Nov. 14, 2007
Notre Dame (1-0, 0-0 BIG EAST)
Monmouth (0-2, 0-0 Northeast)
Friday, November 16, 2007 * 8:30 p.m. (EST)
University of the Virgin Islands Sports & Fitness Center * St. Thomas, USVI
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., 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. Monmouth
- Notre Dame plays its second foe from the Northeast Conference when it faces the Hawks in the opening round of the Paradise Jam. The Irish are making their first-ever appearance in the Paradise Jam playing in an in-season tournament for the second time in as many years. Last season, Notre Dame played in the Preseason National Invitation Tournament and fell to Butler (71-69) in opening round action and then came back to defeat Lafayette (92-60) in the consolation game.
- The Irish and the Hawks will be meeting for the fourth time and first since November 25, 2001 in the title game of the Hawaii-Pacific Thanksgiving Classic with Notre Dame earning the championship trophy 85-48.
Opening In Style
- Notre Dame opened up the season in resounding fashion at the Joyce Center last Monday evening (Nov. 12) as the Irish defeated Long Island 82-50. Notre Dame was led by Rob Kurz’ 19 points and 10 rebounds, while Luke Harangody finished with 15 points and six boards. Zach Hillesland was the other Irish player in double figures as he finished with 12 points. Tory Jackson (eight assists) and Kyle McAlarney (seven assists) combined to dish out 15 of Notre Dame’s 28 assists on 35 baskets (0.8 assist-to-basket ratio).
- After opening up against Long Island on Monday and with the three games scheduled at the Paradise Jam, Notre Dame will begin its season with four games in one week. It’s a busy start for the Irish who will have an uncharacteristic two-week layoff from Dec. 8-22. In fact, Notre Dame will play six games during the month of November and only five in the month of December. Bringing Out The Best In The Irish
- Notre Dame is playing in its fifth in-season tournament under head coach Mike Brey. The Irish have won two of the four tournaments that they have participated in. They were victorious in the 2002 Hawaii Pacific Tournament and won the tournament by posting wins over Hawaii-Pacific (98-58), Tennessee-Chattanooga (92-84) and Monmouth (85-48). Notre Dame’s other tournament victory came a year later at the prestigious BB&T Classic Washington, D.C. in December of 2002 as it picked up wins over Maryland (76-67) and Texas (98-92) in the championship game. That same year, Notre Dame also finished second at the Guardians Classic as the Irish posted wins over Belmont (76-48), IUPUI (89-45) and Furman (75-50) before losing to Creighton 80-75 in the championship game.
- Notre Dame is coming off of a 24-8 campaign in which the Irish returned to the NCAA for the first time since the 2003 season and fourth time under Irish head Mike Brey. The Irish also finished 11-5 in BIG EAST play and fourth in the final BIG EAST regular-season standings. The 11-5 record matched the best by a Notre Dame team since joining the BIG EAST in 1995-96. After receiving a first-round bye in the BIG EAST Championship, the Irish advanced to the semifinals before losing to eventual tournament and regular-season champion Georgetown (the Hoyas also would go on to reach the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament). The Irish lost in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, marking the first time under Brey that Notre Dame was beaten in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The 24 wins by the Irish marked the most during the Brey era, while the eight losses were the fewest since the 1986-87 campaign when that squad finished with an identical 24-8 record. It also was the first since 1988-89 that an Irish team recorded single-digit losses (21-9).
