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Notre Dame Men's Basketball Prepares For First Exhibition Test Tonight

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Nov. 1, 2001

Notre Dame, Ind. –

SCOUTING THE IRISH – Notre Dame, defending BIG EAST West Division regular-season champions in 2000-01 returns four veteran players who led the Irish to a 20-10 overall mark and 11-5 record in league play a year ago. Last season, the Irish returned to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1990 and advanced to the second round. The Irish lost two key starters in point guard Martin Ingelsby and two-time BIG EAST Player of the Year Troy Murphy, but return four players with considerable experience in the starting lineup. Senior tri-captains David Graves (Lexington, Ky.), Ryan Humphrey (Tulsa, Okla.) and Harold Swanagan (Hopkinsville, Ky.) return along with junior Matt Carroll (Horsham, Pa.). All four were in the Irish starting lineup at some point during the 2000-01 season. Humphrey and Swanagan will anchor a Notre Dame frontline that will be tested early on, especially following the loss of Murphy. Humphrey returns as the Irish’s top returning scorer, rebounder and blocked shots leader as he averaged 14.1 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.72, respectively, per game while starting all 29 game he appearned in last season. Swanagan made 15 starting appearances as a junior and averaged 4.2 points and 3.4 rebounds. Graves, who could finish his Irish career as the all-time leading three-pointer shooter, has averaged double figures in each of his three seasons. He owns a 13.1 career scoring average and 180 career three-pointers. Carroll will be in the Notre Dame starting lineup for the third straight season. He has started 60 of the 67 games he has played in during his career. Last season he was was of just two players who started all 30 games and averaged 12.4 points and 5.0 rebounds. Carroll, who led the Irish in three-pointers last sason with 65, forms one of the best outside shooting combinations in the country with Graves. The two combined for 127 of Notre Dame’s total of 219 three-pointers. With the loss of Ingelsby in the backcourt, the starting point guard duties will be handed over to freshman Chris Thomas (Indianapolis, Ind.). The first Mr Basketball from Indiana to attend Notre Dame, he was a McDonald’s and Parade All-American a year ago after averaging 23.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 3.7 steals and leading his Pike High School team to the its second Indiana state championship in four years. The loss of Murphy in the frontcourt and the transfer of Ivan Kartelo leaves Notre Dame with a year young frontline. Expect junior Jere Macura (Split, Croatia), sophomore Tom Timmermans (Driehuis, Netherlands) and freshman Jordan Cornette (CIncinnati, Ohio) to see significant playing time. Macura was more of a perimeter player last season, but will move closer to the basket to better utilize his inside talents. Cornette averaged 14.0 points and 7.0 rebounds and 4.0 blocked shots in his final scholastic campaign while earning all-state honorable mention honors. The trio of Graves, Carroll and Thomas will enable the Irish to have a strong perimeter and backcourt game. In addition, look for sophomore Torrian Jones (Morrisville, Pa.) to bolster Notre Dame’s play as he will have a greater role on the team. Sophomore Chris Markwood (South Portland, Me.) was sidelined all of last season following knee surgery, but is expected to see considerable playing time in 2001-02, especially as a defensive stopper. Notre Dame ranked as one of the nation’s top teams in field goal percentage defense, finishing 10th overall after holding its opponents to must 39.3 percent accuracy from the field. The Irish again will look to embrace that same philosophy as well continue to have a presence on the defensive boards.

HEAD COACH MIKE BREY – Mike Brey is in his second career as the Notre Dame head coach and seventh in the collegiate ranks. He was named the 17th head coach in the program’s history on July 14, 2000 following five seasons (1995-2000) as head coach at the University of Delaware where he led the Blue Hens to an overall record of 99-52. In his first season with the Irish, he guided Notre Dame to a 20-10 record and 11-5 BIG EAST mark in claiming the league’s West divisional championship, the first conference title in school history. In addition, he helped Notre Dame earn an NCAA tournament berth for the first time in 11 seasons as the Irish advanced to the second round for the first time since 1989. Brey has an overall record of 119-62 (.657) in six seasons as a head coach. He earned earned his first victory as Irish head coach on Nov. 18 with a 104-58 triumph over Sacred Heart, which also marked the 100th of his coaching career and came in the 152nd game as a head coach. While at Delaware, Brey guided the Blue Hens to a 99-52 record during his tenure as his teams earned berths in three postseason tournaments. Under Brey, Delaware appeared in two NCAA tournaments (’98 and ’99) and played in the National Invitation Tournament in his final season (2000). Prior to his arrival in Newark, Del., he spent eight seasons (1987-95) on the Duke sidelines along Blue Devil head coach Mike Krzyzewski, and before that stint was an assistant coach at DeMatha High School under legendary coach Morgan Wootten from 1982-87.

THE CAPTAINS – Seniors David Graves, Ryan Humphrey and Harold Swanagan will serve as Notre Dame’s tri-captains for the 2001-02 campaign. Both natives of the state of Kentucky, Graves and Swanagan hail from Lexington and Hopkinsville, respectively, Graves averaged 13.8 points and 4.7 rebounds last season, while Swanagan netted 4.1 points and 3.4 rebounds. Humphrey was the second-leading scorer and rebounder for the Irish a year ago with averages of 14.1 points and 9.0 rebounds.

