Notre Dame opened its BIG EAST regular season last Wednesday night with a 75-70 win over defending national champion Connecticut at the Hartford Civic Center. Sophomore forward Troy Murphy (Morristown, N.J.) scored 33 points and pulled down 16 rebounds in the win. He was named the BIG EAST co-player-of-the-week on Monday for his effort - the fourth-straight week he has won the award and the fifth time this season.
The Irish opened its regular season against another '99 Final Four participant as it defeated Ohio State by a 59-57 score in Columbus on Nov. 16 in the first round of the Preseason National Invitation Tournament. The Irish went on to finish fourth in that event.
Notre Dame has played a total of five ranked teams this season and enters the game with a 10-5 record and is 1-0 in the BIG EAST. The other Irish wins in the streak have come against VMI (79-66 on Dec. 18), Rider (75-62 on Dec. 22), Elon (97-71 on Dec. 28), St. Peter's (85-67 on Dec. 31) and Loyola Marymount (75-57 on Jan. 2).
The Irish have also lost a pair of overtime games this season - an 81-64 loss at Indiana on Nov. 30 (the Hoosiers went out to a 22-4 lead in that contest) and at home against Vanderbilt on Dec. 4 (87-85).
After tonight's game vs. Boston College, the Irish hit the road for a two-game trip - at Syracuse on Sunday for a 12:00 p.m. EST game and at Rutgers on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. EST.
Last season, the two teams split a pair of games with the home team winning each contest - a 78-67 win at the Conte Forum by the Eagles on Jan. 27 and a 78-59 win by the Irish at the Joyce Center in the regular season finale on Feb. 28.
In the game at Boston College, four Eagle players scored in double figures as Michael Cotton had 20 points and Kenny Walls scored 16. Jonathan Beerbohm added 11 and Kenny Harley scored 10.
In the game at Notre Dame, the Eagles led by four at the half (34-30), but the Irish controlled the second half as Phil Hickey had 21 points while Troy Murphy had 17 to lead five Irish players in double figures.
Jones averaged 17 points per game last year at Pennsbury for head coach Frank Sciolla as the team won 26 games - the most in school history. The team played in the District One championship game and lost in the second round of the state tournament. Jones earned first team all-conference and all-area honors and averaged 22 points per game in seven post season contests. In his junior year, Jones shot 50.2% from the field and 43.8% from three-point field goal distance.
Markwood earned first-team all-state honors last season at South Portland, averaging 21.5 points, 6.3 assists, 4.9 rebounds and four assists for head coach Tony DiBiase. Markwood earned first team all-conference honors last year and was named conference MVP. His AAU team in Maine has been the state champions for the past three years.
Timmermans averaged 12.5 points per game last year at Blue Ridge for head coach Bill Ramsey along with 10 rebounds. The team finished 19-6 on the season - third in the state among independent schools.
The Irish now have a 3-2 record in BIG EAST regular season openers with losses to Rutgers in '95-96 and Providence in '96-97 and wins over Pittsburgh in '97-98 and Providence in '98-99. Notre Dame has never been 2-0 in league play.
Notre Dame is 1-3 in BIG EAST home openers with a 69-52 win over Syracuse on Jan. 2, 1997, the only victory.
The Ohio State win was the first Notre Dame road win over a Big Ten team since defeating Northwestern on Dec. 5, 1979, by a 73-56 score.
ONLY 42 POINTS: The 42 points that the Irish gave up in their 65-42 win over Valparaiso on Dec. 8 marked the least amount of points that Notre Dame has given up since Jan. 30, 1985, when Notre Dame also gave up 42 points in a 48-42 win over St. Louis at the Joyce Center. The last time Notre Dame gave up less than 42 points was Jan. 16, 1984, a 65-39 win over Rice at the Joyce Center.
ALSO RECEIVING VOTES: Notre Dame was in the also receiving votes category of both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today college basketball polls this week.
Notre Dame received 18 points in the ESPN/USA Today poll on Nov. 21, to place sixth in the also receiving votes category, and received one point in the polls released on Nov. 28 and Dec. 5.
