Notre Dame (14-4, 4-2 BIG EAST)
Providence (12-7, 3-4 BIG EAST)
Thursday, January 31, 2008 * 7:00 p.m. (EST) Joyce Center (11,418) * Notre Dame, Ind.
MEDIA INFORMATION Television: ESPN2: John Saunders (play-by-play analyst), Bob Valvano (color analyst). Radio: Jack Nolan (play-by-play analyst), LaPhonso Ellis (color analyst)
Notre Dame Sports Properties originates the Notre Dame Radio Network which includes: WLS 890 AM in Chicago, Ill. (Chicagoland area and Midwest); WZOW 97.7 FM and 102.3 FM in South Bend, Ind.; ESPN 950 AM in Indianapolis, Ind.; WLYV 1450 AM in Fort Wayne, Ind. and Northeast, Ind.; WLUV 96.7 AM in Rockford and DeKalb, Ill., and Beloit and Janesville, Wis.; WLUV 1520 AM in Rockford and DeKalb, Ill., and Beloit and Janesville, Wis.; WEFM 95.9 FM in Michigan City and Gary, Ind.; ESPN (WRSW) 1480 AM in Warsaw, Ind.; WAMW 107.9 FM and 1580 AM in Washington, Ind., Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 159 and www.und.com. Real-Time Stats: Live in-game statistics are available for all home games, via the Notre Dame athletic website (www.und.com).
Notre Dame vs. Providence
After back-to-back road outings, Notre Dame returns to the Joyce Center for the first time since defeating Cincinnati, 91-74, on January 15. Tonight's game against Providence is the first of consecutive home matchups in less than 48 hours as the Irish will play host to the DePaul Blue Demons on Saturday night at 6:00 p.m.
Notre Dame is coming off its first BIG EAST road win of the season following Saturday's 90-80 win over Villanova at the Wachovia Center and also marked the first win over a ranked opponent (1-2).
Prior to the win over the Wildcats, the Irish had suffered a 26-point loss (92-66) at Marquette and a 19-point setback at Georgetown on consecutive Saturdays. Those two defeats were the worst ever under head coach Mike Brey.
This will be the first and only regular-season meeting between Notre Dame and Providence this season. The Irish lead the all-time series 11-9 and are 6-4 against the Friars at the Joyce Center. Notre Dame has won four straight in the series and eight of the last 10 meetings. Providence's last win in the series came at the Joyce Center on February 24, 2004 with a 73-59 victory.
Notre Dame began the conference season 2-0 following victories over West Virginia and Connecticut. It marked the fourth time since becoming a league member in 1995-96 that an Irish team has started conference play 2-0. The other three times that Notre Dame has started off 2-0 in the BIG EAST was 1999-2000, 2003-04 and 2004-05.
Notre Dame's 91-74 win over Cincinnati on January 15 extended Notre Dame's school-record win streak to 31 games at the Joyce Center that includes 12 straight versus BIG EAST foes. The Irish finished with a perfect 8-0 record at home during the 2006-07 campaign during league play.
Notre Dame's 12 consecutive wins at home versus conference foes is the longest for an Irish team since becoming a league member in 1995-96.
After tying the school record of 24 straight victories against Eastern Michigan on December 1, the Irish broke the 30-plus year record with its win over Northern Illinois on December 8. The Irish have not lost at the Joyce Center since February 25, 2006 with an 80-72 setback to Marquette.
Notre Dame opened BIG EAST play with two home games which marked the first time since the joining the league that the Irish played its first two conference games at home.
Harangody On Wooden Top 30 Midseason List
Sophomore forward Luke Harangody has been named to the John R. Wooden Award Top 30 Midseason list. The Wooden Award is presented annually to the nation's top basketball player. Harangody was not part of the Wooden Preseason Top 50 list, but was one of 11 players selected to the squad at midseason. Named to othe Top 30 Midseason List along with Harangody were: D.J. Augustin (Texas), Michael Beasley (Kansas State), Jon Brockman (Washington), Chase Budinger (Arizona), Mario Chalmers (Kansas), Stephen Curry (Davidson), Chris Douglas-Roberts (Memphis), Wayne Ellington (North Carolina), Shan Foster (Vanderbilt), Eric Gordon (Indiana), Jamont Gordon (Mississippi State), Malik Hairston (Oregon), Tyler Hansbrough (North Carolina), James Harden (Arizona State), Roy Hibbert (Georgetown), Chris Lofton (Tennessee), Kevin Love (UCLA), Derrick Low (Washington State), O.J. Mayo (USC), Raymar Morgan (Michigan State), Demarcus Nelson (Duke), Tyrese Rice (Boston College), Brian Roberts (Dayton), Derrick Rose (Memphis), Brandon Rush (Kansas), Sean Singletary (Virginia), Jason Thompson (Rider), D.J. White (Indiana) and Sam Young.
