1996-97 Irish Notes

1996-97 BIG EAST Conference
Home Records
Conference Games Only

Team            RecordNotre Dame      7-2Boston College  7-2Providence      7-2Pittsburgh      7-2Villanova       7-2Miami           6-3Georgetown      6-3West Virginia   6-3Syracuse        4-5Connecticut     3-6Rutgers         3-6Seton Hall      3-6St. John's      3-6

Gotsch, Young and Blocked Shots

Matt Gotsch and Marcus Young ended their careers both among the school leaders in career blocked shots. Gotsch is second on that list with 97 while Young is sixth with 61. LaPhonso Ellis is the career leader with 200 from 1988-92. Gotsch led the Irish with 41 blocked shots last season, which is the third-highest mark in single-season history while Ellis again leads that category with 86 in 1991-92.

Garrity is No. 11 In Single-Season Scoring

Pat Garrity scored 633 points last season, which was the 11th highest mark in school history. The record belongs to Austin Carr with 1,106 points in 1969-70, while the last time a player scored more than 633 was Monty Williams with 649 in 1993-94, which is the ninth-highest. Garrity’s 152 free throws last season is the 12th-highest total in school history. His 39 three-point field goals are tied for seventh and his 102 attempts are the sixth-highest total.

Injuries Take Their Toll

The Notre Dame team had their share of injuries during the ’96-’97 season. Gary Bell missed the final eight games of the season after suffering a complete tear of his anterior cruciate ligament against Villanova on Feb. 16. Bell sprained his right ankle in practice on Oct. 19 and missed the first six games of the season. Pete Miller left the Jan. 25 game vs. West Virginia in the second half with a mild concussion, but did not miss any further action. Pat Garrity injured his ankle in the Syracuse game on Jan. 2 and was diagnosed with bone spurs, but played with them. Jimmy Dillon finished the season suffering from tendonitis in his leg, but played through it. Antoni Wyche had missed two games after being diagnosed with an impending stress fracture in his right lower leg. The stress fracture was the second of the season for Wyche as he missed the first two games of the year with an impending stress fracture in his left ankle. Matt Gotsch missed two games early with the flu and finished the season with foot troubles. Keith Friel also missed two early games as he underwent right knee surgery on Dec. 8 to drain an infection.

Garrity Is No. 10 in Scoring

Pat Garrity scored a game-high 19 points vs. Nicholls State on Dec. 23 and in the process became the 39th Irish player to score 1,000 points in a career. Garrity enters his senior season with a total of 1,458 points, which places him 10th in school history, while No. 9 is Elmer Bennett (1988-92) with 1,488 points and No. 8 is LaPhonso Ellis (1988-92) with 1,505. Garrity scored a career-high 36 points vs. Indiana on Dec. 2 and the last time a Notre Dame player scored more than 36 points in a game was when Monty Williams had 42 against Valparaiso on Nov. 28, 1993. Garrity scored a BIG EAST career-high 33 points vs. Boston College on March 1. Garrity has now scored 20 or more points in 30 career games and has scored in double figures in 73 of his 84 career games. Last season, he scored 30 points or more three times, 25 points or more 11 times and 20 points or more in all but 12 games.

Notre Dame and BIG EAST Leaders

Here’s how Notre Dame players and the Notre Dame team stood in the final BIG EAST statistics:

Team Category           Overall Games   BIG EAST GamesAssists                 2nd at 17.0     T3rd at 15.6Field Goal Pct.         3rd at 46.0     4th at 44.0Rebounding Offense      --              4th at 39.6Rebounding Defense      --              6th at 38.2Field Goal Pct. Def.    5th at 40.1     4th at 39.4Assist/Turnover Ratio   4th at 0.93     6th at 0.84Scoring Offense         6th at 71.0     --Free Throw Pct.         6th at 66.9     6th at 67.8Individual Category         Overall Games   BIG EAST GamesGarrity - Scoring           2nd at 21.1     2nd at 20.1Garrity - Field Goal Pct.   4th at 48.4     6th at 46.5Garrity - Free Throw Pct.   7th at 77.6     10th at 76.3Garrity - Def. Rebounds     8th at 5.0      7th at 5.3Garrity - Rebounding        11th at 7.4     7th at 7.9Garrity - Off. Rebounds     --              15th at 2.6White - Assists             1st at 6.7      2nd at 6.5White - Asst./TO Ratio      4th at 1.83     7th at 1.77White - Steals              --              14th at 1.8White - Def. Rebounds       13th at 4.5     15th at 4.2Gotsch - Blocked Shots      10th at 1.5     T8th at 1.6    

Garrity is 39 for 102 from three-point range this season for a .382 percentage, but would need 45 made to qualify for the league leaders.

