#14/15 Notre Dame vs. #8/9 Connecticut
Tuesday, Jan. 4 7:00 p.m. (ET)
Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center (9,154) Notre Dame, Ind.
BIG EAST Network/WMYS Ch. 69 (South Bend)/ESPN3.com
Jim Barbar (play-by-play)
Mike Kelley (analyst)
Affiliate listings on page 7; Broadcast also on UND.com
Jack Nolan (play-by-play)
Jordan Cornette (analyst)
No. 14/15 Irish Play Host To No. 8/9 Connecticut On Tuesday
Notre Dame (12-2, 1-1) will face its third ranked foe in less than a week when the No. 14/15 Fighting Irish play host to No. 8/9 Connecticut (11-1, 1-1) on Tuesday. Tip-off is slated for 7:00 p.m. (ET) inside Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center.
This will be the 24th meeting all-time between the Fighting Irish and Huskies. Connecticut leads the series 16-7. Every meeting has occurred since Notre Dame joined the BIG EAST in 1995. This is the fourth straight season that both teams will meet twice during the regular season. The Irish and Huskies split last year's two encounters. Connecticut won at home, 82-70, on Jan. 2, 2010, while Notre Dame claimed a 58-50 decision on March 3 at Purcell Pavilion. The Fighting Irish are 6-4 at home against the Huskies.
The Irish opened league play last Wednesday with a 69-55 home victory over No. 9 Georgetown before falling at No. 5 Syracuse, 70-58, on Saturday. Notre Dame is off to a 1-1 start in BIG EAST play for the third straight season. The Irish improved to 2-1 in league play in each of the past two seasons following the 1-1 start.
Notre Dame is off to a 12-2 start for the second straight season.
The Fighting Irish are ranked 14th in the Associated Press poll. That is the highest ranking for the Irish this season. Notre Dame is 15th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll.
Taking Down A Top-10 Foe
Last Wednesday's 69-55 win over No. 9 Georgetown was Notre Dame's first win over a top-10 team since a 70-68 triumph of No. 8 West Virginia last season (Jan. 9, 2010) at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center.
The last time Notre Dame defeated two top-10 teams in the same season was during the 2008-09 campaign. That season, the Irish took down No. 6/7 Texas (81-80), No. 9/10 Georgetown (73-67) and No. 5/7 Louisville (90-57).
The last time Notre Dame defeated two top-10 teams in a three-game span was in 2002-03 when the Irish topped No. 13/10 Marquette (92-71), No. 9/8 Maryland (79-67) and No. 2/2 Texas (98-92) in consecutive games.
Holding Down The Hoyas
Georgetown entered last Wednesday's game against Notre Dame ranked second nationally in field goal percentage with a 52.5% mark. The Irish held the Hoyas to just 42.6% (23-54) shooting from the field.
Notre Dame has held 13 of its 14 opponents to 50% or less from the field. The Irish have held their foes under 40% on seven occasions and under 30% once (California).
Notre Dame opponents are shooting 39.8% from the field and .30.9% from three-point range.
Brey Closing In On BIG EAST Milestone
Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey is one win away from becoming the sixth coach in BIG EAST Conference history with 100 regular-season league wins. Brey's Irish teams are 99-69 (.589) all-time in regular-season BIG EAST play.
Mike Brey is in his 11th season along the Irish sidelines. He is the third-longest tenured coach in the BIG EAST, behind only Jim Boeheim of Syracuse and Jim Calhoun of Connecticut. Brey stands sixth all-time in career BIG EAST victories (both regular-season and tournament) with his 105-79 (.571) mark. He is the sixth coach in BIG EAST history to record 100 conference wins.
BIG EAST All-Time Winningest Coaches By Victories (Includes conference regular-season and championship games)
With the win over Georgetown on Wednesday, Notre Dame now is 10-6 all-time in BIG EAST openers and 7-4 under head coach Mike Brey.
