Nov. 5, 2006
Notre Dame (0-0, 0-0 BIG EAST)
vs. Bellarmine (0-0, 0-0 Great Lakes Valley)
Monday, November 6, 2006 * 7:30 p.m. (EST) Joyce Center * Notre Dame, Ind.
Media Information Television: None
Jack Nolan Nolan (play-by-play analyst)
LaPhonso Ellis (color analyst)
Notre Dame Sports Properties originates the Notre Dame Radio Network which includes: WLS 890 AM in Chicago, Ill. (Chicago land area and Midwest); WZOW 97.7 FM and 102.3 FM in South Bend, Ind.; ESPN 950 AM in Indianapolis, Ind.; WGL 1250 AM in Fort Wayne, Ind. and Northeast, Ind.;WLUV 96.7 AM in Rockford and DeKalb, Ill. and Beloit and Janesville, Wis.; WEFM 95.9 FM in Michigan City and Gary, Ind.; ESPN (WRSW) 1480 AM in Warsaw, Ind.; WAMW 107.9 FM and 1580 AM in Washington, Ind.; and 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 game will be streamed live on www.und.com **
Notre Dame vs. Bellarmine:
Notre Dame plays its final exhibition tuneup on Monday night against Bellarmine. The Irish are coming off of a 79-44 win against Rockhurst on Wednesday in its exhibition opener. Notre Dame opens up the 2006-07 campaign on Fri., Nov. 10 against IPFW before traveling to Indianapolis, Ind., for the first two rounds of the 2006 Dick’s Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off where the Irish are scheduled to play Butler in first-round action.
Last Time Out:
Freshman Luke Harangody came off the bench to score 17 points in 21 minutes of action to lead four Irish players in double figures as Notre Dame defeated Rockhurst 79-44 in its first exhibition test. Harangody connected on 8-10 shots from the field and also grabbed four rebounds. Colin Falls scored 15 points and Russell Carter added 12 points and eight rebounds, while Rob Kurz finished with a double-double as he netted 11 points and grabbed 10 boards. Notre Dame held Rockhurst to just 17 first-half points and 5-23 shooting from the field (.217) and 31.9 percent for the game. The Irish held a 42-32 advantage on the boards and forced 23 turnovers while only committing 10 turnovers themselves.
Notre Dame finished with a 16-14 record a year ago and were 6-10 in BIG EAST play. The Irish advanced to the postseason for the sixth straight year under head coach Mike Brey with a second-round appearance in the National Invitation Tournament. Notre Dame’s 14 losses a year ago were by a total of 59 points (4.2 per game), while its 10 BIG EAST setbacks (four in overtime, including two double-overtime decisions) were by a combined 35 points (3.5 per game). The Irish were involved in 14 contests that were decided by five or fewer points, while eight games were decided by six to 10 points.
Notre Dame returns three starters (Colin Falls, Russell Carter and Rob Kurz) and five others who earned monograms. The strength of the Irish once again will rest with their ability to score points. Under Mike Brey, Notre Dame teams have demonstrated the ability to score points. A year ago, the Irish averaged 76.4 points per game and topped the 80-plus mark 12 times. Falls (13.8 ppg.), Carter (11.5 ppg.) and Kurz (6.4 ppg.) should be Notre Dame’s top scoring threats as the Irish once against expect to have a potent offensive attack, but hope to improve defensively and the 70.7 points per game they yielded a year ago. With the graduations of Chris Quinn (17.7 ppg., 6.4 aspg.), Torin Francis (11.6 ppg., 9.4 rpg.) and Rick Cornett (5.4 ppg., 3.6 rpg.), there will be plenty of opportunity for contributions from a new group of individuals.
The core of Notre Dame leadership will come from Falls, Carter and Kurz who enter the season with a combined 70 career starts. Falls and Carter will the keys along the perimeter, while Kurz will be the workhorse inside.
Look for Notre Dame’s sophomore class to have an impact.
After of year of playing behind Quinn, Kyle McAlarney will take over the point guard duties. He saw action in 29 contests (he missed the final game of the season versus Michigan with an ankle injury) and averaged 6.6 points and 2.5 assists. Forward Luke Zeller will look to become more of an impact in the frontcourt. Zeller (3.4 ppg., 3.1 rpg.) saw significant playing minutes during the non-conference season, but saw his minutes diminsh during BIG EAST play. Despite seeing limited playing time, Ryan Ayers (1.1 ppg., 0.7 rpg.) and Zach Hillesland (0.6 ppg., 0.2 rpg.) will have more prominent roles off the bench. Opportunity will present itself for this year’s four-member freshman class. Forward Luke Harangody and point guard Tory Jackson are expected to see significant playing minutes, while Joe Harden and Jonathan Peoples will look to see time off the bench in a reserve role.
The Phonz Returns:
Former Irish great LaPhonso Ellis (1988-92) returns will 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.
Notre Dame will open up the 2006-07 campaign against the Mastodons of IPFW on Fri., Nov. 10. It will mark the earliest start date ever in the 102-year history of the program.
Dick’s Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off:
Notre Dame will be making their third appearance ever (and first since 1999) in the Dick’s Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off. Each time that the Irish have played in the preseason NIT event, the Irish have advanced to Madison Square Garden for the semifinals and then played in the consolation game. Notre Dame owns a 4-4 record overall in the tournament. The NIT Season Tip-Off moves to a doublheader “common site” format featuring four regional sites – East (Charlotte, N.C.), South (Nashville, Tenn.), Midwest (Indianapolis, Ind.) and West (Spokane, Wash.). Notre Dame will open up play against Butler on Mon., Nov. 13 at Conseco Fieldhouse. The double-header format also will feature Lafayette and Indiana at the same site with the losers and winners of both games squaring off the following evening on Nov. 14.
Always In It:
Notre Dame’s 14 losses this season have been by a combined 59 points for an average of 4.2 points per game. The only double-digit loss was to North Carolina State (61-47). The 10 BIG EAST losses during the regular season were by a combined 35 points (3.5) .
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.
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 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.
The Irish All-Time:
The 2006-07 men’s basketball campaign marks the 101st season of basketball and 11th as a member of the BIG EAST Conference. In 100-plus seasons, Irish teams have posted a 1581-877 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.
Home Sweet Home:
Since the inaugural season in 1968-69 at the Joyce Center, Notre Dame owns a 456-140 record all-time for a .765 winning percentage. The Irish are 71-27 (.724) at the Joyce Center during Mike Brey’s five seasons, and since the 1996-97 campaign, they own a 119-42 mark for a .739 winning percentage. Notre Dame’s 11-5 mark this season at home marks the eighth time in nine years that the Irish won 10 or more home games.