Nov. 21, 2002
Notre Dame, Ind. –
SCOUTING THE IRISH – Notre Dame is 2-0 following victories against Belmont (76-48) and IUPUI (89-45) in the opening two rounds of the 2002 Guardians Classic. With the two wins the Irish advance to Kansas City, Mo., for the final two games of the Classic. The Irish will face Furman on Mon., November 25 in semifinal action at 8:30 p.m. (CST) and then face either Creighton or IUPUI the following night (November 26) in either the consolation or championship game at 6:30 or 8:30 p.m. (CST). Tonight’s game is the season opener for Bucknell. The Bison finished the 2001-02 campaign with a 13-16 record and were 8-6 in the Patriot League. Notre Dame averaged 82.5 points per game in its two outings against the Bruins and Jaguars and held both opponents to under 30.0 percent shooting in both contests. Belmont shot 28.1 percent from the field against the Irish, while IUPUI connected on only 24.3 percent of its shots (11-13) and made just seven-of-36 field goals (19.4 pecent) in the second half. Notre Dame also forced an average of 17 turnovers in both games. Senior Matt Carroll (Horsham, Pa.) leads the team in scoring with a 20.5 scoring average. In addition, he is averaging 5.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 3.0 steals. He netted 26 points against IUPUI as he was eight-of-14 from the field. Carroll closed out the 2001-02 campaign by scoring 20 points in Notre Dame’s final four outings, and with his 26-point outing against the Jaguars, has now scored 20-plus points in five of his last six games in an Irish uniform. He was named MVP of the Guardians Classic regional. Senior Dan Miller (Mt. Holly, N.J.), who sat out last year after transferring to Notre Dame following three seasons at Maryland, is averaging a double double at 18.0 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. Miller recorded the first two doubles of his career, scoring 19 points and grabbing 10 rebounds against Belmont, followed by a 17-point and 11-rebound effort against IUPUI. Prior to his first two contests in an Irish uniform, Miller did not record a double double in his previous 104 career outings. Sophomore Chris Thomas (Indianapolis, Ind.) and freshman Torin Francis (Roslindale, Mass.) are both avering 11.5 points per game. Thomas also has dished out 9.5 assists per game, while Francis is averaging 7.0 rebounds. Although he is only averaging 3.0 points per game, Jordan Cornette’s (Cincinnati, Ohio) impact on the floor has been on the defensive end. In the Belmont game, he registered his first career double double with an unlikely combination of 13 rebounds and a Notre Dame and Joyce Center record 11 blocked shots. Against the Jaguars, Cornette continued his blocked-shot assault with eight. His 19 blocked shots in the two games already surpass the 17 he had all of last season. Cornette is averaging 9.5 rebounds and blocked shots. Junior swingman Torrian Jones (Fairless Hills, Pa.) was a real defensive spark for the Irish in both contests. He is averaging 6.0 points and 3.0 rebounds. Meanwhile, freshman point guard Chris Quinn (Dublin, Ohio) provides an offensive spark as he averaged 7.0 points and 3.0 assists in the two games. In addition, he knocked down three of his four three-point field goal attempts. In the two games, Notre Dame averaged 50.0 accuracy from the field and was 18-39 (.462) from three-point range. The Irish also averaged 21.5 assists and just 12.0 turnovers in the two contests. As a team, Notre Dame has blocked 32 shots (16.0 per game), which included a record-breaking 19 versus Belmont.
GUARDIANS CLASSIC RECAP – vs. Belmont: Dan Miller recorded his first double double of his career in his debut in an Irish uniform as he scored a game-high 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, while Jordan Cornette blocked a school and Joyce Center record 11 blocked shots. In addition, he grabbed a career-best 13 rebounds. Cornette broke the school record of eight blocked (set by LaPhonso Ellis in 1992) and Joyce Center mark (set by Bill Walton of UCLA in 1973). Several of his blocked shots came in a decisive 30-5 run. Notre Dame was leading 26-21 with 2:57 remaining before halftime and closed out the first half with a 14-0 run that gave the Irish a 40-21 halftime lead. Notre Dame held Belmont to just eight points in the first 12:30 of the contest in building a 37-point advantage (66-29). The Irish held the Bruins to just 28.1 shooting accuracy from the field and forced 17 turnovers. Matt Carroll and Chris Thomas each finished with 15 points each. Thomas also had eight assists in the game. Notre Dame’s 19 blocked shots also established new school and Joyce Center records.
