Nov. 24, 2007
Notre Dame (2-2, 0-0 BIG EAST) vs. Youngstown State (2-1, 0-0 Horizon)
Saturday, November 16, 2007 * 7:30 p.m. (EST)
Joyce Center (11,418) * Notre Dame, Ind.
Radio: Jack 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 (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., 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. Youngstown State
- Notre Dame will be looking to end its two-game losing streak on Saturday evening when it plays host to Youngstown State in just the second-ever meeting between the two schools.
- The Irish began the season with two resounding victories in its first two games as the Irish defeated Long Island 82-50 and beat Monmouth 76-33 in its opening game of the Paradise Jam. Notre Dame then suffered two hearbreaking losses, losing to Baylor 68-64 and to Georgia Tech 70-69.
- Notre Dame only had one two-game losing streak during the regular season last year when it suffered back-to-back road losses to USF (69-63) and DePaul (67-66).
- Tonight’s game against the Penquins begins the start of a three-game homestand. Following this evening’s matchup, the Irish will entertain Colgate on Monday evening (Nov. 26) and then plays host to Eastern Michigan on Sat., Dec. 1.
Paradise Jam Recap
- Notre Dame finished fifth at the Paradise Jam in the eight-team field and Luke Harangody was named to the all-tournament team after averaging 17.3 points and 8.0 rebounds.
- The Irish opened up tournament play with an impressive 76-33 victory over Monmouth as Notre Dame shot 50.9 percent from the field and limited the Hawks to just 26.5 percent (13-49). Notre Dame also held a 46-18 advantage on the boards.Rob Kurz led all scorers with 15 points, while Kyle McAlarney and Ryan Ayers each added 13. Ayers’ 13 points marked a career-high as he connected on 5-6 shots from the field and was 3-4 from three-point range.
- Luke Harangody scored a game-high and matched his career-high with a 22-point effort against Baylor as he finished 9-14 from the field and grabbed eight rebounds. The only other Irish player in double figures was Rob Kurz as he finished with 13 points and five rebounds. Notre Dame shot just 28.6 percent in the second half and 33.9 percent for the contest, while the Bears connected on 41.4 percent.
- Notre Dame led for all but the first three minutes of the game and the final two seconds when Georgia Tech’s three-pointer lifted the Yellow Jackets to the win. Luke Harangody notched the fifth 20-plus point outing of his career and matched a his personal best for the second time in as many nights as he finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Harangody was one of four Irish players in double figures. Rob Kurz finished with 15 poinst and grabbed five rebounds, while Zach Hillesland added 12 points and Tory Jackson finished with 10 points as he netted double figures for the first time in four outings. Notre Dame shot 40.7 percent from the field, but allowed Georgia Tech to connect on 47.4 percent for the game and 58.8 percent (10-17) from three-point range.
Another Early Start
- The season opener against Long Island marked the second earliest start for a Notre Dame basketball team in the 103-year history of its program. Last season, the Irish opened up the year with a 92-49 victory over IPFW on November 10. Prior to last year’s contest, the earliest start date for a Notre Dame team was November 13, 1998 when the Irish opened the 1998-99 campaign with a 76-65 loss to Miami of Ohio.
Series Record vs. Youngstown State
- This will be the second meeting between the two schools. Notre Dame was victorious in the first matchup as it claimed a 69-48 victory on November 26, 1996 at the Joyce Center.
Irish vs. The Horizon League
- Notre Dame owns a 178-48 all-time versus teams from the Horizon League. The last time an Irish squad faced a team from the Horizon League was last season in the opening round of the NIT when it dropped a 71-69 decision to Butler on Nov. 13, 2006 in Indianapolis, Ind.
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. Entering its 103rd season, Notre Dame has 1,605 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.
“D” The Key Against Monmouth
- En route to its 76-33 victory over Monmouth eight days ago, 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.
- 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.
