Nov. 22, 2008

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Irish Set To Make Second Appearance in EA Sports Maui Invitational

  • Notre Dame (2-0), coming off a 65-54 victory at Loyola Marymount on Friday evening, head to Maui for the 25th annual EA Sports Maui Invitational. The Irish are participating in the event for the second time and first time since 1993 when the finished with a 1-2 record.
  • In the1993 tournament, Notre Dame lost to Arizona (98-79) in first round action, then defeated Chaminade (94-78) before losing to Texas (89-72) in its third and final game.

The Last Time In Hawaii

  • Notre Dame last played in Hawaii back at the start of the 2001-02 campaign by winning the title at the Hawaii-Pacific Thanksgiving Classic at the Blaisdell Center in Honolulu.
  • The Irish took home the championship with three convincing victories over Hawaii-Pacific (98-58), Tennessee-Chattanooga (97-84) and Monmouth (85-48).
  • Notre Dame teams owns a 4-2 record all-time playing in the state of Hawaii under head coach Mike Brey.

In The Polls

  • Notre Dame began the season ranked ninth in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today rankings. It marked the first time in school history that the Irish have been ranked at the start of the season in the top-10 of both polls. Notre Dame moved up to eighth in this week’s AP ranking and maintained its ninth-place spot in the ESPN/USA Today poll.

Keeping The Streak Alive

  • Notre Dame ran its current home court win streak to 38 games (second-longest in the nation and longest in the 40-plus year history of the Joyce Center) following the season-opening win over USC Upstate (94-58). The Irish have recorded back-to-back undefeated campaigns at the Joyce Center each of the last two seasons and are the only school in BIG EAST history to finish undefeated at home in consecutive seasons. The win tied the all-time school home win streak record. That mark was set at the Notre Dame Fieldhouse and began with a 41-31 win over Wisconsin on December 11, 1943 and ended with a 68-51 loss to St. Louis on February 9, 1948.

The Captains

Irish Roll Under Brey in November

  • Irish teams have traditionally played well under Irish head coach Mike Brey during the month of November. During his eight seasons on the Notre Dame bench, his teams have compiled a 32-5 (.865) record.

Series Record vs. Indiana

  • Monday’s matchup against Indiana will mark the 68th meeting between the two schools with the Hoosiers owning a 47-20 advantage in the series. This will be the first meeting since December 8, 2004 when the Irish defeated Indiana 55-45 in Bloomington. That win marked the first-ever for a Notre Dame team at Assembly Hall in more than 30 years.
  • The win nearly four years ago against the Hoosiers snapped an eight-game losing streak for the Irish. In fact, Notre Dame is 3-13 versus Indiana in the last 16 meetings.

Irish vs. the Big Ten

  • Notre Dame is 227-198 all-time versus teams from the Big Ten. In addition to Indiana, the Irish are slated to play Ohio State on December 6 in the Hall of Fame Showcase in Indianapolis, Ind. The game will take place at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Brey vs. Indiana

  • Notre Dame’s Mike Brey is 1-4 against Indiana during his head-coaching career. Brey and the Irish won the last meeting, a 55-45 decision at Indiana during the 2004-05 season. Brey has faced the Hoosiers four times during his tenure at Notre Dame. His other meeting against Indiana came while he was at Delaware.

Brey vs. Crean

  • Notre Dame head mentor Mike Brey is 3-5 all-time against Indiana head coach Tom Crean. All eight meetings occurred while Crean was the head coach of Marquette.

Just Another Day In The Office For Gody

  • Luke Harangody, who averaged 20.4 points and 10.6 rebounds during the 2007-08 campaign, scored 30 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in the season opener against USC Upstate. It marked the fourth 30-plus point performance of his career and his 26th career double-double.
  • Luke Harangody’s 27 points and 17 rebounds in Notre Dame’s win at Loyola Marymount on Friday night marked his 56th game in double figures and the 23rd time in his career with 20-plus points. The 17 boards were the second-most in 67 career outings and 27th time in his career that he has registered a double-double

Irish In Season Openers

  • Notre Dame owns an all-time record of 86-18 (.827) all-time in season openers and have won all nine openers under head coach Mike Brey. Since the opening of the Joyce Center in 1968-69, Irish teams are 35-6 (.854) in home openers. The last time Notre Dame lost a season opener at home was against Miami of Ohio on November 13, 1998.

Great Beginnings

  • The 94 points scored in the 95-58 victory over USC Upstate were the most scored by an Irish team in a season opener since the 2001-02 when Notre Dame defeated New Hampshire 99-53 on Nov. 16, 2001.

