Nov. 18, 2004
Date: Friday, November 19, 2004
Place: Joyce Center (11,418)
Time: 7:00 p.m. (EST)
Radio: Notre Dame Sports Properties (Jack Lorri, Jack Nolan) originates the Notre Dame Radio Network which includes: WZOW 97.7 FM and 102.3 FM (South Bend, Ind./Michiana Region); ESPN 1000 AM (Chicagoland area); ESPN 950 AM (Indianapolis, Ind.); WGL 1250 (Fort Wayne, Ind. and Northeast Indiana); WEFM 95.9 (Michigan City and Gary, Ind.), WLUV 96.7 FM and 1520 AM (Rockford and DeKalb, Ill. and Beloit and Janesville, Wis.); ESPN 1480 AM-WRSW (Warsaw, Ind.) and WAMW 107.9 FM and 1580 AM in Washington, Ind.). All radio broadcasts can also be heard through the World Wide Web at www.und.com. and on SIRIUS Satellite Radio. For the Harvard game it will be on Channel 136.
Real-Time Stats: Live in-game statistics are available for all home games, via the Notre Dame athletic website (www.und.com).
Notre Dame opens up the 2004-05 campaign Friday against Harvard … The Irish return four starters and nine monogram winners from last year’s team which finished with a 19-13 record overall (9-7 mark in BIG EAST play) and advanced to the third round of the National Invitation Tournament … Harvard was 4-23 overall a year ago and 3-11 in the Ivy League … The Irish begin the season by playing three straight home games and eight of their first 10 games at the Joyce Center … Following this evening’s game, Notre Dame will play host to IPFW on Tues., Nov. 23 at 7:00 p.m.
Celebrating 100 Seasons:
The 2004-05 season marks the 100th season for the Notre Dame men’s basketball program … A special logo has been designed and there will be events throughout the season commemorating the occasion … Notre Dame is one of 13 Division I schools celebrating its 100th season of basketball this year … The others include: Dayton, Delaware, Duke, Georgia, Howard, Illinois, Miami (Ohio), Northwestern, Oregon, Virgnia, William and Mary and Wyoming.
Notre Dame played its first varsity game on January 29, 1898 (a 64-8 loss to First Regiment) … The Irish played two other games that season and finished with a 1-2 record … The following year, they played two games in 1899 and then did not field a team again until the 1907-08 campaign.
Starting The Season Ranked:
For the second consecutive year and 24th time in the program’s history, Notre Dame begins the season ranked — 20th in the Associated Press and 21st in the ESPN/USA Today preseason rankings … This marks the third time a Notre Dame team under head coach Mike Brey has been ranked … His first Irish team, the 2000-01 squad, started the year tied for 15th in the AP Poll and were 17th in the ESPN/USA Today ranking … Last season 2003-04 squad was 21st and tied for 19th, respectively in the two polls.
Irish In Season Openers:
Notre Dame owns an all-time record of 81-18 (.818) all-time in season openers and have won all four of its season openers under head coach Mike Brey … Since the opening of the Joyce Center in 1968-69, Irish teams are 30-6 (.833) in home openers … The last time Notre Dame lost a season opener was to Miami (Ohio) at home (76-65) on November 13, 1998.
Irish Roll Under Brey In November:
Under head coach Mike Brey, the Irish are 16-1 all-time in games played during the month of November … The lone November loss was to Creighton 80-75 in the championship game of the Guardians Classic on Nov. 26, 2002 … The November record by year under Brey — 2000-01 (3-0), 2001-02 (6-0), 2002-03 (5-1), 2003-04 (2-0).
History Lesson I:
Tonight’s game will mark the 2,400th in the program’s history … Notre Dame has posted a 1548-851 for a .645 winning percentage.
History Lesson II:
This will be just the second time ever that Notre Dame and Harvard have met on the basketball court … The only meeting took place on January 3, 1942 with the Irish earning a 39-31 victory at home.
Notre Dame sophomore Omari Isreal and Harvard senior Kevin Rogus were high school teammates for two years at Our Lady of Good Counsel.