The Irish were second in the Associated Press ranking of Nov. 22 in the also receiving votes category with 160 points, eight in back of Miami of Florida (168). Notre Dame also received four points in the AP voting of Dec 6.
The last time Notre Dame appeared in the national poll rankings was a No. 19 spot in the first Associated Press poll of the 1989 season.
PRESEASON NIT: Notre Dame's trip to the Preseason NIT in '99 marked the third appearance for the Irish in the event. In 1986, Notre Dame lost at home in the first round to Western Kentucky by an 80-63 score. In 1990, Notre Dame defeated Fordham (56-46) and Iowa (77-68) at home to advance to the finals in New York and lost to Arizona (91-61) in the semifinals and Duke (85-77) in the consolation game.
As an assistant at Kansas, Notre Dame head coach Matt Doherty participated in the event twice. The Jayhawks won both the 1993 and 1997 events.
HEAD COACH MATT DOHERTY: Notre Dame head basketball coach Matt Doherty is in his first year in charge of the Fighting Irish program and his first season as a collegiate head coach.
Doherty previously served as an assistant coach at Kansas for seven seasons from 1992-99 as the Jayhawks advanced to the NCAA tournament in each year, including a trip to the 1993 Final Four.
Doherty previously served as an assistant coach at Davidson for three seasons from 1989-92.
Doherty is a 1984 graduate of North Carolina and helped lead the Tar Heels to the 1982 NCAA title. Doherty became just the second player in Atlantic Coast Conference history, joining North Carolina's Walter Davis, to accumulate 1,000 points, 400 rebounds and 400 assists in a career.
HITTING THE CENTURY MARK: Notre Dame's win over Siena on Nov. 18 in the second round of the Preseason NIT marked the first time Notre Dame scored over 100 points in a game since a 101-98 win at Syracuse on Feb. 15, 1992. The 107 points scored by the Irish were the most since they also scored 107 vs. Miami (Fla.) on Jan. 27, 1990. The 48-point differential for Notre Dame from Ohio State (59 points) to Siena was the most in back-to-back games since a 50-point differential in the '74 NCAA tournament with a 77-68 loss to Michigan and a 118-88 win over Vanderbilt in a regional consolation game.
MURPHY NAMED BIG EAST PLAYER OF THE WEEK AGAIN: Murphy was named the BIG EAST co-player of the week on Jan. 10 for his game against Connecticut last Wednesday when he scored 33 points and 16 rebounds. He shared the award with Erick Barkley of St. John's.
Murphy has now won the BIG EAST player-of-the-week award for four consecutive weeks and five times this season overall.
John Wallace of Syracuse holds the BIG EAST record for most player-of-the-week awards won in a row with five from Dec. 4-Jan. 8 of the 1995-96 seasons. He also holds the conference record for most player-of-the-week awards in a single-season with six in '95-'96.
In addition to Jan. 10, Murphy also won the award on Jan. 3, Dec. 27, Dec. 20 and on Nov. 22 for his performance in the first two rounds of the Preseason NIT and the Irish win over St. Francis (Pa.) on Nov. 22. That announcement was the first weekly BIG EAST award of the season.
As of Jan. 10, Murphy is both the leading scorer and rebounder in the BIG EAST in overall games.
Murphy was named the BIG EAST rookie of the year in 1999 and won the BIG EAST rookie of the week award eight times - the second-highest in league history.
MURPHY GETS 11TH DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Murphy had his 11th double-double of the season last Wednesday against Connecticut.
The sophomore forward has led the Irish in scoring in 13 games this season and has been the leading rebounder or tied on 13 occasions. He scored 35 points against St. Francis (Pa.) on Nov. 20 for his career high topping his previous mark of 32 set against West Virginia last year.
Murphy has now played in 42 games as a collegiate performer and has scored in double figures in all but one of them. He has posted double-doubles in 23 games and has scored 20 or more points in 21 games and 30 or more points in nine games.
This season, Murphy has scored in double figures in every game, scored 20 or more points in 11 games and 30 or more points in six games, including four of the past six.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT TROY MURPHY
"In tough times, Troy is my first option. Just like it was when I was playing, 'Let's get the ball to Michael (Jordan).
