Jan. 4, 2008
Notre Dame (11-2, 1-0 BIG EAST) vs. Connecticut (10-2, 1-0 BIG EAST)
Saturday, January 5, 2008 * 9:00 p.m. (EST) Joyce Center (11,418) * Notre Dame, Ind.
Television: ESPN: Dave Pasch (play-by-play analyst), Len Elmore (color analyst), Allen Hopkins (sideline reporter)
Radio: Jack Nolan (play-by-play analyst) and LaPhonso Ellis (color analyst)
Notre Dame Sports Properties originates the Notre Dame Radio Network which includes: WLS 890 AM in Chicago, Ill. (Chicagoland area and Midwest); WZOW 97.7 FM and 102.3 FM in South Bend, Ind.; ESPN 950 AM in Indianapolis, Ind.; WLYV 1450 AM in Fort Wayne, Ind. and Northeast, Ind.; WLUV 96.7 AM in Rockford and DeKalb, Ill., and Beloit and Janesville, Wis.; WLUV 1520 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., Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 159 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).
Notre Dame vs. Connecticut
- Notre Dame plays its fourth game in eight days and concludes a six-game homestand that began on December 8 as the Irish play host to Connecticut. The Huskies are visiting the Joyce Center for the first time since January 30, 2005 with the Irish earning a 78-74 victory.
- Notre Dame is coming off its ninth straight victory just 48 hours ago as the Irish posted a 69-56 win in its BIG EAST opener. With the win, Notre Dame improved to 7-6 all-time in conference openers and marked the second straight year that the Irish have won their BIG EAST opener. Coach Mike Brey’s squad has not lost since dropping back-to-back games against Baylor and Georgia Tech at the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands on November 18 and 19.
- Tonight’s game is the first of two matchups between the two schools during the BIG EAST regular season and the 18th overall. Connecticut leads the all-time series 12-5 which began when Notre Dame became a member of the BIG EAST Conference in 1995-96. The Huskies, along with DePaul and Marquette, are the three repeat opponents for the Irish this year in the 18-game conference schedule. Connecticut and Notre Dame did not face each other during the 2006-07 campaign as this will mark the first meeting between the two schools since a 75-74 win by the Huskies in overtime at the Hartford Civic Center on February 21, 2006.
- Notre Dame has a school record 29-game win streak at the Joyce Center which includes 10 straight versus BIG EAST foes as the Irish finished with a perfect 8-0 record at home during the 2006-07 campaign during league play.
- Notre Dame’s 10 consecutive wins at home versus conference foes is the longest for an Irish team since becoming a league member in 1995-96.
- After tying the school record of 24 straight victories against Eastern Michigan on December 1, the Irish broke the 30-plus year record with its win over Northern Illinois on December 8. The Irish have not lost at the Joyce Center since February 25, 2006 with an 80-72 setback to Marquette.
- Since joining the BIG EAST, this will mark the first time in 13 seasons as a league member that the Irish will play is first two conference games at home.
- Notre Dame’s first BIG EAST road test will be on Saturday, January 12 when it travels to Milwaukee, Wis., to face Marquette.
Success On And Off The Court
- The 2007 fall semester grades are in and the Irish once again achieved great success in the classroom with the team compiling an overall 3.135 grade point average for the semester which marked the sixth time in eighth semesters that the Irish finished with a combined 3.00 or better. Nine of 14 players earned a 3.000 or better – Tim Abromaitis (3.500), Tim Andree (3.479), Ryan Ayers (3.067), Luke Harangody (3.250), Zach Hillesland (3.654), Tory Jackson (3.333), Tom Kopko (3.733), Tyrone Nash (3.000) and Luke Zeller (3.500).
Series Record vs. Connecticut
- Notre Dame and Connecticut did not play each other during the 2006-07 campaign so this will be the first meeting between the schools since February 21, 2006 when the Irish dropped a 75-74 overtime decision. The Huskies lead the all-time series 12-5 and this will be their eighth visit to the Joyce Center. Notre Dame has won the last two outings played at the Joyce Center. The last Irish win in the series was a 78-74 decision at the Joyce Center on January 30, 2005.
