Head coach Mike Brey

Notre Dame Meets NC State In The John R. Wooden Tradition

Nov. 23, 2005

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In Brey’s first season (2000-01 campaign), Notre Dame knocked off No. 16/13 Cincinnati 69-51 which gave the then first-year head coach his first-ever win over a ranked opponent … The 2005-06 Irish are looking to start the season 3-0 for the second straight year … Notre Dame is playing a school from the Atlantic Coast Conference for the first time since facing the then defending national champion Maryland Terrapins in opening round action of the BB&T Classic in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 2, 2002 (a 79-67 Irish victory) … This evening’s contest is the third game in six days for the Irish who will have a week off before playing host to Michigan on Sat., Dec. 3 at the Joyce Center … Notre Dame is coming off of a 69-50 victory over Hofstra on Tuesday night … Trailing 33-29 at the break, Notre Dame outscored the Pride 40-17 in the second half … The Irish held Hofstra to just 22.6 perecent shooting from the field, while the Irish connected on 52.2 percent of its shots (12-23) in the final 20-minute stanza … Notre Dame was led by Colin Falls’ 19 points with two other players scoring in double figures – Chris Quinn (16 points) and Torin Francis (11 points) … Luke Zeller led the Irish with nine rebounds, while Rob Kurz and Francis each had seven boards.

Getting Out Of The Gate:
In the first five seasons under head coach Mike Brey, Notre Dame has won each of its first two games and has not suffered its first loss until after the second contest … Irish teams have been 4-0 (2000-01), 7-0 (2001-02), 4-0 (2002-03), 2-0 (2003-04) and 3-0 (2004-05) to start the season before their first loss.

Irish Roll Under Brey In November:
Under head coach Mike Brey, the Irish are 22-1 (.955) all-time in games played during the month of November … The lone November loss was to Creighton 80-75 in the championship game of the Guardians Classic on Nov. 26, 2002.

Series Record vs. North Carolina State:
Notre Dame and North Carolina State will be meeting for the seventh time when the two teams square off in the second game of the John R. Wooden Tradition … The Irish lead the series 4-2 … The two schools last met on Feb. 12, 1983 in Raleigh, N.C. as Notre Dame earned a 43-42 victory … The Wolfpack’s last victory was a 62-42 decision at the Joyce Center on Feb. 13, 1982 … Saturday’s matchup will mark the first time the two schools have faced each other on a neutral court.

Notre Dame vs. Atlantic Coast Conference:
Notre Dame owns a 45-73 (.381) record all-time against teams that currently are members of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Notre Dame At The Wooden Tradition:
Notre Dame is making its second appearance at the John R. Wooden Tradition … In Mike Brey’s first season, the 2000-01 campaign, the Irish defeated No. 16/13 Cincinnati 69-51 that gave Brey his first-ever win as a head coach over a ranked opponent … In the contest, then junior forward Troy Murphy, who went on to earn first team consensus All-America honors finished with 30 points and seven rebounds, while teammate Ryan Humphrey posted his first double-double in an Irish uniform as he finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds … David Graves also registered double figures as he finished with 17 points … Notre Dame led 31-26 at the intermission, but broke open the game, outscoring the Bearcats 38-25 in the second half.

Conseco A Magical Place For Zeller:
Conseco Fieldhouse certainly has fond memories for Irish freshman Luke Zeller … Last March in the Class 3A state championship game, Zeller connected on one of the most memorable shots in the history of Indiana high school basketball … The 2005 Indiana Mr. Basketball’s half-court shot as time expired lifted his Washington High School team to the 3A state title with a 76-74 victory over Plymouth … Zeller finished the game with 27 points, nine rebounds and 11 assists.

Brey, Irish Find Success In Indy:
Under head coach Mike Brey, Notre Dame is 3-0 playing in Indianapolis … In addition to the victory over Cincinnati in 2000, the Irish have played in the city on two other occasions … Notre Dame won first and second round NCAA tournament games in 2003 at the RCA Dome against Wisconsin-Milwaukee (70-69) and Illinois (68-60) to advance to the Sweet 16.

The Irish All-Time:
Notre Dame begins its 101st season of basketball and 11th as a member of the BIG EAST Conference … In 100 seasons, Irish teams have posted a 1567-863 record for a .645 winning percentage … In BIG EAST play, Notre Dame owns an 84-84 record all-time in conference regular-season play.