Notre Dame has won each of its last five BIG EAST openers. Its last loss in a league opener came at Pittsburgh (100-97 in double overtime) on Jan 4, 2006.
BIG EAST opener wins over the past five seasons: vs. Louisville (78-62) on Jan. 3, 2007; vs. West Virginia (69-56) on Jan. 3, 2008; at DePaul (92-82) on Dec. 31, 2008; vs. Providence (93-78) on Dec. 30, 2009; vs. Georgetown (69-55) on Dec. 29, 2010.
What An Opening Stretch
Notre Dame will open BIG EAST play with an unprecedented stretch as the Irish will face three top-10 foes in its first three contests. Notre Dame took down No. 9/9 Georgetown 69-55 on Wednesday at home before falling at No. 5/5 Syracuse 70-58 on Saturday. The Irish play host to No. 8/9 Connecticut on Tuesday.
The last time Notre Dame played three straight top-10 conference foes in consecutive outings was during the 2008-09 campaign:
Jan. 17, 2009
(12/13) ND at Syracuse (8/8)
Jan. 24, 2009
(19/19) ND vs. Connecticut (3/3)
Jan. 26, 2009
(19/19) ND vs. Marquette (10/11)
Jan. 31, 2009
(-/22) ND at Pittsburgh (3/3)
A Is For Abromaitis
Tim Abromaitis is Notre Dame's leading scorer and rebounder as he is averaging career-best totals for points (16.3) and rebounds (7.2). He has scored in double figures in all but two games (California and Kentucky). The senior forward has 40 career games in double figures.
He has led the Irish in scoring a team-best six times. He also has led the squad in rebounding a team-high seven times. Abromaitis has led the Irish in rebounding in five of the last six games.
Abromaitis's seven games with 20-plus points is a team-high total this season. He has 15 career games with at least 20 points.
Abromaitis registered his second double-double of the season and the third of his career with 21 points and 11 rebounds versus UMBC (Dec. 22). The 11 rebounds matched a career-high total that he achieved earlier this season versus California (Nov. 26).
Abromaitis matched a career-high total with five made three-pointers (on seven attempts) against Georgetown. He has hit five treys four times in his career.
Irish Fun Fact Under Brey
Notre Dame teams under Mike Brey have always ranked among the best teams in the nation and BIG EAST in assists and three-point shooting. In 11 seasons with Brey on the sidelines, Notre Dame is 70-9 when Irish teams have 20 or more assists and are 71-28 when making 10 or more three-pointers.
Passing The Test
Notre Dame has recorded a perfect score of 100 percent in each of the last three Graduation Success Rate (GSR) figures released in 2008, 2009 and 2010 and is one of just 12 schools to earn a perfect 100 percent score in each of the last three years. The 11 other schools include Binghamton, Charleston Southern, Coastal Carolina, Colgate, Holy Cross, Davidson, Loyola of Maryland, North Carolina-Wilmington, Utah State, Wake Forest and Western Kentucky.
In the recent set of GSR scores released in the fall, Notre Dame had the highest percentage of sports with 100 percent scores (for the fifth time in six years) among the 120 Football Bowl Subdivision institutions, with a .863 figure (19 of 22).
Irish On A Roll
Notre Dame is 18-4 in its last 22 games dating back to last season. Following a double-overtime loss to Louisville (91-89) in Freedom Hall on Feb. 17, 2010, the Irish won their final four regular-season games in 2009-10 (Pittsburgh, Georgetown, Connecticut and Marquette) and won two games in the BIG EAST Tournament (Seton Hall and Pittsburgh) before losing to West Virginia in the conference championship semifinals and to Old Dominion in the first round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament.
Notre Dame is 12-2 for the second straight season and for the fourth time in the last five seasons. The Fighting Irish lost their 15th game of the season in both the 2007-08 and 2009-10 campaigns. Notre Dame posted a 15-2 mark in 2006-07 before picking up its third loss of the season. Prior to this year, the 2006-07 campaign was the only other season during Notre Dame's BIG EAST era that the Irish suffered just one regular-season non-conference loss.