Irish Begin 13th Season As BIG EAST Member
- Notre Dame is in its 13th season as a member of the BIG EAST Conference. Following Thursday night’s 69-56 win over West Virginia, the Irish are 7-6 in BIG EAST openers. Thurday’s game marked the fourth time in 13 seasons that Notre Dame opened up conference play at home. Under Irish head coach Mike Brey, Notre Dame is 4-4 in league openers. No Lineup Changes
- Notre Dame’s starting lineup of fowards Rob Kurz and Luke Harangody and guards Ryan Ayers, Tory Jackson and Kyle McAlarney have been the starting five in all 13 games for the Irish. In fact, only Zach Hillesland (one game vs. North Florida) and Ty Proffitt (four games vs. Long Island, Monmouth, Baylor and Georgia Tech) have missed games due to injury. Hillesland was held out of the Monday’s game against North Florida with an ankle sprain, while Proffitt missed four games due to a groin injury suffered in practice.
Now That’s Something To Talk About
- Notre Dame’s current record-setting 29-game home win streak current spans three seasons – the final two games played during the 2005-06 campaign, the entire 2006-07 season and eight games in 2007-08. Here’s a look at the dominance of the Irish during its present win streak:
|FG Percentage||826-1692 (.488)||670-1735 (.386)|
|3-FG Percentage||256-625 (.409)||187-550 (.340)|
|Points/Avg.||2,440 (84.1 ppg.)||1,823 (62.9 ppg.)|
|Margin of Victory||+617 points (+21.3)|
- Notre Dame has shot .500 or better in 14 of 29 games
- Notre Dame opponents have shot .500 or better in 3 of 29 games
- 23 wins by 10-plus points
- 13 wins by 20-plus points
- 9 wins by 30-plus points
- 5 wins by 40-plus points
- 1 win by 50-plus points
- Notre Dame has not trailed at halftime of a game this season and has only trailed at home for 5:49 of a possible 360 minutes. The largest deficit for the Irish this season was against Baylor (67-62) with 13 seconds to play in the contest.
- Since returning from the three games in the Virgin Islands where Notre Dame shot 33.9 percent against Baylor and 40.7 percent versus Georgia Tech in its final two games, Notre Dame has shot 261-535 (.488) from the field and 81-189 (.429) from three-point range. Against Northern Illinois, the Irish connected on a season-best 62.1 percent (36-58) from the field and a season-high 56.0 percent (14-25) from three-point range.
Valuing The Basketball
- In its back-to-back wins over Colgate and Eastern Michigan, Notre Dame committed just eight and nine turnovers, respectively, marking the only time this season that the Irish had fewer than 10 turnovers in back-to-back contests. In the Irish win over Brown on December 29, the Irish registered seven turnovers, including just one in the first half. Two of the strengths of Notre Dame basketball teams under head coach Mike Brey have been distributing and taking care of the basketball. The Irish are averaging 19.9 assists per game and 12.9 turnovers for a 1.5 assists-to-turnover ratio. Notre Dame has dished off 20 or more assists in six games this season.
Double The Pleasure
- Luke Harangody posted three consecutive double-doubles for the first time in his career in wins over Kansas State, Northern Illinois and San Francisco and in six of the last 10 games. During the three-game streak, he had 19 points and a then career-high 14 boards versus Kansas State, netted 14 points and grabbed 12 boards versus Northern Illinois and finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds against San Francisco.
- Haranogdy registered his best performance ever in an Irish uniform with career-highs of 29 and 16 rebounds versus West Virginia. He connected on 11-16 shots from the field and made good on his first seven field goal attempts.
- For the second time in his career Rob Kurz registered back-to-back double-doubles with 15 points and 11 rebounds versus Brown and a season-high 23 points and career-high 13 boards against North Florida. Last season, Kurz had consecutive double-doubles versus Alabama, Elon and Portland. He has four doubles this season and 15 during his career.