McAlarney And Harangody Tabbed For BIG EAST Honors
Kyle McAlarney was named the BIG EAST Player of the Week for the first time in his career following his 30-point performance in leading the Irish to their first confeence road win of the season on Saturday, a 90-80 victory over Villanova. Teammate Luke Harangody was named to the league's Weekly Honor Roll. The duo combined for 36 of Notre Dame's 51 second-half points against the Wildcats. McAlarney shot 10-15 from the field and was 5-8 from three-point range. In addition, he dished off five assists. Harangody scored 25 points and dished off 10 rebounds for his ninth double-double of the season as he was selected to the Honor Roll for the third time this season.
Notre Dame leads the all-time series 11-9 and has won four straight against the Friars, including last season's 81-78 victory at the Joyce Center. Providence is 4-6 all-time at the Joyce Center. It's last win in the series came at the Joyce Center when the Friars defeated Notre Dame 73-58. Since the Irish joined the BIG EAST in 1995-96, there have been 15 meetings between the two schools during the regular season and in tournament competition. In BIG EAST play, Notre Dame holds a 9-6 edge.
Notre Dame In The Top 10 Of NCAA Statistics
Notre Dame ranks in the top five of the NCAA statistics in two categories: assists (6th-18.9) and rebounding margin (7th-9.1).
Zach Sparks Lineup Change
Through the first 117 games prior to the Villanvoa game, Irish head coach Mike Brey had gone with the starting lineup of fowards Rob Kurz and Luke Harangody and guards Ryan Ayers, Tory Jackson and Kyle McAlarney. Against the Wildcats, Zach Hillesland replaced Ayers in the starting lineup. Only two players, Zach Hillesland (one game vs. North Florida) and Ty Proffitt (four games vs. Long Island, Monmouth, Baylor and Georgia Tech) have missed games due to injury. Hillesland was held out of the Monday's game against North Florida with an ankle sprain, while Proffitt missed four games due to a groin injury suffered in practice.
Now That's Something To Talk About
Notre Dame's current record-setting 31-game home win streak spans three seasons - the final two games played during the
2005-06 campaign, the entire 2006-07 season and 11 games in 2007-08. Here's a look at the dominance of the Irish during its present win
2,604 (84.0 ppg.)
1,964 (63.4 ppg.)
Margin of Victory
+640 points (+20.6)
Notes: Notre Dame has shot .500 or better in 14 of 31 games
Notre Dame opponents have shot .500 or better in 3 of 31 games
24 wins by 10-plus points
13 wins by 20-plus points
9 wins by 30-plus points
5 wins by 40-plus points
1 win by 50-plus points
Irish Get BIG EAST Road Win At Villanova
Notre Dame earned its first BIG EAST road win of the season on Saturday with its 90-80 victory over Villanova at the Wachovia Center. The Irish shot 50.9 percent from the field (27-53), 47.4 percent from three-point range (9-19) and 71.1 percent from the charity stripe (27-38).
In its first two BIG EAST road losses to Marquette (92-66) and Georgetown (84-65), Notre Dame lost by a combined 45 points and shot just 36.1 percent from the field (43-119), 25.0 percent from beyond the arc (11-44) and 72.3 percent (34-47) from the free-throw line.
A Tale Of Two Halves
The first and second halves for Notre Dame against Cincinnati in its 91-74 victory couldn't have been more different than night and day. In the first half, the Irish trailed 34-27 at the break (the first time they had trailed at home at halftime this
season) after shooting only 24.0 percent from the field (6-25). In the second-half, the Irish outscored the Bearcats 64-40 as they shot
69.2 percent (18-26) from the field, 66.7 percent (6-9) from three-point range and 84.6 percent (22-26) from the free throw line.
Luke Harangody scored 24 of his game-high 25 points in the second half. It was the largest scoring output by and Irish player in a half since Chris Thomas scored 27 of 39 points in the second half of a 77-66 victory over Saint Louis on March 22, 2004.
The 64 points in the second half were the most points by an Irish team in a half of a regulation game under head coach Mike Brey.
The six first-half field goals matched the fewest ever scored by an Irish team in a half under Brey.
