Nov. 18, 2006
Notre Dame (2-1, 0-0 BIG EAST)
The Citadel (1-3, 0-0 Southern)
Sunday, November 19, 2006 * 4:00 p.m. (EST) Joyce Center (11,418) * Notre Dame, Ind.
Notre Dame vs. The Citadel:
Coming off of a 1-1 showing at the Dick’s Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off, the Notre Dame men’s basketball team entertains The Citadel in the second-ever meeting between the two schools. The Irish lost to Butler 71-69 in the opening round of the NIT Season Tip-Off and then rebounded with a 32-point victory (92-60) against Lafayette on the second night. Following this afternoon’s contest, Notre Dame will not be in action again until Mon., Nov. 27 when it plays host to Lehigh. The Irish will have a quick turnaround with a matchup against Winston-Salem State 48 hours later.
Irish 1-1 at NIT:
Notre Dame finished with a 1-1 record in the two games of the Dick’s Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off Midwest Region held at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
vs. Butler: The Irish dropped a tough two-point decision (71-69) against Butler. In that contest, Colin Falls and Luke Harangody led the Notre Dame with 17 points each, while Russell Carter added 15. Harangody also registered the first double-double of his young career as he grabbed 10 boards. The Irish shot 48.1 percent from the field and 58.8 percent from three-point range, while Butler connected on 49.1 percent overall from the floor.
vs. Lafayette: Notre Dame shot a blistering 72.0 percent (18-25) from the floor en route to the 32-point victory (92-60) and was 35-60 overall from the field (58.3%). Russell Carter notched his second 20-point outing of the season as he finished with 20 points to lead four Irish players in double figures. Luke Harangody tossed in a career-high points, while Rob Kurz added 16 points and eight rebounds. Rookie Tory Jackson tossed in 10 points. Kyle McAlarney dished off a career-high 12 asissts in the game as part of Notre Dame’s 28 assists overall in the contest.
What’s Not To Like About These Numbers:
Here’s some of the numbers from Notre Dame’s season-opening win over IPFW…
- Notre Dame shot 61.5 percent in the first half.
- Notre Dame’s 55 first-half points were the second-most ever scored by the Irish in the first half under Mike Brey.
- The +26 differential in rebounding (54-28) is the largest ever by an Irish team under Mike Brey in six-plus seasons and the third-most rebounds in a game regulation game.
- The 92 points were the most scored in season opener since the 2001-02 season (99-53 vs. New Hampshire on Nov. 16, 2001).
- The 43-point margin of victory was the most since an 89-45 (44 points) win over IUPUI on Nov. 18, 2002.
Senior Colin Falls and junior Rob Kurz were selected captains by a vote of their teammates. Kurz’ selection marks the third time in four years that the Irish have had a junior serving as a team captain.
The Phonz Returns:
Former Irish great LaPhonso Ellis (1988-92) returns to be the color analyst for Notre Dame basketball games on the radio, teaming with play-by-play analyst Jack Nolan in 2006-06. Nolan was the color analyst for a number of years on the network, but assumes the play-by-play duties this season. Ellis, who ranks 13th all-time in career scoring and third in rebounding (1,075), will do a select number of games this season.
Notre Dame’s season opener against IPFW marked the earliest start date ever in the 102-year history of the program. The earliest start date prior to this had been in 1998 when that Irish squad opened up the 1998-99 campaign with a 76-65 loss to Miami of Ohio on Nov. 13.
Irish in Season Openers:
Notre Dame owns an all-time record of 84-18 (.824) all-time in season openers and have won all seven of its openers under head coach Mike Brey. Since the opening of the Joyce Center in 1968-69, Irish teams are 33-6 (.846) in home openers. The last time Notre Dame lost a season opener at home was to Miami of Ohio on November 13, 1998.
Irish Roll Under Brey In November:
Under head coach Mike Brey, the Irish are 23-3 (.885) all-time in games played during the month of November. The three November losses have been to Creighton 80-75 in the championship game of the Guardians Classic on Nov. 26, 2002; to North Carolina State (61-48) at the John R. Wooden Tradition at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Nov. 26; and to Butler (71-69) last Monday night in the first round of the NIT Season Tip-Off
The Irish All-Time:
The 2006-07 men’s basketball campaign marks the 102nd season of basketball and 12th as a member of the BIG EAST Conference. In 101-plus seasons, Irish teams have posted a 1583-878 record for a .643 winning percentage. In BIG EAST play, Notre Dame owns an 90-94 (.489) record all-time in conference regular-season play.