vs. IUPUI: Matt Carroll scored 26 points as he hit four-of-eight three-point attempts, while Dan Miller registered his second straight double double as he netted 17- points and grabbed 11 rebounds in leading the Irish to an 89-45 victory over IUPUI. Torin Francis registered his first career double double as he tossed in 16 points and grabbed 10 boards. Chris Thomas finished with 11 assists and eight points. Notre Dame used a late first-half run to finish off the Jaguars. The Irish ended the first half with an 18-5 run and then opened the second half with a 20-6 run to the put the game out of reach. The Jaguars shot 24.3 percent for the game and made just seven baskets (on 36 attempts), while shooting 19.4 percent in the second half. Notre Dame forced 17 turnovers and blocked 13 shots in the game. Notre Dame finished the game by shooting 54.6 percent from the field and 50.0 percent from three-point range.
HEAD COACH MIKE BREY – Mike Brey is in his third year as the Notre Dame head coach and eighth in the collegiate ranks. He was named the 17th head coach in the program’s history on July 14, 2000, following five seasons (1995-2000) as head coach at the University of Delaware, where he led the Blue Hens to an overall record of 99-52. Brey owns a 44-21 mark (.677) with the Irish. He is the first coach in Notre Dame history to lead his teams to consecutive 20-win campaigns and NCAA tournament appearances in his first two seasons. Last year, he led his team to a 22-11 record and 10-6 mark in BIG EAST play after guiding the 2000-01 Irish to the 2000-01 BIG EAST West Division crown with an 11-5 record and finishing with a 20-10 overall record. Five of his eight teams have advanced to postseason competition (four NCAA and one NIT appearances). Since his arrival, he has led Notre Dame to a 21-11 mark in BIG EAST play during the regular season for a .656 winning percentage. In the two-year period from 2000-02, the Irish’s BIG EAST wins are matched only by Boston College and Connecticut. His 21 wins after only two seasons rank as the third-best total in conference history. Only four other BIG EAST coaches, including St. John’s mentor Mike Jarvis, have ever posted a better winning percentage in their first two seasons in the league. Brey has an overall record of 143-73 (.662) as a head coach. Among active BIG EAST coaches, Brey’s 22-13 record (including regular season and championship contests) for a .629 winning percentage ranks him fourth behind Jarvis, Jim Boeheim and Jim Calhoun and sixth all-time.
THE CAPTAINS – Matt Carroll, Jere Macura and Dan Miller are serving as captains for the 2002-03 campaign. It marks the second straight year that the Irish will have tri-captains. Carroll, a three-year starter owns a 12.0 career scoring average in 99 games played. As a junior, he finished with a 14.0 career scoring average and ended the 2001-02 campaign by registering four straight 20-point outings in BIG EAST and NCAA tournament competition. Macura has played in 76 career games and owns a 3.7 scoring average. This is Miller’s first season of competition with the Irish.
SERIES RECORD VS. BUCKNELL – Tonight’s contest will mark just the second-ever matchup between the two schools. The only previous meeting occurred in 1983 – a 64-52 Notre Dame victory at the Joyce Center. As head coach, Mike Brey owns a 1-1 record versus Bucknell.
IRISH IN SEASON OPENERS – With its win over Belmont, Notre Dame is 80-18 (.816) all-time in season openers and has won four straight. The last time an Irish team lost a season opener was prior to the start of the 1998-99 campaign as the Irish dropped a 76-65 decision to Miami of Ohio at home. Notre Dame is 3-0 in season openers under Mike Brey.