"That didn't hurt my feelings as a player.
"His work ethic sets him apart. Troy's right up there with the hardest workers I've coached. He works hard and loves the game of basketball."
"Notre Dame has a great player in Troy Murphy, who's a tough matchup because he's effective inside and out. He's very clever inside."
"He has a great feel for the game and where to go to get open. He used his body well to post up, is effective on the baseball and is just fundamentally sound. He's learned the game well."
Maryland coach Gary Williams
"He's a terrific player. I don't know what other great praise I can give him."
Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun
"You don't stop Murphy. We're not going to do anything special. He's a lottery pick when he goes to the NBA. We've just got to make it tough for him to get low-post position and keep him off the glass."
Siena coach Paul Hewitt, entering the second round NIT game with Notre Dame - Murphy scored 21 points and had 12 rebounds against the Saints
"Troy Murphy, without question, is one of the premier big guys in the country. Anytime you have a player of the caliber of Troy Murphy, you're going to have a hard time if you're not strong inside."
St. Francis (Pa.) coach Bobby Jones
"We tried to bump him a little bit earlier in the second half and double down. If you bump him a little bit before he gets in the low post, he'll move outside. Boy, is he a player."
"Troy Murphy is a machine."
MURPHY AND THE NATIONAL LEADERS: Murphy is among the national leaders in scoring and rebounding. As of January 11, Murphy was second in the country in scoring at 25.0 points per game, while Sirvalliant Brown of George Washington was first at 25.8 points per game. In rebounding, Murphy was tied for seventh at 11.1 per game while Darren Phillip of Fairfield is first at 13.2.
MURPHY APPROACHES 1,000: Murphy is looking to become the 40th player in Notre Dame history to score 1,000 career points. Murphy has played 42 career games and has scored 894 points - needing 106 points to reach 1,000.
PRESEASON BIG EAST HONORS FOR MURPHY: Murphy was picked first team preseason all-BIG EAST for the 1999-2000 season by the league coaches. The honor was announced at BIG EAST Conference Media Day on Wed., October 25, 1999, and was held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City.
Also named to the first team was: Khalid El-Amin of Connecticut, Johnny Hemsley of Miami, Erick Barkley of St. John's and Etan Thomas of Syracuse.
The second team was Kevin Freeman of Connecticut, Isaac Hawkins of Pittsburgh, Bootsy Thornton of St. John's, Jason Hart of Syracuse and Marcus Goree of West Virginia.
The preseason player of the year was El-Amin and the preseason rookie of the year was Ajou Deng of Connecticut.
MORE PRESEASON HONORS FOR MURPHY: In addition to the BIG EAST honors, Murphy garnered a number of preseason accolades heading into the 1999-2000 campaign, including:
- Second Team All-America, Dick Vitale's College Basketball
- Second Team All-America, Basketball News
- Honorable Mention All-America, Athlon
- Ranked second in country among centers, Dick Vitale's College Basketball
- Ranked fourth in country among power forwards, Lindy's
- Ranked 11th in country among power forwards, The Sporting News
- First Team All-BIG EAST, Dick Vitale's College Basketball
- First Team All-BIG EAST, The Sporting News
- First Team All-BIG EAST, Lindy's
- Best NBA Prospect in BIG EAST, Lindy's
- Best Rebounder in BIG EAST, The Sporting News
- All-Windex Team (The kids can really clean the glass), Dick Vitale's College Basketball
GRAVES IS SUPER SOPH: Graves enjoyed an outstanding game against Vanderbilt on Dec. 4 with career highs for points (33), rebounds (12), field goals made (11), three-point field goals (five) and minutes played (44). The game was the first double-double of Graves' collegiate career.
Against Elon on Dec. 28, Graves led the Irish in scoring for the second time this season as he registered 24 points and also added six rebounds.
Graves scored the winning basket against Ohio State and started the season with one of the top games of his Irish career as he scored 18 points (now tied for career fourth-best) on a seven of 12 effort from the field along with eight rebounds, to tie a career high. Graves added 16 points in the win over Siena on Nov. 18 and had 12 against St. Francis (Pa.) on Nov. 21.
