Nov. 27, 2001
IRISH ITEMS FOR THE ARMY GAME – Notre Dame returns to the Joyce Center after winning three games over the Thanksgiving weekend to capture the title at the Hawaii Pacific Thanksgiving Classic. The Irish notched victories over host Hawaii Pacific (98-58), Tennessee-Chattanooga (97-84) and Monmouth (85-48) to improve to 5-0. The last time a Notre Dame team began the season 5-0 was in 1979-80 when that Irish squad won its first seven games of the season. Notre Dame also won its first in-season tournament since 1992-93 campaign and fourth overall in the program’s history. Senior forward Ryan Humphrey was named the tournament MVP after averaging 24.0 points per game on 73.7 shooting from the field. Humphrey was also honored as Co-BIG EAST Player of the Week, becoming the fourth different Irish player to earn that distinction. He registered a career-high 31 points against Hawaii Pacific in his first game of the season. Also earning all-tournament honors for the Irish were senior forward David Graves, junior guard Matt Carroll and freshman guard Chris Thomas. Graves averaged 15.0 points per game, including nine three-point goals, and registered his fourth career double double against Tennessee-Chattanooga (13 points, 10 rebounds). Carroll averaged 16.7 points and hit 12 three-pointers, including a six-for-six performance against the Mocs. Carroll set a career-high and became the first Irish player in school history to hit six three-point goals in a game without a miss. Thomas averaged 10.3 points and 8.0 assists, including a career-high 13 in the Hawaii Pacific game. Senior center Harold Swanagan had 19 points and 10 rebounds against UT-Chattanooga to register his first double of the season and fourth of his career. In the title game against Monmouth, sophomore guard Torrian Jones set career-highs in both points and rebounds for the second time this season as he had seven points and 10 rebounds. In 2001-02, the Irish have an average margin of victory of 32.4 points. Notre Dame has limited its opponents to just 58.2 points per game, including a pair of 48-point outputs by the opponent (Cornell and Monmouth). The Irish also own a 10.2 rebounding advantage per game. Offensively, Notre Dame is averaging 90.6 points per contest and has scored 85 or more in all but one game this seson. The Irish are averaging 9.4 three-point goals per game and are shooting 43.9 percent from beyond the arc. The Irish have taken each of the previous five meetings against Army, but the teams have not met since 1968. Notre Dame will be back in action on Saturday in the Dell Classic 4 Kids at the United Center in Chicago when it resumes its series against DePaul at 1:30 p.m. CST.
RECAP OF HAWAII PACIFIC THANKSGIVING CLASSIC – Hawaii Pacific – Notre Dame defeated the host Sea Warriors 98-58 as the Irish scored 90-plus points for the second time in three games. Ryan Humphrey, who missed the first two game of the season, made a resounding return to the hardcourt as he led the Irish with 31 points and 10 rebounds. Humphrey was 12-for-15 from the field in 23 minutes. David Graves netted 17 points in the victory and also grabbed six assists, while Matt Carroll was the third Irish player in double figures with 15 points. Chris Thomas had 13 assists and did not turn the ball over in 35 minutes of action. The Irish shot 55.1 percent from the field and limited Hawaii Pacific to just 34.3 percent. Notre Dame also had 28 assists in the contest and turned the ball over just nine times. Tennessee-Chattanooga – Notre Dame shot a season-best 57.4 percent from the field as five Irish players scored in double figures to lead the Irish to a 97-84 victory over UT-Chattanooga. Ryan Humphrey and Matt Carroll scored 20 points each for the Irish to lead five Irish players in double figures. Carroll was six-for-six from three-point range to become the first Notre Dame player to hit all all six of his three-point attempts. Chris Thomas finished the game with 19 points and eight assists, while David Graves and Harold Swanagan each recorded double doubles in the contest. Graves had 13 ponts and 10 rebounds, while Swanagan added 19 points and 10 rebounds. The Irish shot just 46.7 percent in the first half, but sizzled in the second 20-minute stanza as they connected on 70.8 percent of their shots from the field (17-24). Notre Dame led by six at the break and then extended their lead to as many as 17 in the second half. Monmouth – Notre Dame captured the Hawaii Pacific Thanksgiving Classic tournament title with an 85-48 victory over Monmouth. The Irish trailed briefly in the contest, but enjoyed a 13-point halftime advantage. Notre Dame outscored Monmouth 49-25 in the second half and held the Hawks to just 31.7 percent field goal accuracy for the game. Notre Dame shot over 50 percent in the tournament for the third straight game. Ryan Humphrey led all scorers with 21 points, while David Graves added 15 points (all in the second half). Matt Carroll also finished with 15 points, five rebounds and five assists, while Torrian Jones grabbed a career and game-high 10 boards. Notre Dame shot 64.5 percent from the field in the second half.
