Nov. 25, 2009
Notre Dame To Meet Northwestern In Chicago Invitational Challenge Semifinals
Irish and Wildcats set for first meeting in 29 years.
Notre Dame vs. Northwestern
- Notre Dame (5-0) continues play in the Chicago Invitational Challenge as the Irish face Northwestern (3-1) in the first meeting between the two schools in 29 years. It marks the first time this season that the Irish will be playing away from the friendly confines of Purcell Pavilion.
- Notre Dame leads the all-time series 63-23-1. The last time the two teams met was on Nov. 24, 1984 with the Irish coming away with a 79-61 victory. o The Irish are off to a 5-0 start for the second time during the 10-year tenure of head coach Mike Brey. The last time Notre Dame began the season 5-0 was in 2001-02 when that team started the campaign with a 7-0 record.
- Following the Northwestern game, Notre Dame will play either Saint Louis or Iowa State on Saturday night.
- Notre Dame owns a 228-200-1 record all-time against teams from the Big Ten Conference. The Irish were 1-2 last season against the Big Ten. The win came against Indiana, 88-50, at the Maui Invitational. The Irish lost to Ohio State 67-62 during the regular season and dropped a 67-59 contest to Penn State in the semifinals of the National Invitation Tournament.
- Notre Dame improved to 5-0 on the season with an 80-62 victory over Kennesaw State on Tuesday night. Luke Harangody recorded his second double-double of the season as he finished with 29 points and 15 rebounds. Tim Abromaitis netted double figures for the fifth consecutive game, the only other player besides Harangody who has scored 10-plus points in all five games, as he finished with 12 points. Carleton Scott had his best outing in an Irish uniform as he matched his personal bests with seven points and two assists and grabbed a career-high 11 boards while playing a career-high 22 minutes.
- Notre Dame appeared in the polls for the first time this season as the Irish are ranked 23rd in this week’s Associated Press poll.
- Northwestern enters the contest with a 3-1 record following a 59-63 win over Liberty on Tuesday night in the second game of the Chicago Invitational Challenge.
- Irish seniors Luke Harangody, Tory Jackson and Jonathan Peoples have logged heavy playing time in their Irish careers. The trio has played in a combined 310 contests and been in the starting lineup on 187 occasions.
- Harangody has made 88 consecutive starts in the 104 contests he has played as he earned a spot in the starting lineup in the 16th game of his freshman season. He has averaged 28.3 minutes per game throughout his playing career. He missed the only two games of his career last season when he was diagnosed with pneumonia.
- Jackson has never missed a game during his collegiate career (106 contests) and started 92 games while averaging 31.7 minutes per game.
- Peoples played in his 100th career outing on Tuesday night and made his seventh career start in Notre Dame’s victory over Kennesaw State.
A New Era In Notre Dame Basketball – Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center
- Notre Dame basketball gets a facelift in 2009-10 as the largest renovation in Joyce Center history signals the opening of Purcell Pavilion. The $26.3-million project, which began with groundbreaking ceremonies in September 2008, was made possible by lead gifts from Philip J. Purcell III, Vincent J. Naimoli and Mike Leep, Sr. The renovation encompasses construction of a new three-story structure at the south end of the arena that will include a new three-story lobby, the Notre Dame ticket operations (approximately 4,500 square feet) and a varsity shop to sell apparel and souvenirs (approximately 3,000 square feet), in addition to a new club seating and hospitality area. Replacement of the existing Joyce Center arena seating, including the installation of chair-back seating throughout the arena, took place during the summer of 2009 following Commencement Exercises in May. The entire project is scheduled for completion in January 2010.
- The arena is Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center – and the new club/hospitality area (and two outdoor patios) will be named the Naimoli Family Sports Club Room. The new varsity shop will be named the Mike Leep Sr. Varsity Shop, while the three-story atrium is named after former Notre Dame athletic director Dick Rosenthal.