Record-Setting Home Performance
- Notre Dame put an exclamation point on its record-setting 25th consecutive win at the Joyce Center on December 8. In the 108-62 win over Northern Illinois, the 108 points were the most points scored by the Irish under head coach Mike Brey in a regulation games (ND scored 116 vs. Georgetown in a four overtime contest in 2002), while the 46-point margin of victory was the third-largest during the Brey era. In addition, Notre Dame shot a blistering 72.0 percent from the field in the first half which marked the best shooting performance by an Irish team in the first half under Brey. The Irish also owned a 52-27 advantage on the boards.
McAlarney Shines On The Big Stage
- Staten Island native Kyle McAlarney made his return to New York City and Madison Square Garden a happy one on December 4 as he led his Irish to a 68-59 victory over Kansas State. McAlarney finished with 18 points in the contest on 6-13 shooting from the field (2-5 from three-point range). He scored 14 points in the second, including nine straight in the final 2:10 of the contest. McAlarney nailed a three-pointer with 1:30 to play and converted four key free throws down the stretch.
- Luke Harangody leads the Irish in scoring and rebounding averaging 18.5 points and 9.5 rebounds. He leads the team with six doubles and owns an 11-game double-figure scoring streak – the longest on the team and in his career. He has netted double figures in all but one game (Monmouth) and finished with 10 or more rebounds in six games. Harangody also tops the Irish with six games of 20 or more points.
- Luke Harangody’s string of three consecutive games with 20-plus points ended against Colgate when he finished with 11 points and seven rebounds in 19 minutes of action. Prior to that game, he had registered 20-plus points in three consecutive games – Baylor (22), Georgia Tech (22) and Youngstown State (25) for the first time in his career.
- Kyle McAlarney also had a three-game 20-plus point outing streak of his own that came to end against Kansas State. McAlarney registered his first 20-point outing of the season against Youngstown State when he tallied 23 points (a then career best). He followed that up with another career-high outing for the second time in as many games when tallied 25 points versus Colgate. In the Eastern Michigan outing, McAlarney led the Irish for the second straight game with a 21-point performance.
- The last Irish player to score 20-plus points in three consecutive outings was Russell Carter during the 2006-07 campaign when he netted 27 against Alabama, 21 versus Elon and 28 against Portland.
- The last Irish player to net 20-plus points in four consecutive outings was Chris Thomas in 2003-04 (his junior year) versus Pittsburgh (23 points), Connecticut (31 points), Seton Hall (26 points) and Syracuse (25 points). McAlarney Finds The Range
- Since returning from St. Thomas, USVI, Kyle McAlarney has been a key to Notre Dame’s success. In the last nine games, the Irish junior guard is averaging 16.2 points (146 points). He has shot 46-101 (.455) percent from the field and 32-70 (.457) from three-point range. In back-to-back wins over Youngstown State and Colgate, McAlarney recorded back-to-back career-highs. In the 87-75 victory over the Penguins, he connected on 6-13 shots from the field and was 5-10 from three-points en route to a then personal best 23-point performance. He followed that up with a career-high 25-point effort against Colgate in the 94-63 win as he connected on 8-12 shots from the field and was 7-10 from three-point range and then was 8-10 from the field and 5-7 from beyond the stripe in the victory over Eastern Michigan and connected on 6-10 from the field and 5-9 from beyond the arc against Northern Illinois. McAlarney then added 14 points in a 84-76 win over San Francisco, adding two assists while going 2-6 from beyond the three-point arc and 6-7 from the charity stripe. McAlarney was just 9-31 (.290) from the field and 5-17 (.294) from three-point range in Notre Dame’s three games at the Paradise Jam.
One Is A Lonely Number
- Rob Kurz is the lone senior among the 14 players on this year’s Irish roster. The last time Notre Dame had only one senior on the roster was during the 1983-84 when Cecil Rucker was the only senior member of that team that consisted of four juniors, five sophomores and three freshmen. The 1988-89 Irish squad featured no seniors on that team and was comprised of five juniors, two sophomores and five freshmen.
- Notre Dame joined an elite group last year when it registered its 1,600th win against Providence on February 15, 2007. In its 103rd season, Notre Dame has 1,616 victories. Only 12 other schools have reached the mark: Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas, Duke, Syracuse, Temple, St. John’s, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Utah and UCLA.