The Fighting Irish have won 12 of their first 14 games five times during the Mike Brey era (2002-03, 2006-07, 2007-08, 2009-10, 2010-11).
Notre Dame's loss to Kentucky on Dec. 8 was the latest calendar date the Irish had suffered their first setback of the season since the 1979-80 campaign. Notre Dame started that season 7-0 before suffering its first loss to Kentucky (86-80) on Dec. 29, 1979.
Notre Dame's 8-0 start was the fifth in program history and the first since the 1973-74 campaign. That Irish squad opened 12-0. (see box on page 8 of this notes packet for detailed information on undefeated starts).
Notre Dame's 8-0 start was the best ever for the Irish under head coach Mike Brey and it also matched the longest win streak for an Irish team coached by him. Notre Dame's last eight-game win streak came during Brey's first season when his 2000-01 squad rattled off eight straight BIG EAST conference regular-season victories.
Consistency From Carleton
Carleton Scott has scored in double-figures in 10 of the past 12 games. He saw his 10-game double-digit scoring streak come to an end versus Georgetown (Dec. 29). That was the longest double-digit scoring streak for the Irish this season and it also was a career-best streak for Scott. He has reached double-digits 14 times in his career.
His four made three-pointers against Stony Brook (Dec. 19) were a career-high total. He dished out a career-high six assists versus UMBC (Dec. 22).
The 20-point effort against Stony Brook was Scott's second straight game (and second of his career) with 20 or more points. He netted a career-high 23 points versus Gonzaga on Dec. 11.
Scott's three double-doubles this season tie him with Tyrone Nash for the team lead in that category.
Carleton Scott's perfect 8-8 performance from the field against Stony Brook (Dec. 19) ranks in a tie for third all-time in program history. John Shumate was 9-9 versus Louisville on March 20, 1973, in the second round of the NIT. Keith Robinson also went 9-9 against UCLA on Dec. 17, 1989. Torin Francis was 8-8 versus Maryland on Dec. 7, 2002.
Scott was 4-4 from three-point range against Stony Brook. Matt Carroll owns the program's three-point perfection record as he went 6-6 against Tennessee-Chattanooga on Nov. 24, 2001.
Three Notre Dame players, Tim Abromaitis, Ben Hansbrough and Carleton Scott, all have scored 20-plus points in a game this season. Abromaitis has accomplished the feat a team-best seven times, while Hansbrough and Scott have done it four and two times, respectively.
Abromaitis saw his career-best four-game 20-plus point streak come to an end against Syracuse. He was the first Irish player to score 20 or more points in four consecutive contests since Luke Harangody did so in five straight games last season.
A Passing Grade
Notre Dame boasts a 1.7 assist-to-turnover ratio. The Irish have registered 256 assists on its 359 made field goals this season (.713). The Fighting Irish have just 151 turnovers and average just 10.8 turnovers per game.
Against UMBC (Dec. 22), Notre Dame eclipsed the 20-plus assist mark for the sixth time this season by dishing out 22 assists on 32 made field goals. The Irish had a season-high 29 assists (on 34 made field goals) versus Chicago State (Nov. 17).
Senior guard Ben Hansbrough leads the Irish with 56 assists (4.0 apg). Freshman point guard Eric Atkins is second with 46 (3.3 apg). Atkins has a team-best 2.7 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Hansbrough Helping In Many Ways
Senior guard Ben Hansbrough has scored in double-figures a team-best 13 times this season. He has reached double-digits in each of the past eight games, which is the top active streak on the team.
Hansbrough has led the team in scoring five times this season. He is second on the team with a 15.2 ppg. average this season. Hansbrough also has a team-best 56 assists (4.0 apg) and a team-high 15 steals.
Hansbrough netted a career-high 24 points against Indiana State on Nov. 30 and followed that up with a team-high 21 points against Kentucky on Dec. 8.