Class of 2010 Aims For History
- The Irish senior class of Luke Harangody, Tory Jackson, Jonathan Peoples and Tim Andree enters its final season looking to become the all-time winningest class in career and BIG EAST Conference victories at Notre Dame. The quartet has a 75-31 record for a .708 winning percentage and is 33-19 (.635) overall in BIG EAST play. They need 18 wins to surpass the 92 wins from the 1975-79 and 1977-81 classes. The most BIG EAST wins are 40 set by Irish teams from 2000-04 and 2004-08.
Harangody Tops Associated Press Preseason All-America Team
- Luke Harangody was the leading vote-getter on the Associated Press Preseason All-America Team that was announced Nov. 2. Harangody received 57 votes from the 65-member media panel. Joining him on the preseason AP All-America team was junior Cole Aldrich of Kansas (49 votes), senior Sherron Collins of Kansas (39 votes), junior Patrick Patterson of Kentucky (35 votes) and junior Kyle Singler of Duke (30 votes).
- Harangody also was one of nine BIG EAST players named to the 50-person 2009-10 Naismith Trophy Preseason Watch List that was announced by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.
- In August, Harangody was named to the John R. Wooden All-America Team Preseason Top 50 List. Among the 50 returnees, he is the only two-time member of that squad having earned a spot on the 10-member team in both 2008 and 2009.
- Harangody also was named as one of 30 candidates in men’s basketball for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award.
Same Game, New Number
- Irish fans will not see the familiar No. 2 worn by Tory Jackson in his first three seasons as he has switched jersey numbers and is wearing No. 3 in 2009-10.
Points a Plenty
- Through its first five games, Notre Dame is averaging 86.8 points per game and yielding just 66.6 to its opponents. The Irish have opened up the season scoring 80 or more points in all five games. The last time Notre Dame topped the 80-point mark in the first five games of a season was in 1978-79. No Irish team has begun the season by scoring 80 or more points in six consecutive games.
Notre Dame Rolls Under Brey in November
- Notre Dame teams have traditionally played well under had coach Mike Brey during the month of November. During his 10 seasons on the Irish bench, his teams have compiled a 40-6 (.869) record. Notre Dame is looking to close out the month of November without a loss under Brey. The last time that was done was during the 2001-02 campaign when that squad posted a 6-0 mark in November.
Busy Start to Seasonbr>
- When Notre Dame finishes play on Saturday night either against Saint Louis or Iowa State, the Irish will have played seven games in the first 14 days of the season.
Irish Aim For Fourth Straight 20-Win Season
- Notre Dame will be looking for its fourth straight 20-win season in 2009-10. The Irish recorded a 24-8 record in 2006-07, finished 25-8 in 2008-09 and posted a 21-15 mark in 2008-09. Notre Dame last had three consecutive 20-win campaigns in head coach Mike Brey’s first three seasons from 2000-03. The last time Irish teams reached the 20-win mark in four straight campaigns was from 1983-89 when those Notre Dame squads under former head coach Digger Phelps had six consecutive 20-win seasons.
- Notre Dame has earned appearances in the postseason in each of the last 10 years – it’s the longest stretch in school history. The Irish have been in the NCAA Tournament on five occasions and in the National Invitation Tournament five times during this current stretch.
- Under 10th-year head coach Mike Brey, Notre Dame has played in the NCAA five times and NIT four times. The Irish advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2003.
Non-Conference Home Win Streak
- With its win on Tuesday night against Kennesaw State, Notre Dame extended its home win streak versus non-conference opponents to 42 games. The Irish last lost to a non-conference opponent at home when they suffered a 71-57 setback to Michigan on Dec. 3, 2005.
- Seniors Luke Harangody, Tory Jackson and Jonathan Peoples have been voted captains for the 2009-10 season.
Harangody Tabbed as BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year
- For the second straight year, Luke Harangody was named the 2009-10 Preseason BIG EAST player of the year by a vote of the league’s head coaches. Harangody was chosen for the honor prior to his junior season after earning the conference’s player-of-the-year accolade in 2008. Last season, he became the first player in league history to lead the conference in both scoring (25.2) and rebounding (12.8). Harangody is one of only four players in Notre Dame history with 1,800 career points and 900 rebounds, ranking eighth all-time with 1,842 points and standing fifth with 956 rebounds. In his three-year BIG EAST career, he has scored 1,031 points (19.9 ppg.) in 52 league contests. Only three other players in BIG EAST history — Ray Allen (Connecticut), Richard Hamilton (Connecticut) and Pat Garrity (Notre Dame) — scored more than 1,000 points in three seasons.