- Notre Dame lost its top two scorers from a year ago Russell Carter (17.1 ppg.) and Colin Falls (15.3 ppg.) as both were first team all-BIG EAST selections. The Irish do return three starters in senior forward Rob Kurz, and sophomores Luke Harangody and Tory Jackson. Kurz is the top returning scorer (12.6 ppg.) and led Notre Dame in rebounding a year ago with 8.0 rpg. Harangody and Jackson were named to the BIG EAST all-rookie team after earning a combined 36 starts a year ago. Harangody, a forward, averaged 11.2 ppg. and was the team’s second-leading rebounder with 6.2 rpg. Jackson started the final 20 games of the season at point guard and finished with a 7.8 scoring average while leading the team in assists (4.3) and steals (1.8). He also led the BIG EAST with 6.0 assists per game in conference play. Junior guard Kyle McAlarney also returns after starting the first 12 games of the 2006-07 campaign and averaging 10.3 points and 5.4 assists. Junior forward Zach Hillesland is coming off of his best season as he averaged 5.8 points and 4.8 rebounds, while teammate Luke Zeller finished the year averaging 3.8 points and 2.2 rebounds. Junior guard Ryan Ayers will be heavily in the mix after averaging 2.9 points, while sophomore Jonathan Peoples will look for more minutes off the bench after averaging 1.8 points per game.
- Notre Dame welcomes four freshmen in 2007-08: forwards Tim Abromaitis and Carleton Scott and guards Tyrone Nash and Ty Proffitt.
- The Irish averaged 81.0 points per game, the most ever for an Irish team under head coach Mike Brey, while allowing just 68.0 points per game. It also marked the first time since the 1977-78 campaign that Notre Dame averaged better than 80 points per game. During that campaign, Notre Dame averaged 80.7 points after netting 85.4 points per game the previous season (1976-77).
Another Early Start
- The season opener against Long Island will mark the second earliest start for a Notre Dame basketball team in the 103-year history of its program. Last season, the Irish opened up the year with a 92-49 victory over IPFW on November 10. Prior to last year’s contest, the earliest start date for a Notre Dame team was November 13, 1998 when the Irish opened the 1998-99 campaign with a 76-65 loss to Miami of Ohio.
Series Record vs. Monmouth
- Notre Dame and Monmouth will be meeting for the fourth time with the Irish holding a 3-0 advantage in the series. The first two games played were at Notre Dame – the first matchup between the two schools was in 1940 as the Irish earned an 81-34 victory and the second-ever meeting took place in 1996 (a 73-67 win). The last time the two teams played was in 2001 at the Hawaii-Pacific Thanksgiving Classic in the championship as the Irish claimed the trophy with an 85-48 victory.
Irish vs. The Northeast Conference
- Ironically, Notre Dame is playing a team from the Northeast Conference for the second time in as many games. With its win over Long Island on Monday night, the Irish improved to 21-0 all-time versus teams for the Northeast Conference.
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 season 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. Entering its 103rd season, Notre Dame has 1,605 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.
- 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 and the most wins ever 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 2005-06 campaign, Notre Dame has won 21 consecutive games at home following the win over Long Island – a streak which is tied for seventh among all Division I teams and is the third longest in school history as well as the longest during Mike Brey’s tenure. The record for consecutive wins at the Joyce Center is 24 (1973-74).
Current NCAA Division I Home Court Win Streaks:
1. Memphis 34
2. BYU 33 7.
3. Ohio State 26
4. Winthrop 24
5. Wisconsin 23
6. UCLA 22
NOTRE DAME 21
9. Holy Cross 20
10. Indiana 18
Joyce Center Streakin’
- Notre Dame began its pursuit of breaking the Joyce Center home win streak on Monday and extended its current win streak to 21 games after the home opener against Long Island. Currently at 21 games, it’s the longest win streak at the Joyce Center and longest during the Mike Brey era. Here’s a look at the Joyce Center streaks …
- 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
- 21 – Began with a 66-61 win over DePaul on 3/4/06
- 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 an 87-79 loss to Connecticut on 2/24/03
What A Difference A Year Makes
- With its 11-5 record in BIG EAST play last season, Notre Dame’s win total was five more than the 2005-06 team which finished with a 6-10 conference mark after beginning league play 1-8. Notre Dame’s 24 wins also were eight more than its total of 16 the previous season.
Irish Roll Under Brey In November
- Irish teams have traditionally played well under Irish head coach Mike Brey during the month of November and are 26-3 (.897) all-time in games played during the month of November. The three November losses have been to Creighton 80-75 in the championship game of the Guardians Classic on Nov. 26, 2002; to North Carolina State (61-48) at the John R. Wooden Tradition at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Nov. 26, 2005; and to Butler (71-69) on Nov. 13, 2006 in the first round of the NIT Season Tip-Off.