He has scored 20-plus points four times this season and 11 times in his career (seven times at Notre Dame). Hansbrough has reached double-digits 62 times in his career, including in 36 of his 49 career games with the Irish.
Spreading The Wealth
Four different Notre Dame players have led the team in scoring during a game this season. Tim Abromaitis and has led the Irish in scoring a team-best six times, while Ben Hansbrough has done so on five occasions. Carleton Scott has led the Irish in points three times, including one tie with Eric Atkins.
On nine occasions this season, Notre Dame has had at least four players reach double-figures in points in the same game. At least five players have reached double-digits in the same contest three times.
Six Notre Dame players (Abromaitis, Nash, Scott, Hansbrough, Cooley, Martin) reached double figures in points against Maine. It marked the first time the Irish had six double-digit scorers since Jan. 14, 2003 (vs. DePaul).
All five Notre Dame starters reached double-figures against Chicago State, Maine and Indiana State.
Notre Dame opponents are averaging just 28.4 points in the first half this season, while the Irish are averaging 39.4 points during the first stanza.
The Fighting Irish have scored 40-plus points in the first half of play eight times this season.
The Irish have trailed at halftime just two times this season (Georgia and Syracuse). Notre Dame is 1-1 in those contests.
Notre Dame has scored 80 or more points in a game eight times this season, including four games with 90-plus points.
Living Large At The Line
The Fighting Irish have 77 more made free throws than their opponents have attempts from the charity stripe. The Fighting Irish are 272-366 (.743) from the free throw line this season. That percentage ranks third among all BIG EAST teams. Irish opponents are 132-195 (.677) from the line.
Notre Dame has been in the bonus before the 10-minute mark of the first half four times this season, Georgia Southern (15:36), Chicago State (10:44), Gonzaga (10:50) and Stony Brook (11:55). Fighting Irish opponents have been in the bonus in the first half just a total of six times this season.
During the Old Spice Classic, Notre Dame held a decisive free throw advantage in all three games. The Irish made 20 more free throws than both Georgia (30-10) and California (26-6). Notre Dame made 16 more free throws (20-4) than Wisconsin in the title game.
Notre Dame went a combined 13-14 from the charity stripe during both overtime periods in the 89-83 triumph of Georgia. The Irish made a season-high 30 free throws, on 43 attempts, versus Georgia.
Carleton Scott is shooting a team-best 88.2% (30-34) from the line, which ranks third among all BIG EAST players. Tim Abromaitis owns an 83.6% (56-67) average. Tyrone Nash owns team-high totals in makes (66) and attempts (90) from the line for a 73.3% average. Nash entered this season as a career 56.7% shooter from the charity stripe (110-194).
Against Maine, Notre Dame shot a season-best 92.6% from the free throw line (25-27). The Fighting Irish also shot above 90% from the charity stripe against Stony Brook as they connected on 11 of 12 shots (91.7%).
Hitting The Glass
Notre Dame boasts a +8.3 rebound margin this season. That mark ranks third among all BIG EAST teams. The Irish have a +11.0 margin in their 12 wins, while they are -8.0 in their two losses. The Fighting Irish have held the advantage on the glass during all 12 of their wins, while they have been out-rebounded in both of their losses.
Notre Dame owns a 569-453 overall advantage on the glass overall this season. That mark includes a 174-142 edge in offensive boards. The Fighting Irish lead all BIG EAST squads by averaging 28.21 defensive rebounds per game.
The Fighting Irish are 113-301 (.375) from three-point range this season. That percentage ranks third among all BIG EAST teams. Notre Dame has hit 10 or more three pointers five times this season, all wins. The Irish are 100-257 (.389) from three-point range in their 12 wins and they are 13-44 (.295) in the two losses.
Notre Dame went 8-11 from three-point range in the first half against Maine (Nov. 22). The eight made treys matched a season-high total for a half for the Irish. Notre Dame made eight three-pointers in the second half versus Chicago State (Nov. 17).