Valuing The Basketball
In its back-to-back wins over Colgate and Eastern Michigan, Notre Dame committed just eight and nine turnovers, respectively, marking the only time this season that the Irish had fewer than 10 turnovers in back-to-back contests. In the Irish win over Brown on December 29, the Irish had seven turnovers, including just one in the first half. Two of the strengths of Notre Dame basketball teams under head coach Mike Brey have been distributing and taking care of the basketball. The Irish are averaging 18.8 assists per game and 13.8 turnovers for a 1.36 assists-to-turnover ratio. Notre Dame has dished off 20 or more assists in six games this season. The 24 turnovers committed by Notre Dame in the loss at Marquette were the most ever for for an Irish team under head coach Mike Brey.
Double The Pleasure
For the second time this season, Luke Harangody had a string of three consecutive double-doubles. His string started with his 29-point and 16-rebound performance against West Virginia, followed by 14 points and 10 boards against Connecticut and 29 points and 14 rebounds at Marquette. He posted three consecutive double-doubles for the first time in his career in wins over Kansas State, Northern Illinois and San Francisco. During the three-game streak, he had 19 points and a then career-high 14 boards versus Kansas State, netted 14 points and grabbed 12 boards versus Northern Illinois and finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds against San Francisco. He has nine double-doubles on the season and nine in the last 14 contests.
Haranogdy registered his best performance ever in an Irish uniform with career-highs of 29 and 16 rebounds versus West Virginia.
He connected on 11-16 shots from the field and made good on his first seven field goal attempts.
For the second time in his career Rob Kurz registered back-to-back double-doubles with 15 points and 11 rebounds versus Brown and a season-high 23 points and career-high 13 boards against North Florida. Last season, Kurz had consecutive double-doubles versus Alabama, Elon and Portland. He has six doubles this season and 16 during his career.
The last Irish player to register four consecutive double-doubles was Ryan Humphrey in 2001-02 when he ended his career a double-double in the final 11 games of his career.
Record-Setting Home Performance
Notre Dame put an exclamation point on its record-setting 25th consecutive wins at the Joyce Center on December 8. In the
108-62 win over Northern Illinois, the 108 points were the most points scored by the Irish under head coach Mike Brey in a regulation games (ND scored 116 vs. Georgetown in a four overtime contest in 2002), while the 46-point margin of victory was the third-largest during the Brey era. In addition, Notre Dame shot a blistering 72.0 percent from the field in the first half which marked the best shooting performance by an Irish team in the first half under Brey.
The Irish also owned a 52-27 advantage on the boards.
Tory Jackson suffered a cornea abrasion in his right eye late in the first half of Notre Dame's win over Connecticut on January 5. Jackson returned to play all 20 minutes of the second half and finished the game with 11 assists (matching a career-high), six points, seven rebounds and four steals. He hit two key free throws with 1:52 to play which gave the Irish a six-point lead.
McAlarney Shines On The Big Stage
Staten Island native Kyle McAlarney made his return to New York City and Madison Square Garden a happy one on December 4 as he led his Irish to a 68-59 victory over Kansas State. McAlarney finished with 18 points in the contest on 6-13 shooting from the field (2-5 from three-point range). He scored 14 points in the second half, including nine straight in the final 2:10 of the contest. McAlarney nailed a three-pointer with 1:30 to play and converted four key free throws down the stretch.
McAlarney Shines - Part II
Kyle McAlarney netted a career-high 32 points in the win over Connecticut which was the first 30-plus performance of his career and the first time this season that an Irish player had topped the 30-point. He was 13-19 from the field and 6-7 from three-point range. Prior to McAlarney's performance, the last Notre Dame player to score 30-plus points in a game was Russell Carter (32 points in a 71-68 loss to St. John's at Madison Square Garden on January 23, 2007).
Luke Harangody leads the Irish in scoring and rebounding averaging 19.3 points and 9.6 rebounds. He leads the team with nine doubles and owns a 16-game double-figure scoring streak - the longest on the team and in his career. He has netted double figures in all but one game (Monmouth) and has finished with 10 or more rebounds in nine games. Harangody also tops the Irish with nine games of 20 or more points.
Kyle McAlarney has scored 30-plus points in two of the first six BIG EAST games. He had a career-high 32 points in Notre Dame's win over Connecticut on Jan. 5 and then tallied 30 points against Villanova on the road last Saturday. The last player to score 30-plus points in multiple games during the BIG EAST regular season was Chris Quinn in 2005-06 when he registered four 30-plus point performances - 37 vs. Pittsburgh, 31 vs. Providence and Louisville and 34 vs. Seton Hall .