HEAD COACH MIKE BREY – Mike Brey is in his second year as the Notre Dame head coach and seventh 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. In his first season with the Irish, he guided Notre Dame to a 20-10 record and 11-5 BIG EAST mark in claiming the league’s West divisional championship, the first conference title in school history. In addition, he helped Notre Dame earn an NCAA tournament berth for the first time in 11 seasons as the Irish advanced to the second round for the first time since 1989. Brey has an overall record of 124-62 (.667) as a head coach and is 25-10 (.714) at Notre Dame. He earned his first victory as Irish head coach on Nov. 18 with a 104-58 triumph over Sacred Heart, which also marked the 100th of his coaching career and came in the 152nd game as a ead coach. While at Delaware, Brey guided the Blue Hens to berths in three postseason tournaments. Under Brey, Delaware appeared in two NCAA tournaments (’98 and ’99) and played in the National Invitation Tournament in his final season (2000). Prior to his arrival in Newark, Del., he spent eight seasons (1987-95) on the Duke sidelines along Blue Devil head coach Mike Krzyzewski, and before that stint was an assistant coach at DeMatha High School under legendary coach Morgan Wootten from 1982-87.
FIRST-YEAR SUCCESS FOR BREY – Notre Dame’s 19 wins during the regular season under Mike Brey represented the most wins by an Irish coach in his first season. He also became just the second coach in school history to take his team to the NCAA Tournament in his first year as a head coach and the only first-year coach to lead his team to a first-round victory. John Dee also made the tournament in his first season in 1964-65, but lost in the first round to finish 15-12.
THE CAPTAINS – Seniors David Graves, Ryan Humphrey and Harold Swanagan will serve as Notre Dame’s tri-captains for the 2001-02 campaign. Both natives of the state of Kentucky, Graves and Swanagan hail from Lexington and Hopkinsville, respectively, Graves averaged 13.8 points and 4.7 rebounds last season, while Swanagan netted 4.1 points and 3.4 rebounds. Humphrey was the second-leading scorer and rebounder for the Irish a year ago with averages of 14.1 points and 9.0 rebounds.
SERIES RECORD – Notre Dame and Army have met five times with the Irish coming out victorious in each meeting. The two schools have not met since 1968 when Notre Dame topped the Cadets 62-58 at Madison Square Garden in the opening round of the postseson NIT. The Irish went on to finish third in the tournament. The last time the teams met at Notre Dame was 1960, when the Irish won 87-55. The series began with a 26-25 Notre Dame road victory in 1931.
OFF TO A QUICK START – Notre Dame has won its first five games of the season for the first time since the 1979-80 season when the Irish won their first seven games to achive a No. 3 ranking before losing 86-80 on the road against second-ranked Kentucky. That squad finished the season 22-6.
IRISH BID FAREWELL TO JOYCE – Tonight’s home game against Army will mark the final appearance for the Irish at the Joyce Center until Dec. 30 against Colgate as Notre Dame will play its next five games on the road, beginning Saturday with a matchup against DePaul in the United Center in Chicago, Ill.