Ben Hansbrough is shooting at a 45.5% clip (35-77) from beyond the arc. He ranks in a tie for fourth among all BIG EAST players in three-point field goal percentage this season. Dating back to last season, Hansbrough has made at least one three-pointer in a team-best 18 straight games. That is the longest such stretch for the Irish since Tim Abromaitis netted a trey in 29 consecutive games last season.
388 And Counting
Heading into the Connecticut contest, Notre Dame has made at least one three-pointer in 388 straight contests dating back to the 1998-99 campaign. The Fighting Irish have made at least one three pointer during every game of the Mike Brey era. The last time an Irish team failed to hit a three-pointer in a game was in a 101-70 loss to Connecticut at the Hartford Civic Center on Jan. 12, 1999. Notre Dame finished 0-7 from beyond the arc in that contest. In 2008-09, the Irish set a single-season three-point record with 319.
Tim Abromaitis, Ben Hansbrough and Tyrone Nash all have played in the past 49 contests. Nash and Hansbrough both have started all 49 of those contests. Overall, Nash has played in a team-best 64 straight contests. The last game he did not play in was at Cincinnati on Feb. 4, 2009.
Home Court Advantage
The Fighting Irish are 9-0 at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center this season. Notre Dame has won 78 of its last 84 (.929) home games and is 32-5 (.865) in its last 37 BIG EAST regular-season home contests.
Senior forward Carleton Scott has a team-best 25 blocked shots this season (1.8 per game).
Scott has blocked two or more shots in a game nine times this season. Scott tied a career-high total with a season-high four blocked shots against Indiana State (Nov. 30).
Martin Making An Impact
Scott Martin has scored in double-figures in each of the past three games. It's the first time this season - and the second time during his collegiate career - that he has registered double-digits in three straight contests. He reached double-digits in five straight games during his freshman season at Purdue (2007-08). He has scored in double-figures six times this season and 19 times in his career.
Martin produced an all-around effort on Saturday versus Syracuse. He scored 10 points and hauled down a team-high tying seven rebounds, which tied a season-high total. He also dished out a career-high six assists in addition to having one blocked shot and one steal. Martin went 4-4 from the free throw line against the Orange.
He has netted a season-high 15 points three times this season (Maine, Indiana State, UMBC). Those were his highest point outputs since he netted a career-high 17 points against Missouri State on Dec. 23, 2007, during his freshman season at Purdue.
Martin hit a career-high three three-pointers (on five attempts) against UMBC (Dec. 22). His previous high was two on eight occasions.
Martin did not play in 2008-09 due to NCAA transfer rules and he missed all of last season with an ACL injury.
Tyrone Takes Control
Against Georgetown (Dec. 29), senior forward Tyrone Nash (15 pts., 10 rebs.) notched his third double-double of the season. That ties him with Carleton Scott for the team lead in that category for the season. Nash has four career double-doubles.
Earlier this season, Nash netted a career-high 18 points versus Georgia (Nov. 25) during the first round of the Old Spice Classic. He followed that up with an 11-point effort against California (Nov. 26). That was his fifth straight game in double figures. It was the first time in his career that he reached double figures in five consecutive contests.
Nash's points-per-game total (10.1) ranks fourth among all Irish players. He is third on the team with 39 assists (2.8 apg) and 88 rebounds (6.3 rpg). Nash has a team-high 36 offensive rebounds.
Sophomore forward Jack Cooley is an efficient 27-40 (.675) from the field this season.
Cooley scored a career-high 13 points on 6-7 shooting from the field against Maine on Nov. 22. It was the second double-digit scoring output this season for Cooley, who netted a then career-high 11 points versus Georgia Southern in the season opener.
Rookie On The Rise
Freshman point guard Eric Atkins is averaging 6.4 points per game and he is second on the team with 46 assists (3.3 apg). He is averaging 26.0 minutes per game and boasts a team-best 2.7 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Atkins has registered five-plus assists in a game three times this season
He matched a career-high total with five rebounds versus UMBC (Dec. 22).
