December 7, 1998

TONIGHT’S GAME: The University of Notre Dame basketball team opens up its fourth season of play in the BIG EAST Conference tonight as it takes on Providence College. Notre Dame has a 3-5 record and is coming off an 83-56 win over Central Michigan at the Joyce Center on Saturday afternoon. Freshman forward Troy Murphy (Morristown, N.J.) was the leading scorer and rebounder for the Irish in the game with 16 points and eight rebounds.

After tonight’s game, the Irish break for final examinations and return to action on Saturday, December 19, when they face Eastern Kentucky at the Joyce Center at 2:00 p.m. EST. The first BIG EAST home game of the season for Notre Dame is on Tuesday, December 29, against Syracuse at 7:30 p.m.

Providence enters tonight’s game with a 6-2 record, after dropping the first two games of the season. The most recent wins for the Friars are over Cleveland State, Maine and Brown.

Notre Dame (3-5, 0-0) vs. Providence (6-2, 0-0)

  • Providence Civic Center (12,993)
  • Providence, RI
  • Tuesday, December 8, 1998
  • 7:30 p.m. EST


No.  Name            Pos. Ht.    Wt.    Year  Hometown            PPG    RPG    Ast.3    Troy Murphy     F    6-9    225    Fr.   Morristown, NJ      17.3   8.5    734   David Graves    F    6-5    211    Fr.   Lexington, KY       15.3   3.6    2055   Phil Hickey     C    6-11   272    Sr.   Wellsboro, PA       8.8    6.6    114    Antoni Wyche    G    6-5    196    Sr.   Ballston Lake, NY   12.1   2.8    2124   Martin Ingelsby G    5-11   171    So.   Philadelphia, PA    6.8    1.5    41 (5.1)

TELEVISION AND RADIO COVERAGE: There is no television coverage for today’s game. Radio coverage of today’s game is provided by the Host Communications Network (Jack Lorri, Jack Nolan).

THE NOTRE DAME-PROVIDENCE SERIES: Tonight’s game is the 11th meeting between Notre Dame and Providence and the Friars lead the series by a 7-3 count. Since Notre Dame joined the BIG EAST Conference in the 1995-96 season, Providence leads the series by a 3-1 count in the regular season and won a BIG EAST Tournament game against the Irish last year. Notre Dame’s only win against the Friars in BIG EAST play was an 86-74 overtime victory at the Joyce Center in 1996-97.

LAST YEAR VS. PROVIDENCE: Notre Dame dropped a pair of games to the Friars last year a 77-62 decision in the Providence Civic Center to close the regular season on February 28 and a 72-55 loss in the first round of the BIG EAST Tournament on March 4.

In the first game, Jamel Thomas scored 32 points for the Friars while Justin Farley and John Linehan each had 10. Pat Garrity was the leading scorer for the Irish with 26 while Phil Hickey had 12.

In the BIG EAST game, Farley and Thomas each had 17 for Providence while Erron Maxey had 10. Pat Garrity led Notre Dame with 18 points while Antoni Wyche had 11.

IRISH IN BIG EAST OPENERS: Notre Dame has a 1-2 record in BIG EAST Conference regular season opening games all of which have been played on the road. In its first BIG EAST game ever, Notre Dame dropped an 86-80 loss to Rutgers in overtime on December 2, 1995. Notre Dame then lost to Providence on December 7, 1996, before beating Pittsburgh last season on December 6, 1997, by a 73-69 count.

FRESHMEN SCORING: Murphy and fellow freshman David Graves (Lexington, Kent.) are the two-leading scorers for the Irish this season at 17.3 and 15.3 points per game, respectively. Of the 592 points scored this season by the Irish, 43.9% of them (260) have been scored by that duo. When you add freshman forward Harold Swanagan (Hopkinsville, Kent.) to the mix, 303 (51.1%) of the Irish points this year have been scored by freshmen. In all, Notre Dame players have recorded double figure scoring 28 times this season and 14 have been from freshmen.

MURPHY AND DOUBLE FIGURES: Murphy has started his collegiate career by scoring in double figures in all eight contests the Irish have played this year, including two double-double performances 21 points and 17 rebounds vs. Alaska-Anchorage and 23 points and 16 rebounds vs. Indiana.