WINNING BIG – The Irish have won their first five games by an average of 32.4 points, including a 42-point victory over New Hampshire, a 40-point win over Hawaii Pacific and a 37-point margin against Monmouth.
WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS – Notre Dame’s Hawaii Pacific Thanksgiving Classic title marked the fourth time the Irish have captured the championship of an in-season tournament and the first in 10 years. Previously Notre Dame won the title of the Sugar Bowl Tournament in 1954, 1955 and 1992.
HUMPHREY NAMED CO-BIG EAST PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Ryan Humphrey earned co-BIG EAST player-of-the-week honors after his MVP performance at the Hawaii Pacific Thanksgiving Classic where he averaged 24.0 points and 6.3 rebounds, while shooting 73.7 percent from the field in helping the Irish to the tournament championship. Humphrey shared the honor with DeShaun Williams of Syracuse, who was named the tournament MVP in helping the Orangemen to the Preseason NIT title. Humphrey is the fourth Irish player to earn the BIG EAST player of the week award. Pat Garrity won the award twice, while Keith Friel was honored once and Troy Murphy 11 times.
BOMBS AWAY – Matt Carroll was six-of-six from three-point range against Tennessee-Chattanooga, matching the school record for three-point field goal percentage. Previously David Rivers and Martin Ingelsby each went five-for-five from three-point range. Carroll is the first Irish player to hit all six of his attempts in a game from downtown.
PICKING UP THE HAWAIIAN HARDWARE – Ryan Humphrey was named the Most Valuable Player of the Hawaii Pacific Thanksgiving Classic. He averaged 24.0 points and 6.3 rebounds, while shooting 73.7 percent from the field in helping the Irish to three wins and the tournament title. Humphrey registered a career-high 31 points against Hawaii Pacific in his first game of the season. Also earning all-tournament honors for the Irish were David Graves, Matt Carroll and Chris Thomas. Graves averaged 15.0 points per game, including nine three-point goals, and registered his fourth career double double against Tennessee-Chattanooga (13 points, 10 rebounds). Carroll averaged 16.7 points and hit 12 three-pointers, including a six-for-six performance against the Mocs. Carroll set a career-high and became the first Irish player in school history to hit six three-point goals in a game without a miss. Thomas averaged 10.3 points and 8.0 assists, including a career-high 13 in the Hawaii Pacific game.
FROM DOWNTOWN – The Irish are 47-of-107 (.439) from three-point range this season for an average of 9.4 three-point goals per game. The school record for three-pointers in a season is 287, set in 1999-2000, an average of 7.8 per game.
TAKING CARE OF THE BALL – Notre Dame has done well taking care of the ball this season. The team has a steal+assist to turnover ratio of 2.67 and an assist-to-turnover ratio of . Point guard Chris Thomas has turned the ball over only seven times in five games and has a steal+assist to turnover of 8.00. His assist-to-turnover ratio is 5.86 and he is averaging a turnover every 23.7 minutes. Thomas went two games (Cornell and Hawaii Pacific) without turning the ball over and finished with a total of 19 assists. He dished off a personal best 13 assists against the Sea Warriors, the second 10-plus assist performance of his career.
JONES SHINES AGAIN – Against Monmouth, Torrian Jones set new career highs in both scoring and rebounding for the second time this season. After registering new highs with six points and five rebounds against New Hampshire in the season opener, Jones had a personal best seven points against Hawaii Pacific. He tied his personal scoring best against the Hawks and also established a new personal best with 10 rebounds in the game. i
DOUBLE DOUBLE DOUBLE – Harold Swanagan and David Graves both registered their fourth career double doubles against Tennessee Chattanooga. Swanagan had 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Graves notched 13 points and 10 rebounds. Ryan Humphrey has a double double to his credit this season following his 31 points and 10 rebounds against Hawaii Pacific.
CONFERENCE CONTRIBUTORS – Ryan Humphrey was named BIG EAST player of the week on for the week of November 26 and Chris Thomas earned rookie-of-the-week honors for the week of November 19. This marks the first time since the Irish joined the conference that two players have combined to win the two weekly awards in the same season.