Graves has started 43 of the 45 collegiate games he has played in and has scored in double figures in 31 of those contests. He has scored in double figures in all but four games this season.
Graves scored 370 points as a freshman last year - the fourth-highest in school history behind Murphy (519 last year), Adrian Dantley (511 in 1973-74) and David Rivers (474 in 1984-85). He now has 579 career points.
Graves has added the three-point field goal shot to his repertoire this year as he is 32-of-69 (46.4%) from that range this year to lead the Irish. Last year, Graves was 35-of-86 from trey range.
Graves is second among Irish regulars in field goal percentage this season at 53.0% (79-of-149).
CARROLL GETS CAREER HIGH: Notre Dame freshman guard Matt Carroll (Horsham, Pa.) registered a career-high 22 points against VMI on Dec. 18. Carroll was three-for-six from three-point field goal range and was seven-for-11 from the field. He also added five assists.
Carroll had come off the bench in the first six games of the season before being moved into the starting lineup against Vanderbilt on Dec. 11. In his first start, he had 18 points - then a career-high.
Carroll has now scored in double figures in six games - 16 points vs. Siena and 11 vs. Maryland in addition to the Vanderbilt, VMI, Valparaiso (13 points) and Elon (10 points) games.
In his BIG EAST debut last Wednesday against Connecticut, Carroll went scoreless in the first half - missing his first six field goal attempts - but scored 10 points in the second half to help the Irish to the victory.
Carroll is 22-of-68 from three-point field goal range this season.
He spent the summer as a member of the USA Basketball Junior National Team that played in the FIBA World Championships, which were held in Portugal in August. The United States won the silver medal in the event.
Carroll played in seven of the eight games the United States played and scored a combined 16 points to go along with three rebounds and four steals. He scored eight points in the United States' opening round win over China.
Carroll is the only player in the history of Pennsylvania high school basketball to win the Associated Press player of the year twice.
SWANAGAN GETS DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Sophomore Harold Swanagan (Hopkinsville, Kent.) scored 11 points and had 12 rebounds vs. Rider on Dec. 22 for his first double-double of the season and third of his career.
Swanagan scored in double figures for the first time this season when he had 10 points and added four rebounds against Valparaiso on Dec. 8. Swanagan's previous season high was eight points against St. Francis (Pa.). Swanagan has started 12 of 13 games for the Irish this year at the center position.
Swanagan played in 29 games last season, scoring in double figures in eight of them and starting two games.
DILLON DISHES OUT: Senior point guard Jimmy Dillon (Philadelphia, Pa.) has started all 15 games for the Irish this season and has recorded a team-leading 90 assists to go with 49 turnovers.
Dillon's 90 assists is already his personal career-high for a season as he had 80 last year.
Entering the season, Dillon had started just two games in his career and had averaged 11.6 minutes per game - as opposed to 27.8 minutes per game this year. Dillon is the most experienced player on the Irish team this year in terms of career games with 100.
Against Connecticut last Wednesday, Dillon scored nine points - to tie a career-high - and dished out seven assists.
MACURA GETS FIRST CAREER START: Freshman forward Jere Macura (Split, Croatia) started the first game of his collegiate career vs. VMI (Dec. 18) and had two points and three rebounds in 15 minutes of action.
Macura registered a career-high 13 points, including two three-point field goals, vs. Indiana (Nov. 30). Macura played a career-high 33 minutes off the bench and also added eight rebounds.
Macura scored five points in 10 minutes against Connecticut last Wednesday. All five points - a field goal and a three-point field goal - were scored during a 13-2 Irish run during the second half that turned a 38-35 UConn lead into a 48-40 Notre Dame lead.
Macura scored nine points coming off the bench in 18 minutes of play against Maryland (Nov. 26). Macura scored all his points on three-point field goals as he was three for four from that range for the game. He came off the bench to score eight points against Elon on Dec. 28 and St. Peter's on Dec. 31.
MONSEREZ, KARTELO GET CAREER HIGHS: Freshman guard Mike Monserez (Cincinnati, Ohio) posted his career high for points in three-straight games.