Eight Straight Postseason Appearances
- Notre Dame’s appearance in last year’s NCAA tournament field marks the fourth 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 eight 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 current postseason streak matches the longest stretch since making eight straight from 1983-90 (NIT in 1983 and ’84 and NCAA from 1985-90).
Four 20-Win Seasons Under His Belt
- Notre Dame’s 24-8 campaign a year ago marked the fourth time in seven seasons under head coach Mike Brey that the Irish won 20-plus games. The 24 wins also equaled the most for Notre Dame during the Brey era. Notre Dame’s 20-win campaigns under Brey have been in 2000-01 (20-10), 2001-02 (22-11) and 2002-03 (24-10). In the 102-year history of the program, Notre Dame teams have won 20 or more games on 31 occasions.
- The 33 points allowed by Notre Dame were the fewest ever under head coach Mike Brey and the eight points in the second half were the fewest ever by an Irish team in a half since the inception of the three-point shot.
- The 33 points allowed were also the fewest given up by a Notre Dame team since January 4, 1950 in a 54-33 win at home against Butler. It also marked the fewest points scored by an Irish opponent in a road or neutral site game since Kentucky’s 34-28 win over the Irish on December 29, 1981 in Louisville, Ky.
- The 43-point margin of victory was the matched the seventh-highest for an Irish team under Mike Brey.
“D” The Key Against Monmouth
- En route to its 76-33 victory over Monmouth on November 16, Notre Dame held the Hawks without a point in the final 10:31 of the contest and outscored Monmouth 23-0 down the stretch. In fact, the Irish held the Hawks to just eight points in the second half and just 11 points overall in the final 24:52 of the contest. Notre Dame also limited Monmouth to just nine field goal attempts (all misses) in the final 8:17 of the game.
Defense Shines In First Two Games …
- While offense has always been a staple under head coach Mike Brey, Notre Dame’s defense keyed Notre Dame’s first two wins. The Irish allowed just 41.5 points per game and held opponents to 27.2 percent shooting from the field and 20.5 percent from three-point range. Notre Dame owned a +19.5 advantage on the boards and outscored its first two opponents a combined 82-35 in the second half.
But Defense Struggles Against Baylor And Georgia Tech
- In Notre Dame’s last two outings, which resulted in losses to Baylor and Georgia Tech, the Irish allowed 138 points (69.0 ppg.) and allowed the Bears and Yellow Jackets to shoot a combined 51-115 (.443) from the field and 18-39 (.462) from three-point range. The Irish also were outrebounded in both contests.
Irish Offense Struggled Against Bears and Yellow Jackets
- Notre Dame struggled on offense in its two losses versus Baylor and Georgia Tech. Against the Yellow Jackets, the Irish were just 20-59 from the field (.339) and connected on just 7-19 (.368) from three-point range. In the second half, Notre Dame was only 8-28 from the field (.286).
- In the loss to Georgia Tech, the Irish hit on 40.7 percent of its shots (22-54) and were only 5-16 (.313) from three-point range.
- Notre Dame averaged just 12.0 assists in the two games and turned the ball over 29 times (14.5).
Lost Leads Down The Stretch
- In its first two wins of the season, Notre Dame never trailed in either contest. In fact, the Irish have only trailed 10:08 of a possible 480 minutes this season.
- Against Baylor, the Irish led by as many as 14 points in the first half after jumping out to a 8-0 lead. The Bears took their first lead (61-60) of the contest with 3:15 remaining in the contest. It also marked the first time Notre Dame had trailed in a game all season long. The Irish regained the lead briefly at 62-61 with 1:33 left on the clock before the Bears closed the game with a 7-2 run to close the game.
- In the loss to Georgia Tech, the Yellow Jackets grabbed a four-point lead early on, but Notre Dame’s basket at the 16:54 mark would give the Irish the advantage until the final two seconds of the contest. The Yellow Jackets trailed by nine (62-53) with 5:11 to play before outscoring Notre Dame 17-7 down the stretch.