Scouting The Irish:
Notre Dame returns four starters and nine monogram winners from last year’s 19-13 team that advanced to the third round of the National Invitation Tournament … The Irish missed a fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament bid under head coach Mike Brey who has led Notre Dame to three NCAA appearances in his first three seasons and three consecutive 20-plus win campaigns … The Irish also finished 9-7 in BIG EAST play (seventh in the league standings) and advanced to the quarterfinals of the conference championship … Notre Dame has posted a winning record in BIG EAST regular-season play each of the last four years (the only other school to have a winning record in league play since the 2000-01 campaign is Syracuse).
Notre Dame will be without the services of guard Torrian Jones and center Tom Timmermans. Jones averaged 8.4 points and 5.8 rebounds, while Timmermans netted 6.0 points and grabbed 4.3 boards per game.
The Irish return their top three leading scorers who averaged double figures … Senior Chris Thomas, who has started all 99 games of his Irish career, returns for his final season at point guard … Already Notre Dame’s career assist leader (638), he is within reach of becoming the sixth 2,000-point scorer in Irish history … Thomas enters his final season with 1,783 career points for an 18.0 scoring average … A year ago, he netted a career-best 19.7 points per game and earned second-team all-BIG EAST honors for the second consecutive year, in addition to honorable mention All-America accolades for the second time in as many seasons … Thomas also led the Irish in assists for the third straight campaign.
Thomas underwent knee surgery on April 9 and was cleared to return to playing in mid-August following four-plus months of rehabilitation.
Junior Chris Quinn, Thomas’ backcourt mate, was the second-leading scorer a year ago as he averaged 14.3 points, more than triple the point total of his his freshman season … He ranked second to Thomas in assists with 104. Quinn and Thomas will remain Notre Dame’s top three-point shooting threats … Last season, the two combined for 168 of the team’s 265 (.634) three-point field goals … The duo should be regarded as one of the nation’s top backcourt tandems.
Notre Dame frontcourt is bolstered by the return of senior Jordan Cornette, Torin Francis and Rick Cornett, and the addition of senior Dennis Latimore who did not play last season after transferring from Arizona in June of 2003 … The combination of these four will provide the Irish with one of the strongest frontlines in recent memory.
Francis missed the final 12 games of the 2003-04 campaign with a back injury … He underwent surgery on March 8 to repair a herniated disc and returned to playing with his teammates in mid-June … Despite the fact that he only played in 10 BIG EAST contests, Francis still earned a spot on the BIG EAST Honorable Mention Team as he averaged 14.2 points and 8.8 rebounds, leading the Irish in that category for the second consecutive year … Francis also had 35 blocked shots.
Cornette is Notre Dame’s best defensive player in the post … He adds great versatility to the Irish lineup because he is able to play along the perimeter … Cornette has demonstrated the ability to hit the three-point shot … In addition, he is one of Notre Dame’s top shot-blocking leaders. Cornette led the Irish in that category last season for the second straight year (75 as a sophomore and 63 in his junior season) and needs just 46 blocks this year to become the school’s all-time leader in that category.
Cornett will figure prominently in the Irish plans this season … He played better than anyone during the final four games of the ’03-’04 campaign, netting 11.8 points and 5.5 rebounds in those contests … Cornett played in 26 games and averaged 4.5 points and 3.4 rebounds … He had foot surgery in July for a stress fracture, but was ready for the start of practice on October 16.
Latimore will be a catalyst in the Irish lineup this season … He and Francis will form a formidable frontline tandem … Latimore possesses natural offensive abilities, but will also need to be a threat on the boards … He averaged 3.2 points, 3.1 rebounds in 12.0 minutes before leaving the Wildcat team in February of ’03.
Sophomore Omari Isreal and freshman Rob Kurz will give the Irish considerable frontline depth … Isreal misssed all of last season recovering from ACL surgery he had midway through his final scholastic season … He is a true slasher who also has the ability to play along the perimeter … Not only will Brey look for Isreal to contribute offensively, but will also rely on his rebounding skills … Kurz has great court savvy and a good understanding of the game … He will look contribute on both the offenisve and defensive ends of the floor.
