February 29, 2008
The No. 17 Irish men’s basketball team hits the road again on Sunday afternoon against the DePaul Blue Demons. Notre Dame, coming off a five-point loss at Louisville on Thursday night, will once again try for a school-record 12th BIG EAST regular-season victory.
(17/17) Notre Dame (21-6, 11-4 BIG EAST)
DePaul (10-17, 5-10 BIG EAST)
Sunday, March 2, 2008 * 1:00 p.m. (EST) * Allstate Arena (18,500) * Rosemont, Ill.
Television: ESPN Regional: Eric Collins (play-by-play analyst), Dickey Simpkins (color analyst). Game will be shown locally in South Bend on WMYS (Channel 69), Digital TV on WMYS (Channel 269)
Radio: Jack Nolan (play-by-play analyst) and 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., Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 159 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. DePaul
â€¢ Notre Dame and DePaul renew their series for the 98th time this afternoon in the second meeting of the season between the two schools. The Irish were victorious at the Joyce Center (89-80) on February 2 as Luke Harangody led four Irish players in double figures with 29 points and 14 rebounds, while Kyle McAlarney added 17 in the victory.
â€¢ This is the second straight year that the Irish and Blue Demons have met twice during the regular season, DePaul won the first matchup at Allstate Arena 67-66 and then Notre Dame earned a 78-54 win at the Joyce Center in the second meeting.
â€¢ Notre Dame has won six of the last eight meeting and leds the all-time series 53-44. The two schools have met five times as BIG EAST foes with the Irish leading 3-2. The visiting team has had little luck winning on the opponents home floor as the home team has won each of the five contests.
â€¢ Notre Dame is 5-12 all-time at Allstate Arena (formerly the Rosemont Horizon) and are 2-11 overall against DePaul. The last win for the Irish win at Allstate was against DePaul (82-69) on December 14, 2003 but has lost each of the last two games they have played in the building. Notre Dame also has played Northwestern (0-1), Virginia (1-0) and Loyola-Chicago (2-0) at Allstate.
â€¢ Notre Dame saw its three-game win streak come to an end on Thursday night in its 90-85 loss to Syracuse at Freedom Hall. The Irish have only lost back-to-back games on one occasion this season and that was to Baylor and Georgia Tech at the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, USVI.
â€¢ With its 94-87 win over Syracuse one week ago on February 24, Notre Dame extended its school-record Joyce Center home win streak to 36 games and won its 17th consecutive BIG EAST home game, a mark that ranks second all-time and is just three shy of the league record of 20 straight victories. The Irish have not lost at the Joyce Center since February 25, 2006 with an 80-72 setback to Marquette.
â€¢ Notre Dame is ranked for the fourth consecutive week after making its debut three weeks ago at 22nd in the Associated Press and 21st in the ESPN/USA Today rankings. The Irish moved up four spots in both polls this week and are ranked 17th.
â€¢ Notre Dame has played six ranked opponents and are 2-4 in those matchups.
â€¢ The Irish have won 19 of their last 23 games and are off to an 21-6 start through 27 contests of the season which also matches the best start by an Irish team under head coach Mike Brey. Brey’s 2002-03 squad was 21-5 following its 26th game of the season before suffering its sixth loss of the season in its 27th contest to fall to 21-6.
â€¢ Notre Dame’s win over Syracuse on Sunday gave the Irish their 11th BIG EAST regular-season win of the season, tying the marks of both the 2000-01 and 2006-07 teams as they finished with identical 11-5 records. Since becoming a member of the BIG EAST Conference, no Notre Dame team has won 12 BIG EAST regular-season contests. Last year, the Irish won 12 league contests – 11 during the regular season and one in the BIG EAST Championship – which marked the most-ever BIG EAST wins by a Notre Dame team in a single season.
â€¢ Prior to the Louisville game. Notre Dame’s 11-3 start matched the best-ever start by an Irish team in BIG EAST play. The 2000-01 Irish squad went 11-3 through the first 14 contests en route to winning the BIG EAST West Division title (with an 11-5 record).