Zach Attack

  • Zach Hillesland, who battled plantar fasciitis during the preseason and missed the first exhibition game against Briar Cliff, started Sunday’s game against USC Upstate and scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds while also dishing off four assists in 21 minutes. Hillesland was 4-6 from the field and 5-7 from the line. It marked 13th time in his career in which he scored in double figures.

Deja Vu

  • Luke Zeller had a career outing against USC Upstate in the season opener as he came off the bench in 19 minutes of action to score a personal best 18 points as he connected on 6-7 shots from the the field and was 4-6 from three rebounds. In addition to the 18 points, he grabbed five rebounds. Just one day prior to Luke’s performance, his brother Tyler scored 18 points as a starter for the North Carolina Tar Heels in his collegiate debut.

Tough Shooting

  • Senior guard Kyle McAlarney has struggled shooting from the field in his first two games as he has shot a combined 2-13 (.154) from the field and 2-8 (.250) from three-point range.
  • McAlarney was held scoreless against Loyola Marymount on Friday night, marking just the fourth time in 76 career outings that he failed to score in a game. All three of his previous three games when he was held without a point occurred during his freshman season in 2005-06.

Passing Thoughts

  • After leadin g the nation in assists a year ago (18.4 per game), Notre Dame dished off 25 assists in the season opener against USC Upstate. Tory Jackson led the Irish with eight assists in the contest, while Kyle McAlarney and Zach Hillesland had six and four, respectively. Last season, the Irish dished off 20-plus assists in 12 games, including a season-high 28 in the season opener against Long Island.

It’s All In The Experience

  • Notre Dame’s starting lineup of Zach Hillesland (79 games played/22 starts), Luke Harangody (67 games played/51 starts), Ryan Ayers (83 games played/20 starts), Tory Jackson (67 games played/55 starts) and Kyle McAlarney (76 games played/57 starts) boast a combined 205 starts in the 371 games the five have combined to play in during their careers. Luke Zeller, who was the first player off the bench in the season opener against USC Upstate, has started 26 games in the 93 that he has appeared in during his three-plus seasons with the Irish.

Top 10 Debut

  • Notre Dame was ranked ninth in ESPN/USA Today Preseason Coaches’ Poll that was released on October 30. It was was the highest preseason ranking ever for the Irish in the preseason coaches’ poll. Prior to this season, it’s highest ranking ever was 17th in 2000-01 in the poll which began in 1991-92. The last time the Irish started the season ranked in the preseason coaches poll was in 2004-05 (21st). The BIG EAST led all conferences with seven teams ranked in the top 25 – Connecticut (2nd), Louisville (3rd), Pittsburgh (6th), Marquette (17th), Georgetown (18th) and Villanova (25th).
  • The Irish also were ranked ninth in the Preseason Associated Press Poll. It marked the fifth time in program history that Notre Dame has debuted in the top-10 of the AP poll.
  • The Irish have not begun a season ranked in the top 10 of the AP rankings since 1980-81 when they were 10th. Notre Dame’s highest-ever AP preseason mark was third in 1978-79. The Irish were ranked fourth in 1977-78 and fifth in 1979-80. The last time Notre Dame was ranked in the preseason AP poll was in 200-405 when the Irish were 20th.
  • A total of seven BIG EAST teams appear in the top 25, including four in the top 10.
  • Seven BIG EAST teams also appeared in the preseason AP poll.

Leader Of The Pack

  • Notre Dame led the nation in assists during the 2007-08 campaign. In 33 games, Notre Dame dished out 608 assists (the third-highest single-season total in school history) for an 18.4 average per game.

Nine Straight Postseason Appearances

  • Notre Dame’s appearance in last year’s NCAA tournament field marked the fifth NCAA berth for the Irish in seven years. Since 2000, Notre Dame has appeared in either the NCAA or NIT tournaments each of the last nine years – the longest postseason stretch in school history.

Five 20-Win Seasons Under His Belt

  • With its 25-8 record last season, Notre Dame reached the 20-win mark for the fifth time in eight seasons and second consecutive year under head coach Mike Brey. Notre Dame’s 20-win campaigns under Brey have been in 2000-01 (20-10), 2001-02 (22-11), 2002-03 (24-10) and 24-8 (2006-07). In the 103-year history of the program, Notre Dame teams have won 20 or more games on 32 occasions.

Tough Schedule

  • Notre Dame’s 2008-09 schedule may rank as the toughest in school history. The Irish are slated to play No. 2 Connecticut and No. 3 Louisville twice during the BIG EAST regular season and will face No. 6 Pittsburgh on the road and No. 17 Marquette, No. 18 Georgetown and No. 25 Villanova at home. The Irish are also slated to take on No. 4 UCLA in Los Angeles in early February. Two other potential top-10 foes Notre Dame could face at the Maui Invitational are No. 1 North Carolina and No. 8 Texas.