Junior Rob Kurz sustained a broken on practice on Sunday evening, Nov. 5 after being elbowed accidently by teammate Luke Harangody. He underwent surgery on Monday morning (Nov. 6) at 10:30 a.m. and was in street clothes that evening sitting on the bench in the exhibition game against Bellarmine. He returned to practice on Wednesday (Nov. 8) and has played and started all three contests. He wears a protective mask in practices, but is not wearing it in games.
Always In It:
Since the 2005-06 campaign, Notre Dame’s 15 losses have been by a combined 61 points for an average of 4.1 points per game. The 14 setbacks a year ago were by a total of 59 points (4.2 points). The only double-digit loss was to North Carolina State (61-47). The Irish suffered 10 BIG EAST losses during the regular season and those were by a combined 35 points (3.5).
Keeping It Close:
In the 71 losses suffered by Irish teams in Mike Brey’s six-plus seasons, only 16 have been by 10 or more points and have been by a combined 460 for a average of 6.5 points per game. Notre Dame’s biggest losses have been on the road at Pittsburgh (72-55 on Jan. 5, 2003) and against Arizona (88-71 on March 27, 2003) in the NCAA West Regional semifinal in Anaheim, Calif. Prior to those setbacks, the worst defeat was a 16-point decision at Connecticut during Brey’s first season.
Notre Dame played five overtime games last season, matching the school record set during the 1955-56 campaign when that Irish team finished 1-4 in overtime contests. Three of those contests a year ago were decided in double overtime. The Irish were 0-5 in overtime games a year ago.
Seven Straight Postseason Appearances:
Since 2000, Notre Dame has appeared in either the NCAA or NIT tournaments each of the last seven years. The Irish played in the 2000 NIT and then earned consecutive NCAA tournament berths – 2001, ’02, ’03, followed by NIT appearances in ’04, ’05 and ’06. This is the longest stretch of postseason appearances for Irish teams since making eight straight from 1983-90 (NIT in 1983 and ’84 and NCAA from 1985-90).
Big Luke=Big Numbers:
After three games, freshman Luke Harangody is second on the team in both scoring (15.7 ppg.) and rebounding (7.7 rpg.). He has scored in double figures in all three of Notre Dame’s games this season and is the first two do so since Troy Murphy in 1998 as the began his rookie seaswon with 12 straight double-figure outings. Harangody recorded the first double-double of his career since Torin Francis in November of 2002 when he scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in loss to Butler. Against Lafayettte on Nov. 14, he finished with a career-best 17 points as he connected on 7-12 shots from the field. Harangody is shooting 52.9 percent from the field (18-34) and 91.7 percent (11-12) from three-point range.
Notre Dame is shooting 53.7 percent from the field (94-175) and 42.6 percent from three-point range (23-54) following three games. The Irish have shot better than 50.0 percent from the field in two games this season (54.0 percent (34-63) vs. IPFW and 58.3 percent (35-60) against Lafayette). In the Lafayette game, Notre Dame shot a blistering 72.0 percent (18-25) in the second half, the highest field goal percentage ever by an Irish team in a half under head coach Mike Brey. Notre Dame has not shot below 48.0 percent in a game as the Irish also connected on 48.1 percent (25-52) in their loss to Butler.
Not known in recent years to be a dominant rebounding team, Notre Dame has been exceptional on the boards this season and is currently outrebounding its opponent 41.0 to 25.7 for a +15.3 advantage. The Irish have outrebounded each of its first three opponents – IPFW (54-28), Butler (29-24) and Lafayette (35-23).
BIG EAST Breakdown:
Notre Dame will play DePaul, USF and Villanova twice as part of its 16-game BIG EAST schedule. As was the case in 2005-06, each team will face 10 opponents once and three opponents twice (both home and away), but will not play two teams. The Irish will play home games against Louisville, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall and West Virginia and will face Cincinnati, Georgetown, Rutgers, St. John’s and Syracuse on the road. The two schools Notre Dame will not play during the upcoming campaign are Connecticut and Pittsburgh.
Series Record vs. The Citadel:
This will be just the second meeting ever between the two schools. In the only previous meeting on Nov. 11, 1997 at the Joyce Center, Notre Dame defeated The Citadel 72-53.
Series Record vs. Southern Conference:
Notre Dame owns a 15-1 record (.938) all-time versus teams from the Southern Conference. It’s one loss was to Davidson on Jan. 4, 1983 (54-51).
