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Notre Dame vs. Florida State - Five Things To Know

Feb. 8, 2018

NDMBB vs. Florida State Notes Get Acrobat Reader

WHO: Notre Dame (14-10, 4-7 ACC) vs. Florida State (17-7, 6-6 ACC)

WHAT: Saturday afternoon sold-out ACC contest as Notre Dame honors the 40th anniversary of the 1978 Final Four team.

WHERE: Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center

WHEN: Saturday, February 10, 4 p.m. ET


ESPN2 national broadcast with Mike Couzens (play-by-play) and Cory Alexander (analyst). Broadcast also available on the WatchESPN app.

Notre Dame Basketball Radio Network with Jack Nolan (play-by-play) and Zach Hillesland (analyst). Available locally on the WSBT-AM 960/FM 96.1, worldwide on and via any network affiliate (list available on page 8 of the notes package).

Here are Five Things To Know about the Notre Dame – Florida State game…


The University of Notre Dame men’s basketball team (14-10, 4-7 ACC) returns to action Saturday afternoon against Florida State (17-7, 6-6 ACC) on ESPN2 at 4 p.m. ET. The program will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of its 1978 Final Four team at halftime of the game.


  • T.J. Gibbs has hit double-digit scoring in a career-best 12 straight games, tied for the seventh-best streak in the ACC. Senior Bonzie Colson still leads the league in consecutive double-digit scoring games with 31.
  • T.J. Gibbs ranks among the top 10 in the ACC statistical rankings (all games) in minutes played (5th, 37.29), 3FG% (5th, .420), points per game (8th, 16.2), 3FGM (8th, 2.42), free throw percentage (10th, .827) and assist/turnover ratio (10th, 2.08). Gibbs and Boston College’s Justin Robinson are the only ACC players to rank among the top 10 in all six of those categories.
  • Matt Farrell is approaching two career milestones – 350 assists (he has 347 current) and 150 made 3FGs (149 current). When he reaches those milestones, he will become the seventh Irish player to dish out 350 assists and make 150 three-point field goals – Chris Thomas, Kyle McAlarney, Chris Quinn, Jerian Grant, Eric Atkins and Martin Ingelsby are the others – see page 3 of this notes package for a full breakdown.
  • Martinas Geben has scored in double figures in eight of the last 12 games, while pulling down nine or more rebounds in 10 of the last 13 games.
  • John Mooney has increased his career-high for points in a single game in three of his last five games played, including a personal-best 16 points against Boston College.


Notre Dame and Florida State will be meeting for the eighth time on Saturday afternoon, with the Seminoles leading the all-time series 4-3. Six of the previous seven meetings have come as ACC opponents, with the team splitting those contests 3-3. In the last meeting, No. 3 seed Notre Dame defeated No. 2 Florida State 77-73 in the semifinals of the ACC Championship – earning Notre Dame its second bid to the ACC final in four full seasons of league competition.

While both Irish head coach Mike Brey and FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton both coached in the BIG EAST, they have only met when Hamilton has coached at FSU. Hamilton left Miami (FL) in 1999-2000, the year before Mike Brey took over the Notre Dame program.

See the sidebar on the right for a run down of the Notre Dame – Florida State series.


Notre Dame has been hit by the injury bug this season, playing a significant amount of the season without three of its top six players. A timeline of the injury losses:

  • Friday, Dec. 29, 2013 (loss of Colson) – Senior All-American and National Player of the Year candidate Bonzie Colson injures his foot in practice. He starts and plays the full game against Georgia Tech on Saturday, Dec. 30 (scoring 22 points and collecting 17 rebounds), but the discomfort in his left foot leads to an x-ray performed on Monday, Jan. 1. On Tuesday, Jan. 2, it is announced that Colson will miss eight weeks with a fracture in his left foot. He undergoes successful surgery on Thursday, Jan. 4 and is expected to miss eight weeks of action.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 3 (loss of Farrell) – In the first game without Bonzie Colson in the lineup, senior guard and Wooden Award watch list selection Matt Farrell severely sprains his left ankle with 5:09 remaining in the first half. Farrell would miss the next three games (at Syracuse – W, at Georgia Tech – L, vs. North Carolina – L). He returned to the starting line up on Tuesday, Jan.16, against Louisville.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 16 (loss of Harvey) – With Farrell back in the starting lineup, freshman D.J. Harvey (who had started the previous four games in place of Colson) suffers a bone bruise in his left knee with 8:25 remaining in the first half. Harvey would be sidelined for the next three games (and is expected to be out of the lineup at least one more week).
  • Thursday, Jan. 24 (loss of Farrell again)- After competing in two games, Farrell suffers a setback in the rehabilitation from his ankle injury. An MRI is performed and a bone bruise is identified in his left ankle (suffered during the original injury on Jan. 3). Farrell is sidelined indefinitely and does not play against Virginia Tech (L) or Duke (L). He will be a game time decision for the contest at NC State.