The last time a Notre Dame player scored in double figures in his first seven college games was LaPhonso Ellis in 1988-89. Ellis scored in double figures in his first nine college games and wound up averaging 13.5 points per game as a frosh. Ellis is the ninth-leading scorer in school history with 1,505 career points.

MURPHY HONORED BY BIG EAST: Murphy was named the BIG EAST Conference rookie of the week on November 16 for his performance in Notre Dame’s opening two games. The award marked the first time in Notre Dame’s four-year history as a BIG EAST member that an Irish player had been named the rookie of the week.

Murphy led or tied Notre Dame in scoring in each of its opening two games with 19 points against Miami of Ohio and 16 points against Yale and added six rebounds in each game.

MURPHY RECOGNIZED BY BASKETBALL NEWS, BIG EAST BRIEFS: Murphy was selected as the newcomer of the year in the BIG EAST Conference by Basketball News in the publication’s annual preseason yearbook. Murphy was also named the BIG EAST preseason newcomer of the year by BIG EAST Briefs newsletter. Murphy was named his team’s most valuable player last spring at the prestigious Capital Classic in Washington, D.C., where he had 18 points and 21 rebounds in the postseason game.

GRAVES NETS FRESHMAN HIGH: Graves scored a career-high 29 points against Southern Utah in the Great Alaska Shootout. Graves 29 points is the most by a Notre Dame freshman since Adrian Dantley had 41 points against West Virginia in 1973-74.

TWO FRESHMEN STARTERS: Notre Dame had two freshmen start the opening game against Miami of Ohio with Murphy and Graves. It marked the first time since the 1982-83 opener that the Irish have two freshmen starting a season-opening game. In that season, Notre Dame started Tim Kempton and Ken Barlow as the Irish beat Stonehill by a 74-60 count. Kempton scored nine points in the contest while Barlow had 14.

SWANAGAN GETS CAREER HIGHS: Swanagan saw his playing time increase during the Great Alaska Shootout as he averaged 18.7 minutes per game in the tournament after playing just 6.7 minutes per game in the first three games. Swanagan scored a career high 17 points against Duke in the first round of the event and then had a career high 10 rebounds vs. Southern Utah. Last Tuesday night against Indiana, Swanagan had another solid performance with 11 points and nine rebounds in 20 minutes of action.

BIG EAST LEADERS: Taking an early look among the statistical leaders in the BIG EAST Conference, the freshman duo of Murphy and Graves are the two leading freshmen scorers in the league through games of December 5. Murphy is seventh in scoring (first among frosh) at 17.3 points per game and is also tied for fifth in rebounding at 8.5 per game and 11th in field goal percentage at 56.7. Graves is 13th in scoring (second among frosh) at 15.3 per game and tied for fourth in free-throw percentage at 85.7%. Notre Dame sophomore point guard Martin Ingelsby (Philadelphia, Pa.) is third in assists at 5.13 per contest.

HEAD COACH JOHN MacLEOD: Notre Dame head coach John MacLeod, the 1997 BIG EAST Conference coach of the year, is in his eighth season in charge of the Irish program. MacLeod, who led the Irish to the championship game of the National Invitation Tournament in 92 and the quarterfinals of that event in 97, has an overall record of 95-113 in his tenure at Notre Dame and an overall record of 185-182 in 13 years as a collegiate head coach as MacLeod was also the head coach at Oklahoma for six seasons from 1967-73.

MacLeod was a head coach in the National Basketball Association for 18 seasons (Phoenix Suns from 1973-87, Dallas Mavericks from 1987-90 and the New York Knicks from 1990-91). MacLeod has an overall mark of 707-657 as an NBA coach.

THE JOYCE CENTER: The Joyce Center is in its 31st season of use by the Notre Dame basketball team and the Irish have an overall record of 361-106 (.773) in the building. Of the 467 games played at the Joyce Center, 202 have been sellouts.

IRISH INK TWO: Matt Carroll, a 6-5 1/2 guard from Horsham, Penn., and Hatboro-Horsham High School, and Mike Monserez, a 6-5 guard from Moeller High School and Cincinnati, Ohio, signed National Letters of Intent on November 11, 1998, to enroll at the University of Notre Dame next fall and play for head coach John MacLeod’s basketball team.

