Jan. 24, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – With all the press about the play of Troy Murphy, some of Notre Dame’s other strengths go unnoticed.
On Saturday, the Irish’s hidden talent came center stage. In the 81-67 win over Pittsburgh, Notre Dame sank a record 14 3-pointers.
The majority of the 14 threes came from the Irish bench who combined for 29 points.
“I thought it was important to get some guys in there,” Irish head coach Matt Doherty said. “Jere [Macura] played very well in David’s absence.”
Freshman forward Jere Macura sank four 3-pointers and had 12 points for the Irish. Macura’s 12 points was just one shy of tying his career and season best marks.
“The game is totally different here than in Europe,” Macura said. “The games is faster and there is more shooting, like run-and-gun.”
Macura hails from Split Croatia. The freshman has a somewhat storied signing with the Irish. The Notre Dame coaching staff signed him without even actually seeing him play in person. The coaches watched videotape highlighting the Croatian’s play and signed him based off that. The Notre Dame coaches met Macura for the first time in August when he reported for school with the rest of the freshman class.
“We have good shooters,” Doherty said. “I feel confident that when our guys are open, they will knock them down.”
Junior point guard Martin Inglesby logged 24 minutes off the bench. Ingelsby chipped in three 3-pointers for the Irish and finished the game with 11 points.
“When Pittsburgh played zone, I thought it was important for Martin to play more minutes because Martin is one of our best shooters,” Doherty said. “I felt that he really helped us with our zone offense. Martin started here for two years so he is an experienced point guard. I like to have a little more experience on the floor.”
This season is the first one in which Ingelsby has not started for Notre Dame. Senior Jimmy Dillon took over Ingelsby’s role.
Murphy sank two 3-pointers as well as David Graves. Freshman Matt Carroll drilled three from behind the arc as well.
“The comfortable surroundings helped our team shoot the ball very well,” Doherty said.
With the 14 3-pointers on Saturday, the Irish solidified its spot at the top with 3-pointers made in the Big East. The Irish average around 7.6 3-point field goals per game.
Notre Dame has shot its way into being one of the best shooting teams in the country. The Irish lead the Big East in free-throw percentage, hitting 74.5 percent. The percentage also ranks the Irish 16th nationally.
Notre Dame ranks second in the Big East in field-goal percentage at 48 percent, which also ranks them 23rd in the country.
The Irish return to action on Tuesday night when they take on Miami.