â€¢ Notre Dame’s has reached double-digit wins in BIG EAST play for the fifth time in eight seasons under head coach Mike Brey.
â€¢ With its 21-6 record, Notre Dame has posted five 20-win seasons in eight campaigns under Mike Brey. He is only the second coach in school history to register five 20-win campaigns in his first eight seasons. Digger Phelps was the only other coach to post five 20-win campaigns in his first eight years of his 20-year tenure at Notre Dame.
Back In The Polls
â€¢ Notre Dame made its inaugural appearance three weeks ago in top 25 as the Irish debuted at 22nd in the Associated Press ranking and 21st in the ESPN/USA Today poll and have risen this week to 17th in both of the rankings. Coach Mike Brey’s squad appeared for the first time in the polls last season in the sixth week (second week of December) following back-to-back wins over Maryland and Alabama that pushed the Irish record to 7-1 in the campaign.
McAlarney Cops Second BIG EAST Player of the Week Honor
â€¢ Kyle McAlarney was named BIG EAST Player of the Week for the second time this season after averaging a league-leading 22.5 points in wins over Pittsburgh and Syracuse last week. McAlarney joined teammate Luke Harangody as the league’s only two-time honorees this season.
â€¢ McAlarney scored 15 points in the come-from-behind win over Pittsburgh and then notched his third 30-plus point outing of the season as he finished with 30 points. En route to his 30-point performance, he set a Notre Dame school record with nine three-point field goals (on 11 attempts).
BIG EAST Win Streak
â€¢ Notre Dame’s 17-game BIG EAST homecourt win streak is its longest since the Irish joined the conference in 1995-96 and is the second-longest in conference history.
20 – Pittsburgh (6 games in 2003-04, 8 games in 2002-03 and 6 games in 2001-02)
17 – Notre Dame (1 game in 2005-06, 8 games in 2006-07 and 8 games in 2007-08)
â€¢ During the streak, the only two teams that the Irish have not played during the break are Georgetown and St. John’s.
â€¢ When Notre Dame takes to the court for its final home game on March 5, the Irish will be looking to make history. A win would be the second straight undefeated season at home for the Irish at the Joyce Center (18-0 a year ago). No Notre Dame team has finished back-to-back seasons undefeated at home. The Irish also would become the first BIG EAST team to finish back-to-back seasons undefeated at home (8-0 in 2006-07).
BIG EAST Turnaround
â€¢ Under head coach Mike Brey’s tenure, Notre Dame has had only one losing season. That season was in 2005-06 when the Irish finished 6-10 after beginning the BIG EAST campaign with a 1-8 record. Since that 1-8 start, Notre Dame has gone 27-11 (.711) over the last 38 regular-season games.
Five 20-Win Seasons Under His Belt
â€¢ With its 21-5 record, the Irish have reached the 20-win mark for the fifth time in eight seasons and second consecutive year under head coach Mike Brey. Notre Dame’s 20-win campaigns under Brey have been in 2000-01 (20-10), 2001-02 (22-11), 2002-03 (24-10) and 24-8 (2006-07). In the 103-year history of the program, Notre Dame teams have won 20 or more games on 32 occasions.
Series Record vs. DePaul
â€¢ Other than Marquette (119 meetings), Notre Dame has not faced any other opponent more often than DePaul. Sunday’s game will the 98th meeting in the series with Notre Dame leading the series 53-44. The Irish have won six of the last eight meetings since 2001.
Harangody On Wooden and Naismith Top 30 Midseason Lists
â€¢ Sophomore forward Luke Harangody has been named to the John R. Wooden Award Top 30 Midseason list. The Wooden Award is presented annually to the nation’s top basketball player. Harangody was not part of the Wooden or Naismith Preseason lists. Two other BIG EAST players – Roy Hibbert (Georgetown) and Sam Young (Pittsburgh) – also were selected to the top 30 list for both awards.
