Coming off the longest game in program history, No. 21/21 Notre Dame (19-5, 7-4) will play host to BIG EAST foe DePaul (10-13, 1-9) at 7 p.m. (ET) Wednesday inside Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center. This will be the second meeting between the Fighting Irish and Blue Demons in a 12-day span. Notre Dame won at DePaul, 79-71 in overtime, on Feb. 2.
Notre Dame defeated Louisville, 104-101 in five overtimes, on Saturday. That was the longest regular-season game in BIG EAST history.
Wednesday's game can be seen regionally on the BIG EAST Network (check local listings) and in the South Bend area on WMYS Channel 69 (My Michiana). The contest is also available on ESPN3 (internet). Jim Barbar (play-by-play) and Brooke Weisbrod (analyst) will be on the call.
Jack Nolan (play-by-play) and LaPhonso Ellis (analyst) will call the action for the Notre Dame Basketball Radio Network. The broadcast is available on Sirius 91 and can also be heard for free on UND.com (full affiliate listings on Pg. 3).
Wednesday will be the first of three games in a six-day stretch for the Fighting Irish.
NOTRE DAME-DEPAUL SERIES HISTORY
Wednesday will be the 104th meeting all-time between Notre Dame and DePaul. The Fighting Irish lead the series 59-44. The Irish have won eight straight over the Blue Demons, including the 79-71 overtime win at DePaul on Feb. 2. DePaul's last win over Notre Dame was a 67-66 decision on Feb. 8, 2007, in Rosemont, Ill.
This will be the 12th meeting between the two schools since DePaul joined the BIG EAST in 2005. The Irish are 9-2 in those previous contests, including a 5-0 mark at home. The Irish are 36-14 at home all-time versus the Blue Demons. DePaul's last victory at Notre Dame was an 84-73 decision on Dec. 11, 2004.
Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey is 12-3 all-time against the Blue Demons.
Senior forward Jack Cooley registered 26 points and 16 rebounds in the win over DePaul on Feb. 2. Junior point guard Eric Atkins had 16 points, including seven of the team's nine overtime points.
OH WHAT A NIGHT (AND MORNING)
Saturday night's 104-101 five-overtime victory over Louisville will go down as one of the most memorable games in Notre Dame history. Here are a few notes from the historic contest ...
It was the longest game in Notre Dame history and the longest BIG EAST regular-season contest. The previous longest for both the Irish and the BIG EAST was a quadruple-overtime contest at Georgetown (ND 116, Georgetown 111), which coincidentally was 11 years to the day (Feb. 9, 2002) of Saturday's game.
The game tipped-off at 9:00 p.m. (ET) and ended at 12:38 a.m. (ET).
Junior point guard Eric Atkins played a game-high 60 minutes, which tied a Notre Dame record that Chris Thomas achieved in the quadruple-overtime affair at Georgetown.
Junior guard Jerian Grant was 0-for-6 from the field (0-for-3 from three-point range) before tallying 12 points in the final 45 seconds of regulation. He was 4-for-4 from the field, including 3-for-3 from three-point range, and 1-for-1 from the free throw line during that stretch.
Grant's first three-pointer came at the 45-second mark to make it 56-51. He then hit one with 36 seconds left to get the Irish within four (58-54). His final trey came at the 28-second mark to put the score at 60-57. His three-point play with 16 seconds remaining tied the game 60-60. The 12-point barrage came in a span of 29 seconds.
Senior center Garrick Sherman did not enter the game until there was 1:57 remaining in the first overtime, yet ended up scoring 17 points in the final 22 minutes of the contest. Sherman was 7-for-10 from the field and grabbed six rebounds.
WORKING OVERTIME AGAINST THE CARDINALS
Saturday was just the latest in a long line of overtime clashes between Notre Dame and Louisville.
Five of the last six Notre Dame-Louisville showdowns have gone to overtime. The Irish are 3-2 in those overtime contests. Three of those games have gone to multiple-overtimes (two in double overtime and Saturday's five-overtime affair).
In fact, six of the last eight Notre Dame-Louisville encounters have gone to overtime and seven of the 11 contests between Notre Dame and Louisville since the Cardinals joined the BIG EAST in 2005 have been settled in overtime.
IRISH HAVE OVERTIME EDGE
Notre Dame is 8-2 in its last 10 overtime contests (2-1 this season). The Fighting Irish are 12-9 in overtime under head coach Mike Brey.
BREY ALONE IN FOURTH PLACE ON BIG EAST WINS LIST
Saturday's win over Louisville moved Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey past former St. John's head coach Lou Carnesecca and into sole possession of fourth place on the BIG EAST all-time wins list (both regular-season and tournament). Brey has a 140-93 (.601) BIG EAST record. He is one of 10 coaches in BIG EAST history to record 100 conference wins.