While Notre Dame’s backcourt may boast two of the nation’s top players in Thomas and Quinn, it certainly is not a two-man show … Look for sophomore Colin Falls to pick up where he left off a year ago … He averaged 4.6 points per game and played in all 32 contests, Falls also was third on the team in three-point field goals with 36 … The combination of he, Thomas and Quinn as three-point shooting options, could rank as one of the country’s best this season.
Sophomore Russell Carter gives the Irish depth at guard … He too is an excellent outside shooter and possesses great offensive skills. Carter will look to see more playing time this season.
For the second time in school history and for the second consecutive year, Notre Dame will have four captains … Seniors Chris Thomas and Jordan Cornette will once again serve as captains and are joined this year by juniors Torin Francis and Chris Quinn.
St. Joseph Recap:
The backcourt of Chris Thomas and Chris Quinn combined for 38 of Notre Dame’s 80 points to lead three players in double figures in the 80-67 victory over Saint Joseph’s … Also in double figures in the contest was Torin Francis who finished with 12 points.
The Irish shot 43.5 percent from the field and began the contest by hitting their first seven shots and connected on 11 of 23 shots (47.8 percent) from three-point range … Notre Dame held the Pumas to just 34.3 percent accuracy from the field and forced 19 turnovers … The Irish were outrebounded 44-41 in the contest and were led by Francis’ nine boards.
Notre Dame jumped out to an early 21-14 advantage in the contest, but Saint Joseph used an 11-0 run take a 25-21 lead with 8:45 to play in the first half … The Irish closed out the first half by outscoring the Pumas 27-11 to close out the first half stanza and grab a 48-36 halftime advantage.
Notre Dame led by as many as 18 points in the second (66-48 with 11:32 to play) only to have the Pumas pull to within 10 (74-64) with 4:12 left in the contest.
Eight of the 10 players that played in the contest scored three or more points … Freshman Rob Kurz added nine points.
For the second straight game, Notre Dame scored 80 points as the Irish defeated Quincy 80-61 in their final exhibition tuneup … Chris Quinn led all scorers with 25 points as he connected on 8-11 shots from the field (5-8) from three-point range and was 4-4 from the charity stripe … He also had five assists and four steals in the game … Chris Thomas finished with 16 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals, while Dennis Latimore registered 12 points and grabbed six rebounds … Notre Dame shot 46.3 percent (31-37) from the field and and 50.0 (11-22) from three-point range …. The Irish owned a 37-33 advantage on the boards and forced 22 Quincy turnovers … Notre Dame also blocked seven shots in the game.
On This Date:
Notre Dame has played on November 19 one other time … The Irish defeated Cornell 78-48 in 2001 en route to starting their season with a 7-0 record.
Notre Dame Vs. Ivy League:
Notre Dame owns a 39-4 record all-time against the Ivy League … The last time an Irish team faced an Ivy League foe was on November 19, 2001 — a 78-48 victory at the Joyce Center … Notre Dame’s losses have been to Cornell, Pennsylvania (twice) and Princeton … The last time an Irish squad lost to an Ivy League team was on January 3, 1977 when Notre Dame dropped a 76-62 decision to Princeton in Princeton, N.J.
Game Time Changes:
Since the release of the initial schedule, there have been a couple of game time changes … The road game at Seton Hall (January 5) and Villanova (January 26) have been moved to 8:00 p.m. starts instead of the orginal 7:30 p.m. starts that were announced … Both games will now also be televised by ESPN2.
The Irish All-Time:
In 99 seasons, Irish teams have posted a 1548-851 mark (.645) … Notre Dame opens the 2004-05 campaign by playing the school’s 2,400th game tonight when it faces Harvard in the season opener.
Irish Set For Five Repeat Games In BIG EAST Play:
Notre Dame will play Connecticut, Georgetown, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Villanova twice (both home and away) as part of its BIG EAST Conference regular-season 16-game slate during the 2004-05 campaign … Playing under a straight divisional format with 12 teams this year, each school will play each other at least once … In addition to its home-and-home series with the Huskies, Hoyas, Panthers, Orange and Wildcats, Notre Dame will face Boston College, Rutgers and St. John’s at home … The Irish are scheduled for road games at Providence, Seton Hall and West Virginia.