Preseason Honors for Garrity

In addition to being named second team preseason all-BIG EAST Conference, Garrity also was named to third team all-BIG EAST Conference by Athlon magazine. The Sporting News preseason yearbook named Garrity the best shooter in the BIG EAST and Dick Vitale’s College Basketball Yearbook named Garrity one of the top power forwards in the country.

White Much Improved

  • White moved back into the starting point guard role last season and was one of the most improved players on the Irish team. White had an excellent assist-to-turnover ratio this season as he dished out 201 assists compared to just 110 turnovers or just one turnover for every 8.6 minutes played.
  • White scored 301 points last season, which was his career single-season high, topping his mark of 107 points in his freshman season. White’s 201 assists last year were also his career single-season high, topping the mark of 96 in his freshman season.
  • White’s 201 assists were the fourth-highest total in Notre Dame single-season history as Jack Meehan leads that category with 214 in the 1970-71 season.
  • White scored in double figures in 11 of the final 16 games, including a career-high 18 points in the NIT opener vs. Oral Roberts. White was also Notre Dame’s leading scorer against Syracuse in the BIG EAST Tournament with 12 points. In the final 16 games of his career, White averaged 11.8 points per game, 5.1 rebounds and 7.1 assists.
  • White was a key for the Irish when they won BIG EAST games last season. In Notre Dame’s eight BIG EAST wins, he averaged 13.3 points per game while in BIG EAST losses, White averaged 7.8 points per game.
  • White scored 11 points in a win over Syracuse (Jan. 18), 16 against Seton Hall (Jan. 22) and 15 points against West Virginia (Jan. 25). The three games in double figures marked the second time in his career that he had scored in double figures in three-straight games — the first happening last year against Kentucky, Loyola (Md.) and Nicholls State.
  • White posted his fifth career double-double and fourth of the season against Providence (Feb. 22) with 13 points and 10 rebounds. He also had double-doubles earlier last season against Villanova on Feb. 16 by scoring 12 points and adding 10 assists, on Jan. 2 against Syracuse with 14 points and 10 assists and against Loyola of Maryland when he had 13 points and 10 assists. White’s other double-double was in his first career game with 10 points and 11 assists vs. Valparaiso.
  • White had a career-high 11 rebounds vs. New Hampshire on Dec. 10 to go along with his eight points and six assists. White’s previous rebound high was seven vs. Chaminade in his freshman year.
  • White scored in double figures in 16 games last season after scoring in double figures in just three games his first three years with the Irish.

Hickey Has First Career Double-Double

Phil Hickey made his first start of last season, and fifth of his career, in the NIT opener vs. Oral Roberts and also started the TCU and Michigan games. Against the Horned Frogs, Hickey posted his first career double-double with a season-high 13 points and a career-high 12 rebounds. Against Oral Roberts, Hickey scored nine points with eight rebounds in 30 minutes of playing time. He scored three points with two rebounds against Michigan. Hickey had a then season-high 12 points vs. Connecticut on Feb. 8 and added a season-high seven rebounds. Hickey had a key basket against the Huskies 1:20 into overtime to give the Irish a 62-57 lead. Hickey has scored in double figures in five career games and two of those have been against UConn. Hickey had a career-high 16 vs. the Huskies on Dec. 6, 1995. In Hickey’s three career games vs. UConn, he is averaging 12 points per game.

Miller Ties Career High

Pete Miller tied his career high with 16 points against TCU in the second round of the NIT, including a five-for-six performance from three-point field goal distance. In fact, all of Miller’s field goal attempts vs. the Horned Frogs were from three-point distance. The 16 points tied Miller’s previous career high of 16 in his junior year vs. Pittsburgh.