Brey is in his 13th season along the Irish sidelines. He is the second-longest tenured coach in the BIG EAST, behind only Jim Boeheim of Syracuse.
Notre Dame was just 36-58 (.383) in five seasons of BIG EAST play prior to Brey's arrival.
IRISH ON THE CUSP OF SEVENTH STRAIGHT 20-WIN CAMPAIGN
A win on Wednesday would give Notre Dame a program-record seven straight 20-win seasons. The Irish have reached the 20-win mark nine times in the last 12 seasons under head coach Mike Brey. Prior to this current run, the last time Irish teams reached the 20-win plateau in six straight campaigns was from 1983-89 under head coach Digger Phelps.
PLAYING WELL IN PURCELL
The Fighting Irish are 114-9 in their last 123 games played at home. That .927 home winning percentage over the course of the last seven seasons ranks second nationally. Kansas is first with a .959 mark.
Notre Dame is 49-3 in its last 52 home games (.942).
Notre Dame has won 28 straight non-conference home games and the Irish are 69-1 in their last 70 non-league home contests.
FIGHTING IRISH FACTS
Over the last three seasons, Notre Dame is 30-1 (10-0 this season) when shooting 50% or above from the field, 50-2 (13-0 this season) when outrebounding its opponent and 53-5 (16-1 this season) when leading at halftime.
The Fighting Irish are 3-1 against ranked teams this season. Over the last four seasons, Notre Dame is 20-13 (.606) against teams ranked in the Associated Press top-25 poll, including a 12-2 mark at home.
Senior forward Jack Cooley has posted a double-double in each of the last four games. The four straight double-doubles matches a career-best streak that he achieved once earlier this season and once last season. He is third nationally with 16 double-doubles this season (seven in BIG EAST play).
He has hauled down 10 or more rebounds in a career best seven straight games and 17 times overall this season. Cooley has grabbed 15 or more rebounds in a game three times this season.
Cooley has 29 career double-doubles, which all have occurred in the last two seasons. He has produced a double-double in the first half alone twice this season (Niagara 20 pts, 10 rebs; BYU 12 pts, 10 rebs).
COOLEY A CONSISTENT PERFORMER
Senior forward Jack Cooley is third nationally in double-doubles (16). He ranks fifth nationally in rebounds per game (11.3) and 12th in field-goal percentage (.587).
In BIG EAST play, he is first in rebounding (11.2) and offensive rebounds per game (4.2). He is fourth in field-goal percentage (.532).
Cooley has scored in double-figures in 22 of the 24 games this season.
He is averaging 1.4 blocked shots per game this season. Cooley's 108 career blocked shots are the seventh-most in Notre Dame history.
Notre Dame ranks first nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.67). The Irish are third nationally and first in the BIG EAST (all games) in assists per game (17.9).
The Fighting Irish rank ninth nationally in fewest turnovers per game (10.7). Notre Dame has turned the ball over fewer than 10 times in eight games this season (six times in BIG EAST play). The Irish have turned the ball over five times or less in two games this season.
Notre Dame has had an assist on 66.7% of its made field goals this season.
The Irish have dished out 20 or more assists in 10 games this season (three times in BIG EAST play).
PAT AN ALL-AROUND PERFORMER
Sophomore guard/forward Pat Connaughton posted his first double-double of the season with 16 points and a career-high 14 rebounds in Saturday's win over Louisville. It was the second double-double of his career. He also dished out a career-high seven assists in the contest. It was his third career game with 10 or more rebounds (first this season).
Connaughton's 56 minutes played against the Cardinals were the second-most of any Irish player.
BIEDSCHEID A LIFT OFF THE BENCH
Freshman forward Cameron Biedscheid tallied 14 points in 50 minutes off the bench in Saturday's victory over Louisville. It was his sixth double-digit effort of the season (second in BIG EAST play).
QUITE A CLASS
Notre Dame's current senior class needs seven victories to become the program's all-time winningest class. The group needs four BIG EAST wins to have the most league victories in any four-year period since the Irish joined the conference in 1995. Here is a breakdown of Notre Dame's top classes based on wins:
2007-11: 96-42 overall/46-26 (BIG EAST)
2006-10: 93-43 overall/43-27 (BIG EAST)
2009-13: 90-36 overall/43-21 (BIG EAST)
Junior point guard Eric Atkins is fourth in the BIG EAST (25th nationally) in assists per game (6.0), while fellow junior guard Jerian Grant is fifth in the league (33rd nationally) by averaging 5.6 assists per game. They are the only set of teammates ranked in the top five of the league assists-per-game standings.