OUT OF THE GATES – With a guarantee of four games in the Guardians Classic, Notre Dame will play six games during the month of November for the second straight year. Last year, the Irish finished the first month of the season with a perfect 6-0 slate. It marked the most wins ever by a Notre Dame team in the month of November and the second time in the program’s history that the Irish have played six games during that month. Notre Dame also played six games in the month of November during both the 1999-2000 and 1998-99 campaigns and finished with 4-2 and 2-4 marks, respectively.
HOME SWEET HOME – Since the inaugural season (1968-69) playing in the Joyce Center, Notre Dame owns a 408-122 record all-time for a .769 winning percentage. The Irish are 23-8 (.742) at the Joyce Center during Mike Brey’s two seasons and since the 1996-97 campaign own a 73-27 mark for a 73.0 winning percentage.
THE IRISH ALL-TIME – The 2002-03 campaign marks the 98th season of men’s basketball at Notre Dame. Irish teams have posted 1507-828 record all-time for a .645 winning percentage.
RECORDS FALL AGAINST BELMONT – Notre Dame’s win over Belmont in the season opener, produced several new Irish records. * The 19 blocked shots the Irish had as a team set the school and Joyce Center mark, eclipsing the old mark of 12. * Jordan Cornette’s 11 blocked shots broke the school record of eight set by LaPhonso Ellis in 1992 in an NIT game versus Kansas State. He also established a new Joyce Center record, breaking the record of 10 set by UCLA’s Bill Walton on January 27, 1973.
IRISH SET TO MEET DEFENDING NATIONAL CHAMPIONS – Notre Dame will play defending national champion Maryland in the first round of the BB&T Classic at the MCI Center in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, December 7 at 3:30 p.m. Texas and George Washington will meet in the first game of the tournament at 1:00 p.m. The consolation game will take place at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 8, followed by the championship tilt at 3:30 p.m. Raycom/Comcast will televise all four games of the tournament. Notre Dame’s matchup with Maryland will mark the 30th time an Irish squad has faced a team that had won the national title the previous year.
THOMAS NAMED TO WOODEN AND NAISMITH LISTS – Sophomore point guard Chris Thomas is one of 50 preseason candidates for the 2003 John R. Wooden Award, which is annually presented to the nation’s top men’s basketball player. He also was named as a preseason candidate (one of 30) for the 2002-03 Naismith College Basketball Player of the Year Award, which is presented annually by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. Thomas is among five sophomores chosen to the Wooden Award list and is one of five BIG EAST players selected to the Naismith List.
THERE’S NO SLOWING HIM DOWN – Matt Carroll ended the 2001-02 campaign by scoring 20 points in Notre Dame’s two BIG EAST and two NCAA tournament games. Carroll’s 26-point outing against IUPUI is the third 20-plus effort he has for the Irish in the last six games. He has scored 20-plus points 11 times during his career.
MILLER TIME – After sitting out the 2001-02 campaign following his transfer to Notre Dame from Maryland in the summer of 2001, Dan Miller has made the most of first two games in an Irish uniform as he has recorded double doubles in the Belmont and IUPUI contest. Against the Bruins, he had 19 points and 10 rebounds and came back against the Jaguars to score 17 points and grab 11 rebounds. In his three seasons with the Terrapins (104 career games), he did not record a double double and never grabbed more than seven rebounds in a game.
CARROLL CLOSING IN ON IRISH THREE-POINT RECORD – Former Notre Dame standout David Graves (1998-2002) set the Irish three-point mark last season with 259, but it is likely that Matt Carroll will break that record at some point durng the 2002-03 campaign. Carroll is third on the all-time list with 208, needing just 52 to break the record. Ryan Hoover (1992-96) currently is second with 248. In 101 career games played, Carroll has averaged 2.06 three-pointers per game.
