Nov. 2, 2017
WHO: No. 14/14 Notre Dame vs. No. 22 (NAIA) Bethel College
WHAT: Exhibition game, the second of three scheduled for Notre Dame this season.
WHERE: Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center (9,149)
WHEN: Friday, November 3, 2017, 7:00 p.m. ET
BROADCAST INFORMATION: ACC Network Extra with Nik Validserri (play-by-play) and Juan Jose Rodriguez (analyst). Available anwhere the WatchESPN app is accessible.
Notre Dame Basketball Radio Network with Jack Nolan (play-by-play) and Zach Hillesland (analyst), available locally on WSBT-AM960/FM 96.1 and on WatchND.tv.
Here are Five Things To Know about the Notre Dame – Bethel College matchup –
NOTRE DAME TAKES ON ANOTHER NEIGHBOR – NAIA POWER BETHEL COLLEGE
The University of Notre Dame men’s basketball team will face its second local NAIA team in exhibition play on Friday, November 3, when Bethel College (Mishawaka, Indiana) visits Purcell Pavilion (7 p.m. ET, ACC Network Extra, Notre Dame Basketball Radio Network).
The Irish won their first exhibition game, one added to aid in national hurricane relief, 97-57 over Holy Cross College on Friday, October 20. Holy Cross College is located just across the street from the University of Notre Dame, while Bethel College is located on the border between South Bend and Mishawaka, Indiana.
The Pilots have won three NAIA national championships (1995, 1997 and 1998) and will be visiting Purcell Pavilion for the first time. They are coached by Ryne Lightfoot in his first season, the son of longtime Bethel coach Mike Lightfoot, who served six full seasons under his father as an assistant coach. Ryne Lightfoot scored 2,075 points as a player at Bethel and was a two-time NAIA All-American.
This weekend Notre Dame is holding its annual alumni weekend with over 100 former players expected back on campus in addition to the Notre Dame – Wake Forest football game set for Saturday afternoon. Factor in Bethel’s local fans and alumni and Friday night’s contest is set to be very close to capacity in Purcell Pavilion.
NOTRE DAME – BETHEL COLLEGE CONNECTIONS
LaPhonso Ellis – A Notre Dame men’s basketball legend, Ellis is in his first season as an assistant coach with the Pilots, while also continuing his work as an analyst at ESPN. Still a member of the Notre Dame Basketball Radio Network when his schedule allows, Ellis will be on the Pilots bench for Friday night’s game.
Robby Hamman – Assistant Athletics Communication Director in Fighting Irish Media and secondary men’s basketball contact, Hamman is a 2010 Bethel College graduate.
Jeff Myers – Myers is a team photographer for the Notre Dame men’s basketball team and a 2007 Bethel College graduate.
NOTRE DAME ENTERS SEASON 14th IN BOTH NATIONAL POLLS
The Irish will enter the 2017-18 season with their highest preseason national poll rankings since the 2008-09 season. Both the Associated Press and USA Today/Coaches Poll have Notre Dame ranked 14th in their respective preseason rankings.
This marks the 22nd time Notre Dame has appeared in the AP preseason poll, tied for the 12th best in the history of the listing dating back to 1949. The Irish, Michigan State and Oklahoma have all been ranked in the preseason poll 22 times, with the Irish average of 12.59 and highest preseason ranking of third in 1979.
Notre Dame has been either ranked or receiving votes in 11 of 18 AP polls in the Mike Brey era, including four of the last five seasons.
Notre Dame entered the 2008-09 season ranked ninth in each poll.
NOTRE DAME PICKED THIRD IN ACC PRESEASON POLL
The University of Notre Dame men’s basketball team has been selected to finish third in the Atlantic Coast Conference for the 2017-18 season. The poll was conducted as part of the league’s annual media day activities in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Wednesday, October 25.
The third-place preseason team poll position marks the high mark for the Irish in the ACC (Notre Dame joined the league for the 2013-14 season) and highest preseason conference mark since the 2012-13 team was selected to finish third in the BIG EAST Conference. The third-place recognition matches the top preseason conference ranking in program history. The Irish also were selected to finish third in the BIG EAST in 2003-04.
The preseason poll also points out just how difficult the ACC schedule will be for the Irish this season. Notre Dame is the only conference school with road games at Duke (1st), North Carolina (2nd) and Virginia (6th).
A SEASON OF MILESTONES AHEAD FOR MIKE BREY
Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey is poised to reach three key milestones in his coaching career this season.
Brey is 12 wins away from becoming the all-time wins leader at Notre Dame (382 current, 393 is the record).
Brey is 18 wins away from 400 at Notre Dame, which would make him the 13th active coach to have 400 wins at his current school.
Brey is 19 wins away from 500 in his coaching career, on pace to become the 31st active coach to reach 500 career wins.
Should Brey reach the 500-win barrier, he will join Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Boeheim, Roy Williams, Greg Kampe, Tony Shaver, Tom Izzo, Fran Dunphy, Bob McKillop, Jay Wright and Mark Few as the only current coaches to win 500 or more games while coaching at just one or two schools.
See page eight and nine of this notes package for more historical and background information on Mike Brey.