Carroll averaged 23.6 points per game as a junior in high school and added 8.5 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.8 blocks per game. He is ranked No. 30 in the country among high school seniors by All-Star Sports and its publisher Bob Gibbons and No. 67 by Future Stars.

Carroll was named all-area and all-league for his first three years in high school and was named the 1988 state player of the year in Pennsylvania.

In the summer of 1998, Carroll was a member of the USA Basketball men’s junior world championship qualifying team, which won the gold medal at the COPABA junior world championship qualifying tournament. Carroll averaged 6.5 points per game in the tournament and 2.0 rebounds.

Monserez led Moeller to an 18-4 record in his junior year and the team finished ninth in the Associated Press Ohio Division I poll after losing in the sectional finals. Monserez led the team with 12 points per game as a total of five Moeller players averaged in double figures. Monserez also averaged 7.5 assists per game, shot 38.5 percent from the three-point distance and 78 percent from the foul line.

He was named first team all-Southwestern Ohio by the AP, first team all-city by the Cincinnati Enquirer and co-player of the year in the Greater Catholic League of Cincinnati and Dayton.

IRISH ON TELEVISION: Notre Dame will once again make a number of appearances on national and local television this season. Notre Dame will appear on ESPN twice (November 26 vs. Duke in Great Alaska Shootout and February 10 vs. Pittsburgh) and espn2 once (January 5 vs. Pittsburgh). Notre Dame games will also be televised on WNDU-TV in South Bend (remaining games: Jan. 16 vs. Villanova, Jan. 23 vs. Rutgers, Jan. 30 vs. Providence, Feb. 6 at Seton Hall and Feb. 14 at West Virginia), WBND-TV in South Bend (Jan. 9 at Miami and Feb. 28 vs. Boston College) and TCI of Michiana (Dec. 29 vs. Syracuse, Jan. 2 vs. Villanova, Jan. 12 at Connecticut, Jan. 19 vs. Seton Hall, Feb. 17 at Syracuse, Feb. 21 vs. West Virginia and Feb. 24 at St. Johns) as part of the ESPN Regional television package.

IRISH RADIO NETWORK: Host Communications, Inc., originates the Notre Dame basketball radio network for the 11th year in 1998-99. Jack Lorri will once again handle play-by-play duties and this season will mark his 30th year of announcing Irish games. Jack Nolan handles the color commentary.

WMAQ-AM radio will carry Notre Dame basketball games in the Chicago market for the next two seasons as part of the network originated by Universal Sports America, an affiliate of Host Communications, Inc.

Remaining Notre Dame basketball games on WMAQ this season include: Sun., Dec. 27, vs. St. Francis (N.Y.); Tue., Dec. 29, vs. Syracuse; Sat., Jan. 2, vs. Villanova; Sat., Jan. 16, at Villanova; Tues., Jan. 19, vs. Seton Hall; Sat., Jan. 23, vs. Rutgers; Sat., Jan. 30, vs. Providence; Sat., Feb. 6, at Seton Hall; Sun., Feb. 14, vs. West Virginia; Sun., Feb. 28, vs. Boston College; Wed.-Sat., March 3-6, BIG EAST Tournament, TBA.

WMAQ-AM (670), with its 50,000-watt clear channel signal, covers a larger geographic area than any other radio station in Chicago. WMAQ’s other sports properties include the Chicago Bears and the Chicago Blackhawks and WMAQ is also affiliated with CNN Radio.

Others stations on the network include: WNDU 1490 AM and 92.9 FM in South Bend and WLUV 96.7 FM and 1520 AM in Rockford, Ill.

IRISH ON THE NET: Complete information on all Notre Dame athletic teams can be found on the World Wide Web at For basketball, access to a Real Audio radio broadcast of the game is available for all games and for home games, a “live” box score is updated every 15 seconds.

MacLEOD TELECONFERENCE: Notre Dame head coach John MacLeod once again has a series of teleconferences this season. All teleconferences are held in the Notre Dame sports information office and the next one will be held on Thursday, December 17. For more information, please call the Notre Dame sports information office.