Success On And Off The Court
â€¢ The 2007 fall semester grades are in and the Irish once again achieved great success in the classroom with the team compiling an overall 3.135 grade point average for the semester which marked the sixth time in eight semesters that the Irish finished with a combined 3.00 or better. Nine of 14 players earned a 3.000 or better – Tim Abromaitis (3.500), Tim Andree (3.479), Ryan Ayers (3.067), Luke Harangody (3.250), Zach Hillesland (3.654), Tory Jackson (3.333), Tom Kopko (3.733), Tyrone Nash (3.000) and Luke Zeller (3.500).
Notre Dame In The Top 15 Of NCAA Statistics
â€¢ Notre Dame ranks in the top 15 of the NCAA statistics in two categories: assists (4th-18.6), rebounding margin (10th-7.5) and three-point field goal percentage (7th-40.9).
Golly Good Gody
â€¢ Luke Harangody’s 40-point performance against Louisville on Thursday night was the first-ever 40-point outing for an Irish player in BIG EAST game. He connected on 16-28 field goals and was 3-4 from three-point range. Heading in to contest, Harangody had attempted just four three pointers in 58 career outings and had missed all four of those atempts. He also finished with 12 rebounds to record his 17th double-double of the season.
â€¢ Harangody also became the first Irish player to score 40 points in a game since since Monty Williams tallied 42 points against Valparaiso in a 94-74 victory on November 28, 1993 at the Joyce Center.
â€¢ He also became the ninth different Irish player to score 40 points in a game on 35 occasions. The other Notre Dame to reach that mark include: Austin Carr (23), Adrian Dantley (4), Larry Sheffield (2), Lloyd Aubrey (1), Tom Hawkins (1), Bob Whitmore (1), Collis Jones (1) and Monty Williams (1).
â€¢ With his nine three-pointers against Syracuse, Kyle McAlarney broke the Notre Dame single-game three-point mark. McAlarney finished 9-11 from the field in the contest en route to his third 30-point outing of the season as he finished with 30 minutes. Other than hitting all three of his free-throw attempts, McAlarney scored all of his points from three-point range. The previous mark was 8 shared by Keith Friel (vs. Syracuse, 1998), Matt Carroll (vs. Syracuse, 2003) and Colin Falls (vs. Pittsburgh, 2005 and Seton Hall, 2006).
Looking To Join The Club
â€¢ Senior Rob Kurz and sophomore Luke Harangody are both approaching the 1,000-point mark. Kurz, who played in his 100th career game against Pittsburgh on February 21, has 934 career points in 102 outings, while Harangody has 925 points in 59 career games. Kurz owns a 9.2 career scoring average, while Harangody is averaging 15.7 points per game for his career. Notre Dame has had 46 players score 1,000 or more points during the program’s 103 seasons. The last Irish player to reach the 1,000-point mark was Colin Falls during his senior campaign in 2006-07.
No Sophomore Slump
â€¢ Irish sophomore Luke Harangody has had anything but a sophomore slump this season as he is currently averaging 21.0 points and 10.6 rebounds. He also has scored 566 points. Comparing his current sophomore season to that of past Irish players, his 566 points presently is the fifth-highest total by an Irish sophomore and his current 21.0 scoring average matches that of John Shumate in 1972-73.
Where Charity Prevails
â€¢ Notre Dame owns a decisive advantage from the charity stripe over its opponents. The Irish have outscored their opponents 450-251 from the line in 27 games in 2007-08 and 269-155 against BIG EAST foes. Notre Dame is shooting 74.1 percent overall from the line (compared to 63.5 percent for opponents) and 76.4 (compared to 64.0 for opponents) in BIG EAST games. In the win over Marquette, Notre Dame was 24-31 (.774), while Marquette was just 5-8 (.625). The Irish were a perfect 6-6 from the line in the final 26 seconds of the game. Against Pittsburgh, Notre Dame finished 18-20 from the charity stripe.
Irish Show Overtime Resilience
â€¢ Notre Dame’s win over Providence on January 31 marked its first overtime game since March 20, 2006 when the Irish dropped an 87-84 double-overtime decision at Michigan in the second round of the NIT. It also was the first overtime for the Irish after losing five straight overtime decisions (all during the 2005-06 campaign). Notre Dame’s last overtime win prior to the Providence victory was a 93-92 victory against Georgetown at the Joyce Center on February 1, 2003 – nearly five years to the day.