Luke Harangody's string of three consecutive games with 20-plus points ended against Colgate when he finished with 11 points and seven rebounds in 19 minutes of action. Prior to that game, he had registered 20-plus points in three consecutive games - Baylor (22), Georgia Tech (22) and Youngstown State (25) for the first time in his career.
Kyle McAlarney also had a three-game 20-plus point outing streak of his own that came to an end against Kansas State.
McAlarney registered his first 20-point outing of the season against Youngstown State when he tallied 23 points (a then career best). He followed that up with another career-high outing for the second time in as many games when tallied 25 points versus Colgate. In the Eastern Michigan outing, McAlarney led the Irish for the second straight game with a 21-point performance.
The last Irish player to net 20-plus points in four consecutive outings was Chris Thomas in 2003-04 (his junior year) versus Pittsburgh (23 points), Connecticut (31 points), Seton Hall
(26 points) and Syracuse (25 points).
One Is A Lonely Number
Rob Kurz is the lone senior among the 14 players on this year's Irish roster. The last time Notre Dame had only one senior on the roster was during the 1983-84 when Cecil Rucker was the only senior member of that team that consisted of four juniors, five sophomores and three freshmen. The 1988-89 Irish squad featured no seniors on that team and was comprised of five juniors, two sophomores and five freshmen.
Notre Dame joined an elite group last year when it registered its 1,600th win against Providence on February 15, 2007.
In its 103rd season, Notre Dame has 1,619 victories. Only 12 other schools have reached the mark: Kentucky, North Carolina, Kansas, Duke, Syracuse, Temple, St. John's, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Utah and UCLA.
Eight Straight Postseason Appearances
Notre Dame's appearance in last year's NCAA tournament field marks the fourth NCAA berth for the Irish in seven years.
Since 2000, Notre Dame has appeared in either the NCAA or NIT tournaments each of the last eight years. The Irish played in the 2000 NIT and then earned consecutive NCAA tournament berths - 2001, '02, '03 - followed by NIT appearances in '04, '05 and '06. This current postseason streak matches the longest stretch since making eight straight from 1983-90 (NIT in 1983 and '84 and NCAA from 1985-90).
Four 20-Win Seasons Under His Belt
Notre Dame's 24-8 campaign a year ago marked the fourth time in seven seasons under head coach Mike Brey that the Irish won 20-plus games. The 24 wins also equaled the most for Notre Dame during the Brey era. Notre Dame's 20-win campaigns under Brey have been in 2000-01 (20-10), 2001-02 (22-11) and 2002-03 (24-10). In the 102-year history of the program, Notre Dame teams have won 20 or more games on 31 occasions.
The 33 points allowed by Notre Dame in the 76-33 win over Monmouth on November 16, 2007 were the fewest ever under head coach Mike Brey and the eight points in the second half were the fewest ever by an Irish team in a half since the inception of the three-point shot.
The 33 points allowed were also the fewest given up by a Notre Dame team since January 4, 1950 in a 54-33 win at home against Butler. It also marked the fewest points scored by an Irish opponent in a road or neutral site game since Kentucky's 34-28 win over the Irish on December 29, 1981 in Louisville, Ky.
The 43-point margin of victory was the matched the seventh-highest for an Irish team under Mike Brey.
"D" The Key Against Monmouth
En route to its 76-33 victory over Monmouth on November 16, Notre Dame held the Hawks without a point in the final 10:31 of the contest and outscored Monmouth 23-0 down the stretch. In fact, the Irish held the Hawks to just eight points in the second half and just
11 points overall in the final 24:52 of the contest. Notre Dame also limited Monmouth to just nine field goal attempts (all misses) in the final 8:17 of the game.
Junior Ryan Ayers is having the best season of his career as he is shooting 44.2 percent from the field (46-104) and 47.8 percent (33-69) from three-point range. His 7.9 points per game also mark a career best. Last year, he began the season 0-12 from the field before hitting his first field goal in the sixth game of the year. Heading into this season, he owned a 38.5 career field goal percentage and 37.5 percent mark from three-point range. Ayers netted a career-high 13 points against Monmouth and Brown and has reached double figures in four games.
Quietly Goes About His Business
Perhaps no player in the Irish lineup is as steady as Rob Kurz. The senior forward is the team's third-leading scorer (13.3) and second-leading rebounder (7.9) and has scored in double figures in all but five contests. He has recorded six double-doubles with a season-high 23 points and career-high 13 boards coming in wins over North Florida and West Virginia. Kurz is shooting 47.7 percent (71-149 from the field and 43.5 (20-46) from three-point range.