BIG EAST Turnaround

  • Under head coach Mike Brey’s tenure, Notre Dame has had only one losing season. That season was in 2005-06 when the Irish finished 6-10 after beginning the BIG EAST campaign with a 1-8 record. Since that 1-8 start, Notre Dame has gone 30-11 (.732) over the last 41 regular-season games.

Now That’s Something To Talk About

  • Notre Dame’s current record-setting 38-game home win streak spans three seasons – the final two games played during the 2005-06 campaign, the entire 2006-07 season (18 games), 17 games in 2007-08 and one game into the 2008-09 campaign. Here’s a look at the dominance of the Irish during its present win streak:
Notre Dame Opponents
FG Percentage 1081-2251 (.480) 929-2361(.386)
3-FG Percentage 331-835 (.396) 251-761 (.330)
Points/Avg. 3,198 (84.2 ppg.) 2,471 (65.0 ppg.)
Margin of Victory +727 points (+19.1)
Notes: Notre Dame has shot .500 or better in 16 of 38 games
Notre Dame opponents have shot .500 or better in 3 of 38 games
27 wins by 10-plus points
14 wins by 20-plus points
10 wins by 30-plus points
5 wins by 40-plus points
1 win by 50-plus points

Home Cookin’

  • Notre Dame’s 17-0 record at home in 2007-08 marked just the fourth time since the opening of the Joyce Center in 1968-69 that an Irish team finished undefeated at home during the regular season. In 2006-07, the Irish were 18-0, which marked the most wins ever for a Notre Dame team in a single season. In addition to this year’s team and the 2006-07 squad, only two other Notre Dame squads ever completed a season undefeated at home – the 1973-74 and 1985-86 squads both finished their campaigns with identical 15-0 records. The Irish have been the only BIG EAST team to finish undefeated at home each of the last two seasons. Dating back to the 2005-06 campaign, Notre Dame has won 38 consecutive games at the Joyce Cetner – an active streak that is second among all Division I teams and is the longest during Mike Brey’s tenure.
  • Notre Dame’s current streak dates back to the final two games of the 2005-06 campaign as Irish defeated DePaul (66-61) in the regular-season finale and Vanderbilt (79-69) in the first round of the NIT. Notre Dame’s last loss at home was an 80-72 setback to Marquette on February 25, 2006.

Current NCAA Division I Home Court Win Streaks:

1. BYU 48
3. Tennessee 33
4. Kansas 26
5. Georgetown 23

BIG EAST Win Streak

  • Notre Dame’s 18-game BIG EAST homecourt win streak is its longest since the Irish joined the conference in 1995-96 and is the second-longest in conference history. 20 – Pittsburgh (6 games in 2003-04, 8 games in 2002-03 and 6 games in 2001-02) 18 – Notre Dame (1 game in 2005-06, 8 games in 2006-07 and 9 games in 2007-08) *The only team that the Irish have not played at home during the streak is Georgetown. Notre Dame will face the Hoyas on January 5.

Back-T0-Back Seasons With Single-Digit Losses

  • Notre Dame produced a 25-8 record in 2007-08 and a 24-8 mark in 2006-07. The last time Irish teams registered back-to-back seasons with fewer than 10 losses were the 1987-88 (20-9) and 1988-89 (21-9) squads. The 49 combined wins over the course of two seasons were the most in school history. Notre Dame’s 1985-86 and 1986-87 squads registered 47 wins, finishing with 23-6 and 24-8 records, respectively.

Joyce Center Streakin’

  • Notre Dame broke the Joyce Center home win streak mark on December 8 with its 108-62 win over Northern Illinois. Here’s a look at the Joyce Center streaks: 38 – Began with a 66-61 win over DePaul on 3/4/06 (current streak) 24 – Began with a 94-68 win over Xavier on 2/3/73 and ended with a 94-84 loss to Indiana on 12/11/74 22 – Began with an 88-68 win over Pittsburgh on 1/26/77 and ended with a 69-68 overtime loss to DePaul on 2/12/78 16 – Began with a 92-70 win over Fairfield on 12/9/82 and ended with a 51-47 loss to UCLA on 12/3/83 16 – Began with an 89-76 win over West Virginia on 2/20/02 and ended with a 87-79 loss to Connecticut on 2/24/03.

The Irish All-Time

  • The 2008-09 camapign marks the 104th season of basketball and the 14th as a member of the BIG EAST Conference. Notre Dame teams have posted a 1632-893 record for a .646 winning percentage. In BIG EAST play, the Irish own a 115-103 (.528) record all-time in conference regular-season play.