BIG EAST UPS AND DOWNS
Notre Dame has averaged 78.4 points-per-game in its seven BIG EAST victories, while the Irish averaged just 53.8 points in their four league losses. The Fighting Irish have shot 47.7% from the field in the victories and 39.7% in the setbacks. From three-point range, Notre Dame has shot 43.8% in the wins and 25.9% in the defeats.
GRANT BRINGING HIS GAME IN LEAGUE PLAY
Junior guard Jerian Grant has scored in double-figures in 10 of 11 BIG EAST games this season, including a current stretch of six straight double-digit efforts. He is averaging 13.9 points per game in league play. His 5.6 assist-per-game average in BIG EAST contests is fifth in the conference.
ATKINS ASSISTING THE IRISH EFFORT
Junior point guard Eric Atkins is 14th nationally and second in the BIG EAST (all games) in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.75).
Atkins is 25th nationally and fourth in the BIG EAST (all games) with a 6.0 assist-per-game average this season. He has four double-doubles this season (points & assists). He has dished out 10 or more assists in a game five times this season.
He is ninth in BIG EAST play with a 1.6 steals-per-game average. He has 104 career steals, which ranks 19th in Notre Dame history.
ATKINS PLAYING MAJOR MINUTES
Junior point guard Eric Atkins tied a Notre Dame record by playing 60 minutes in the five-overtime victory against Louisville. Atkins leads the BIG EAST by averaging 40.5 minutes per game in league play. Atkins has played 40 or more minutes in five of the last eight contests.
Notre Dame is shooting 48.2% from the floor this season. That figure ranks 15th nationally and second in the BIG EAST.
The Fighting Irish are shooting 45.0% from the field in BIG EAST play. That percentage is the second-best mark in the league.
The Irish are 10-0 this season when they shoot 50% or above from the floor and they are 9-5 when shooting below 50%.
DRAINING FROM DEEP
The Irish lead the BIG EAST by shooting 38.4% from three-point range (all games). That figure ranks 28th nationally. Notre Dame is shooting 38.2% from distance in league play. That mark leads all BIG EAST teams.
Junior point guard Eric Atkins ranks fourth in three-point shooting in league play with a 44.4% mark.
The Irish were 12-for-18 from three-point range in the BIG EAST opener against Seton Hall (Jan. 5). The 66.7% three-point shooting clip is the best ever for Notre Dame in a BIG EAST contest. The 12 treys tied a season-high total for the Irish and it marked the third time this season the Irish made 10 or more three-pointers in a game.
Notre Dame is averaging 6.8 made three-pointers per game this season.
MARTIN OUT INDEFINITELY
Scott Martin (GS/G) is out indefinitely due to ongoing issues with his left knee. He has started all 18 games he has played this season. He has missed the last five contests.
Martin is averaging 7.9 points and 5.9 rebounds per game this season. He is shooting 46.3% from three-point range this season after shooting 26.1% from distance last season.
Martin has deposited 31 treys this season after making 30 all of last season. He was 6-for-7 (.857) from three-point range against Seton Hall in the BIG EAST opener. The six made treys were a career-high total and a season-best total for the Irish.
MEN IN BLACK
The Fighting Irish have worn their black jerseys in each of the last three road games and four times overall this season. Notre Dame is 3-1 this season when donning the black uniforms. The Irish are 13-13 all-time in black. Notre Dame first wore black jerseys during the 2005-06 season.
Notre Dame is 3-0 this season when wearing gold jerseys.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
Seven different Irish players have posted a team-high point total this season.
The Fighting Irish have seven players who are averaging at least 7.5 points per game, including three with a double-figure average.
Nine different Irish players (Atkins, Auguste, Biedscheid, Connaughton, Cooley, Grant, Knight, Martin, Sherman) have notched a double-digit scoring effort this season.
Notre Dame has had at least four double-figure scorers in 12 games this season. The Fighting Irish have boasted at least five double-digit performers seven times. The Irish had a season-high six double-digit scorers against Chicago State (Nov. 26) and Louisville (Feb. 9).
Notre Dame is 38-13 (.745) over its last 51 BIG EAST regular-season contests.
The Irish have gone 77-40 (.658) in BIG EAST regular-season play over the past seven seasons. That is the fourth-best mark in the league over that time span.
Notre Dame has gone 51-8 (.864) at home in BIG EAST play over the last seven seasons. That is the best home winning percentage for any BIG EAST school in league play over that time period. The Irish are 23-3 in their last 26 BIG EAST home contests.