- In Notre Dame’s win over Youngstown State, the Irish led by 25 with 11:41 left in the game, but were outscored 31-18 in the final 11-plus minutes of the contest before holding on for the 87-75 victory.
- In the Irish’s win over San Francicso at the Joyce Center, the Irish led by 23 points with 7:24 left in the first half and led by only 14 at halftime, before winning by only eight points.
Quietly Goes About His Business
- Perhaps no player in the Irish lineup is as steady as Rob Kurz. The senior forward is the team’s second-leading scorer and second-leading rebounder and has scored in double figures in all but three contests. He has recorded four double-doubles with a season-high 23 points and career-high 13 boards coming in the win over North Florida last Monday afternoon. Kurz is shooting 52.4 percent (55-105) from the field and 48.1 (13-27) from three-point range.
Zach Attack Off The Bench
- As he was a year ago, junior forward Zach Hillesland has been a spark for the Irish off the bench. He is averaging 6.3 points and 5.3 rebounds and has scored in double figures in two games and grabbed five or more rebounds in nine of the 12 contests he has played. He recorded back-to-back double-figure scoring outings for the first time in his career against Georgia Tech (12 points) and Youngstown State (10 points). He had a season-high nine boards in the win over Kansas State. Hillesland is shooting 49.0 percent (24-49) from the field.
- Junior Ryan Ayers is off to the best start in his career shooting 46.5 percent from the field (40-86) and 50.9 percent (28-55) from three-point range. His 8.9 points per game also mark a career best. Last year, he began the season 0-12 from the field before hitting his first field goal in the sixth game of the year. Heading into this season, he owned a 38.5 career field goal percentage and 37.5 percent mark from three-point range. Ayers netted a career-high 13 points against Monmouth and Brown and has reached double figures in four games.
Zeller Matches Career High Against Colgate
- Luke Zeller had his second double-figure scoring outing of the season and the sixth of his career in Notre Dame’s win over Colgate on November 26. He matched his career-high with 14 points as he finished 5-8 from the field and 4-5 from three-point range in 16 minutes off the bench. In addition, Zeller grabbed four rebounds in the contest. He is averaging 5.8 points and 2.7 rebounds this season.
What A Difference A Year Makes
- With its 11-5 record in BIG EAST play last season, Notre Dame’s win total was five more than the 2005-06 team which finished with a 6-10 conference mark after beginning league play 1-8. Notre Dame’s 24 wins also were eight more than its total of 16 the previous season.
- Notre Dame’s 18-0 record at home last season marked just the third time since the opening of the Joyce Center in 1968-69 that an Irish team finished undefeated at home during the regular season. It also marked the most wins ever for a Notre Dame team in a single season. 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 were the only BIG EAST team to finish the season undefeated at home. Dating back to the 2005-06 campaign, Notre Dame has won 29 consecutive games at home following the win over San Francisco on December 22 – an active streak that is third among all Division I teams and is the longest in school history as well as 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 39||9. Georgetown 13|
|2. Memphis 38||Texas A&M 13|
|3. NOTRE DAME 29||Valparaiso 13|
|4. Indiana 26||11. Houston 12|
|5. Tennessee 23||San Diego State 12|
|6. Akron 17||14. Missouri 11|
|7. Kansas 15||Nebraska 11|
|8. Mississippi 15||Pittsburgh 11|
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:
29 – 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 2007-08 men’s basketball campaign marks the 103rd season of basketball and 13th as a member of the BIG EAST Conference. In 102-plus seasons, Irish teams have posted a 1616-887 record for a .646 winning percentage. In BIG EAST play, Notre Dame owns a 102-99 (.507) record all-time in conference regular-season play.
Always In It
- Since the 2005-06 campaign, Notre Dame’s 24 losses have been by a combined 121 points for an average of 5.0 points per game. The 14 setbacks in ’05-’06 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).
Putting Up The Points And Winning Impressively
- Notre Dame averaged 81.0 points per game last season, the best points per game average ever under Mike Brey, and are once again near that point total at 80.1 ppg. Notre Dame has topped 80-plus points on six occasions, 90-plus points twice and the century mark once.