BREY SHOWS IRISH THE WAY ON THE ROAD – Notre Dame played just 13 homes games during the 2001-02 campaign, but found life on the road to be rather friendly. The Irish were 8-4 in contests played on the opponent’s home floor and were 5-3 in neutral site contests for an overall record of 13-7 away from the Joyce Center. In Brey’s first season, Notre Dame was 6-4 on the road and 2-2 in neutral site games for an overall record of 8-6. In two seasons under Brey, Notre Dame has a 14-8 (.636) road mark and 7-5 (.583) mark in neutral site contests. Over the past two seasons, Irish teams have compiled a 21-13 (.618) record playing away from home.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION – Head coach Mike Brey and the Irish once again will receive tremendous exposure with 10 nationally-televised games on CBS, ABC, ESPN and ESPN2. Notre Dame was featured on national television 16 times in the regular season during the past two seasons. THE NATIONAL LINEUP Mon., Dec. 2 vs. Marquette (7:00 p.m.) – ESPN2 Mon., Jan. 6 at Pittsburgh (7:00 p.m.) – ESPN Sat., Jan. 18 at Kentucky (2:00 p.m.) – CBS Sat., Jan. 25 at Boston College (2:00 p.m.) – ESPN Sun., Feb. 9 vs. Pittsburgh (3:30 p.m.) – ABC Sat., Feb. 15 at Syracuse (1:00 p.m.) – ESPN Mon., Feb. 24 vs. Connecticut (7:00 p.m.) – ESPN Sat., Mar. 1 at Rutgers (4:00 p.m.) – ESPN2 Tue., Mar. 4 vs. Syracuse (7:00 p.m.) – ESPN2
IRONMAN – Matt Carroll played in his 100th career game yesterday in Notre Dame’s win over Belmont and has seen action in 101 career games in an Irish uniform. He has started all but eight of those games and has missed just one contest (Miami (Fla.) on the road last season) because of an ankle injury in 102 career games. It is likely that he will break David Graves’ (1998-02) games played career mark of 130.
115 AND COUNTING – Heading into tonight’s game against Bucknell, Notre Dame has hit at least one three-pointer in 115 straight games, which dates back to the 1998-99 campaign. The last time the Irish did not make a three-pointer was in a 101-70 loss to Connecticut in the Hartford Civic Center (Jan. 12, 1999) as Notre Dame finished 0-7 in the contest from three-point range. The Pittsburgh game on Jan. 26, 2002, marked the 100th consecutive game in which the Irish hit a three-pointer. Notre Dame made a season-high 14 against Rutgers on Feb. 6, 2002.
ONE OF JUST 12 – Getting back into the NCAA tournament the last two seasons has put Notre Dame in rather elite company as the Irish were one of just 12 schools to win at least one NCAA game in both 2001 and 2002. The list also includes: Arizona, Cincinnati, Duke, Illinois, Kansas, Kent State, Kentucky, Maryand, Missouri, Stanford and UCLA.
TAKING CARE OF THE BALL – During the 2000-01 and 2001-02 campaigns (63 games), Notre Dame averaged 18.3 assists and just 13.7 turnovers for a 1.34 assist-to-turnover ratio. The Irish ranked with a 1.45 assist-to-turnover ratio and ninth in 2001-02 with a 1.23 ratio. Notre Dame’s 629 assists last season were second-most in school history – the 1999-2000 team had 643 assists in 37 games for a 17.4 assist per game average.
DEFENSE GETTING IT DONE – Notre Dame’s defense has been stellar in the first two games as the Irish have held their opponents to just 26.1 accuracy from the field (36-138), while also forcing an average of 17.0 turnovers per game. Coach Mike Brey’s squad held Belmont to 28.1 percent from the field and limited the Jaguars to 24.3 percent accuracy.
IN THE SPIRIT OF GIVING – Chris Thomas continues to be one of Notre Dame’s most unselfish players. As a freshman, he ranked fifth nationally with a 7.64 assist average. Already this season, Thomas is averaging 9.5 assists in the first two Irish games. His 11 assists against marked the 10th time in 35 career games that he dished off 10-plus assists in a game.
BROTHERLY LOVE – Three members of the Notre Dame squad have brothers playing at other Division I schools. Matt Carroll’s brother Pat is a sophomore at St. Joseph’s (Pa.); Jordan Cornette’s brother Joel is a senior at Butler; and Jere Macura has a brother Petar who is a freshman at IUPUI. Jere and Petar both saw action on the floor at the same time in Monday night’s matchup.