Versus Gonzaga (Dec. 11), Atkins matched a career-high total with 12 points in addition to hauling down a career-high seven rebounds. It was the third time that he's netted 12 points in a game (Chicago State and Wisconsin were the other two occasions). Atkins has scored in double-figures four times this season.
Against Chicago State on Nov. 17, Atkins became the first Irish freshman to start a game since Luke Harangody and Tory Jackson started against Winthrop in the first round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament.
By scoring 10 points against Liberty (Nov. 14) and 12 more versus Chicago State (Nov. 17), Atkins became the first Irish freshman to reach double figures in consecutive games since Harangody did so during the 2006-07 campaign.
After sitting out all of last season, sophomore forward Tom Knight scored the first points of his career in the season opener against Georgia Southern as he finished with seven points and four rebounds.
Knight matched his career-high point total with seven against UMBC in addition to hauling down a career-high five rebounds.
Old Spice Champions
Notre Dame won the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla. (Nov. 25-28) by capturing wins over Georgia (89-83 in 2ot), California (57-44) and Wisconsin (58-51). It marked the first three-game in-season tournament victory for the Fighting Irish since winning the 2001 Hawaii-Pacific Thanksgiving Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii as the Irish defeated Hawaii-Pacific (98-58), Tennessee-Chattanooga (97-84) and Monmouth (85-48). Notre Dame also won the 2002 BB&T Classic in Washington, DC with wins over Maryland (79-67) and Texas (98-92).
Notre Dame has played in an in-season tournament in each of the past five seasons and eight times during the Mike Brey era. Notre Dame is 18-6 all-time under Brey in in-season tournaments.
In the Old Spice Classic, the Irish held California and Wisconsin to five and 19 points, respectively, in the first half of play.
Notre Dame held California (16-61) and Wisconsin (20-57) to a combined 36-118 (.305) from the field during the final two games of the Old Spice Classic.
Notre Dame out-rebounded Wisconsin 43-28 in the title game of the tournament.
Senior forward Tim Abromaitis was named the MVP of the Old Spice Classic as he averaged 14.0 ppg. and 8.7 rpg. during the three-game run. Fellow senior forward Carleton Scott also was named to the all-tournament team. Scott was the only Irish player to reach double figures in points during every game of the event.
On A Run
Notre Dame used several key runs during the Old Spice Classic to secure the tournament title.
After falling behind Georgia 38-25 early in the second half, Notre Dame erased the deficit by going on a 27-10 run to claim a four-point lead with 7:22 left in regulation. The Irish wound up winning 89-83 in double-overtime.
After surrendering the game's first basket to California, the Irish went on to hold a 21-5 halftime advantage over the Golden Bears. The Irish defeated Cal 57-44.
In the championship game, Notre Dame trailed Wisconsin 43-32 with 9:21 left in regulation. The Fighting Irish finished the game on a 26-8 run to claim the 58-51 victory. Included in that stretch was a 15-0 run for the Irish.
BIG EAST Teams Find Success In Preseason Tournaments
Notre Dame won the Old Spice Classic and was one of six BIG EAST teams to come away with an in-season tournament title during the month of November.
Champions Notre Dame - Old Spice Classic
Connecticut - EA Sports Maui Invitational
Pittsburgh - 2K Sports Classic
Syracuse - Legends Classic
Georgetown - Charleston Classic
St. John's - Great Alaska Shootout Runner-Up
Villanova - Preseason NIT Tip-Off
West Virginia - Puerto Rico Tip-Off
Hansbrough Hits 1,000 Career Points
Senior guard Ben Hansbrough posted 20 points in the season opener against Georgia Southern (Nov. 12). With his 12th point of the contest, Hansbrough reached the 1,000th point mark for his career that spans two playing seasons at Mississippi State (2006-08) and one at Notre Dame (2009-10).