Harangody Approaching Unique Milestone
- Luke Harangody is approaching a milestone never before achieved by an Irish basketball player – 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. Heading into Friday night’s contest against Northwestern, Harangody is just 41 points shy of reaching that mark with 1,959 points and 1,001 rebounds in 104 career outings. He reached the 1,000-rebound mark with his 15 boards against Kennesaw State to become only the fifth player in the 105-history of the program to accomplish that feat.
- Only four other players in Notre Dame history have scored 1,000 points and grabbed 1,000 rebounds:
Tom Hawkins (1956-59):1,746 points, 1,318 rebounds
Bob Whitmore (1966-69): 1,580 points, 1,043 rebounds
LaPhonso Ellis (1988-92): 1,505 points, 1,075 rebounds
Walter Sahm (1962-65): 1,077 points, 1,146 rebounds
- Mike Brey is in his 10th season along the Irish sidelines and is the third-longest tenured coach in the BIG EAST, behind only Jim Boeheim of Syracuse and Jim Calhoun of Connecticut. Brey stands seventh all-time in the BIG EAST win 92 victories (92-69 overall that includes regular-season and tournament contests). He needs just six wins to move ahead of Steve Lappas, who coached at Villanova, on the career wins list and is eight wins shy of becoming just the sixth coach in BIG EAST history to record 100 conference wins.
BIG EAST All-Time Winningest Coaches By Victories
(Includes conference regular-season and championship games)
|1. Jim Boeheim, Syracuse||356|
|2. Jim Calhoun, Connecticut||282|
|3. John Thompson, Georgetown||231|
|4. Lou Carnesecca, St. John’s||139|
|5. Rollie Massimino, Villanova||123|
|6. Steve Lappas, Villanova||97|
|7. Mike Brey, Notre Dame||92|
Jackson Set to Become 50th 1,000-Point Scorer in Notre Dame History
- Tory Jackson is looking to become the 50th player in program history to score 1,000 career points and needs just 58 to reach that mark. He owns a scoring average of 8.9 points and has played in all 106 games of his Irish career.
- With 538 career assists, he would become just the fourth player in school history with 1,000 career points and 500 assists.
- The current three players with 1,000 points and 500 assists include:
Chris Thomas (2001-05): 2,195 points, 833 assists
David Rivers (1984-88): 2,011 points, 586 assists
Elmer Bennett (1956-59): 1,488 points, 516 assists
An Elite Club
- With 1,959 points and 1,001 rebounds in 104 career outings, Luke Harangody is one of just four players in the 105-year history of the Notre Dame basketball program to score 1,800 points and grab 800 rebounds. The others to reach this milestone have been:
Adrian Dantley (1973-76): 2,223 points, 843 rebounds
Troy Murphy (1998-01): 2,011 points, 924 rebounds
Tom Hawkins (1956-59): 1,820 points, 1,318 rebounds
A BEN-e-ful Debut
- Senior guard Ben Hansbrough had a successful debut in an Irish uniform against North Florida in the season opener as he scored 19 points and dished off four assists in 31 minutes. Hansbrough was 5-6 from the field in the contest.
- He finished 5-5 from three-point range and in the process tied a Purcell Pavilion record for three-point field goal percentage.
- Hansbrough followed that performance up with 18 points and seven assists against St. Francis.
- Hansbrough scored in double figures in Notre Dame’s first three games – the second time in his career that he netted 10-plus points in three straight contests. As a freshman at Mississippi State, he scored in double figures in four straight games.
- As a team, Notre Dame is shooting 52.4 percent (153-292) from the field and 45.8 percent (44-96) from three-point range. Leading the way from the field and from the perimeter are Ben Hansbrough and Tim Abromaitis. Hansbrough is shooting 58.6 percent from the field (17-29) and 66.7 percent (12-18) from three-point range, while Abromaitis has connected on 66.7 percent of his shots (24-36) and 61.9 percent from the perimeter (13-21).