Wyche Hot at End of Season

Antoni Wyche scored a career-high 17 points against Miami (Feb. 25), 10 of them in the second half. Wyche scored six points in a span of 1:06 as he helped Notre Dame open up a 54-49 lead with 5:37 left. Wyche was four of six from the field and seven of 10 from the free-throw line. Wyche came back and had an excellent game in the regular-season finale vs. Boston College with 14 points on four-of-seven shooting from the field, including a three-of-four mark from three-point range. In the BIG EAST Tournament vs. Syracuse, Wyche scored six points.

Gotsch Has 15 Points in 15 Minutes

Matt Gotsch came off the bench in the first round NIT game vs. Oral Roberts and scored 15 points in 15 minutes of action. Gotsch was seven for nine from the field and also pulled down three rebounds. Gotsch scored a career-high 18 points vs. Providence on Feb. 22 on seven-of-11 shooting from the field and was four for four from the free-throw line. Gotsch’s previous career high was 17 points at Georgetown earlier in the season.

Dillon Posts Career High

Jimmy Dillon had a career-high eight points in the win over Seton Hall on Jan. 22. He also had six assists vs. Loyola Chicago on Dec. 30. Dillon was third on the Notre Dame team with 46 assists and just 28 turnovers.

Manner Steps Up

Derek Manner scored in double figures in seven games last season with 11 points against Providence, 12 against New Hampshire, 13 vs. Loyola (Md.),11 vs. Georgetown, 10 vs. Connecticut, 11 vs. West Virginia and 12 vs. TCU. Manner as finished the fourth-leading scorer on the team at 7.0 points per game.

1996-97 BIG EAST Conference
February and March Records
Conference Games Only

Team            RecordGeorgetown      6-1Villanova       6-2Notre Dame      5-3Boston College  5-3West Virginia   5-3Pittsburgh      5-4Syracuse        5-4St. John's      4-4Providence      4-5Connecticut     3-6Miami           3-6Seton Hall      2-6Rutgers         1-7

1996-97 BIG EAST Conference
Home Records
Conference Games Only

Team            RecordNotre Dame      7-2Boston College  7-2Providence      7-2Pittsburgh      7-2Villanova       7-2Miami           6-3Georgetown      6-3West Virginia   6-3Syracuse        4-5Connecticut     3-6Rutgers         3-6Seton Hall      3-6St. John's      3-6

Garrity Named BIG EAST Player of the Week

For his efforts against St. John’s and Connecticut (Feb. 4 and 8), Pat Garrity was named the BIG EAST Conference player of the week and he shared that honor with Scoonie Penn of Boston College. The award marked the first time an Irish player earned BIG EAST player-of-the-week honors. Garrity averaged 21 points and 10 rebounds in the two wins. He was named second-team pre-season all-BIG EAST at the league’s media day in New York City on Nov. 6.

Garrity and Double-Doubles

Pat Garrity posted his 12th career double-double and seventh on the season vs. West Virginia on Feb. 11 with 27 points and 13 rebounds. Garrity had two double-doubles in a row as he had 25 points and 13 rebounds vs. Connecticut the previous Saturday. On Jan. 18 vs. Syracuse, Garrity had 22 points and 13 rebounds and missed out on the triple-double by one assist as he had a career-high nine assists vs. the Orangemen. His double-doubles vs. Kentucky and Loyola (Md.) marked the first time in his career that Garrity posted back-to-back double-doubles. Ironically, the one game this season Garrity did not score in double figures (nine vs. Rutgers), he missed the double-double by one point as he had a season-high 15 rebounds.

Other Honors for Garrity
In addition to winning the BIG EAST Player of the Year Award, Pat Garrity received other honors last season:

  • * GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-America first team
  • * GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-District team
  • * Associated Press All-America (Honorable Mention)
  • * Basketball Weekly All-America (Honorable Mention)
  • * First Team All-BIG EAST (Unaminous selection by league coaches)
  • * Basketball Weekly First Team All-BIG EAST
  • * Basketball Times All-Mideast Team
  • * United States Basketball Writers Association All-District 5
  • * Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley Rockne Student-Athlete Award (shared with Pete Miller)

MacLeod Wins Coach of the Year

Notre Dame head coach John MacLeod was named the 1996-97 BIG EAST Coach of the Year at a press conference in New York City on March 4. MacLeod led the Irish to an overall record of 16-14 last season and was 8-10 in the BIG EAST regular season, an improvement of four conference wins over the previous year.

