Jan. 2, 2007
#17/22 Notre Dame (12-1, 0-0 BIG EAST)
Louisville (10-4, 0-0 BIG EAST)
Wednesday, January 3, 2007 * 6:00 p.m. (EST) Joyce Center (11,418) * Notre Dame, Ind.
|Television:||WHAS (Channel 11 in Louisville, Ky.): Ari Wolfe (play-by-play analyst) and Bob Valvano (color analyst)|
|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. (Chicago land 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.; 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 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. Louisville:
After finishing the non-conference portion of its season with a 12-1 record, Notre Dame opens up BIG EAST play at home against Louisville in the league opener for both teams. The Irish are coming off of a 95-66 win on Saturday against Stony Brook and improved to 10-0 at the Joyce Center this season. Wednesday night’s game against the Cardinals will mark the final in a seven-game homestand. Notre Dame’s win on Saturday against Stony Brook extended the Irish win streak to 11 games – the longest since the 1986-87 campaign when that Irish team won 11 straight. The last time a Notre Dame team won 12 straight was in 1973-74 when that Irish team had two 12-game win streaks and finished the season 26-3. Dating back to last season, Notre Dame has won 12 consecutive games at the Joyce Center. The Irish and Cardinals are meeting for the 21st time with Louisville leading the series 13-7.
Louisville has won eight straight in the series, including last year’s 89-86 overtime decision at Freedom Hall. For the second straight week, the Irish are ranked in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today polls. They moved up two spots in both polls and are up to 17th and 22nd, respectively. The squad’s 12-1 record marks the best start for an Irish team since the 2002-03 campaign. The only setback for Notre Dame this season has been a two-point decision to eventual NIT champion Butler (71-69) in the first round of the Midwest Region of the NIT Season Tip-Off at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
The Irish are averaging 88.8 points per game (sixth in the nation) and have topped the 90-point mark eight times and scored 80-plus points 11 times.
Irish Begin 12th Season As BIG EAST Member:
Notre Dame begins its 12th season as member of the BIG EAST Conference. The Irish are 5-6 in BIG EAST openers. Tonight’s game marks the third time in 12 seasons that they will be opening up conference play at home. Under Irish head coach Mike Brey, Notre Dame is 2-4 in league openers.
Irish Perfect In December:
Notre Dame’s win against Stony Brook allowed the Irish to finish the month of December with a 7-0 record. Only once under Mike Brey have the Irish completed action in the month of December without a loss – Brey’s 2002-03 squad finished 6-0.
Notre Dame’s win against Stony Brook was Notre Dame’s 12th of the season and the earliest in terms of date that an Irish team has reached the 12-win plateau in the 102-year history of the program. The 2002-03 squad which began the campaign 12-1 and finished with a 24-10 record earned its 12th win of the season on Jan. 4, 2003.
Irish Have Shown They Can Score:
Notre Dame has put up some impressive offensive numbers to date as the Irish are averaging 88.8 points per contest. Five players are avearging in double figures – Russell Carter (17.8), Rob Kurz (15.8), Colin Falls (14.1), Luke Harangody (12.4) and Kyle McAlarney (10.3). Notre Dame’s 50-point margin of victory (101-51) against Rider on Dec. 28 marked the largest margin of victory under Brey. The Irish have scored 80-plus points in each of the last nine games. The last time that occurred was during the 1976-77 campaign and also in 1975-76. A Notre Dame team last scored 80-plus points in 10 straight games during the 1970-71 season.
After missing the Elon (Dec. 16) and Portland (Dec. 19) games with plantar faciitis, Colin Falls was back in the lineup against Army on Dec. 21. Falls missed the two contests after undergoing shock wave therapy on Dec. 8. The procedure was done to treat the plantar faciitis in his left foot. Against the Black Knights he tallied a season-high 24 points in just 18 minutes of action. Falls was 9-11 from the field (after hitting his first seven shots) and was 6-8 from three-point range. Prior to the Elon game on Dec. 16, Falls had played in all 99 games of his career and made 60 consecutive starts.
Colin Falls’ return to the court last against Army on Dec. 21 marked the 100th career game that he had played in an Irish uniform. Falls has played in 102 career games and has been in the starting lineup on 71 occasions.
Out Of The Gate:
Notre Dame’s 12-1 start is the best for the Irish since the 2002-03 campaign when that Irish squad began the season 12-1 en route to a 24-10 campaign and NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearance.
Points A Plenty:
After 13 contests, Notre Dame is averaging 88.8 points per game (good for sixth nationally in scoring offense). The Irish rank fifth in margin of victory at 26.0 points per game. During its recent 11-game win streak, Notre Dame’s average margin of victory is 26.9 points per game (296 points).
Back In The Polls
Notre Dame entered the polls for the first time this season at No. 21 in the Associated Press ranking on Dec. 11, marking the first time since the first week of December of 2004 that it had earned a top-25 ranking. The Irish were never ranked after that point in 2004-05 and were not ranked at all during the 2005-06 campaign. This year’s appearance in the polls marks the fifth time in seven seasons under head coach Mike Brey that his team has been ranked at some point during a season. Last week, the Irish made their 2006-07 debut in the ESPN/USA Today ranking at 24th.
Brey Receives Honorary Monogram:
Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey received an honorary monogram from the Notre Dame Monogram Club at the Athletic Department’s Christmas Party on Dec. 14. Honorary monograms are occasionally awarded to people who have provided exceptional service to the University, whereby extending invitations to them to be members of the Notre Dame Monogram Club. Recipients – whose identities are traditionally kept a secret until the actual ceremonies – are presented with a scroll and blue blazer adorned with the Monogram Club logo. The select group of honorary monogram winners includes such notables as the late Pope John Paul II and United States President Ronald Reagan; former University president Rev. Ted Hesburgh, C.S.C.; television personality Regis Philbin; and national-championship football coaches Ara Parseghian and Lou Holtz.