March 4, 2005
The University of Notre Dame official athletics site, www.und.com , continues its tribute today to the school's celebration of 100 Seasons of Basketball. Spanning the entirety of the college basketball season, www.und.com, will update this section of the site every weekday 100 times in an effort to highlight Notre Dame's 100th Basketball Season in 2004-05.
The updates will change between trivia questions, quick bios from Notre Dame's all-century team, various "On this date in Notre Dame Basketball" elements and more.
Also available this season is the book 100 Seasons of Basketball, produced by the University of Notre Dame Sports Information Office and Notre Dame Sports Properties. The book is available exclusively through the Notre Dame Bookstore (call 800-647-4641 or to go www.ndcatalog.com).
#84 (Friday, March 4, 2005)
Instant Classic - Feb. 1, 1987
On Feb. 1, 1987, Notre Dame defeated #1 North Carolina, 60-58, in the Joyce Center for Digger Phelps' seventh conquest of a top-ranked foe, and NCAA record for a coach.
The 1986-87 season started slow for the Irish, as the graduation of Ken Barlow, Tim Kempton and Jim Dolan left the front court unproven and David Rivers' car accident left him fighting for his life during the off season.
The Irish started 0-2 and just snuck by Ivy League foe Cornell early in the season, but Phelps ended up performing the best pure coaching job of his career. The North Carolina provided the highlight of the team's turn around.
North Carolina rolled out to a 32-16 lead before the Irish rallied. Role players Gary Voce and Sean Connor (a reserve punter on the Irish football team) played to unprecedented heights. Voce, entering the contest averaging 1.9 points per game, poured in 15 and grabbed 10 rebounds to be named the MVP of the game by NBC. Connor came off the bench to nail three three-pointers for 13 points.
Rivers provided the final blow to the Tar Heels. He scored eight points in the closing minutes, highlighted by a 15-foot jumper to put the Irish ahead for good (56-55) at 1:06, and he added two free throws with 16 seconds left to make it 58-55.
Later that same month at home, the Irish upended #15 Duke in overtime (70-66) and #4 DePaul (73-62). Notre Dame's 11-game win streak was eventually snapped by North Carolina in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament - the Irish finished the season 24-8.
Also - on this date in Notre Dame Basketball history (including dates which fall over the upcoming weekend) -
March 4, 1997 - Junior Pat Garrity is named the BIG EAST Player of the Year while coach John MacLeod is awarded the BIG EAST Coach of the Year honor. Garrity averages 20.1 points in conference play while MacLeod pilots an upgrade from a 4-14 league mark in his first year to 8-10 in his second, highlighted by a sweep of Syracuse and a home victory against Connecticut.
March 5, 1977 - A school-record fourth consecutive NCAA bid is sealed with a 93-82 triumph against 29-0 and #1 San Francisco. Don William's 25 points lead the way, NBC-TV award Game MVP honors to the raucous Notre Dame student body.
March 6, 1945 - In the season finale, Vince Boryla is named the team's "honorary captain" despite his freshman status. He finishes the season with 31 points in Notre Dame's 87-43 romp versus Detroit. The rookie breaks Leo Klier's single-season scoring records, finishing with 322 points and a 16.1 scoring average.
100 Years in 100 Days dedicates an entire week to the legendary Austin Carr during Spring Break.
#83 (Thursday, March 3, 2005)
Legend of the Hardwood - David Rivers
Fans who were lucky enough to see David Rivers play in the ACC (now the Joyce Center) will always remember his seemingly reckless drives, coast-to-coast, pushing the Irish basketball program into a state of renewal. Before Rivers arrived in 1985-86, the Irish had missed out on the NCAA Tournament for three consecutive seasons. Head coach Digger Phelps handed the keys to the Irish offense to Rivers when he arrived on campus out of Jersey City, N.J., and never looked back.
Rivers led the Irish in scoring, assists and steals all four years he played under the Golden Dome. He finished fourth on the all-time scoring list (2,058 points) and led the team to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in 1986-87.