Keeping It Close
- In the 80 losses suffered by Irish teams in Mike Brey’s seven seasons, only 19 have been by 10 or more points and have been by a combined 520 for an average of 6.5 points per game. Notre Dame’s 18-point loss (66-48) to Georgetown in 2006-07 was the largest ever for an Irish team under Brey.
18-Game BIG EAST Slate
- Notre Dame will play Connecticut, DePaul and Marquette twice as part of its 2007-08 18-game BIG EAST men’s basketball conference slate. The league is employing an 18-game schedule this year with all teams playing each other at least once and three opponents twice (home and away). The BIG EAST utilized the 16-game slate since the 1999-00 campaign and has not played an 18-game conference schedule since 1998-99 when the league had 13 members. The format was used for eight years from 1991-99.
BIG EAST Formula For Success Under Brey
- Since his arrival at Notre Dame, Mike Brey has led Notre Dame to a 67-46 (.593) record in BIG EAST regular-season games and a 3-7 mark in tournament play for an overall record of 70-53 (.569) 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.
283 And Counting
- Heading into tonight’s game against Connecticut, Notre Dame has hit at least one three-pointer in 283 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 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 483-141 record all-time for a .774 winning percentage. The Irish are 98-27 (.784) at the Joyce Center during Mike Brey’s seven-plus seasons, and since the 1996-97 campaign, they own a 144-43 mark for a .770 winning percentage. Notre Dame’s 18 wins at home last season marked the ninth time in 10 years that the Irish won 10 or more home games. The Irish played their 600th game at the Joyce Center on Nov. 27, 2006 versus Lehigh.
Over The Century Mark
- Notre Dame topped the 100-point mark for the first time in 2007-08 against Northern Illinois with a 108-62 victory against the Huskies. It marked the ninth time during head coach Mike Brey’s tenure that the Irish have reached the 100-point mark.
- In Mike Brey’s seven-plus seasons, his Irish teams have compiled a road record of 55-53 (.509) that includes a 35-36 (.492) in true road games and a 20-17 mark (.541) in neutral site contests.
- Under Irish head coach Mike Brey, Notre Dame always has done a good job of distributing the basketball and shown great unselfishness as a team. That was again evident against Long Island in the season opener when the Irish dished off 28 assists on 35 baskets (a 0.8 assists-to-basket ratio). Notre Dame also enjoyed a strong assist-to-basket ratio versus Youngstown State (24 assists and 32 baskets), Colgate (25 assists on 32 baskets), Northern Illinois (27 assists on 36 baskets), Brown (23 assists on 30 baskets) and North Florida (24 assists on 25 baskets). Through 13 games, the Irish are averaging 19.9 assists per game and have dished off 269 assists on 367 baskets for a .73 assist-to-basket ratio.
Zeller Down Under
- For the second straight summer in 2007, forward Luke Zeller played with Athletes In Action, joining them this year for an eight-game Australian tour. During the exhibition tour, he averaged 11.3 points and 6.6 rebounds and scored in double figures in five of those contests. The previous year, he traveled to Taipei City, Taiwan and was a member of the AIA squad that captured the gold medal at the 2006 William Jones Cup.
A BIG EAST Family
- The Kurz family name is familiar name in BIG EAST circles this season. Rob Kurz’ younger sister, Laura, is a member of the Villanova women’s basketball team. She played for two years (2004-06) at Duke before tranferring to Villanova. After sitting out last season, the junior forward is posting identical numbers as her older brother Rob. Rob is currently the second-leading scorer for the Irish (13.7 ppg.) and second-leading rebounder (8.2), while Laura is the Wildcats’ second-leading scorer (13.4 ppg.) and top rebounder (6.8).
A New Addition To The Irish Basketball Family
- Assistant coach Rod Balanis and his wife Liz welcomed their second son, Lukas Lowell, into their family on Tues., November 27 at 11:43 a.m. joining older brother Andrew George (now two years old). The baby was delivered just over 14 hours after the Irish had beaten Colgate 94-63 on that Monday night.