Now That’s Something To Talk About
â€¢ Notre Dame’s current record-setting 36-game home win streak spans three seasons – the final two games played during the 2005-06 campaign, the entire 2006-07 season (18 games) and 16 games in 2007-08.
â€¢ Notre Dame’s 81-74 overtime against Providence was the first overtime game during the streak.
â€¢ Notre Dame trailed the Panthers by 11 (51-40) with 13:53 to play in the contest which marked the largest deficit at home for the Irish this season.
â€¢ The Irish have only trailed twice at home this season at halftime – Cincinnati (32-27) and Pittsburgh (35-30).
Getting In A Second Half Gear
â€¢ For just the second time this season, Notre Dame trailed at the intermission (35-30) in its eventual 82-70 victory over Pittsburgh on Thursday night. The Irish outscored the Panthers 52-35 in the second half in their eventual 82-70 victory. In fact, Notre Dame erased an 11-point second half deficit (51-40) – its largest of the season – and outscored the Panthers 42-19 in the final 13:44 of the contest. The final 12-point margin of victory was the largest of the game for the Irish.
Irish Find Comfort Away From The Joyce Center
â€¢ After starting off the season 0-2 in its first two BIG EAST road games, Notre Dame has won three of its last four league road games. Notre Dame earned its first BIG EAST road win of the season on January 26 with its 90-80 victory over Villanova at the Wachovia Center. The Irish shot 50.9 percent from the field (27-53), 47.4 percent from three-point range (9-19) and 71.1 percent from the charity stripe (27-38).
â€¢ The Irish picked up their second road win of the season in as many games with its 95-69 win over the Pirates and was the largest margin of victory in a BIG EAST road game since an 89-62 (22 points) over St. John’s on March 6, 2004.
â€¢ Notre Dame’s third league road win was against Rutgers as the Irish pulled out 71-68 win as head coach Mike Brey’s squad won at the RAC for the second straight year.
â€¢ In its first two BIG EAST road losses to Marquette (92-66) and Georgetown (84-65), Notre Dame lost by a combined 45 points and shot just 36.1 percent from the field (43-119), 25.0 percent from beyond the arc (11-44) and 72.3 percent (34-47) from the free-throw line.
A Tale Of Two Halves
â€¢ The first and second halves for Notre Dame against Cincinnati in its 91-74 victory couldn’t have been more different than night and day. In the first half, the Irish trailed 34-27 at the break (the first time they had trailed at home at halftime this season) after shooting only 24.0 percent from the field (6-25). In the second-half, the Irish outscored the Bearcats 64-40 as they shot 69.2 percent (18-26) from the field, 66.7 percent (6-9) from three-point range and 84.6 percent (22-26) from the free throw line.
â€¢ Luke Harangody scored 24 of his game-high 25 points in the second half. It was the largest scoring output by an Irish player in a half since Chris Thomas scored 27 of 39 points in the second half of a 77-66 victory over Saint Louis on March 22, 2004.
â€¢ The 64 points in the second half were the most points by an Irish team in a half of a regulation game under head coach Mike Brey.
â€¢ The six first-half field goals matched the fewest ever scored by an Irish team in a half under Brey.
Valuing The Basketball
â€¢ In its back-to-back wins over Colgate and Eastern Michigan, Notre Dame committed just eight and nine turnovers, respectively, marking the only time this season that the Irish had fewer than 10 turnovers in back-to-back contests. In the Irish win over Brown on December 29, the Irish had seven turnovers, including just one in the first half. Two of the strengths of Notre Dame basketball teams under head coach Mike Brey have been distributing and taking care of the basketball. The Irish are averaging 18.8 assists per game and 13.4 turnovers for a 1.40 assists-to-turnover ratio. Notre Dame has dished off 20 or more assists in 11 games this season. The 24 turnovers committed by Notre Dame in the loss at Marquette were the most ever for an Irish team under head coach Mike Brey.