The Captains:
Guard Chris Quinn and forward Torin Francis have been named captains for the 2005-06 season, marking the second straight year that the two have served as captains. The duo becomes the 11th and 12th players to serve as two-time captains.

Michigan Start Time Moved:
Due to a change in ESPN programming, the Notre Dame-Michigan game has been moved to a 2:00 p.m. (EST) start … The contest, which will still air on ESPN2, was originally scheduled for a noon EST tip off.

Postseason Trend:
Since 2000, Notre Dame has appeared in either the NCAA or NIT tournaments each of othe last six years … The Irish played in the 2000 NIT and then earned three consecutive NCAA tournament berths – 2001, ’02 and ’03 – followed by NIT appearances in ’04 and ’05 … This is the longest stretch of postseason appearances for Irish teams since making six straight from 1983-90 – (NIT in 1983 and ’84 and NCAA from 1995-90).

Home Sweet Home:
Since the inaugural season in 1968-69 at the Joyce Center, Notre Dame owns a 446-135 record all-time for a .768 winning percentage … The Irish are 61-21 (.744) at the Joyce Center during Mike Brey’s five seasons, and since the 1996-97 campaign, they own a 109-37 mark for a .747 winning percentage … Notre Dame’s 13-5 mark a year ago at home marked the seventh time in eights years that the Irish won 10 or more home games.

Approaching 1,000:
Seniors Chris Quinn and Torin Francis are each less than 100 points away from becoming the 44th and 45th players in Notre Dame history to reach the 1000-point plateau … Quinn has 972 career points in 96 career outings for a 10.1 scoring average, while Francis has scored 950 points in 85 career contests for an 11.2 average … The last time two players from the same class scored 1,000 points was Notre Dame’s Class of 2002 – Troy Murphy and David Graves … Murphy had reached the 1,000-point mark in his sophomore season and finished his career with 2,011 points before leaving after his junior year for the NBA … In 94 career games, he averaged 21.4 points per game … Graves finished his career with 1,746 points and reached the 1,000-point mark in his junior year (2000-01), the same season that Murphy topped the 2,000-point mark.

Quinn and Francis Set To Join Elite Company:
Senior forward Torin Francis collected his 700th career rebound in the season opener verus Lafayette, and he currently stands 50 points shy of 1,000 in an Irish uniform … The Boston, Mass., native is looking to become just the 13th player in Notre Dame history to collect 1,000 career points and 700 career rebounds, joining this select company:

Adrian Dantley (2,223 points, 843 rebounds)
Pat Garrity (2,085 points, 776 rebounds)
Troy Murphy (2,011 points, 924 rebounds)
Tom Hawkins (1,820 points, 1,318 rebounds)
Bob Arnzen (1,665 points, 944 rebounds)
Bob Whitmore (1,580 points, 1,043 rebounds)
LaPhonso Ellis (1,505 points, 1,075 rebounds)
Collis Jones (1,367 points, 884 rebounds)
Ron Reed (1,153 points, 872 rebounds)
Gary Novak (1,103 points, 736 rebounds)
Walt Sahm (1,077 points, 1,146 rebounds)
Keith Robinson (1,073 points, 713 rebounds)

Francis’ classmate Chris Quinn also hit a milestone in the season-opening win over Lafayette, dishing out his 250th career assist … With 972 career points to his credit, the Dublin, Ohio, native is poised to become just the ninth player in Notre Dame history to score 1,000 points and hand out 250 assists, entering into this select company:

Chris Thomas (2,195 points, 833 assists)
David Rivers (2,058 points, 586 assists)
Matt Carroll (1,850 points, 314 assists)
David Graves (1,746 points, 340 assists)
Elmer Bennett (1,488 points, 516 assists)
John Paxson (1,366 points, 411 assists)
Ryan Hoover (1,269 points, 264 assists)
Rich Branning (1,232 points, 466 assists)

Two New Faces In Irish Starting Lineup:
When the starting five took the court for Notre Dame’s season-opening game against Lafayette, two of the Irish players were relatively new additions to the starting lineup … Junior guard Russell Carter made just his second career start, while sophomore Rob Kurz was in the starting lineup for the first time in his collegiate career … In contrast, the other three Irish starters – senior guard Chris Quinn, senior forward Torin Francis and junior guard Colin Falls – carried 166 combined starts into the 2005-06 opener.