Irish Take Shot At Fifth Straight 20-Win Campaign
Notre Dame will be aiming for its fifth consecutive 20-win campaign and eighth in the last 11 seasons under head coach Mike Brey. The last time Irish teams reached the 20-win mark in five straight campaigns was from 1983-89 when those Notre Dame squads under Digger Phelps strung together six consecutive 20-win seasons.
Notre Dame has earned appearances in the postseason in each of the last 11 years, which marks the longest stretch in school history. The Irish have been to the NCAA Tournament on six occasions and the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) five times during this current stretch. Under head coach Mike Brey, Notre Dame has played in the NCAAs six times and NIT four times.
BIG EAST Formula For Success
Since his arrival at Notre Dame, head coach Mike Brey has led the Irish to a 99-69 (.589) record in BIG EAST regular-season games and a 6-10 mark in tournament play for an overall record of 105-79 (.571) against league foes. Brey's Irish teams have won 10 or more conference regular-season games in six of his 10 seasons. Prior to his arrival at Notre Dame, Irish teams had just a 35-53 (.398) regular-season record from 1995-2000.
BIG EAST Turnaround
During head coach Mike Brey's tenure, Irish teams have only had two losing seasons in BIG EAST play - 6-10 in 2005-06 and 8-10 in 2008-09. Since the 2005-06 campaign when the Irish finished 6-10 after beginning the BIG EAST regular-season with a 1-8 record, Notre Dame has gone 49-30 (.620) over the last 79 regular-season contests. In addition to Notre Dame, only four other BIG EAST teams have had records of .500 or better eight or more times - Pittsburgh and Syracuse (nine times) and Notre Dame, Connecticut and Villanova (eight times).
BIG EAST Repeats
For the fourth consecutive season, Notre Dame will meet Connecticut in a home-and-home series during the 2010-11 BIG EAST regular season. In addition to the Huskies, the Irish also are slated to play Marquette and St. John's twice this season. This will be the fourth year since the expansion to 16 teams that the Conference will employ an 18-game regular-season slate with all team playing each other once and three opponents twice in a home-and-away format. Notre Dame's single-game home opponents will be Cincinnati, Georgetown, Louisville, Rutgers, Seton Hall and Villanova. The road slate also will feature visits to DePaul, Pittsburgh, Providence, USF, Syracuse and West Virginia.
Irish To Appear On Three BIG Monday Broadcasts
As part of its 18-game national television slate in 2010-11, Notre Dame will be part of three ESPN Big Monday broadcasts. The first appearance for the Fighting Irish will be when head coach Mike Brey's squad travels to the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wis., to take on Marquette at 7:00 p.m. (ET) on Jan. 10 in a game that will be shown on ESPN2. Notre Dame's matchup at Pittsburgh on Jan. 24 at 7:00 p.m. (ET) at the Petersen Events Center will be shown on ESPN. The ESPN Big Monday cameras will make their only appearance at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center at 7:00 p.m. (ET) on Feb. 28 when the Irish take on Villanova.
Lights, Camera, Action
More than half of the 144 regular-season BIG EAST Conference men's basketball games will be seen on national television during the 2010-11 season, once again giving BIG EAST teams unprecedented exposure on the nation's leading television outlets. In total, 73 of the regular-season contests will be on national television - either on CBS Sports, ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU. This will mark the fourth straight season in which all 144 regular-season league games will be televised.
106 Years Young
The 2010-11 campaign marks the 106th season of basketball at Notre Dame and the 16th season as a member of the BIG EAST Conference. Notre Dame teams have posted a 1686-922 record for a .647 winning percentage. In 15 seasons as a member of the BIG EAST, the Irish own a 134-122 (.523) record all-time in conference regular-season play.
This year's Notre Dame roster features several players with some strong basketball bloodlines:
Tim Abromaitis - His father, Jim, played basketball at the University of Connecticut (1975-80) and was drafted by the New Jersey Nets. His brother, Jason, played basketball at Yale (2003-07).
Mike Broghammer - His uncle, Christian Laettner, played professional basketball for 13 seasons and was a member of the 1992 gold medal Dream Team. He played for Duke University (1988-92) and led the Blue Devils to national championships in 1991 and 1992.