MAKING THE EARLY COMPARISONS – While it is early in his rookie season, Chris Thomas already has a couple of noteworthy accomplishments to his credit. With his 24-point effort against New Hampshire and 22-point performance in the Cornell game, he became the first Irish freshman to score 20-plus points in each of his first two games. He is also just the second Notre Dame player to record two consecutive 20-point outings in the first two games of his career. Only Austin Carr, who finished his career as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 2,560 career points, recorded back-to-back 20-point games in the first two games of his career. As a sophomore in his first season (1968-69), Carr opened up his career with point totals of 20 vs. Kings College, 26 vs. UCLA, 22 vs. Wisconsin and 30 vs. St. Louis in his first four games.
THE FRESHMAN CAN PLAY – It only took one game for freshman point guard Chris Thomas to do what no other Irish player had done previously in the program’s 96-plus year history – a triple double. Thomas scored 24 points, dished off 11 assists and made a school and Joyce Center record 11 steals against New Hampshire. The Irish rookie shot nine-of-18 from the field and five-of-nine from three-point range in 34 minutes of action.
GRAVES IN THE GROOVE – With classmates Ryan Humphrey and Harold Swanagan not in the game against New Hampshire, tri-captain David Graves had one of the top performances of his career as he tossed in a game-high 26 points (third highest point total of his career), grabbed five rebounds and made a career-high seven steals all in just 27 minutes of action on the court. He hit 10-of-16 shots from the field and was three-of-six from three-point range. Graves is averaging 16.2 points and 6.0 rebounds this season.
MACURA FINDING HIS COMFORT ZONE – Irish head coach Mike Brey made the decision at the start of the preseason to have forward Jere Macura become more of an inside player, which has seemed to benefit the junior’s play as he has registered back-to-back career-high outings in his first two games. Macura has made the most of his two starts this season. Against New Hampshire, he had a then career-high 14 points, while also grabbing six rebounds in 26 minutes of action as he connected on six-of-nine shots from the field in the contest. Macura then followed that up with a career-high 16-point outing against Cornell. In addition, he also grabbed eight rebounds in the contest. Last season, Macura had just one double-figure game (10 points at Rutgers in Piscataway, N.J.) after scoring in double figures five times as a freshman. Currently, he is averaging 9.2 points and 4.8 rebounds.
STEALING THE SHOW – Notre Dame had a school record and Joyce Center record 26 steals against New Hampshire, bettering the old mark of 22 set against Vermont on Dec. 21, 1976. Chris Thomas led the Irish with 11 (a school record), while David Graves had a career-high seven steals which would have tied the old mark set by Ray Martin in 1974. Notre Dame already has 26 more steals than their opponents (58-32).
JORDAN GETS INTO THE ACT – While freshman Chris Thomas certainly made his mark in his first five games, Notre Dame’s other rookie, Jordan Cornette, also has played well. The 6-9 forward logged 29 minutes against New Hampshire in the season opener and had eight points, six rebounds and three assists. His playing time increased when Harold Swanagan went out of the game with a knee injury, which left the Irish with just two frontline players – Macura and Cornette. Against Cornell, he started in place of Swanagan and played 29 minutes while scoring three points and grabbing six rebounds. Cornette is averaging 19.0 minutes per game.
WING-ING IT – The perimeter play of outside shooters David Graves and Matt Carroll give the Irish a deadly three-point shooting arsenal. The duo made 127 (57.9 percent) of Notre Dame’s 219 three-point field goals last season and attempted 323 of team’s 570 shots from beyond the arc. Carroll shot 40.9 percent from three-point range, while Graves made 37.8 percent of his attempts. Freshman Chris Thomas can also be added to the mix as the rookie has made 14 of his 32 attempts. Of the 47 three-pointers the Irish have made this season, the three have combined for 41 of those from beyond the arc.