Since losing Colson, the Irish have been able to field a lineup with Farrell and Harvey for just 11:35 of game time (the first half of the double overtime loss to Louisville before Harvey’s injury).

Thursday, Feb. 1 (loss of Mooney) – With Farrell back to practice, John Mooney sprains his right ankle in the final segment of practice on Thursday, Feb. 1. Mooney attempts to ‘give it a go’ at NC State and remains in the starting lineup, but is eventually limited to just eight minutes of playing time.

Mooney returned to the lineup full time on Tuesday, Feb. 6, against Boston College and scored a career-best 16 points.


Senior guard Matt Farrell is approaching two key career milestones – 350 assists and 150 made three-point field goals. Only six players in Notre Dame basketball history have hit those numbers and all six are what could be described as prototypical Mike Brey guards (ability to pass and shoot).

350 Assist / 150 Made Three Point Field Goals at Notre Dame





Chris Thomas




Kyle McAlarney




Chris Quinn




Jerian Grant




Eric Atkins




Martin Ingelsby




Matt Farrell





Senior Matt Farrell and sophomore T.J. Gibbs not only share the ball handling duties in the Notre Dame backcourt, they also are linked by their noteworthy development as part of the Irish roster.

Moving from a reserve role to the starting point guard for the 2016-17 season, Farrell improved his scoring output by 11.5 points for the season – 2.6 to 14.1 – to rank second in the ACC.

In 2017-18, Gibbs is following Farrell’s path while moving from a reserve to the starting line up. Currently, Gibbs has improved his scoring output 11.5 points per game (4.7 to 16.2) – which is second in the ACC.



Notre Dame leads the country in least amount of personal fouls committed per game with a 13.0 average. The Irish are second in the NCAA in terms of total fouls committed (313).


The Irish are 2-0 against Florida State in Purcell Pavilion.


Senior guard Matt Farrell leads the ACC in three-point field goals made per game with a 2.95 average (56 total). Farrell has connected on four-or-more three-point field goals in eight games this season, incluing nine over the past two games (four at NC State, five vs. Boston College).


More weeks of game action expected to be missed by senior Bonzie Colson after fracturing a bone in his foot on Friday, December 29. Colson was averaging 21.4 points, 10.4 rebounds and over two steals and two blocks per game – the only college player to hit those averages this year and the only player to reach those averages since Sports Reference started tracking statistics in the 1992-93 season.


Mike Brey is the fourth-longest tenured head coach among power five conference teams – now in his 18th season at Notre Dame. Jim Boeheim (42), Mike Krzyzewski (38) and Tom Izzo (23) are the only other power five conference head coaches with a longer tenure at their current institution.


Sophomore guard T.J. Gibbs has improved his scoring by 11.5 points per game this season (4.7 to 16.2), the second-best mark in the ACC (UNC’s Luke Maye leads with a +12.8 mark).


Games won (with eight losses) by the 1977-78 Irish team that advanced to the program’s first and only NCAA Final Four. The team will be honored at halftime of Saturday’s game. See page 10 and 11 for info on the team.


Three-point field goal shooting percentage (.619, 13-21) for sophomore forward John Mooney over the past four non-injury affected games (he was limted to eight minutes at NC State with a sprained ankle).


The senior class of Bonzie Colson, Matt Farrell, Martinas Geben, Matt Gregory and Austin Torres (graduate student) is two wins away from becoming the all-time winningest senior class in Notre Dame basketball history. The 2016-17 and 2012-13 senior classes currently hold the record with 97 wins over a four-year span.


Career assists for Matt Farrell, on pace to become the 16th Notre Dame player to reach the 350-assist plateau at Notre Dame. Farrell is 29 assists behind Kyle McAlarney for 15th on the Notre Dame career assist list.


Wins in Notre Dame men’s basketball history, which is the ninth-best total in the NCAA. Notre Dame has moved from 12th on the all-time wins list to ninth during the Mike Brey Era (2000-01 to present).