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 Shows Struggles Too
- Notre Dame’s struggled on offense as well in its last two games. Against Baylor, 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 5:45 of a possible 160 minutes.
- 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.
Gody A Force
- Four games into the 2007-08 campaign, Luke Harangody is averaging 16.8 points and 7.5 rebounds. He has scored in double figures in three of our contests and recorded career-tying back-to-back 22-point outings against Baylor and Georgia Tech, marking the first time in his career that he has scored 20-plus points in consecutive outings. He also is shooting 54.9 percent (28-51) from the field. Harangody recorded his first double-double of the season against the Yellow Jackets when he finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds. In addition, he has netted 20-plus points in five career outings.
- Junior Ryan Ayers is off to the best start in his career shooting 52.2 percent from the field (12-23) and 60.0 percent (7-13) from three-point range. His 8.3 points per game also marks 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.
- 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 and the most wins ever 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 2005-06 campaign, Notre Dame has won 21 consecutive games at home following the win over Long Island – a streak which is tied for sixth among all Division I teams and is the third longest in school history as well as the longest during Mike Brey’s tenure. The record for consecutive wins at the Joyce Center is 24 (1973-74).
Joyce Center Streakin’
- Notre Dame began its pursuit of breaking the Joyce Center home win streak on Monday and extended its current win streak to 21 games after the home opener against Long Island. Currently at 21 games, it’s the longest win streak at the Joyce Center and longest during the Mike Brey era.
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 its total of 16 the previous season.
Irish Roll Under Brey In November
- Irish teams have traditionally played well under Irish head coach Mike Notre Dame completed the month of November in 2006 with a 5-1 record. Under head coach Mike Brey, the Irish are 27-5 (.843) all-time in games played during the month of November. The five 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, 2005; against Butler (71-69) on Nov. 13, 2006 in the first round of the NIT Season Tip-Off; and to Baylor (68-64) and Georgia Tech (70-69) this season.
The Irish All-Time
- The 2007-08 men’s basketball campaign marks the 103rd season of basketball and 12th as a member of the BIG EAST Conference. In 102-plus seasons, Irish teams have posted a 1607-887 record for a .644 winning percentage. In BIG EAST play, Notre Dame owns a 101-99 (.505) 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 for under Mike Brey. With its 82 points against Long Island in the season opener, the Irish proved once again that they can score points. Ten of the 24 victories a year ago were by 24 or more points, while six of those games were by 30 points or better.
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 180-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 66-46 (.589) record in BIG EAST regular-season games and a 3-7 mark in tournament play for an overall record of 69-53 (.566) 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.
274 And Counting
- Heading into tonight’s game against Youngstown State, Notre Dame has hit at least one three-pointer in 274 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 474-141 record all-time for a .770 winning percentage. The Irish are 88-27 (.765) at the Joyce Center during Mike Brey’s six-plus seasons, and since the 1996-97 campaign, they own a 136-43 mark for a .760 winning percentage. Notre Dame’s 17 wins at home this season marks 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 twice during the 2006-07 campaign and eight times under Irish head coach Mike Brey.
- In Mike Brey’s seven seasons, his Irish teams have compiled a road record of 53-51 (.510) that includes a 35-36 (.492) in true road games and a 18-15 mark (.545) in neutral site contests.
Double The Pleasure
- Rob Kurz led the Irish with nine double-doubles last season and registered his 12th career one on Monday night against Long Island with his 19 points and 10 rebounds against the Blackbirds in just 28 minutes. He connected on 8-12 shots from the field (1-3 from three-point range). Eight of his 10 rebounds in the contest were on the defensive end of the floor.
- Junior Kyle McAlarney and sophomore Tory Jackson started in the backcourt in a regular season game for the first time ever . The duo combined for 11 points and 15 assists (eight by Jackson and seven by McAlarney) of Notre Dame’s 28 assists.
- 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 on Monday night when the Irish dished off 28 assists on 35 baskets (a 0.8 assists-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.