IRONMEN – David Graves and Harold Swanagan have played in all 102 contests during their Irish careers – neither one has missed a game. They saw action in 30 games as freshmen and juniors and played in 37 contests in their sophomore season. Graves has earned 83 starting appearances during his three seasons, while Swanagan has made 53 starts.
BLOCK PARTY – Notre Dame set the single-season team record for blocked shots last season with 178 in 30 games for an average of 5.93 blocks per game. The previous mark of 145 was set by the 1991-92 Irish team. Notre Dame had 110 blocks during the 1999-2000 campaign. Ryan Humphrey led the Irish with 79 blocks, the second-highest individual single-season mark in school history and ranked 18th in the nationally with 2.7 blocks per game.
THE DEFENSE NEVER RESTS – Notre Dame ranked 10th nationally in field goal percentage defense last season as Irish opponents shot just 39.3 percent from the field and 31.4 percent from three-point range. Only one opponent, Indiana, shot above 50.0 percent from the field against the Irish. Notre Dame’s field goal percentage defense has been impressive again this season as the Irish have held four of their five opponents to under 37 percent shooting from the field. Notre Dame has held two opponents to under 32 percent – New Hampshire (31.5) and Monmouth (31.7).
DEFENSE, DEFENSE — Notre Dame’s defense has limited its opponents to just 58.2 points per game with only two opponents – Tennessee-Chattanooga and Monmouth – scoring more than 60 points. The Irish are outscoring their opponents by 32.4 points per game. The Irish played their first two games of the 2001-02 campaign at home and came away with convincing victories over New Hampshire (95-53) and Cornell (78-48). The 103-point opponent point total in the two games is the lowest by an Irish team to start the season since the 1985-96 campaign when Notre Dame allowed 105 points in wins over St. Joseph’s of Indiana (79-49) and Butler (87-56).
TIMMERMANS OUT TWO TO THREE WEEKS – Tom Timmermans is out with a sprained right knee and is expected to miss the first two to three weeks of the season. He sustained the injury in a practice.
A BIG EAST MOMENT FOR THE IRISH – Notre Dame’s eight consecutive BIG EAST wins last season against Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Syracuse, Georgetown, Pittsburgh, St. John’s, Rutgers and Virginia Tech marked the first time since the Irish joined the league in 1995-96 that they posted eight straight wins over league foes. Notre Dame also finished the season six games above the .500 mark for the first time since becoming a league member.
MR. INDIANA – Freshman point guard Chris Thomas is the first Mr. Basketball from Indiana to attend Notre Dame. He played in the McDonald’s All-American game and was a fourth team Parade All-American honoree. He led his Pike high school team to the Class 4-A state championship as a senior after averaging 23.3 points, 5.7 assists and 3.7 steals. Thomas is the 12th McDonald’s All-American to attend Notre Dame.
MILLER TIME – Dan Miller, a 6-8, 223-pound guard/forward from Mt. Holly, N.J, has transferred to Notre Dame from the University of Maryland following three seasons. He has one year of eligibility remaining with the 2002-03 campaign. Miller was a former McDonald’s and Parade All-American at Rancocas Valley High School.
JERSEY #1 TO BE WORN FOR FIRST TIME AT NOTRE DAME – Freshman point guard Chris Thomas becomes the first player in the 96-year history of the Notre Dame men’s basketball program to wear jersey #1.
DANNY WHITE ADDED TO IRISH ROSTER – Head coach Mike Brey has added guard Danny White to the Irish roster for the 2001-02 season. White, the son of director of athletics Kevin White, played for Towson University, before transferring to Notre Dame in January of 2001. He will be eligible to play following final examinations for the ’01 fall semester.
