Feb. 26, 2003
Notre Dame, Ind. – University of Notre Dame men’s basketball coach Mike Brey is one of 25 finalists for the Naismith College Basketball Coach of the Year Award, it was announced today by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.
Brey, in his third season at Notre Dame, has guided the Irish to a 21-6 record. He is the only coach in school history to lead his teams to three straight 20-win season in his first three seasons. Notre Dame has been ranked in the top 10 of either the Associated Press or ESPN/USA Today polls in nine of the last 12 weeks. His Irish team has posted wins over four top 10 teams, tying the school mark for most top 10 wins in a single season. Under Brey, Notre Dame made school history when it defeated three consecutive top 10 foes in a six-day span in early December.
The Irish currently own a 9-3 mark in BIG EAST Conference play and are looking to become the only league school to win 10-plus games in conference play each of the last three seasons. Since Brey’s first season (2000-01), Notre Dame has posted a 30-15 (.667) mark in BIG EAST regular-season play an d a 63-27 (.700) overall record.
Sophomore point guard Chris Thomas (Indianapolis, Ind.) has been named a finalist for the United States Basketball Writer’s Association (USBWA)/Oscar Robertson Player of the Year honor. Thomas, who is averaging 18.0 points and a team-leading 7.3 assists, is one of three BIG EAST players in the running for the award (the two are Troy Bell of Boston College and Carmelo Anthony of Syracuse). He also is a finalist for the Naismith and John R. Wooden awards.