Aug. 22, 2003
Notre Dame, Ind. – Seniors Torrian Jones (Morrisville, Pa.) and Tom Timmermans (Driehuis, Netherlands) and juniors Jordan Cornette (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Chris Thomas (Indianapolis, Ind.) have been named captains for the 2003-04 men’s basketball camapaign, marking the first time in school history that four players will serve as team captains.
Jones, known for his defensive prowess in the Irish lineup, has played in 92 career games and made11 starting appearances. He has averaged 3.4 points and 2.1 points in three seasons. Jones played in 33 contests in ’02-’03 and averaged career bests of 4.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and 18.6 minutes per game. The 6-4, 195-pound guard scored in double figures four times, netting a season-high 13 points versus Bucknell. Jones’ top performance of the season was against Virginia Tech at home when he tallied 12 points and grabbed nine rebounds.
Timmermans has earned 10 starts in the 64 contests he has played during his Irish career. The 6-11, 253-pound center averaged personal bests of 3.2 points, 2.7 rebounds and 12.5 minutes. Timmemans earned starts in all three of Notre Dame’s NCAA tournament contests and made his first career start in Notre Dame’s 92-71 victory over Marquette. He scored a career-high nine points in the DePaul and West Virginia contests at the Joyce Center. In addition, he grabbed a personal best eight rebounds against the Mountaineers. Timmermans made his first career start i Notre Dame’s win over Marquette.
Cornette has played in 65 contests and earned starts in 27 of those contests heading into his third campaign. The 6-9, 235-pound forward played in all 34 contests as a sophomore and was in the starting lineup on 21 occasions. Cornette averaged19.4 minutes per game and finished the season with personal bests of 3.6 points and 4.6 rebounds. He led the Irish with 75 blocked shots (2.2 per game), the fourth-highest single-season total in school history, and ranked 29th nationally. His 11 blocked shots in the season opener versus Belmont broke the school record of eight set by LaPhonso Ellis in 1992 and eclipsed the Joyce Center mark of 10 established by UCLA’s Bill Walton in 1973. Against Belmont, he also grabbed a career-high 13 boards.
Thomas, one of 50 candidates for the 2003-04 John R. Wooden Award, earned honorable mention Associated Press All-America honors following his sophomore season in which he averaged 18.7 points as Notre Dame’s second-leading scorer. For the second straight season, the 6-1, 182-pound point guard led the Irish in assists with 6.9 assists per game and ranked eighth nationally in that category. Thomas is the only player in school history to dish off 200-plus assists in consecutive seasons (236 in ’02-’03 and 252 in ’01-’02). He became the 42nd player in Notre Dame history to score 1,000 points and is just the seventh player in school history to reach the mark in only his second season.
A second-team all-BIG EAST honoree in ’03, he scored 20-plus points on 15 occasions and registered four double-doubles as he helped Notre Dame to a 24-10 record and its first Sweet 16 appearance since 1987. Thomas led the Irish in scoring in their three NCAA tournaement contests with a 21.3 scoring average. His 488 career assists at Notre Dame ranks fifth all-time and he owns career marks in assist average (7.3) and free throw percentage (.879).
“I’ve been fortunate in each of my three seasons at Notre Dame to have had players who have embraced the role of being a basketball captain here,” Irish head coach Mike Brey says. “I feel very confident that the four players who will lead us this season are going to be exemplary. Each one of these young men has a distinct style of leadership that is going to be highly successful in our locker room and on the court. Their leadership this summer has already helped set a great tone for our younger players regarding the expectations of our program.”