Tough Enough:
Notre Dame’s 2005-06 schedule features five teams – Connecticut (2), Louisville (8), Alabama (14), West Virginia (15) and Syracuse (16) – ranked in the top 25 … In addition, Notre Dame will take on eight teams that played in the 2005 NCAA Tournament – North Carolina State, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Villanova, West Virginia, Louisville and Connecticut.

Irish Set For Three Repeat Games In BIG EAST Play:
Notre Dame will play DePaul, Marquette and Providence twice (both home and away) as part of its BIG EAST Conference regular-season 16-game slate during the 2005-06 campaign … Playing under a straight divisional format with 16 teams this year, Notre Dame will play 10 opponents once, but will not face either Cincinnati or St. John’s during the regular season.

Road Warriors:
In Mike Brey’s five seasons, his Irish teams have compiled a road record of 43-33 (.566) … That includes a 28-24 mark (.538) in true road games and a 15-9 (.625) record in neutral site contests.

BIG EAST Road Warriors:
Over the past five seasons, four teams haves compiled winning road records in BIG EAST league games … Pittsburgh is the leader with a 24-16 mark, Connecticut and Syracuse at 22-18, while Notre Dame is 21-19.

“B” Is For BIG And BIG EAST:
With its membership of 16 teams, The BIG EAST Conference is the largest Division I conference in the nation … The new additions are Cincinnati, DePaul, Louisville, Marquette and South Florida.

BIG EAST Distinction:
Notre Dame and Syracuse are the only two schools to post winning conference records in BIG EAST play each of the last five seasons … Notre Dame has gone 11-5 (2000-01), 10-6 (2001-02), 10-6 (2002-03), 9-7 (2003-04) and 9-7 (2004-05), while Syracuse has posted marks of 10-6 (2001-01), 9-7 (2001-02), 13-3 (2002-03), 11-5 (2003-04) and 11-5 (2004-05).

BIG EAST Formula For Success Under Brey:
Since his arrival at Notre Dame, Brey has led Notre Dame to a 49-31 (.605) record in BIG EAST regular-season games and a 2-5 mark in tournament play for an overall record of 51-36 (.586) 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 has a 35-53 (.398) regular-season record since joining the league in 1995-96.

Down To The Wire:
Five of Notre Dame’s 28 games in 2004-05 were decided by a single point … The Irish were 3-2 in those contests … Notre Dame teams are 9-4 overall during Mike Brey’s tenure in one-point games … 13 of Notre Dame’s 17 BIG EAST contests last season were decided by less than 10 points.

Not So Lucky:
Notre Dame is the only team from one of the six major conferences to have a winning record in league play each of the past two seasons yet fail to make the NCAA Tournament … 20 teams from the Big Six (ACC, BIG EAST, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10 and SEC) had a winning record in both 2003-04 and ’04-05, while 19 other schools made the Tournament both seasons.

Keeping It Close:
In the 56 losses suffered by Irish teams in Mike Brey’s four seasons, only 15 have been by 10 or more points and have been by a combined 398 points for an average of 7.1 points … Notre Dame’s biggest losses have been on the road at Pittsburgh (72-55 on January 6, 2003) and against Arizona (88-71 on March 27, 2003) in the West Regional semifinal in Anaheim, Calif…. Prior to those setbacks, the worst defeat was a 16-point decision at Connecticut during Brey’s first season … Notre Dame’s 11 losses during the 2001-02 season were by a combined 49 points for an average margin of defeat of 4.5 points … Only one loss that season (versus Georgetown at the Joyce Center) was by double figures, while eight of those setbacks were by five or less points.

210 And Counting:
Heading into the tonight’s game against North Carolina State, Notre Dame has hit at least one three-pointer in 210 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 January 12, 1999 as Notre Dame finished 0-7 from beyond the arc in the game.

Irish Among Best In Wins Average:
Over the last six years, Notre Dame is one of 25 teams nationally that has averaged better than 20 wins per season … The Irish have compiled a 123-71 record for a .634 winning percentage after finishing 22-15 (1999-2000), 20-10 (2000-01), 21-11 (2001-02), 24-10 (2002-03), 19-13 (2003-04) and 17-12 (2004-05).

