Feb. 20, 2008
(21/21) Notre Dame (19-5, 9-3 BIG EAST) vs. Pittsburgh (19-6, 7-5 BIG EAST)
Thursday, February 21, 2008 * 7:00 p.m. (EST) Joyce Center (11,418) * Notre Dame, Ind.
Television: ESPN: Dave Pasch (play-by-play analyst), Len Elmore (color analyst).
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. Pittsburgh
- Following consecutive road outings against Connecticut and Rutgers, the Notre Dame men’s basketball team begins a two-game homestand on Thursday evening when the Irish play host to Pittsburgh in the only regular-season meeting between the two teams and the first matchup between the two schools since 100-97 double-overtime by the Panthers in Pittsburgh on January 4, 2006.
- Pittsburgh heads into the contest having won five straight over the Irish. Notre Dame’s last win in the series was a 66-64 win on February 9, 2003. The Panthers lead the overall series by a slim 26-25 margin. The Irish own an 8-4 advantage over Pittsburgh at the Joyce Center, but the Panthers have been victorious in each of their last two visits – a 66-58 victory on February 7, 2004 and an 85-77 win on March 5, 2005. In BIG EAST play, Pittsburgh leads the series 10-9. The two teams have faced each other once in BIG EAST tournament play with the Panthers winning that lone meeting (66-54 in the quarterfinals on March 8, 2001.
- Notre Dame is ranked for the third consecutive week after making its debut two weeks ago at 22nd in the Associated Press and 21st in the ESPN/USA Today rankings. After finishing last week with a 1-1, he Irish dropped from 20th to 21st in the AP ranking and from18th to 21st in the ESPN/USA Today poll.
- The Irish have won 17 of their last 20 games and are off to an 19-5 start through 24 contests of the season which also matches the best start by an Irish team under head coach Mike Brey during the 2002-03 campaign. That squad was 20-5 following its 25th game of the season.
- Notre Dame’s 9-3 start in BIG EAST play matches the best start ever by an Irish team in league play. The 2000-01 Irish squad went 9-3 through the first 12 contests en route to winning the BIG EAST West Division title (with an 11-5 record) and were 11-3 (after 14 games) before suffering their fourth loss of the season in the 15th conference game.
- A victory against the Panthers this evening would give head coach Mike Brey his fifth 20-win season in eight campaigns along the Irish sidelines as he would become only the second coach in school to register five 20-win campaigns in his first eight seasons. Digger Phelps was the only other coach to post five 20-win campaign in the first eight years of his 20-year tenure at Notre Dame.
- Notre Dame’s 86-83 win over Marquette on February 9 extended its school-record Joyce Center win streak to 34 games that includes 15 straight versus BIG EAST foes. The Irish finished with a perfect 8-0 record at home during the 2006-07 campaign during league play.
- The Irish are 2-3 versus ranked opponents this season.
- Notre Dame’s 15 consecutive wins at home versus conference foes is the longest for an Irish team since becoming a league member in 1995-96 and matches the third-longest in league history.
- After tying the school record of 24 straight victories against Eastern Michigan on December 1, the Irish broke the 30-plus year record with its win over Northern Illinois on December 8. The Irish have not lost at the Joyce Center since February 25, 2006 with an 80-72 setback to Marquette.
Back In The Polls
- Notre Dame made its inaugural appearance this season in the top 25 last week as the Irish debuted at 22nd in the Associated Press ranking and 21st in the ESPN/USA Today poll. 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.
Jackson Named To BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll
- For the first time in his career, sophomore guard Tory Jackson was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll after averaging 15.0 points, 8.5 rebounds, 7.0 assists, and 2-0 steals in Notre Dame’s two contests. In Notre Dame’s loss at Connecticut, he finished wth 13 points and matched his career-high in addition to dishing off four assists and making two steals. In the win over Rutgers, he led all scorers with 17 points (a season-high) and dished off 10 assists for his second career double-double. He also grabbed eight rebounds and made two steals.
- Currently Jackson owns a season-best three-game double-figure scoring streak and has netted double figures in eight contests. Over the last seven games, he is averaging 12.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, 7.2 assists and 2.1 steals.
BIG EAST Win Streak
- Notre Dame’s 15-game BIG EAST homecourt win streak is its longest since the Irish joined the conference in 1995-96 and matches the third-longest in conference history.
20 – Pittsburgh (6 games in 2003-04, 8 games in 2002-03 and 6 games in 2001-02)
16 – Georgetown (6 games in 1987-88, 8 games in 1988-89 and 2 games in 1989-90)
15 – Notre Dame (1 game in 2005-06, 8 games in 2006-07 and 6 games in 2007-08)
Villanova (7 games in 1994-95 and 8 games in 1995-96)
Connectict (9 games in 1993-94, 6 games in 1994-95)
Seton Hall (6 games in 1991-92, 9 games in 1992-93)
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 25-10 (.714) over the last 35 regular-season games.
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).
Series Record vs. Pittsburgh
- Tonight’s game will be the 52nd meeting between the two schools with the Panthers holding a slight 26-25 advantage in the series. Pittsburgh has a five-game win streak, the longest since the two teams have been playing each other. Notre Dame’s last win in the series was at the Joyce Center as the Irish posted a 66-64 victory on February 9, 2003. The two teams did not face each other during the 2006-07 campaign and the last meeting took place in Pittsburgh as the Panthers game away with a 100-97 double-overtime win – the only double-overtime contest in the history of the series.
