giving BIG EAST teams unprecedented exposure on the nation’s leading television outlets. In total 73 of the regular-season contests will be on national television – either on CBS Sports, ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU. This will mark the fourth straight season in which all 144 regular-season league games will be televised.

106 Years Young
– The 2010-11 campaign marks the 106th season of basketball at Notre Dame and the 16th season as a member of the BIG EAST Conference. Notre Dame teams have posted a 1674-920 record for a .645 winning percentage. In 15 seasons as a member of the BIG EAST, the Irish own a 133-121 (.523) record all-time in conference regular-season play.

The Captains
– Seniors Tim Abromaitis, Ben Hansbrough, Tyrone Nash along with junior Carleton Scott will serve as captains during the 2010-11 season. All four will be captains for the first time in their careers.

Tim Abromaitis, Ben Hansbrough and Tyrone Nash played in all 35 games one season ago. Overall, Nash has played in a team-best 50 straight contests. The last game he did not play in was at Cincinnati on Feb. 4, 2009.

Elder Statesman
– Mike Brey is in his 11th 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 sixth all-time in the BIG EAST with 100 victories (104-78 overall that includes regular-season and tournament contests). He is 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 – 371
  2. Jim Calhoun, Connecticut – 289
  3. John Thompson, Georgetown – 231
  4. Lou Carnesecca, St. John’s – 139
  5. Rollie Massimino, Villanova – 123
  6. Mike Brey, Notre Dame – 104

Basketball Bloodlines
– This year’s Notre Dame roster features several players with some strong basketball bloodlines:
Tim Abromaitis – His father, Jim, played basketball at the University of Connecticut (1975-80) and was drafted by the New Jersey Nets. His brother, Jason, played basketball at Yale (2003-07).
Mike Broghammer – His uncle, Christian Laettner, played professional basketball for 13 seasons and was a member of the 1992 gold medal Dream Team. He played for Duke University (1988-92) and led the Blue Devils to national championships in 1991 and 1992.
Joey Brooks – His father, Lott J. Brooks, III, played professional college basketball at Eckerd College (1974-78).
Jerian Grant – His father, Harvey, played basketball at the University of Oklahoma (1986-88), and was the 12th pick overall in the 1988 NBA Draft and played from 1988-99 in the NBA. His uncle, Horace Grant, played at Clemson, and was the 10th overall pick in the NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls. He is the owner of four NBA championship rings. His older brother, Jerai, is a senior on the Clemson basketball team, while a younger brother, Jerami is a junior on the DeMatha basketball team.
Ben Hansbrough – His brother, Tyler, played basketball at the Univeristy of North Carolina (2005-09). A three-time All-American, he was the 2008 National Player of the Year and led the Tar Heels to the 2009 national championship. Currently, he is in his second season with the Indiana Pacers, and was the 13th pick overall in the 2009 NBA Draft.
Tom Knight – His father, Karl, played basketball at Bowdoin (1976-80).

DeMatha Connectiona
Jerian Grant is the first Irish basketball player from DeMatha to attend Notre Dame during the Mike Brey era. Brey played and coached at DeMatha and also is the alma mater of assistant coach Rod Balanis. Former Irish players who also played at DeMatha include Bob Whitmore (1967-69), Sid Catlett (1969-71) and Adrian Dantley (1974-76).

Irish Ink One For 2011
– Pat Connaughton, a 6-5, 195-pound swingman from Arlington, Mass., was the lone early-November 2011 signee for head coach Mike Brey.
– A four-year starter at St. John’s Prep in Danvers, Mass., Connaughton averaged 24.0 points and 17.9 rebounds in 2009-10 as he led St. John’s to one of the best seasons in program history as the squad finished with a 21-3 marks that included a 15-game win streak during the season. In addition, his squad won the Catholic Conference championship and finished the regular season with a 7-1 league record. His team was ranked seventh in the final Massachusetts state polls after making the school’s first appearance since 1974 in the Division 1 state finals.
– Connaughton was the only junior selected to the Boston Globe Super Team and the Boston Herald High Dream Team. He was selected as Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the Catholic Conference and was named to the Catholic Conference All-Star Team. In addition, he was selected as his team’s MVP and served as team captain.
– He is ranked 73rd nationally by and 100th by ESPNU.

Brey Serving as Chairman of NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee
– Mike Brey was elected chair of the 2010-11 NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee in May 2010 and is serving his fourth year on the rules committee.

Adidas And Notre Dame Unveil Lightest, Most Technologically Advanced College Basketball Uniforms
– At the start of the 2010-11 basketball season, adidas and the University of Notre Dame basketball teams unveiled the lightest and most technologically advanced college basketball uniforms ever. Designed and developed by adidas, the uniforms are 30 percent lighter and dry twice as fast as previous uniforms to help enhance the Fighting Irish’s performance by keeping players cooler, drier and more comfortable on the court.
– The new Notre Dame uniforms, made from 60 percent recycled materials, feature adidas’ Formotion technology, which reduces seams, decreases friction between the garment and the player’s skin and optimizes the player’s natural movement through specially constructed material. adidas reduced uniform weight and increased player comfort by switching front and back numbers from heavier, dense materials to a more breathable mesh.
– The new Notre Dame uniform absorbs moisture in less than three seconds as a result of adidas CLIMACOOL fabrics. The jersey moves heat and sweat away from the body through a combination of moisture management materials, ventilation channels and three dimensional garments, helping the uniform dry twice as quickly.
– Along with Notre Dame, 10 other schools will debut the new uniforms this season, including University of Cincinnati, Indiana University, University of Kansas, University of Louisville, University of Michigan, University of Nebraska, North Carolina State University, University of Tennessee, UCLA and University of Wisconsin.
– In addition to the NCAA teams wearing the new uniforms, all 30 NBA teams will wear Revolution 30 jerseys this season featuring similar adidas technology.