Over The Century Mark:
Notre Dame has scored 100-plus points five times during the Mike Brey era … The last 100-point effort by an Irish team was in a 101-96 overtime decision at Boston College on Jan. 25, 2003.

Kurz Earns BIG EAST Honor Roll Honors:
Rob Kurz was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll for the week of Nov. 21 after finishing with career bests of 18 points and eight rebounds in Notre Dame’s 84-66 win over Lafayette … Kurz played a career-high 25 minutes in the game and shot 8-10 from the field..

McDonald’s All-Americans:
Notre Dame’s 2005-06 team features two McDonald’s High School All-Americans – Torin Francis and Luke Zeller … A total of 15 players who have donned an Irish uniform have been McDonald’s All-Americans … Zeller, a freshman from Washington, Ind., is the most recent McDonald’s All-American, following Francis who earned McDonald’s accolades in 2002 … Francis also was named the recipient of the Morgan Wootten Award as the McDonald’s National Boys Player of the Year … Zeller played his McDonald’s All-American game at the Joyce Center on March 30, 2005 … Former Irish players who were also McDonald’s All-Americans include: Tim Andre (1979-83), Ken Barlow (1982-86), LaPhonso Ellis (1988-92), Ryan Humphrey (2000-02), Tracy Jackson (1973-77), Tim Kempton (1982-86), Dan Miller (2001-03), John Paxson (1979-83), David Rivers (1984-88), Keith Robinson (1986-90), Tom Sluby (1980-84), Barry Spencer (1980-84), Chris Thomas (2001-05), Torin Francis (2002-present) and Luke Zeller (2005-present).

Mr Indiana:
When former standout Chris Thomas (2001-05) entered Notre Dame in the fall of 2001, he became the first Mr. Indiana Basketball to play for the Irish. Thomas, who graduated in May of 2005 and finished as the school’s career leader in nine categories, earned the honor in 2001, History repeated itself four year later when current freshman Luke Zeller copped the state’s top honor in 2005.

Irish Sign Two In Early Signing Period:
Irish head coach Mike Brey signed two players during the early signing period on Wed., Nov. 9 – Luke Harangody (Schererville, Ind.) and Tory Jackson (Saginaw, Mich.), Harangody, a 6-8, 250-pound forward attends Andrean High School in Merriville, Ind. As a junior, he led his team in scoring and rebounding, averaging 23.2 points and 12.3 rebounds. He ranked 11th and third, respectively, in scoring and rebounding among all Indiana players in his junior season. Named the 2005 Post Tribune Northwest and The Times Northwest Player of the Year, led Andrean to a 21-3 record and to the Gary (Ind.) Class 3A sectional championship. Jackson, a 5-10, 175-pound guard, was named the ’05 Michigan Class C Player of the Year and was a unanimous all-state selection. He paced his Buena Vista High School team to a 17-6 record in ’04-’05 while averaging 30.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 3.0 steals. This past summer, he played for the Blue Team which garnered the silver medal at the ’05 Youth Development Festival as his squad finished with a 3-1 mark.

All In The Families:
Sophomore Rob Kurz’ sister Laura is a sophomore on the Duke women’s basketball team … Freshman Ryan Ayers’ father Randy is currently an assistant coach with the Orlando Magic … He formerly was the head coach at Ohio State and with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Omari Isreal Leaves Program:
Junior forward Omari Isreal left the Irish basketball program on November 11 and will transfer to another school … As a sophomore last season, he averaged 1.4 points and 1.8 rebounds … He missed the 2003-04 campaign, his freshman season, while recovering from knee surgery for an ACL injury suffered in the final season of his prep career.

Kevin White Radio Show:
Look for the Kevin White Radio Show on ESPN 1000 AM radio in Chicago … The hour-long show, which debuted on Sept. 4, is in its sixth season and will run for 30 weeks throughout the year.

Guests regularly will include familiar names from all facets of college athletics … The show features White, Notre Dame’s director of athletics, and ESPN 1000’s Dave Juday … It can be heard regularly at 11:00 p.m. Central time on Sunday evenings … ESPN 1000 in Chicago can be heard in more than 30 states around the country.

Sponsors of the show include Gatorade, Xerox, adidas, Comcast, McDonald’s, Chase, Coca-Cola, Sirius Satellite Radio, Jordan Industries and Sayers Computer Source.