Making It Count
- Junior forward Tim Abromaitis, who played in just 12 games as a freshman in 2007-08 and did not play at all during the 2008-09 campaign, has had timely contributions in Notre Dame’s first five games as he is averaging 13.4 points and 3.4 rebounds.
- In the season opener against North Florida, Abromaitis came off the bench and registered then personal-bests of 21 minutes and 13 points (first career game in double figures) as he connected on 5-6 shots from the field and was 3-4 from three-point range.
- In Notre Dame’s second outing of the season, he eclipsed his career best with a 17-point performance that also included grabbing a personal best five rebounds.
- Abromaitis has scored in double figures in Notre Dame’s first five games and is the only player besides Luke Harangody who has reached double digits in all five games.
- Notre Dame’s new backcourt tandem of seniors Tory Jackson and Ben Hansbrough have combined for 53 assists and turned the ball over just 13 times.
- Jackson owns an 4.14 assist-to-turnover ratio (29 assists, 7 turnovers), while Hansbrough stands at 4.00 (24 assists, 6 turnovers).
- Jackson is averaging a turnover every 24.1 minutes, while Hansbrough is averaging a turnover every 25.3 minutes.
- Against Kennesaw State, the duo accounted for nine of Notre Dame’s 19 assists and neither one committed a turnover in the contest.
Jackson played 37 minutes and dished off five assists, while Hansbrough had four assists in 30 minutes.
The Peoples’ Choice
- Senior guard Jonathan Peoples has started the first five games of the 2009-10 campaign and six for his career. In the season-opening win over North Florida, he played a career-high 30 minutes in the contest and notched his third career double-figure outing as he scored 11 points on 4-7 shooting, including a 3-5 performance from three-point range.
A Coming Out Party
- Junior forward Carleton Scott had his best outing in an Irish uniform on Tuesday night against Kennesaw State as he matched his career best with seven points and two assists and grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds playing a personal-high 22 minutes.
- Notre Dame finished first nationally in 2008-09 in two statistical categories – turnovers (9.5) and assist to turnovers (1.75).
- In 2007-08, the Irish led the nation in assists with 18.4 per game.
105 Years Young
- The 2009-10 campaign marks the 105th season of basketball at Notre Dame and the 15th season as a member of the BIG EAST Conference. Notre Dame teams have posted a 1656-908 record for a .646 winning percentage. In 14 seasons as a member of the BIG EAST, the Irish own a 123-113 (.521) record all-time in conference regular-season play.
BIG EAST Turnaround
- During head coach Mike Brey’s tenure, Notre Dame has had only two losing seasons in BIG EAST play – 6-10 in 2005-06 and 8-10 in 2008-09. Since the ’05-’06 campaign when the Irish finished 6-10 after beginning the BIG EAST campaign with a 1-8 record, Notre Dame has gone 38-21 (.644) over the last 59 regular-season league games.
BIG EAST Formula For Success
- Since his arrival at Notre Dame, Mike Brey has led the Irish to an 88-60 (.594) record in BIG EAST regular-season games and a 4-9 mark in tournament play for an overall record of 92-69 (.571) against league foes. In Brey’s first season, the Irish posted their first-ever winning record in BIG EAST play and won the league’s 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 from 1995-2000.
344 And Counting
- Entering tonight’s contest against Northwestern, Notre Dame has hit at least one three-pointer in 344 straight games, a mark that dates back to the 1998-99 campaign. The last time an Irish team failed to hit a three-pointer in a game was in 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 2008-09, the Irish set a single-season three-point record with 319.
Living Large At The Line
- Notre Dame is shooting 69.4 percent from the charity, led by Luke Harangody’s 90.2 percent accuracy as he has connected on 37-41 from the charity stripe. As a team, the Irish have outscored their opponents 84-37 from the line, while attempting 47 more free throws (9.4 per game). Notre Dame is 84-121 from the free-throw line for a 69.4 percentage, while opponents have made 68.5 percent (37-54).