Zeller Matches Career High Against Colgate
Luke Zeller had his second double-figure scoring outing of the season and the sixth of his career in Notre Dame's win over Colgate on November 26. He matched his career-high with 14 points as he finished 5-8 from the field and 4-5 from three-point range in 16 minutes off the bench. In addition, Zeller grabbed four rebounds in the contest. He is averaging 4.7 points and 2.6 rebounds this season.
Zeller On The Boards
Zeller had his best rebounding effort of his career as he registered 10 rebounds against Marquette which marked a career-high for the Irish junior. His previous career-best had been nine rebounds on three occasions.
The 'Peoples' Choice
Sophomore Jonathan Peoples scored a career-high 12 points in 11 minutes in Notre Dame's loss at Georgetown. Prior to that his personal-best had been nine points against Seton Hall last season. Peoples was 5-6 from the field and 2-2 from three-point range in addition to grabbing four rebounds.
Lost Leads Down The Stretch
Notre Dame's loss at Marquette on January 12 marked the first time all season that the Irish had trailed all 40 minutes of a game. In fact, heading into the contest, Notre Dame had trailed just
10:32 of a possible 560 minutes all season.
Against Baylor, the Irish led by as many as 14 points in the first half after jumping out to a 8-0 lead. The Bears took their first lead (61-60) of the contest with 3:15 remaining in the contest.
It also marked the first time Notre Dame had trailed in a game all season long. The Irish regained the lead briefly at 62-61 with 1:33 left on the clock before the Bears closed the game with a 7-2 run to close the game.
In the loss to Georgia Tech, the Yellow Jackets grabbed a four-point lead early on, but Notre Dame's basket at the 16:54 mark would give the Irish the advantage until the final two seconds of the contest. The Yellow Jackets trailed by nine (62-53) with 5:11 to play before outscoring Notre Dame 17-7 down the stretch.
In Notre Dame's win over Youngstown State, the Irish led by
25 with 11:41 left in the game, but were outscored 31-18 in the final 11-plus minutes of the contest before holding on for the 87-75 victory.
In the Irish's win over San Francicso at the Joyce Center, the Irish led by 23 points with 7:24 left in the first half and led by only 14 at halftime, before winning by only eight points.
The Irish All-Time
The 2007-08 men's basketball campaign marks the 103rd season of basketball and 13th as a member of the BIG EAST Conference. In 102-plus seasons, Irish teams have posted a 1619-889 record for a .646 winning percentage. In BIG EAST play, Notre Dame owns a 105-100 (.512) record all-time in conference regular-season play.
Always In It
Since the 2005-06 campaign, Notre Dame's 26 losses have been by a combined 166 points for an average of 6.4 points per game.
The 14 setbacks in '05-'06 were by a total of 59 points (4.2 points). The only double-digit loss was to North Carolina State (61-47). The Irish suffered 10 BIG EAST losses during the regular season and those were by a combined 35 points (3.5).
Putting Up The Points And Winning Impressively
Notre Dame averaged 81.0 points per game last season, the best points per game average ever under Mike Brey, and are once again near that point total at 79.2 ppg. Notre Dame has topped 80-plus points on eight occasions, 90-plus points four times and the century mark once.
Keeping It Close
In the 82 losses suffered by Irish teams in Mike Brey's seven-plus seasons, only 21 have been by 10 or more points and have been by a combined 565 for an average of 6.9 points per game. Notre Dame's 26-point loss (92-66) to Marquette on January was the largest ever for an Irish team under Brey, while the loss to Georgetown
(84-65) was the second-largest.
BIG EAST Formula For Success Under Brey
Since his arrival at Notre Dame, Mike Brey has led Notre Dame to a 70-48 (.593) record in BIG EAST regular-season games and a
3-7 mark in tournament play for an overall record of 73-55 (.570) against league foes. In Brey's first season, the Irish posted their first-ever winning record in BIG EAST play and won the BIG EAST West Division title with an 11-5 mark. Prior to Brey's arrival at Notre Dame, Irish teams had a 35-53 (.398) regular-season record since joining the league in 1995-96.