Thomas, Francis On Wooden And Naismith Honor Rolls:
For the second consecutive year, Chris Thomas and Torin Francis are among 50 candidates for both the John R. Wooden All-America Team and Naismith Trophy award … The Irish duo are among seven BIG EAST players named to the Wooden All-America Team, which also included five other conference players — Ryan Gomes (Providence), Carl Krauser (Pittsburgh), Gerry McNamara (Syracuse), Craig Smith (Boston College) and Hakim Warrick (Syracuse) … All but Smith was named one of the 50 finalists for the the Naismith trophy.
Home Sweet Home:
Since the inaugural season (1968-69) at the Joyce Center, Notre Dame owns a 431-131 record all-time for a .767 winning percentage … The Irish are 46-16 (.742) at the Joyce Center during Mike Brey’s four seasons, and since the 1996-97 campaign, they own an 95-33 mark for a .742 winning percentage … Notre Dame was 14-2 at home in 2002-03, winning 10-plus games for the sixth time in seven years.
Toughest Ticket in Town:
Notre Dame’s success on the hardwood has paid dividends at the box office … For the fourth consecutive year, the number of season ticket holders increased, and already this season, six games are sold out (DePaul, Syracuse, St. John’s, Connecticut, UCLA and Pittsburgh) … Notre Dame students also showed their support for the Irish as the student allotment of 3,000 was a complete sellout in less than three hours.
Irish Medical Update:
Since March, five Irish players have had some type of surgical procedure. Forward Torin Francis had back surgery on March 8 to repair a herniated disc. He returned to the basketball court in June and has been able to play with the team during its summer off-season conditioning program. Point guard Chris Thomas underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on April 9 for a tear on his left kneecap. He was cleared to return to the court sometime in August. Rick Cornett had surgery for a stress fracture (broken left foot) on July 23. Rob Kurz had surgery on September 14 for a fractured jaw and walk-on Greg Bosl had surgery recently to remove a screw in his foot after suffering a break in August.
BIG EAST Distinction:
Although Notre Dame fell one game short of recording its fourth straight 10-win season in league, the Irish own the distinction, along with Syracuse, as being the only two schools to post winning conference records each of the last four seasons … Notre Dame has gone 11-5 (2000-01), 10-6 (2001-02), 10-6 (2002-03) and 9-7 (2003-04), while Syracuse has posted marks of 10-6 (2001-01), 9-7(2001-02), 13-3 (2002-03) and 11-5 ( 2003-04).
BIG EAST Season No. 10 for Irish:
The 2004-05 campaign marks Notre Dame’s 10th year as a member of the BIG EAST Conference … In nine seasons as a conference member, Notre Dame owns a 75-77 record all-time in conference regular-season play for a .493 winning percentage … In their first five years, Irish teams were 35-53 (.398), but since Mike Brey took over the program, Notre Dame has compiled a 40-24 (.625) mark in regular-season play.
BIG EAST Formula For Success Under Brey:
Since his arrival at Notre Dame, Mike Brey has led Notre Dame to a 40-24 (.675) record in BIG EAST regular-season games and 2-4 mark in tournament play for an overall of 42-28 (.600) 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.
BIG EAST Honor Roll:
At BIG EAST Media Day on October 27 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, Notre Dame was tabbed to finish fourth behind Syracuse, Connecticut and Pittsburgh in the regular-season race on a vote by the league’s head coaches … Chris Thomas was a preseason first-team all-BIG EAST selection, the only Irish player named to one of the preseason teams.
Over The Century Mark:
Notre Dame has scored 100-plus points five times during the Mike Brey era … The last 100-point effort by an Irish team was in a 101-96 overtime decision at Boston College on January 25, 2003.
Thomas In Elite Scoring Company:
Chris Thomas heads into his senior with an 18.7 career scoring average as he stands eighth on the all-time Notre Dame career scoring list with 1,783 career points in 99 career outings … Only four other players have scored more points in the first three seasons of their career — Austin Carr (2,560 points in 75 games), Adrian Dantley (2,223 points in 86 games), Troy Murphy (2,011 points in 94 games) and Tom Hawkins (1,820 points in 79 games).