Joey Brooks - His father, Lott J. Brooks, III, played college basketball at Eckerd College (1974-78).
Jerian Grant - His father, Harvey, played basketball at the University of Oklahoma (1986-88), and was the 12th pick overall in the 1988 NBA Draft and played from 1988-99 in the NBA. His uncle, Horace Grant, played at Clemson, and was the 10th overall pick in the NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls. He is the owner of four NBA championship rings. His older brother, Jerai, is a senior on the Clemson basketball team, while a younger brother, Jerami is a junior on the DeMatha basketball team.
Ben Hansbrough - His brother, Tyler, played basketball at the University of North Carolina (2005-09). A three-time All-American, he was the 2008 National Player of the Year and led the Tar Heels to the 2009 national championship. Currently, he is in his second season with the Indiana Pacers, and was the 13th pick overall in the 2009 NBA Draft.
Tom Knight - His father, Karl, played basketball at Bowdoin (1976-80).
Jerian Grant is the first Irish basketball player from DeMatha High School to attend Notre Dame during the Mike Brey era. Brey played and coached at DeMatha and also is the alma mater of assistant coach Rod Balanis. Former Irish players who also played at DeMatha include Bob Whitmore (1967-69), Sid Catlett (1969-71) and Adrian Dantley (1974-76).
Irish Ink One For 2011
Pat Connaughton, a 6-5, 195-pound swingman from Arlington, Mass., was the lone early-November 2011 signee for head coach Mike Brey.
A four-year starter at St. John's Prep in Danvers, Mass., Connaughton averaged 24.0 points and 17.9 rebounds in 2009-10 as he led St. John's to one of the best seasons in program history as the squad finished with a 21-3 mark that included a 15-game win streak during the season. In addition, his squad won the Catholic Conference championship and finished the regular season with a 7-1 league record. His team was ranked seventh in the final Massachusetts state poll after making the school's first appearance since 1974 in the Division 1 state finals.
Connaughton was the only junior selected to the Boston Globe Super Team and the Boston Herald High Dream Team. He was selected as Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the Catholic Conference and was named to the Catholic Conference All-Star Team. In addition, he was selected as his team's MVP and served as team captain.
He is ranked 73rd nationally by Scout.com and 100th by ESPNU.
Brey Serving as Chairman of NCAA Men's Basketball Rules Committee
Mike Brey was elected chair of the 2010-11 NCAA Men's Basketball Rules Committee in May 2010 and is serving his fourth year on the rules committee.
Adidas And Notre Dame Unveil Lightest, Most Technologically Advanced College Basketball Uniforms
At the start of the 2010-11 basketball season, adidas and the University of Notre Dame basketball teams unveiled the lightest and most technologically advanced college basketball uniforms ever. Designed and developed by adidas, the uniforms are 30 percent lighter and dry twice as fast as previous uniforms to help enhance the Fighting Irish's performance by keeping players cooler, drier and more comfortable on the court.
The new Notre Dame uniforms, made from 60 percent recycled materials, feature adidas' Formotion technology, which reduces seams, decreases friction between the garment and the player's skin and optimizes the player's natural movement through specially constructed material. adidas reduced uniform weight and increased player comfort by switching front and back numbers from heavier, dense materials to a more breathable mesh.
The new Notre Dame uniform absorbs moisture in less than three seconds as a result of adidas CLIMACOOL fabrics. The jersey moves heat and sweat away from the body through a combination of moisture management materials, ventilation channels and three dimensional garments, helping the uniform dry twice as quickly.
Along with Notre Dame, 10 other schools will debut the new uniforms this season, including Cincinnati, Indiana, Kansas, Louisville, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina State, Tennessee, UCLA and Wisconsin.
In addition to the NCAA teams wearing the new uniforms, all 30 NBA teams will wear Revolution 30 jerseys this season featuring similar adidas technology.