FIRST YEAR SUCCESS FOR BREY – Notre Dame’s 19 wins during the regular season under Mike Brey represented the most wins by an Irish coach in his first season. He also became just the second coach in school history to take his team to the NCAA Tournament in his first year as a head coach and the only first-year coach to lead his team for a first-round victory. John Dee also made the tournament in his first season in 1964-65, but lost in the first round to finish 15-12.

WING-ING IT – The perimeter play of outside shooters David Graves and Matt Carroll give the Irish a deadly three-point shooting arsenal. The duo made 127 (57.9 percent) of Notre Dame’s 219 three-point field goals last season and attempted 323 of team’s 570 shots from beyond the arc. Carroll shot 40.9 percent from three-point range, while Graves made 37.8 percent of his attempts.

IRONMEN – David Graves and Harold Swanagan have played in all 97 contests during their Irish careers – neither one has missed a game. They saw action in 30 games as freshmen and juniors and played in 37 contests in their sophomore season. Graves has earned 81 starting appearances during this three seasons, while Swanagan has made 51 starts.

BLOCK PARTY – Notre Dame set the single-season team record for blocked shots last season with 178 in 30 games for an average of 5.93 blocks per game. The previous mark of 145 was set by the 1991-92 Irish team. Notre Dame had 110 blocks during the 1999-2000 campaign. Ryan Humphrey led the Irish with 79 blocks, the second-highest individual single-season mark in school history and ranked 18th in the nationally with 2.7 blocks per game.

DEFENSE, DEFENSE – Notre Dame ranked 10th nationally in field goal percentage defense as the Irish opponents shot just 39.3 percent from the field and 31.4 percent from three-point range. Only one opponent, Indiana, shot above 50.0 percent from the field against the Irish, while four teams – Indiana (53.3), Miami of Ohio (45.3), Rutgers (49.1) and Connecticut (49.2) – shot better than 45.0 percent from the field against the Irish last season. The last Notre Dame team to hold opponents to under 40.0 percent shooting was the 1996-97 squad (39.4).

A BIG EAST MOMENT FOR THE IRISH – Notre Dame’s eight consecutive BIG EAST wins last season against Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Syracuse, Georgetown, Pittsburgh, St. John’s, Rutgers and Virginia Tech marked the first time since the Irish joined the league in 1995-96 that they posted eight straight wins over league foes. Notre Dame also finished the season six games above the .500 mark for the first time since becoming a league member.

BIG EAST MOMENT II FOR THE IRISH – Notre Dame’s five straight road wins at Georgetown (78-71 on Jan. 27), Pittsburgh (75-67 on Feb. 3), West Virginia (69-66 on Feb. 11), Rutgers (81-59 on Feb. 14) and Virginia Tech (85-61 on Feb. 24) marked the first time since the Irish joined the BIG EAST they had won five consecutive road games in the league.

MR. INDIANA – Freshman point guard Chris Thomas is the first Mr. Basketball from Indiana to attend Notre Dame. He played in the McDonald’s All-American game and was a fourth team Parade All-American honoree. He led high Pike high school team to the Class 4-A state championship as a senior after averaging 23.3 points, 5.7 assists and 3.7 steals. Thomas is the 12th McDonald’s All-American to attend Notre Dame.

MILLER TIME – Dan Miller, a 6-8, 223-pound guard/forward from Mt. Holly, N.J, has transferred to Notre Dame from the University of Maryland following three seasons. He has one year of eligibility remaining with the 2002-03 campaign. Miller was a former McDonald’s and Parade All-American at Rancocas Valley High School.

JERSEY #1 TO BE WORN FOR FIRST TIME AT NOTRE DAME – Freshman point guard Chris Thomas becomes the first player in the 96-year history of the Notre Dame men’s basketball program to wear jersey #1.

DANNY WHITE ADDED TO IRISH ROSTER – Head coach Mike Brey has added guard Danny White to the Irish roster for the 2001-02 season. White, the son of director of athletics Kevin White, played for Towson University, before transferring to Notre Dame in January of 2001. He will be eligible to play following final examinations for the ’01 fall semester.

FAMILIAR FACE BACK AT THE JOYCE CENTER – Last year’s starting point guard Martin Ingelsby will be on familiar territory this evening when he makes his return to the Joyce Center floor as a member of the Sport is All-Stars. Ingelsby, now an intern in the Notre Dame Athletic Department, will play four games with the squad.

KEVIN WHITE RADIO SHOW – A weekly half-hour talk show featuring first-year athletics director Kevin White debuted Aug. 27 on Chicago’s ESPN Radio 1000. “The Kevin White Show” is scheduled to air from 11:00-11:30 p.m. for 30 consecutive Sundays on ESPN radio (1000 AM in Chicago, The show also can be heard in 35 states. White will welcome to the show a series of guests and prominent figures associated with college athletics, including administrators, coaches and media members.