Chris Thomas has started all 99 games of his Irish career and is second all-time in consecutive games started … He should eclipse Pat Garrity’s (1994-98) career mark of 111 consectuive starts … John Paxson (1979-83) stands third all-time with 85 consecutive starts (86 total during his career) and stands third on that list … Paxson started every game in his final three seasons.
Cornette Eyes Block Record:
Jordan Cornette heads into his final campaign third on the all-time blocked shots record with 155 blocks … He needs 46 blocks to break LaPhonso Ellis’ (1988-2002) career mark of 2000 … Ryan Humphrey (2000-02) stands second on the all-time list with 166 blocked shots … He stands fourth all-time in blocked shots average (1.6).
Transfer Of Influence:
Dennis Latimore is the third transfer to play under head coach Mike Brey … He transferred to Notre Dame in the summer of 2003 after two seasons at the University of Arizona … Ryan Humphrey was the first transfer to play for the Irish … He played his first two seasons at the University of Oklahoma … During his two-year career from 2000-02, he played in 60 games and averaged 16.6 points (997), 9.95 rebounds (597) and 2.8 blocked shots (166) … Humphrey was a first-team all-BIG EAST selection in his senior season and earned second-team All-America honors from Basketball Times … Dan Miller played one year (2002-03) after transferring from the University of Maryland and averaged 13.9 points and 5.7 rebounds.
Keeping It Close:
In the 44 losses suffered by Irish teams in Mike Brey’s four seasons, only 12 have been by 10 or more points and have been by a combined 330 points for an averaged of 7.5 points … Notre Dame’s biggest losses have been on the road at Pittsburgh (72-55 on January 6, 2003) and against Arizona (88-71 on March 27, 2003) in the West Regional semifinal in Anaheim, Calif… Prior to those two setbacks, the worst defeat was a 16-point decision at Connecticut during Brey’s first season … Notre Dame’s 11 losses during the 2001-02 season were by a combined 49 points for an average margin of defeat of 4.5 points … Only one loss that season (versus Georgetown at the Joyce Center) was by double figures, while eight of those setbacks were by five or less points.
179 And Counting:
Heading into tonight’s game against Harvard, Notre Dame has hit at least one three-pointer in 179 straight games, a mark that dates back to the the 1998-99 campaign … The last time an Irish team failed to hit a three-pointer was in a 101-70 loss to Connecticut at the Hartford Civic Center on January 12, 1999 as Notre Dame finished 0-7 from beyone the arc in the game.
All In The Family:
Freshman Rob Kurz’ younger sister Laura is a freshman on the Duke women’s basketball team. As a matter of fact, she played a regular-season contest on the Joyce Center floor 48 hours before her brother’s home opener. The Irish women’s basketball team hosted the Blue Devils in semifinal action of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament on Wednesday night. Notre Dame won the game 76-65.
Irish Add Four In Early Signing Period:
Mike Brey signed four players to national letters of intent during the early signing period last week … Joining the Irish in the fall of 2005 will be Ryan Ayers (Blue Bell, Pa.), Zach Hillesland (Toledo, Ohio), Kyle McAlarney (Staten Island, N.Y.) and Luke Zeller (Washington, Ind.) … Ayers, a 6-7, 200-pound combination guard/forward, is the son of former Ohio State and Philadelphia 76ers head coach Randy Ayers … He averaged 16.4 points, 8.0 rebounds and 4.6 assists during his junior year at Germantown Academy … Hillesland is a 6-8, 220-pound forward who averaged 13.0 points, 9.0 rebounds in his junior season at St. John’s Jesuit … McAlarney, a 6-1, 170-pound point guard, already ranks as the all-time leading scorer in Staten Island prep history with 1,662 career points and a 22.6 scoring average … His 35.6 scoring average and 907 points in 2003-04 for Moore Catholic set the Staten Island high school single-season marks … Zeller, a 6-11, 240-pound forward/center, is a candidate for the 2005 Mr. Indiana Basketball honors … A Streets and Smith’s All-America selection in his junior season, he netted 19.8 points and 9.4 rebounds during his junior year at Washington.