BIG EAST Formula For Success Under Brey:
Since his arrival at Notre Dame, Brey has led Notre Dame to a 55-41 (.573) record in BIG EAST regular-season games and a 2-6 mark in tournament play for an overall record of 57-47 (.548) against league foes. In Brey’s first season, the Irish posted their first-ever winning record in BIG EAST play and won the BIG EAST 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 since joining the league in 1995-96.
239 And Counting:
Heading into today’s game against The Citadel, Notre Dame has hit at least one three-pointer in 237 straight games, a mark that dates back to the 1998-99 campaign. The last time an Irish team failed to hit a three-pointer was 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.
Spreading the Wealth:
Notre Dame is averaging 19.7 assists per game and had a season-high 28 against Lafayette last Tuesday night with 35 baskets coming off of 28 assists. Twelve of those assists in the game were dished out by Kyle McAlarney, which marked a career-best for the Irish sophomore. This year, Notre Dame owns a 0.63 assist-to-basket ratio (59 assists on 94 baskets).
Home Sweet Home:
Since the inaugural season in 1968-69 at the Joyce Center, Notre Dame owns a 457-140 record all-time for a .765 winning percentage. The Irish are 72-27 (.727) at the Joyce Center during Mike Brey’s six-plus, and since the 1996-97 campaign, they own a 120-42 mark for a .740 winning percentage. Notre Dame’s 11-5 mark in 2005-06 at home marked the eighth time in nine years that the Irish won 10 or more home games.
Approaching 1,000 Points:
Senior Colin Falls needs 42 points to the 45th player in Notre Dame history to score 1,000 points. Falls has 958 career points for a 10.2 career scoring average. He has played in 94 career outings and started 63.
In 93 career outings, 239 of Colin Falls’ 286 career field goals have come from three-point range which translates into an 83.6 percentage. Last season, he set the school record for three-point field goals made with 102 and is the only player in Notre Dame history with 90-plus three-pointers in two seasons (he also had 93 as a sophomore in 2004-05). During his career, he has connected on 239 of 593 three-point field goal attempts for a 40.3 percent accuracy from the field. Falls needs 64 three-point field goals this season to eclipse Chris Thomas’ career mark of 302 he set from 2001-05.
In Mike Brey’s six-plus seasons, his Irish teams have compiled a road record of 48-44 (.521) that includes a 32-31 mark (.507) in true road games and a 16-13 (.552) record in neutral site contests.
The Phonz Returns:
Former Irish great LaPhonso Ellis (1988-92) returns to be the color analyst for Notre Dame basketball games on the radio, teaming with play-by-play analyst Jack Nolan in 2006-06. Nolan was the color analyst for a number of year on the network, but assumes the play-by-play duties this year. Ellis, who ranks 13th all-time in career scoring and third in rebounding (1,075), will do a select number of games this season.
There’s a New Guy In Town:
There will be a new face along the Irish sidelines this season. Gene Cross, a 1994 graduate of Illinois, joins the Notre Dame basketball staff after spending the 2005-06 campaign at Virginia. A 10-year veteran of the collegiate ranks, he spent three years (2002-05) on Dave Leitao’s staff at DePaul before moving to Virginia when Leitao became the Cavaliers’ head coach. He also spent six years on the staff at University of Illinois-Chicago (1996-02).
There are two Indiana natives on this year’s Irish roster, and coincidentally, both are named Luke – sophomore forward Luke Zeller and freshman forward Luke Harangody. Zeller hails from the southern part of the state in Washington, while Harangody’s hometown of Schererville is the western end. The last time a Notre Dame roster had more than one scholarship player from the state of Indiana was in 1993-94 – Joe and Jon Ross (Wabash) and Jason Williams (Indianapolis)
Philly Family Connection:
Junior Rob Kurz’ sister Laura is a junior on the Villanova women’s basketball team (she is sitting out this season after transferring from Duke). Sophomore Ryan Ayers’ father Randy is currently an assistant coach with the Orlando Magic. He formerly was the head coach at Ohio State and with the Philadelphia 76ers.
Like Father, Like Son:
The last name of freshman walk-on Tim Andree should be familiar to the Irish basketball faithful. His father Tim was a four-year monogram winner and played basketball for the Irish from 1979-83. It marks the first father-son basketball duo at Notre Dame since Kevin Hawkins (1978-81) was a walk-on member, following in his father Tom’s (1956-59) footsteps.