Irish Score in Overtime

Notre Dame’s 22 points against Providence in overtime on Feb. 22 were the second-highest amount of points in an overtime period by one team in BIG EAST history. The record is 23 by Seton Hall in a 92-82 win over Miami on March 4, 1992.

Five Players in Double Figures

Notre Dame had five players score in double figures in its win over Providence, marking the second time in four games that happened. The Irish also had five players score in double figures against West Virginia on Feb. 11 That game marked the first time that Notre Dame had five players score in double figures in one game since the Loyola Chicago contest on Feb. 28, 1995, a 93-63 Notre Dame win.

Irish Ahead in the Win Column

Notre Dame’s win over Miami on Feb. 25 gave the Irish their eighth BIG EAST win of the season, which topped their mark of four in ’95-’96 in their first year as a member of the league. Notre Dame’s 16 overall wins also topped the mark of nine that it had the previous year. The 16 wins by the Irish team were the most since the 1991-92 season, John MacLeod’s first, when the team posted an 18-15 record en route to the NIT final. Notre Dame finished tied (with West Virginia) as the second-most improved team in the BIG EAST at plus-four victories, as Pittsburgh finished plus-five.

Irish Finish Season Shooting Hot

Notre Dame’s stretch of seven wins in its final 12 games and victories in nine of the last 16 games, can be partly attributed to an improvement in field goal percentage. In the final 12 games, Notre Dame shot 48.4% from the field (280 for 578) and in the last 14 games, the Irish shot at a 48.1% clip (418 for 869). Those numbers compare to 35.1% (78 for 222) when the Irish went through a four-game BIG EAST losing streak (Jan. 4 through Jan. 14), a season shooting percentage of 46.0% and a BIG EAST shooting percentage of 44.0%.

Garrity Is BIG EAST Player of the Year

Pat Garrity was named the 1996-97 BIG EAST Player of the Year at a press conference in New York City on March 4. Garrity was the second-leading scorer in the BIG EAST at 21.1 points per game and was also second in conference games at 20.1 points per contest and was third in field goal percentage in the league at 42.9. For the season, Garrity scored 25 or more points in 11 games.Notre Dame in the NIT

Notre Dame made its sixth appearance in the NIT in ’96-’97 and the Irish have an overall record of 16-6 in the event. Before last season, Notre Dame’s most recent appearance in the event came in 1992 when the Irish advanced to the championship game and had a 4-1 NIT record. Notre Dame also appeared in the NIT in 1968 (advanced to semifinals in 16-team event, won third place game, had a 3-1 overall record), 1973 (advanced to championship game of 16-team event, had 3-1 overall record), 1983 (lost in first round of 32-team event) and 1984 (advanced to championship game of 32-team event, had 4-1 record).

Hot Shooting in First Half vs. ORU

Notre Dame shot 62.5 percent from the field (15 for 24) in the first half against Oral Roberts in the first round of the NIT for its best first-half shooting performance of the season and third-best overall shooting half of the year. Notre Dame shot 64.0 percent in the second half vs. Loyola Chicago on Dec. 30 and 66.7 percent in the second half vs. Seton Hall on Jan. 22.

Garrity Named GTE Academic All-America

Pat Garrity was named 1997 GTE Academic All-America first team by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Garrity is a pre-professional major in the College of Science and carries an overall grade-point average of 3.703. Garrity has earned Dean’s List honors four times and is a member of the BIG EAST Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Garrity became Notre Dame’s sixth Academic All-American, with the most recent being John Paxson in 1982 and ’83. Garrity and Pete Miller both were named to the GTE/CoSIDA all-district team.

Admore White registered 201 assists for the Irish last season, the fourth-highest total in Notre Dame single season history.