Irish Find Success In The Classroom:
Notre Dame had its best semester ever in the classroom during the spring of 2004, combining for a 3.115 cumulative grade point average … Seven players were named to the BIG EAST Academic All-Star Team — Greg Bosl, John Carlson, Rick Cornett, Jordan Cornette, Torrian Jones, Chris Thomas and Tom Timmermans … To be eligible, student-athletes must have maintained a cumulative 3.0 grade point average during the school year.
Notre Dame Basketball On The Big Screen:
For the second consecutive year, Notre Dame will a record 13 games on national television during the regular season …. Last year, the Irish also made 13 national appearances during the regular season and appeared on either CBS, ESPN or ESPN2 a total of 16 times … Since the 2000-01 season under head coach Mike Brey, Notre Dame teams have appeared on national television during the regular and post-season a total of 52 times (average of 13 per year) – it’s the most television appearances in a four-year period in the program’s history.
Joyce Center Sellouts:
Since the 2000-01 campaign, there have been 29 sellouts at the Joyce Center … Notre Dame enjoyed 10 sellouts during the 2002-03 campaign, the most since the 1985-86 season. The 29 sellouts from 2000-02 are the most since the 1983-87 seasons.
Notre Dame Basketball Radio Show Returns To Logan’s Roadhouse:
Logan’s Roadhouse Restaurant in Mishawaka will once again be the site of the Notre Dame Basketball Radio Show during the 2004-05 season … The 30-minute radio show will be broadcast live on Monday nights on 92.9-FM (U93 in South Bend) 10 times during the year beginning at 7:00 p.m. … The dates of the show will be December 6, December 13, December 20, January 3, January 17, January 24, January 31, February 7, February 14 and February 28.
The Kevin White Radio Show:
A weekly half-hour talk show featuring Notre Dame athletics director Kevin White airs once again this year on Chicago’s ESPN Radio 1000 (1000 AM, www.espnradio1000.com) … Now in its fifth season, “The Kevin White Radio Show” welcomes a series of guests and prominent figures associated with college athletics, including administrators, coaches and media members.
Notre Dame Athletics Debut On Sirius Satellite Radio:
Notre Dame has increased its radio footprint when it announced an agreeement on August 31 with SIRIUS Satellite Radio to become the official radio partner for Notre Dame athletics … SIRIUS will broadcast selected Irish men’s and women’s basketball games during the upcoming season, in addition to football and other sporting events … In addition, SIRIUS will aid in the development of marketing initiatives with the University’s athletic department as a member of ” Team Notre Dame” … Notre Dame’s agreement with SIRIUS is one of the cornerstones in the formation of SIRIUS College Sports Radio, a partnership between SIRIUS and College Sports Television (CSTV) that includes 23 major universities around the country … SIRIUS radios for the car and home start at $149 and are available at major retailers nationwide … For more, visit www.sirius.com.
`Hacienda Tuition Shot’ Offered At Harvard And IPFW Games:
Two Notre Dame students will get a chance at the ‘Hacienda Tuition Shot’ to win free tuition for the 2005-06 academic year at the next two Notre Dame men’s basketball home games … Chosen randomly, one student from Notre Dame, St. Mary’s or Holy Cross will be called down to the court during a timeout at the Harvard (Friday, November 19, 7:00 p.m.) and IPFW (Tuesday, November 23, 7:30 p.m.) contests in the Joyce Center … The chosen student will then get one shot attempt from half court. A successful attempt will earn free tuition for the 2005-06 school year … Students are encouraged to reach their seats before tipoff in each game, as the contestants could be selected before the game begins.
Web Site (www.und.com):
Notre Dame’s official athletic department web site can be found at www.und.com … The web site is created in partnership with College Sports Online of Carlsbad, Calif.
Upcoming Game Promotions:
Harvard (Schedule magnets) … IPFW (TBD) … Charleston Southern (Notre Dame nesting dolls) … DePaul (Glow sticks).