LUSTIG ADDED TO IRISH ROSTER – Senior Dan Lustig has joined the Irish as a walk-on for the 2002-03 campaign. The 6-5, 195-pound guard hails from Alexandria, Ind., and attended Alexandria Monroe High School. He led his high school prep team to the 1998 Indiana Class II-A state championship and an appearance in the semifinals in 1999. A member of the Irish Guard, he is the sixth family member of nine children to attend Notre Dame. He will wear No. 24 this season.
ND-DEPAUL GAME TIME MOVED – The Notre Dame-DePaul game, originally scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. tip on Saturday, December 14, has been pushed up to a 5:00 p.m. start. The game will be televised by WGN in Chicago and will be the 90th meeting between the two schools.
KEVIN WHITE RADIO SHOW – A weekly half-hour talk show featuring Notre Dame athletics director Kevin White airs on Chicago’s ESPN Radio 1000 (1000 AM in Chicago, www.espnradio1000.com). In its third season, “The Kevin White Show” can be heard in 35 states Thursdays at 9:00 p.m. Central time. White welcomes to the show a series of guests and prominent figures associated with college athletics, including administrators, coaches and media members.
SPORTS ILLUSTRATED RANKS NOTRE DAME 15TH – In the October 7, 2002 issue of Sports Illustrated, Notre Dame was ranked the 15th best Sports College among Division I schools for the 2001-02 school year. Texas and Stanford finished first and second, respectively. SI combined a variety of factors in arriving at its 2002 rankings, which included performance during the school year in five sports (baseball, football, hockey and men’s and women’s basketball); position in the ’01-’02 Sears Cup NCAA all-sports standings; number of varsity, club and intramural sports; range of recreational facilities; and whether or not spirit-boosting events like Midnight Madness were held.
USA TODAY/NCAA ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AWARD – Notre Dame received a 2002 USA Today/NCAA Academic Achievement Award for graduating 90 percent of its freshmen student-athletes who enrolled in 1995. Now in its second year, the awards were presented in late September of 2002 to 10 institutions with the highest overall graduation rates for scholarship student-athletes who began college in the 1995-96 academic year. Rice University finished with a rate of 91 percent, one percentage higher than Notre Dame, Stanford and Duke.
IRISH INK TWO IN EARLY SIGNING PERIOD – Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey signed two players to national letters of intent during the early signing period – Colin Falls, a 6-4, 200-pound shooting guard out of Park Ridge, Ill., and Omari Isreal, a 6-8, 210-pound forward from Rockville, Md. Falls averaged 24.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists during his junior season at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Ill. In addition, he captured first-team all-Chicago Catholic League honors for the second consecutive year, while also earning second-team all-state accolades. Isreal averaged 18.5 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocked shots in his junior season at Our Lady of Good Counsel in Wheaton, Md. An all-Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) second-team selection each of the last two years, he earned first team all-county honors from both the Montgomery County Journal and Montgomery County Gazette.
BASKETBALL LUNCHEON SET FOR JANUARY 28, 2003 – The second of two Notre Dame basketball luncheons will be held on Tues., January 28 at noon. Mike Brey and several Irish players will be featured at the event. Tickets are $16.00 each and can be ordered by writing to the Notre Dame Athletics Business Office, 112 Joyce Center, Notre Dame, Ind., 46556. Checks may be made payable to the University of Notre Dame. Reservation forms are also available at the Joyce Center ticket windows. Telephone reservations are not accepted. For information call 574-631-5031.
TOUGH TICKET AT THE JOYCE CENTER – Six of Notre Dame’s 16 home games for the 2002-03 men’s basketball season have already sold out and all 3,150 student ticket packages sold out in a record 36 hours after being put on sale. The six sellouts already equal the total number at the Joyce Center during the entire 2001-02 campaign. The games already sold out are: Marquette (Dec. 2), DePaul (Dec. 14), Georgetown (Feb. 1), Pittsburgh (Feb. 9), Virginia Tech (Feb. 22) and Connecticut (Feb. 24). There are a limited number of bleacher seats remaining for the Bucknell game on November 22 and Syracuse contest on March 4.