Notre Dame In The Top 15 Of NCAA Statistics
- Notre Dame ranks in the top 15 of the NCAA statistics in two categories: assists (5th-18.8), rebounding margin (7th-8.4) and three-point field goal percentage (14th-40.2). Zach Sparks Lineup Change
- Through the first 17 games prior to the Villanvoa game, Irish head coach Mike Brey had gone with the starting lineup of fowards Rob Kurz and Luke Harangody and guards Ryan Ayers, Tory Jackson and Kyle McAlarney. Against the Wildcats, Zach Hillesland replaced Ayers in the starting lineup and has stayed with that starting five since that game. Only two players, Zach Hillesland (one game vs. North Florida) and Ty Proffitt (five games vs. Long Island, Monmouth, Baylor, Georgia Tech and Rutgers) have missed games due to injury. Hillesland was held out of the North Florida contest with an ankle sprain, while Proffitt missed four games due to a groin injury suffered in practice and recently the Rutgers contest because of a sprained ankle.
- Since the starting lineup change, the Irish are 6-1 and averaging 84.2 points (590).
Now That’s Something To Talk About
- Notre Dame’s current record-setting 34-game home win streak spans three seasons – the final two games played during the 2005-06 campaign, the entire 2006-07 season and 14 games in 2007-08.
Here’s a look at the dominance of the Irish during its present win streak:
Notre Dame Opponents FG Percentage 962-2012 (.478) 824-2095 (.393) 3-FG Percentage 297-757 (.392) 226-677 (.334) Points/Avg. 2,860 (84.1 ppg.) 2,201 (64.7 ppg.) Margin of Victory +659 points (+19.4)
Notes: Notre Dame has shot .500 or better in 14 of 34 games
Notre Dame opponents have shot .500 or better in 3 of 34 games
24 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 against Providence was the first overtime game during the streak.
Where Charity Prevails
- Notre Dame owns a decisive advantage from the charity stripe over its opponents. The Irish have outscored their opponents 399-205 from the line in 24 games and 2007-08 against BIG EAST foes. Notre Dame is shooting 73.8 percent overall from the line (compared to 63.3 percent for opponents) and 76.2 (compared to 63.7 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.
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.
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 on Sunday 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 18.7 assists per game and 13.5 turnovers for a 1.38 assists-to-turnover ratio. Notre Dame has dished off 20 or more assists in eight 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 – Six Times
- Luke Harangody recorded a career-best sixth straight double-double against Connecticut on February 13 night when he scored a career-high 32 points and matched his career-high with 16 rebounds.
- Harangody has 14 double-doubles on the season and 14 in the last 20 contests, including nine of 11 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.
Record-Setting Home Performance
- 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.
- 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 20.4 points and 10.3 rebounds. He leads the team with 14 doubles and owns a 22-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 14 contests. Harangody also tops the Irish with 13 games of 20 or more points.
- Kyle McAlarney has scored 30-plus points in two of the first eight 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. 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 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 Wednesday night’s loss at Connecticut and matched his personal best with 16 boards.
- 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 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).
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.
- 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 1,624 victories. Only 12 other schools have reached the mark: Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas, Duke, Syracuse, Temple, St. John’s, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Utah and UCLA.
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).
Four 20-Win Seasons Under His Belt
- Notre Dame’s 24-8 campaign a year ago marked the fourth time in seven seasons under head coach Mike Brey that the Irish won 20-plus games. The 24 wins also equaled the most for Notre Dame during the Brey era. Notre Dame’s 20-win campaigns under Brey have been in 2000-01 (20-10), 2001-02 (22-11) and 2002-03 (24-10). In the 102-year history of the program, Notre Dame teams have won 20 or more games on 31 occasions.
- 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.
- Junior Ryan Ayers is having the best season of his career as he is shooting 47.1 percent from the field (65-138) and 47.1 percent (41-87) from three-point range. His 8.0 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 13 points against Monmouth and Brown and has reached double figures in seven 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 (12.3) and second-leading rebounder (8.0) and has scored in double figures in all but eight 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 43.9 percent (86-196) from the field and 37.5 (24-64) from three-point range.
Zeller In Double Figures
- Luke Zeller has scored in double figures in three games this season with his most recent double-figure outing coming against Marquette on Saturday 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 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.
- 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 34 consecutive games at home following the win over Marquette – 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. Memphis 47 9. IUPUI 15 2. BYU 44 Kent State 15 3. NOTRE DAME 34 St. Mary’s (CA) 15 4. Tennessee 29 12. South Alabama 14 5. Kansas 22 Utah State 14 6. Georgetown 19 Western Kentucky 14 7. Michigan State 18 15. Duke 13 8. Vanderbilt 16
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:
34 – 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.
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 102-plus seasons, Irish teams have posted a 1624-890 record for a .646 winning percentage. In BIG EAST play, Notre Dame owns a 110-102 (.519) record all-time in conference regular-season play.
Always In It
- Since the 2005-06 campaign, Notre Dame’s 27 losses have been by a combined 172 points for an average of 6.4 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, and are once again near that point total at 80.2 ppg. Notre Dame has topped 80-plus points on 12 occasions, 90-plus points five 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 75-49 (.605) record in BIG EAST regular-season games and a 3-7 mark in tournament play for an overall record of 78-56 (.582) 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 83 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 571 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.
294 And Counting
- Heading into tonight’s game against Pittsburgh, Notre Dame has hit at least one three-pointer in 294 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 488-141 record all-time for a .776 winning percentage. The Irish are 103-27 (.792) at the Joyce Center during Mike Brey’s seven-plus seasons.
- In Mike Brey’s seven-plus seasons, his Irish teams have compiled a road record of 58-56 (.509) that includes a 38-39 (.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 (12.3 ppg.) and second-leading rebounder (8.0), while Laura is the Wildcats’ leading scorer (15.2 ppg.) and rebounder (6.0).