The Irish All-Time
- The 2007-08 men’s basketball campaign marks the 103rd season of basketball and 12th as a member of the BIG EAST Conference. In 102-plus seasons, Irish teams have posted a 1606-885 record for a .645 winning percentage. In BIG EAST play, Notre Dame owns a 101-99 (.505) record all-time in conference regular-season play.
Always In It
- Since the 2005-06 campaign, Notre Dame’s 22 losses have been by a combined 116 points for an average of 5.3 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. With its 82 points against Long Island in the season opener, the Irish proved once again that they can score points. Ten of the 24 victories a year ago were by 24 or more points, while six of those games were by 30 points or better.
Keeping It Close
- In the 78 losses suffered by Irish teams in Mike Brey’s seven seasons, only 19 have been by 10 or more points and have been by a combined 515 for an average of 6.6 points per game. Notre Dame’s 18-point loss (66-48) to Georgetown in 2006-07 was the largest ever for an Irish team under Brey.
18-Game BIG EAST Slate
- Notre Dame will play Connecticut, DePaul and Marquette twice as part of its 2007-08 18-game BIG EAST men’s basketball conference slate. The league is employing an 18-game schedule this year with all teams playing each other at least once and three opponents twice (home and away). The BIG EAST utilized the 16-game slate since the 1999-00 campaign and has not played an 180-game conference schedule since 1998-99 when the league had 13 members. The format was used for eight years from 1991-99.
BIG EAST Formula For Success Under Brey
- Since his arrival at Notre Dame, Mike Brey has led Notre Dame to a 66-46 (.589) record in BIG EAST regular-season games and a 3-7 mark in tournament play for an overall record of 69-53 (.566) 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.
271 And Counting
- Heading into the Monmouth game, Notre Dame has hit at least one three-pointer in 271 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 474-141 record all-time for a .770 winning percentage. The Irish are 88-27 (.765) at the Joyce Center during Mike Brey’s six-plus seasons, and since the 1996-97 campaign, they own a 136-43 mark for a .760 winning percentage. Notre Dame’s 17 wins at home this season marks the ninth time in 10 years that the Irish won 10 or more home games. The Irish played their 600th game at the Joyce Center on Nov. 27, 2006 versus Lehigh.
Over The Century Mark
- Notre Dame topped the 100-point mark twice during the 2006-07 campaign and eight times under Irish head coach Mike Brey.
- In Mike Brey’s seven seasons, his Irish teams have compiled a road record of 53-51 (.510) that includes a 35-36 (.492) in true road games and a 18-15 mark (.545) in neutral site contests.
Double The Pleasure
- Rob Kurz led the Irish with nine double-doubles last season and registered his 12th career one on Monday night against Long Island with his 19 points and 10 rebounds against the Blackbirds in just 28 minutes. He connected on 8-12 shots from the field (1-3 from three-point range). Eight of his 10 rebounds in the contest were on the defensive end of the floor.
- Junior Kyle McAlarney and sophomore Tory Jackson started in the backcourt in a regular season game for the first time ever . The duo combined for 11 points and 15 assists (eight by Jackson and seven by McAlarney) of Notre Dame’s 28 assists.
- Under Irish head coach Mike Brey, Notre Dame always has done a good job of distributing the basketball and shown great unselfishness as a team. That was again evident on Monday night when the Irish dished off 28 assists on 35 baskets (an 0.8 assists-to-basket ratio).
Zeller Down Under
- For the second straight summer in 2007, forward Luke Zeller played with Athletes In Action, joining them this year for an eight-game Australian tour. During the exhibition tour, he averaged 11.3 points and 6.6 rebounds and scored in double figures in five of those contests. The previous year, he traveled to Taipei City, Taiwan and was a member of the AIA squad that captured the gold medal at the 2006 William Jones Cup.