Now That’s Something To Talk About
- Notre Dame has won 57 of its last 60 home games that included a school-record 45-game win streak from 2006-09. The Irish also tied a BIG EAST mark by winning 20 straight conference home games during that time period. Notre Dame became the first BIG EAST team in conference history to record back-to-back undefeated seasons at home after finishing 17-0 in ’06-’07 and 18-0 in ’07-’08. Here’s a look at the dominance of the Irish over the course of the last 60 contests at home:
Notre Dame Opponents
FG Pct. 1682-3587 (.469) 1476-3672 (.402)
3-FG Pct. 530-1310 (.405) 403-1236 (.326)
Points/Avg. 4,934 (82.2 ppg.) 3,903 (65.1 ppg.)
Margin of Victory +1031 points (+17.1)
Notre Dame has shot .500 or better in 23 of 60 games; opponents have shot .500 or better in 4 of 60 games. There have been 40 wins by 10-plus points; 22 wins by 20-plus points; 14 wins by 30-plus points; 5 wins by 40-plus points; and 1 win by 50-plus points.
In the Spotlight
- Notre Dame will appear on national television 14 times during the 2009-10 campaign that includes two games on CBS (UCLA and Georgetown), seven contests on either ESPN or ESPN2 and five games on ESPNU. The Irish appeared on national television a school-record 23 times in 2008-09.
Irish Sign Three Guards In Early Signing Period
- Irish head coach Mike Brey signed a trio of guards during the early signing period in November: Eric Atkins (Columbia, Md./Mount St. Joseph/6-1, 170); Alex Dragicevich (Northbrook, Ill./Glenbrook North/6-6, 210) and Jerian Grant (Bowie, Md./DeMatha/6-5, 180). Atkins averaged 23.4 points, 6.0 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 3.2 steals en route to earning Baltimore Catholic League player-of-the-year honors and first team all-Baltimore Metor accolades. Dragicevich led his Glenbrook North squad to a 23-5 record in 2008-09 while averaging 20.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists and being selected as the Central Suburban League North Player of the Year. Grant will be one of three members from the current Notre Dame men’s basketball family who attended DeMatha, which also is the alma mater of Brey and assistant Rod Balanis. As a junior, he averaged 7.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists and led his team to a final 32-4 mark and the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament titles.
- When the Irish finished with a 3.168 grade point average following the 2009 spring semester, it marked the ninth time in 11 semesters that head coach Mike Brey’s squad had finished with a 3.00 grade index or higher.
- Members of the 2008-09 Irish squad earned a 3.151 following the 2008 fall semester, and, for the academic year, produced a 3.165 GPA. With the completion of the ’09 spring semester, Notre Dame players had a cumulative 3.105 grade point average, the highest ever. It also marked the 10th consecutive semester that the team has earned a cumulative GPA of above a 3.00.
- Notre Dame won the BIG EAST Academic Sport Excellence Award for men’s basketball for the second time in as many years. The BIG EAST began recognizing the highest collective grade-point averages in each conference sport in 2008. The Irish men’s basketball team has won it each of the two years it has been presented and joined two other Notre Dame squads (men’s swimming and diving and women’s tennis) as recipients in 2009.
- Seven players were named to the 2008-09 BIG EAST Academic All-Star Team, while 10 of the 14 members of the squad earned a grade point average of 3.00 or better in the spring semester.
Trends Under Brey
- Under Irish head coach Mike Brey, Notre Dame always has been a team that has had a high number of assists and very few turnovers. Here’s a look a the Irish under Brey:
FGs Assts TOs Asst/Bskt Asst/TO 2000-01 814 527 434 .647 1.21 2001-02 934 629 435 .673 1.45 2002-03 917 558 446 .609 1.25 2003-04 766 434 329 .567 1.32 2004-05 671 415 341 .618 1.22 2005-06 772 468 364 .606 1.29 2006-07 869 552 414 .635 1.33 2007-08 914 608 429 .665 1.42 2008-09 988 601 343 .608 1.75 2009-10 153 94 62 .614 1.52