Notre Dame's 18-0 record at home last season marked just the third time since the opening of the Joyce Center in 1968-69 that an Irish team finished undefeated at home during the regular season. It also marked the most wins ever for a Notre Dame team in a single season. Only two other Notre Dame squads ever completed a season undefeated at home - the 1973-74 and 1985-86 squads both finished their campaigns with identical 15-0 records. The Irish were the only BIG EAST team to finish the season undefeated at home. Dating back to the 2005-06 campaign, Notre Dame has won 31 consecutive games at home following the win over Connecticut on January 5 - an active streak that is third among all Division I teams and is the longest in school history as well as the longest during Mike Brey's tenure.
Notre Dame's current streak dates back to the final two games of the 2005-06 campaign as Irish defeated DePaul (66-61) in the regular-season finale and Vanderbilt (79-69) in the first round of the NIT. Notre Dame's last loss at home was an 80-72 setback to Marquette on February 25, 2006.
Current NCAA Division I Home Court Win Streaks:
1. Memphis 43
10. Wake Forest 15
2. BYU 42
11. Drake 14
3. NOTRE DAME 31
4. Tennessee 27
13. Marquette 14
5. Akron 20
14. Vanderbilt 13
6. Kansas 19
7. Mississippi 17
8. Georgetown 16
Michigan State 16
Joyce Center Streakin'
Notre Dame broke the Joyce Center home win streak mark on December 8 with its 108-62 win over Northern Illinois. Here's a look at the Joyce Center streaks:
31 - Began with a 66-61 win over DePaul on 3/4/06 (current streak)
24 - Began with a 94-68 win over Xavier on 2/3/73 and ended with a 94-84 loss to Indiana on 12/11/74
22 - Began with an 88-68 win over Pittsburgh on 1/26/77 and ended with a 69-68 overtime loss to DePaul on 2/12/78
16 - Began with a 92-70 win over Fairfield on 12/9/82 and ended with a 51-47 loss to UCLA on 12/3/83
16 - Began with an 89-76 win over West Virginia on 2/20/02 and ended with a 87-79 loss to Connecticut on 2/24/03.
288 And Counting
Heading into tonight's game against Providence, Notre Dame has hit at least one three-pointer in 288 straight games, a mark that dates back to the 1998-99 campaign. The last time an Irish team failed to hit a three-pointer was a 101-70 loss to Connecticut at the Hartford Civic Center on Jan. 12, 1999 as Notre Dame finished 0-7 from beyond the arc in the game. The 2005-06 Irish squad set the single-season record with 288 three-pointers and fell just one field goal short of that mark (287) in 2006-07.
Home Sweet Home
Since the inaugural season in 1968-69 at the Joyce Center, Notre Dame owns a 485-141 record all-time for a .775 winning percentage. The Irish are 100-27 (.787) at the Joyce Center during Mike Brey's seven-plus seasons, and since the 1996-97 campaign, they own a 146-43 mark for a .772 winning percentage.
Over The Century Mark
Notre Dame topped the 100-point mark for the first time in
2007-08 against Northern Illinois with a 108-62 victory against the Huskies. It marked the ninth time during head coach Mike Brey's tenure that the Irish have reached the 100-point mark.
In Mike Brey's seven-plus seasons, his Irish teams have compiled a road record of 56-55 (.505) that includes a 36-38 (.486) in true road games and a 20-17 mark (.541) in neutral site contests.
Under Irish head coach Mike Brey, Notre Dame always has done a good job of distributing the basketball and shown great unselfishness as a team. That was again evident against Long Island in the season opener when the Irish dished off 28 assists on 35 baskets (a 0.8 assists-to-basket ratio). Notre Dame also enjoyed a strong assist-to-basket ratio versus Youngstown State (24 assists and 32 baskets), Colgate (25 assists on 32 baskets), Northern Illinois (27 assists on 36 baskets), Brown (23 assists on 30 baskets), North Florida (24 assists on 25 baskets), Cincinnati (18 assists on 24
baskets) and Villanova (20 assists on 27 baskets). Through 18 games, the Irish are averaging 18.8 assists per game and have dished off 338 assists on 488 baskets for a 0.69 assist-to-basket ratio.
A BIG EAST Family
The Kurz family name is familiar name in BIG EAST circles this season. Rob Kurz' younger sister, Laura, is a member of the Villanova women's basketball team. She played for two years (2004-06) at Duke before tranferring to Villanova. After sitting out last season, the junior forward is posting identical numbers as her older brother Rob. Rob is currently the third-leading scorer for the Irish (13.3 ppg.) and second-leading rebounder (7.9), while Laura is the Wildcats' second-leading scorer (14.7 ppg.) and top rebounder (6.7).