Double The Pleasure
â€¢ Luke Harangody recorded a career-best sixth straight double-double against Connecticut on February 13 when he scored a career-high 32 points and matched his career-high with 16 rebounds. He had that streak snapped against Rutgers when he finished with 10 points and eight rebounds.
â€¢ Harangody has 17 double-doubles on the season and 17 in the last 23 contests, including 12 of 15 BIG EAST games.
â€¢ The last Irish player to register six consecutive double-doubles was Ryan Humphrey in 2001-02 when he ended his career a double-double in the final 11 games of his career. Where There’s A Will There’s A Way
â€¢ Tory Jackson had a rather slow start to the BIG EAST season, but over the last nine games, in which the Irish are 7-2, the sophomore guard is averaging 11.6 points (104), 6.1 rebounds (55), 6.1 assists (55) and 2.3 steals (21).
â€¢ Jackson has recorded three double-doubles this season, which included back-to-back outings against Rutgers and Pittsburgh. He had one of the most unlikely double-doubles that any player under 6-0 could have when he scored 16 points and grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds in the win over Pittsburgh. Jackson also had five assists, three steals and one blocked shot in 37 minutes without committing a turnover. He registered his second career double-double in the previous game versus Rutgers when he scored a season-high 17 points and dished off 10 assists.
â€¢ Prior to Thursday’s game at Louisville in which he scored just five points, Jackson’s five-game double-figure scoring streak matched the longest of his career.
Record-Setting Home Performance
â€¢ Notre Dame put an exclamation point on its record-setting 25th consecutive wins at the Joyce Center on December 8. In the 108-62 win over Northern Illinois, the 108 points were the most points scored by the Irish under head coach Mike Brey in a regulation game (ND scored 116 vs. Georgetown in a four overtime contest in 2002), while the 46-point margin of victory was the third-largest during the Brey era. In addition, Notre Dame shot a blistering 72.0 percent from the field in the first half which marked the best shooting performance by an Irish team in the first half under Brey. The Irish also owned a 52-27 advantage on the boards.
â€¢ Tory Jackson suffered a cornea abrasion in his right eye late in the first half of Notre Dame’s win over Connecticut on January 5. Jackson returned to play all 20 minutes of the second half and finished the game with 11 assists (matching a career-high), six points, seven rebounds and four steals. He hit two key free throws with 1:52 to play which gave the Irish a six-point lead.
McAlarney Shines On The Big Stage
â€¢ Staten Island native Kyle McAlarney made his return to New York City and Madison Square Garden a happy one on December 4 as he led his Irish to a 68-59 victory over Kansas State. McAlarney finished with 18 points in the contest on 6-13 shooting from the field (2-5 from three-point range). He scored 14 points in the second half, including nine straight in the final 2:10 of the contest. McAlarney nailed a three-pointer with 1:30 to play and converted four key free throws down the stretch.
McAlarney Shines – Part II
â€¢ Kyle McAlarney netted a career-high 32 points in the win over Connecticut which was the first 30-plus performance of his career and the first time this season that an Irish player had topped the 30-point. He was 13-19 from the field and 6-7 from three-point range. Prior to McAlarney’s performance, the last Notre Dame player to score 30-plus points in a game was Russell Carter (32 points in a 71-68 loss to St. John’s at Madison Square Garden on January 23, 2007).
â€¢ Luke Harangody leads the Irish in scoring and rebounding averaging 21.0 points and 10.6 rebounds. He leads the team with 17 doubles and owns a 25-game double-figure scoring streak – the longest on the team and in his career. He has netted double figures in all but one game (Monmouth) and has finished with 10 or more rebounds in 17 contests. Harangody also tops the Irish with 15 games of 20 or more points.
â€¢ Kyle McAlarney has scored 30-plus points in three of Notre Dame’s 15 BIG EAST games. He had a career-high 32 points in Notre Dame’s win over Connecticut on Jan. 5 and then tallied 30 points against Villanova on Jan. 26 and in the recent Irish win over Syracuse on Sunday. The last player to score 30-plus points in multiple games during the BIG EAST regular season was Chris Quinn in 2005-06 when he registered four 30-plus point performances – 37 vs. Pittsburgh, 31 vs. Providence and Louisville and 34 vs. Seton Hall.
â€¢ Luke Harangody has two 30-point performance and one 40-points effort. He registered the first 30-point performance of his career when he scored a then career-high 31 points in Notre Dame’s overtime win against Providence as he connected on 11-22 shots from the field and was 9-10 from the free-throw line. In addition to scoring 31 points, he also grabbed 14 rebounds. He then topped that with a career-best 32-point effort in the loss at Connecticut and matched his personal best with 16 boards. Harangody recorded Notre Dame’s first 40-point performance since 1993 when he scored 40 points and grabbed 12 rebounds against Louisville.
â€¢ Luke Harangody’s 22 points in the win at Seton Hall marked his fourth straight game with 20-plus points. Heading into the contest, he had scored 20-plus in three straight contests on three different occasions.
â€¢ Kyle McAlarney also had a three-game 20-plus point outing streak of his own that came to an end against Kansas State. McAlarney registered his first 20-point outing of the season against Youngstown State when he tallied 23 points (a then career best). He followed that up with another career-high outing for the second time in as many games when tallied 25 points versus Colgate. In the Eastern Michigan outing, McAlarney led the Irish for the second straight game with a 21-point performance.
â€¢ Harangody became the first player since Chris Thomas to score 20-plus points in four straight games in 2003-04 (his junior year) – Pittsburgh (23 points), Connecticut (31 points), Seton Hall (26 points) and Syracuse (25 points).
â€¢ The last player to record 20-plus points in five straight contests was Ryan Humphrey in 2001-02 – St. John’s (29), Providence (21), St. John’s (21), Connecticut (21) and Charlotte (20).
â€¢ Notre Dame joined an elite group last year when it registered its 1,600th win against Providence on February 15, 2007. In its 103rd season, Notre Dame has 1,627 victories. Only 12 other schools have reached the mark: Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas, Duke, Syracuse, Temple, St. John’s, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Utah and UCLA.
One Is A Lonely Number
â€¢ 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.
Eight Straight Postseason Appearances
â€¢ 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).
â€¢ The 33 points allowed by Notre Dame in the 76-33 win over Monmouth on November 16, 2007 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.
â€¢ 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.
â€¢ The 43-point margin of victory matched the seventh-highest for an Irish team under Mike Brey.
“D” The Key Against Monmouth
â€¢ En route to its 76-33 victory over Monmouth on November 16, 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.
â€¢ 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. It also marked the most wins ever for a Notre Dame team 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 the 2005-06 campaign, Notre Dame has won 36 consecutive games at home following the win over Syracuse – an active streak that is third among all Division I teams and is the longest in school history as well as the longest during Mike Brey’s tenure.
â€¢ Notre Dame’s current streak dates back to the final two games of the 2005-06 campaign as Irish defeated DePaul (66-61) in the regular-season finale and Vanderbilt (79-69) in the first round of the NIT. Notre Dame’s last loss at home was an 80-72 setback to Marquette on February 25, 2006.
Joyce Center Streakin’
â€¢ Notre Dame broke the Joyce Center home win streak mark on December 8 with its 108-62 win over Northern Illinois. Here’s a look at the Joyce Center streaks:
36 – Began with a 66-61 win over DePaul on 3/4/06 (current streak)
24 – Began with a 94-68 win over Xavier on 2/3/73 and ended with a 94-84 loss to Indiana on 12/11/74
22 – Began with an 88-68 win over Pittsburgh on 1/26/77 and ended with a 69-68 overtime loss to DePaul on 2/12/78
16 – Began with a 92-70 win over Fairfield on 12/9/82 and ended with a 51-47 loss to UCLA on 12/3/83
16 – Began with an 89-76 win over West Virginia on 2/20/02 and ended with a 87-79 loss to Connecticut on 2/24/03.
â€¢ Junior Ryan Ayers is having the best season of his career as he is shooting 47.1 percent from the field (74-157) and 47.1 percent (48-102) from three-point range. His 8.3 points per game also mark 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 17 points Louisville connecting on a career-best 5-6 from three-point range. He has reached double figures in eight games.
Quietly Goes About His Business
â€¢ Perhaps no player in the Irish lineup is as steady as Rob Kurz. The senior forward is the team’s third-leading scorer (12.3) and second-leading rebounder (7.7) and has scored in double figures in all but ninecontests. He has recorded eight double-doubles with a season-high 23 points and career-high 14 boards coming in wins over North Florida and Rutgers. Kurz is shooting 43.3 percent (97-224) from the field and 37.7 (29-77) from three-point range.
Zeller In Double Figures
â€¢ Luke Zeller has scored in double figures in three games this season with his most recent double-figure outing coming against Marquette when he scored 11 points. It was the first time in double figures since matching his career-high against Colgate (14 points) on November 26. Zeller also reached double figures in the first game of the season against Long Island when he netted 12 points.
Zeller On The Boards
â€¢ Zeller had his best rebounding effort of his career as he registered 10 rebounds against Marquette on January 12 which marked a career-high for the Irish junior. His previous career-best had been nine rebounds on three occasions.
The ‘Peoples’ Choice
â€¢ Sophomore Jonathan Peoples scored a career-high 12 points in 11 minutes in Notre Dame’s loss at Georgetown. Prior to that his personal-best had been nine points against Seton Hall last season. Peoples was 5-6 from the field and 2-2 from three-point range in addition to grabbing four rebounds.
The Irish All-Time
â€¢ The 2007-08 men’s basketball campaign marks the 103rd season of basketball and 13th as a member of the BIG EAST Conference. In 103 seasons, Irish teams have posted a 1627-890 record for a .646 winning percentage. In BIG EAST play, Notre Dame owns a 113-102 (.526) record all-time in conference regular-season play.
Always In It
â€¢ Since the 2005-06 campaign, Notre Dame’s 28 losses have been by a combined 177 points for an average of 6.3 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
â€¢ Notre Dame averaged 81.0 points per game last season, the best points per game average ever under Mike Brey. Following the Louisville game, the Irish are scoring at an 81.0 clip. Notre Dame has topped 80-plus points on 15 occasions, 90-plus points six times and the century mark once.
BIG EAST Formula For Success Under Brey
â€¢ Since his arrival at Notre Dame, Mike Brey has led Notre Dame to a 77-50 (.606) record in BIG EAST regular-season games and a 3-7 mark in tournament play for an overall record of 80-57 (.584) 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.
Keeping It Close
â€¢ In the 84 losses suffered by Irish teams in Mike Brey’s seven-plus seasons, only 21 have been by 10 or more points and have been by a combined 576 for an average of 6.9 points per game. Notre Dame’s 26-point loss (92-66) to Marquette on January 12 was the largest ever for an Irish team under Brey, while the loss to Georgetown (84-65) was the second-largest.
297 And Counting
â€¢ Heading into today’s game against DePaul, Notre Dame has hit at least one three-pointer in 297 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
â€¢ Since the inaugural season in 1968-69 at the Joyce Center, Notre Dame owns a 490-141 record all-time for a .777 winning percentage. The Irish are 105-27 (.795) at the Joyce Center during Mike Brey’s seven-plus seasons.
â€¢ In Mike Brey’s seven-plus seasons, his Irish teams have compiled a road record of 58-57 (.504) that includes a 38-40 (.487) in true road games and a 20-17 mark (.541) in neutral site contests.
A BIG EAST Family
â€¢ The Kurz family name is familiar name in BIG EAST circles this season. Rob Kurz’ younger sister, Laura, is a member of the Villanova women’s basketball team. She played for two years (2004-06) at Duke before tranferring to Villanova. After sitting out last season, the junior forward has very similar numbers to her older brother Rob. Rob is currently the third-leading scorer for the Irish (12.3 ppg.) and second-leading rebounder (7.7), while Laura is the Wildcats’ leading scorer (15.0 ppg.) and rebounder (6.0).