COOLEY ON WOODEN AWARD MIDSEASON TOP 25 LIST
Senior forward Jack Cooley has been named to the John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 25 list by the Los Angeles Athletic Club. The list is comprised of 25 student-athletes who are the front-runners for college basketball's most prestigious honor.
AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT
Junior point guard Eric Atkins had 130 assists and a 1.83 assist-to-turnover ratio last season. He currently has 143 assists and a 2.75 assist-to-turnover ratio this season.
Atkins shot 39.4% from the field last season and is currently shooting at a 45.9% clip. He has improved his three-point shooting from 37.5% last season to a current mark of 41.9%.
Sophomore guard/forward Pat Connaughton had 30 assists during his freshman campaign and already has dished out 62 assists this season. He had a 1.25 assist-to-turnover ratio last season, but has improved that to 3.26 this season.
Junior guard Jerian Grant has improved his shooting percentage from 38.0% last season to 44.3% this season.
IRISH HELP HURRICANE SANDY VICTIMS
During the first timeout of the Rutgers game on Jan. 19 inside Purcell Pavilion, a check was presented to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in the amount of $10,033 to help with relief efforts for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. A special online auction was held from Jan. 7-18 on Notre Dame's official athletic web site UND.com and fans had the opportunity to bid on several unique items with the proceeds going to help with the relief efforts. Governor Christie is a longtime friend of Irish head coach Mike Brey.
FEW FOULS FOR THE FIGHTING IRISH
Notre Dame ranks sixth nationally in fewest personal fouls per game (13.8).
108 SEASONS AND GOING STRONG
The 2012-13 campaign marks the 108th season of basketball at Notre Dame and the 18th season as a member of the BIG EAST Conference. Notre Dame teams have posted an all-time record of 1742-944 for a .649 winning percentage. In 17 seasons as a member of the BIG EAST, the Irish own a 167-134 (.555) record in conference regular-season play.
FIGHTING IRISH CAPTAINS
Scott Martin (GS/G), Jack Cooley (Sr./F) and Eric Atkins (Jr./G) will captain the Fighting Irish during the 2012-13 season. Martin and Atkins are the 20th and 21st players in program history to serve as two-time team captains.
Notre Dame has earned appearances in the postseason in each of the last 13 seasons, which marks the longest stretch in school history. The Irish have been to the NCAA Tournament on eight 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 eight times and NIT four times.
Sophomore guard/forward Pat Connaughton also is a pitcher on the Fighting Irish baseball team. Last spring, he appeared in 12 games, including 10 starts, and posted a 4-4 record with a 3.18 earned-run average. He logged 45.1 innings on the mound and registered 40 strikeouts.
Connaughton was selected by the San Diego Padres in the 50th round of the 2011 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft.
IRISH RANK NUMBER ONE IN 2012 GSR
University of Notre Dame athletic programs again rank as the best in the country in graduation rates, based on Graduation Success Rate (GSR) figures released by the NCAA--including first-place ratings in the sports of football, men's basketball, women's basketball and ice hockey.
Among the 120 Football Bowl Subdivision institutions, Notre Dame had the highest percentage of its sports with 100 percent scores (for the seventh time in eight years), with a .863 figure (19 of 22).
In men's basketball, Notre Dame achieved a perfect 100 GSR rating, with only Duke, Illinois, Kansas, Utah State, Wake Forest, West Virginia and Western Kentucky also reaching the top slot.
The four-year GSR data is based upon the entering classes from 2002 to 2005.
BREY SIGNS HERALDED QUARTET IN NOVEMBER EARLY SIGNING PERIOD
Irish head coach Mike Brey signed four players - V.J. Beachem (Fort Wayne, Ind./New Haven), Demetrius Jackson (Mishawaka, Ind./Marian), Austin Torres (Mishawaka, Ind./Penn) and Steve Vasturia (Medford, N.J./St. Joseph's Prep) - to national letters of intent during the November 2012 early signing period.
Beachem (6-6, 180-pound small forward) averaged 19.6 points, 7.5 rebounds and 4.3 assists in 2011-12. An all-state selection he played on the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association (IBCA) Junior All-Star Team.
Jackson averaged 22.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.0 steals as a junior while leading Marian to the Class 3A sectional title. An honorable mention All-American by MaxPreps.com, he is an all-state honoree and two-time Northern Indiana Conference Player of the Year.
Torres (6-6, 200-pound power forward) was an all-Northern Indiana Conference honorable mention selection after averaging 10.0 points and 7.2 rebounds. He plays on the same MBA Select AAU Team as Jackson.
Vasturia (6-5, 190-pound shooting guard) was named MVP of the Philadelphia Catholic League after leading his team to the Philadelphia 4A state championship while averaging 21.0 points and 9.3 rebounds.