Monserez scored five points vs. Elon (Dec. 28), six points vs. St. Peter's (Dec. 31) and nine vs. Loyola Marymount (Jan. 2). Monserez registered three three-point field goals vs LMU and is seven-of-24 from that range this season.
Freshman center Ivan Kartelo (Split, Croatia) scored 11 points off the bench in 22 minutes of action against St. Peter's (Dec. 31). Kartelo played a career-high 26 minutes vs. Connecticut last Wednesday and scored two points with five rebounds.
IRISH ON THE RADIO
Host/USA originates the Notre Dame Basketball Radio Network for the 12th consecutive year in 1999-2000.
Jack Lorri will handle the play-by-play of all Notre Dame basketball games and this season marks his 31st year announcing Irish games. Lorri spent his first 14 years with Notre Dame as sports director of WTRC-AM in Elkhart, Ind., and then five years doing games on WGN-AM in Chicago before teaming up with Host/USA. He served as sports director for WSJV-TV in Elkhart for 13 years beginning in 1967 and did play-by-play for Kentucky football and basketball on WLAP in Lexington in 1961-63. Lorri also served as sports director of the Tribune Radio Network in Chicago.
Jack Nolan handles the color commentary on the network. He has been a sports anchor at WNDU-TV, the NBC affiliate in South Bend, for more than a decade. He has done play-by-play of Irish basketball on both television and radio as well as on live telecasts of Notre Dame football. He is also the host of WNDU's highly successful Saturday and Sunday morning news broadcasts.
Stations on the Notre Dame Basketball Radio Network this season are: WMAQ 670 AM in Chicago, WAUR 930 AM in Chicago, WNDV 1490 AM and 92.9 FM in South Bend, WEFM 95.9 FM in Michigan City, Ind., WLUV 96.7 FM and 1520 AM in Rockford, Ill., KHEP 1280 AM in Phoenix, Ariz., KATD 990 AM in San Francisco, Calif., KSAR 92.7 FM in Conway, Ark., and KIND 1010 AM in Independence, Kan.
All radio broadcasts of Notre Dame basketball games can also be heard through the World Wide Web at www.und.com.
WMAQ-AM radio will carry Notre Dame basketball games in the Chicago market again this season as part of the Notre Dame Basketball Radio Network originated by Host/USA. In addition, Chicago's WAUR-AM will also broadcast selected Irish games.
WMAQ-AM (670), with its 50,000-watt clear channel signal, covers a larger geographic area than any other radio station in Chicago. The station's other sports properties include the Chicago Bears and the Chicago Blackhawks and the station is also affiliated with CNN Radio.
Notre Dame basketball games on WMAQ this season include: Dec. 4 against Vanderbilt, Dec. 11 at Miami (Ohio), Dec. 18 vs. VMI, Jan. 16 at Syracuse, Jan. 22 vs. Pittsburgh, Jan. 25 vs. Miami (Fla.), Jan. 29 vs. St. John's, Feb. 6 at Pittsburgh, Feb. 8 at Villanova, Feb. 12 vs. Connecticut, Feb. 19 at Seton Hall, Feb. 26 at Miami (Fla.) and March 4 at Georgetown.
Six more Irish games will be carried in the Chicago area on WAUR-AM (930). They include: Nov. 16 at Ohio State, Nov. 30 at Indiana, Dec. 8 vs. Valparaiso, Jan. 5 at Connecticut, Feb. 23 vs. Providence and March 1 vs. Syracuse.
TICKETS ON SALE
Tickets are currently on sale for the 1999-2000 basketball season.
Pro-rated season tickets for all remaining home games are available in the bleacher seats.
A special four-game Saturday package is available and includes the Vanderbilt (Dec. 4), Pittsburgh (Jan. 22), St. John's (Jan. 29) and Connecticut (Feb. 12) games. That package is priced at $30 (plus $15 for handling per order).
Single game tickets are now on sale at $15 for the lower arena (when available) and $8 for bleachers.
BACK TO THE FUTURE
Ever since Matt Doherty was named the coach at Notre Dame, he has stressed the tradition of winning that the program has. He has worked hard to include former players in the program: