March 4, 2008
Senior captain Rob Kurz makes his final home appearance on Wednesday night at the Joyce Center as he and the 19th-ranked Irish will take aim at becoming the first BIG EAST team in conference history to finish undefeated at home two straight seasons.
Notre Dame (19/19) Notre Dame (22-6, 12-4 BIG EAST) vs. St. John’s (11-17, 5-11 BIG EAST)
Wednesday, March 5, 2008 * 7:30 p.m. (EST) Joyce Center (11,418) * Notre Dame, Ind.
Television: ESPN Regional: Jim Barbar (play-by-play analyst), Mark Adams (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), 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. St. John’s
- Notre Dame closes out the home portion of the 2007-08 schedule against St. John’s with a chance to make school and BIG EAST history. With a win tonight, the Irish would register their second straight back-to-back undefeated season at home and would become the first team in school as well as BIG EAST history to accomplish that fete. This evening’s contest marks the only regular-season meeting between the two schools.
- With Notre Dame’s win on Sunday against DePaul, the Irish clinched a first-round bye in the BIG EAST tournament for the second straight year and fourth time in eight seasons under head coach Mike Brey.
- Notre Dame has won nine of its last 11 games and is 22-6 overall and 12-4 in BIG EAST play. The 12 regular-season wins represent the most-ever by an Irish team in a single season. Notre Dame won a previous school-record 11 regular-season conference games during the 2000-01 and 1996-97 campaigns en route to 11-5 marks in both of those campaigns.
- Tonight’s matchup will mark the 32nd meeting between the two schools with the Irish holding an 17-14 advantage in the series. The Red Storm was victorious in the last meeting between the two schools, who have met on only one other occasion since the 2004-05 season, as they earned a 71-68 victory at Madison Square Garden on January 23, 2007.
- St. John’s is 3-6 all-time against Notre Dame at the Joyce Center and have lost three straight. In their last visit to the Joyce Center, the Red Storm dropped a 67-66 setback on January 15, 2005. The last St. John’s win at the Joyce Center was a 57-53 victory on February 24, 1999.
- Notre Dame tops the nation in assists with 19.1 per game and has dished off 20-plus assists in 12 games.
- With its 94-87 win over Syracuse 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.
- Notre Dame is ranked for the fifth 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 dropped two spots in both polls this week and are ranked 19th.
- Notre Dame has played six ranked opponents and are 2-4 in those matchups.
- The Irish have won 20 of their last 24 games and are 22-6 through 28 contests. It’s the best record for a Notre Dame team after 28 games since the 1985-86 campaign when that team finished with a 23-6 record – losing the final game of the season to Arkansas-Little Rock in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
- Notre Dame’s win over DePaul on Sunday gave the Irish their 12th BIG EAST regular-season win of the season, breaking 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.
- Notre Dame’s has reached double-digit wins in BIG EAST play for the fifth time in eight seasons under head coach Mike Brey and earned a first-round bye for the fourth time during his tenure.
- With its 22-6 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
- Notre Dame made its inaugural appearance four 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 are 19th in both polls this week. 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.
Harangody Tabbed As BIG EAST Player of the Week For Third Time
- Luke Harangody was named BIG EAST Player of the Week for the third time this season after averaging 32.0 points and 10.5 rebounds in a loss to Louisville and win at DePaul. In addidtion, he shot 58.7 percent from the field. Harangody is the only three-time honoree this season.
- Against Louisville, he eclipsed the 30-point mark for the third time this season as he scored a career-high 40 points and grabbed 12 boards, in addition to matching his career-high with four assists. Harangody was 16-28 from the field and 3-4 from three-point range. In the win at DePaul, he topped the 20-point mark for the 16th time with 24 points and nine rebounds.
BIG EAST Win Streak
- 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)
*During the streak, the only two teams that the Irish have not played are Georgetown and St. John’s.
Celebrating His 23rd Birthday In Style
- Rob Kurz celebrates his 23rd birthday in his final appearance at the Joyce Center in an Irish uniform. Kurz is the lone senior on this year’s squad and a two-time captain.
- When Notre Dame takes to the court for tonight’s final game against St. John’s, 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
- 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 28-11 (.718) over the last 39 regular-season games.
Five 20-Win Seasons Under His Belt
- With its 22-6 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. St. John’s
- Notre Dame leads the all-time series 17-14 as the Red Storm make their 10th appearance at the Joyce Center. The Irish are 6-3 versus St. John’s at the Joyce Center. There have been 14 meetings between the two schools since Notre Dame joined the BIG EAST in 1995-96 with the Irish holding an 8-6 advantage in the series.
Harangody On Wooden and Naismith Top 30 Midseason Lists
- 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
- 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
- Notre Dame tops the nation nationally in assists per game with 19.1. Notre Dame also ranks in the top 15 in three other categories – scoring offense (14th-81.6), three-point field goal percentage (5th-41.5) and rebounding margin (12th-7.0).
Golly Good Gody
- Luke Harangody’s 40-point performance against Louisville six days ago was the first-ever 40-point outing for an Irish player in a BIG EAST game. He connected on 16-28 field goals and was 3-4 from three-point range. Heading into the contest, Harangody had attempted just four three pointers in 58 career outings and had missed all four of those attempts. He also finished with 12 rebounds to record his 17th double-double of the season.
- 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.
- He also became the ninth different Irish player to score 40 points in a game on 35 occasions. The other Notre Dame players 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).
- With his nine three-pointers against Syracuse on February 24, 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
- 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 955 career points in 103 outings, while Harangody has 949 points in 60 career games. Kurz owns a 9.3 career scoring average, while Harangody is averaging 15.8 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
- Irish sophomore Luke Harangody has had anything but a sophomore slump this season as he is currently averaging 21.1 points and 10.5 rebounds. He also has scored 590 points. Comparing his current sophomore season to that of past Irish players, his 590 points presently is the fifth-highest total by an Irish sophomore and his current 21.1 scoring average is fourth all-time.
Where Charity Prevails
- Notre Dame owns a decisive advantage from the charity stripe over its opponents. The Irish have outscored their opponents 459-268 from the line in 28 games in 2007-08 and 269-155 against BIG EAST foes. Notre Dame is shooting 73.9 percent overall from the line (compared to 64.1 percent for opponents) and 76.0 (compared to 64.1 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
- 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
- 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. Here’s a look at the dominance of the Irish during its present win streak:
Notre Dame Opponents FG Percentage 1019-2132 (.478) 883-2242 (.394) 3-FG Percentage 319-806 (.396) 239-722 (.331) Points/Avg. 3,036 (84.3 ppg.) 2,358 (65.5 ppg.) Margin of Victory +678 points (+18.8)
Notes: Notre Dame has shot .500 or better in 14 of 36 games
Notre Dame opponents have shot .500 or better in 3 of 36 games
25 wins by 10-plus points
13 wins by 20-plus points
9 wins by 30-plus points
5 wins by 40-plus points
1 win by 50-plus points
* Notre Dame’s 81-74 overtime win against Providence was the first overtime game during the streak.
* 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.
* 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
- For just the second time this season, Notre Dame trailed at the intermission (35-30) in its eventual 82-70 victory over Pittsburgh. 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
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The six first-half field goals matched the fewest ever scored by an Irish team in a half under Brey.
Valuing The Basketball
- 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 19.1 assists per game and 13.1 turnovers for a 1.45 assists-to-turnover ratio. Notre Dame has dished off 20 or more assists in 12 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
- 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.
- Harangody has 17 double-doubles on the season and 17 in the last 24 contests, including 12 of 16 BIG EAST games.
- 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
- Tory Jackson had a rather slow start to the BIG EAST season, but over the last 10 games, in which the Irish are 8-2, the sophomore guard is averaging 11.3 points (113), 6.1 rebounds (612), 6.0 assists (60) and 2.2 steals (22).
- 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.
- Prior to the Louisville game 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
- Notre Dame put an exclamation point on its record-setting 25th consecutive win 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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).
- Luke Harangody leads the Irish in scoring and rebounding averaging 21.1 points and 10.5 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 16 games of 20 or more points.
- Kyle McAlarney has scored 30-plus points in three of Notre Dame’s 16 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. 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.
- Luke Harangody has two 30-point performances 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.
- 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.
- 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 he tallied 25 points versus Colgate. In the Eastern Michigan outing, McAlarney led the Irish for the second straight game with a 21-point performance.
- 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).
- 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).
- 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 1,628 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
- 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
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- The 43-point margin of victory matched the seventh-highest for an Irish team under Mike Brey.
“D” The Key Against Monmouth
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Current NCAA Division I Home Court Win Streaks: 1. BYU 46 8. IUPUI 16 2. NOTRE DAME 36 South Alabama 16 3. Tennessee 31 Utah State 16 4. Kansas 24 11. Duke 15 5. Georgetown 21 Kent State 15 Michigan State 21 13. Morgan State 13 7. Vanderbilt 18 14. Lamar 12 Ohio 12
Joyce Center Streakin’
- 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.
- Junior Ryan Ayers is having the best season of his career as he is shooting 47.8 percent from the field (77-161) and 48.6 percent (51-105) 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 against 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
- Perhaps no player in the Irish lineup is as steady as Rob Kurz. The senior forward is the team’s third-leading scorer (12.6) and second-leading rebounder (7.7) and has scored in double figures in all but nine contests. 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 44.1 percent (105-238) from the field and 40.2 (33-82) from three-point range.
Zeller In Double Figures
- Luke Zeller has scored in double figures in four 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
- 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
- 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. He also had a career-high five assists in Notre Dame’s win at DePaul.
The Irish All-Time
- 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 1628-890 record for a .647 winning percentage. In BIG EAST play, Notre Dame owns a 114-102 (.527) record all-time in conference regular-season play.
Always In It
- 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
- Notre Dame averaged 81.0 points per game last season, the best points per game average ever under Mike Brey. Following the DePaul game, the Irish are scoring at an 81.0 clip. Notre Dame has topped 80-plus points on 16 occasions, 90-plus points seven times and the century mark once.
BIG EAST Formula For Success Under Brey
- Since his arrival at Notre Dame, Mike Brey has led Notre Dame to a 78-50 (.609) record in BIG EAST regular-season games and a 3-7 mark in tournament play for an overall record of 81-57 (.587) 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
- 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.
298 And Counting
- Heading into tonight’s game against St. John’s, Notre Dame has hit at least one three-pointer in 298 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
- Since the inaugural season in 1968-69 at the Joyce Center, Notre Dame owns a 491-141 record all-time for a .777 winning percentage. The Irish are 106-27 (.796) at the Joyce Center during Mike Brey’s eight seasons.
- In Mike Brey’s eight seasons, his Irish teams have compiled a road record of 59-57 (.509) that includes a 39-40 (.494) in true road games and a 20-17 mark (.541) in neutral site contests.
A BIG EAST Family
- 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 (12.6 ppg.) and second-leading rebounder (7.7), while Laura is the Wildcats’ leading scorer (14.9 ppg.) and rebounder (6.0).