IRISH INK THREE IN EARLY SIGNING PERIOD – Notre Dame signed three players to national letters of intent on Nov. 14 – 6-3, 230-pound forward Rick Cornett (Country Club Hills, Ill./Homewood Academy), 6-10, 220-pound forward Torin Francis (Roslindale, Mass./Tabor Academy) and 6-1, 175-pound guard Chris Quinn (Dublin, Ohio/Coffman). Cornett averaged 17.9 points, 12.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocked per game in 2000-01 while leading his prep team to the Illinois Christian School state title for the second consecutive year. In addition, he was a member of the Illinois Warriors AAU team which captured the 17-and-under national crown in 2001. A two-year starter at Tabor Academy, Francis averaged 20.0 points, 10.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocked shots last season as he squad captured its second straight New England Prep school championship. A member of the BABC AAU squad, he helped that team to a runner-up finish at the Nike Showcase in Orlando, Fla. Quinn averaged 18.5 points, 6.0 assists and 3.8 rebounds during his junior year. He set the single-season school assist record with 155 in 26 games while committing just 29 turnovers and was named the Ohio Capital Conference Central Division Player of the Year. All three have participated in the Nike All-America camps.
NOTRE DAME-DePAUL TO RENEW STORIED RIVALRY – Notre Dame and DePaul will renew its historic basketball rivalry in the first annual Dell Classic 4 Kids men’s basketball doubleheader at the United Center in Chicago, Ill. on Sat., Dec. 1. The first game features a matchup between Texas and Stanford at 11:00 a.m. (CST) with the Irish and Blue Demons tipping off at approximately 1:30 p.m. (CST). Both games will be shown live on Fox Sports Net.
NOKIA SUGAR BOWL BASKETBALL CLASSIC – The 2001 Nokia Sugar Bowl Classic at the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans, La., on Thur., Dec. 27 features two BIG EAST Conference opponents – Notre Dame and Miami (Fla.) – and two Southeastern Conference foes – squaring off against each other. Notre Dame will meet Alabama in the first game of the doubleheader at 7:00 p.m. (CST), while the matchup between Louisiana State and Miami will follow at 9:30 p.m. (CST). Both games will be televised on Fox Sports Net.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION – Notre Dame once again will receive tremendous exposure with seven nationally-televised games on CBS, ABC and ESPN. Four of those appearances will be at home at the Joyce Center. Last season, Notre Dame was featured nine times on national telecasts during the regular season, the most since the 1988-89 campaign. Notre Dame will play twice on CBS (both at home against Kentucky and Providence), once on ABC (vs. Syracuse) and four times on ESPN (at Indiana, at Syracuse, home versus Georgetown and at Rutgers).
KEVIN WHITE RADIO SHOW – A weekly half-hour talk show featuring first-year athletics director Kevin White debuted Aug. 27 on Chicago’s ESPN Radio 1000. “The Kevin White Show” is scheduled to air from 11:00-11:30 p.m. for 30 consecutive Sundays on ESPN radio (1000 AM in Chago, www.espnradio1000.com). The show also can be heard in 35 states. White will welcome to the show a series of guests and prominent figures associated with college athletics, including administrators, coaches and media members.
MEN’S BASKETBALL LUNCHEON DATES SET – Three luncheons featuring Notre Dame men’s basketball coach Mike Brey and his Irish players have been scheduled during the 2000-2001 season: Monday, Dec, 3, 2000 (the day before the Notre Dame-Indiana game), Friday, Jan. 18, 2002 (the day before the Notre Dame-Kentucky game) and Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2002 (the day before the Notre Dame-West Virginia game). All three luncheons, which begin at noon, will feature Brey, members of his squad, video presentations and other special guests. The Dec. 3 luncheon also will feature Notre Dame women’s basketball coach Muffet McGraw. Tickets are $16 each. Tickets are available by mail by writing Athletics Business Office, 112 Joyce Center, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556. Checks should be made payable to University of Notre Dame. No telephone reservations will be accepted. For more information, call 219-631-5031.
SOLD-OUT – Notre Dame played its first home game to a sold-out Joyce Center (11,418) as the Irish played on a football weekend. The basketball contest was played following the pep rally.