Always In It

  • Since the 2005-06 campaign, Notre Dame’s 30 losses have been by a combined 207 points for an average of 6.9 points per game. In the 86 losses suffered by Irish teams in Mike Brey’s eight seasons, only 23 have been by 10 or more points and have been by a combined 606 points for an average of 7.0 points per game. Notre Dame’s 26-point loss (92-66) to Marquette on January 12, 2008 was the largest ever for an Irish team under Brey.

BIG EAST Formula For Success

  • Since his arrival at Notre Dame, Mike Brey has led the Irish to an 80-50 (.615) record in BIG EAST regular-season games and a 3-8 mark in tournament play for an overall record of 83-58 (.589) against league foes. In Brey’s first season, the Irish posted their first-ever winning record in BIG EAST play and won the league’s West Division title with an 11-5 mark. Prior to Brey’s arrival at Notre Dame, Irish teams had a 35-53 (.398) regular-season record after joining the league in 1995-96.

305 And Counting

  • Heading into Monday’s game against Indiana, Notre Dame has hit at least one three-pointer in 305 straight games, a mark that dates back to the 1998-99 campaign. The last time an Irish team failed to hit a three-pointer in a game was in a 101-70 loss to Connecticut at the Hartford Civic Center on Jan. 12, 1999 as Notre Dame finished 0-7 from beyond the arc in the game. The 2005-06 Irish squad set the single-season record with 288 three-pointers and fell just one field goal short of that mark (287) in 2006-07.

Home Sweet Home

  • Since the inaugural season in 1968-69 at the Joyce Center, Notre Dame owns a 492-141 (.777) winning percentage. The Irish are 108-27 (.800) at the Joyce Center during Mike Brey’s eight-plus seasons.

Road Warriors

  • In Mike Brey’s eight seasons, his Irish teams have compiled a road record of 62-59 (.512) that includes a 41-40 (.506) in true road games and a 21-19 mark (.525) in neutral site contests.

Three New Faces On The Irish Bench

  • Anthony Solomon is back on the Irish sidelines this season as an assistant coach. He first was a member of Mike Brey’s staff in 2000-03 before leaving to become the head coach at St. Bonaventure University (2003-07) and then serving as an assisant at Dayton during the past 2007-08 season.
  • Ben Hansbrough and Scott Martin transferred to Notre Dame in June 2008 and will not be eligible to play during the 2008-09 campaign due to NCAA transfer rules. Hansbrough played two seasons at Mississippi State where he saw action in 65 contests and made 28 starts from 2006-08. He averaged 8.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 28.2 minutes per game during his two-year stint. Martin played just one year (2007-08) at Purdue and was the fourth-leading scorer for the Boilermakers as he averaged 8.5 points and 3.8 rebounds.

Irish Sign Four

  • Irish head coach Mike Brey announced the signing of four players to national letters of intent on November 12. Mike Broghammer (Orono, Minn./Hopkins), Joey Brooks (Houston, Texas), Jack Cooley (Glenview, Ill.) and Tom Knight (Dixfield, Maine).
  • Broghammer, a 6-9, 235-pound forward, averaged 11.9 points and 10.9 rebounds as a junior in leading his prep team to a final 27-2 record in 2007-08. A two-time all-conference honoree, scored in double figures in 16 of 29 contests as a junior. He is the nephew of former Duke standout Christian Laettner.
  • Brooks, a 6-5, 200-pound guard, led Strake Jesuit College Preparatory to the District 18-5A crown as a junior while averaging 22.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals. He garnered first-team all-district honors and earned all-state recognition.
  • Cooley, a 6-9, 235-pound forward, averaged a double-double in his junior season at Glenbrook, netting 20.7 points and 11.2 rebounds, in adddtion to 3.4 blocked shots and 3.1 assists. A second team all-state honoree by the Chicago Tribune and Associated Press, he also garnered all-conference recognition.
  • Knight, a 6-9, 265-pound forward, averaged 16.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 2.3 steals and 3.1 blocked shots as a junior while being tabbed as a all-Mountain Valley Conference first-team selection. He led Dirigo to back-to-back Mountain Valley Conference crowns in 2007 and 2008 and runner-up finishes in those two seasons in the Class C Western Maine regional finals.

Success In The Classroom

  • The basketball team was one of six Notre Dame teams to earn the 2007-08 BIG EAST Team Academic Excellence award which recognized the highest collective grade averages in each conference sport. The Irish have earned a 3.097 cumulative grade point average and has produced a GPA of 3.0 or better in seven of the last nine semesters and the team cumulative GPA has been above 3.0 for other last eight semesters.