The David Rivers story was much more than what Irish fans witnessed on the court, however. The third youngest of 14 children, Rivers grew up in a drug-infested ghetto and was disciplined enough to stay out of trouble and earn his way to Notre Dame out of St. Anthony's High School.
Rivers also survived a near-fatal car crash prior to his junior season. Thrown through the windshield, Rivers suffered a 15-inch cut to his abdomen - a gash that doctors said came within an inch of ending his life. Rivers lost three pints of blood in the accident, nearly half the amount in his body.
Making a stirring recovery, Rivers did not miss a game during his junior season. He also shrugged off a special waiver from the NCAA allowing him to take less than 12 hours - he wanted to graduate with his class in the spring of 1988.
He led Notre Dame to a 88-32 record in his four years and averaged 22 points per game during his senior season.
Also - on this date in Notre Dame basketball history -
#82 (Wednesday, March 2, 2005)
They Said It
"The thing I remember most was the first thing that we did when we went out there - Johnny Dee took us to where they were building the ACC. We are out there in the dirt looking at a hole. And he's saying, `Okay, this is where the court is going to be, and your practice court is going to be over here...' And he's going through all of that. But then the next stop we made was to see Dr. (Mike) DiCicco, who was the academic advisor. He said to us, `I don't care if you ever play a game over there. But if you come here, I'm going to make sure you graduate.' And that's what it's about."
- Collis Jones (1968-71)
"I remember against Maryland my sophomore year, wee didn't come out of the locker room. We actually walked up and came down through the student section. It was one of those things to get the student section more behind us and it also familiarized ourselves with the atmosphere. You know, like getting right into the crowd and understanding the excitement of the game right off."
- Ken Barlow (1982-86)
Also - on this date in Notre Dame Basketball history -
March 2, 1968 - George Restovich scores the final basket in the Fieldhouse in Notre Dame's 73-68 win versus Creighton. The all-time Irish ledger in the venerable structure finishes at 474-91 (.839).
March 2, 1999 - Troy Murphy is honored as the BIG EAST Freshman of the Year after averaging 19.2 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. Those marks break Adrian Dantley's Notre Dame freshman records of 18.3 points and 9.7 rebounds per contest.
#81 (Tuesday, March 1, 2005)
Fantasy Fives - 1940s
As part of Notre Dame Basketball's 100 year anniversary and the book 100 Seasons of Notre Dame Basketball , a team called the `Fantasy Five' - the best players of a given decade, was developed. Here is a look at the top five players of the 1940s.
Three-time All-American O'Shea achieved three firsts at Notre Dame: four-year starter, 1,000 career points and first-round NBA pick.
Three-year starter Barnhorst was the team's top scorer as a junior and senior while joining O'Shea in the lineup.
Hassett and Klier were stalwarts during the war years and earned two-time All-America honors. Klier's 15.4 scoring average in 1943-44 broke Frank McDermott's 27-year standard. After returning from World War II, Klier set another new mark by averaging 16.9 points per game, eclipsing Boryla's one-year record.
A 17-year-old captain for the 15-5 squad in 1944-45, Boryla averaged a school-record 16.1 points per contest, followed by a 15.3 mark as a sophomore for a 17-4 crew. He transferred to Denver and won a gold medal with the United States' 1948 Summer Olympics team.
Also - on this date in Notre Dame Basketball history -
March 1, 1948 - One month after toppling #1 Kentucky, Notre Dame does the same to the new #1, New York University, 65-59. The 19-0 Violets see Kevin O'Shea score 18 points while their own All-American, Dolph Schayes, is held to nine points in the Madison Square Garden thriller.
#80 (Monday, Feb. 28, 2005)
Legend of the Hardwood - Ron Reed
Ron Reed turned down a $25,000 baseball signing bonus from the Kansas City Athletics to enroll at Notre Dame and play basketball. After struggling during his sophomore season (traditionally the toughest academic year at Notre Dame), Reed returned to his home in LaPorte, Ind., enrolled in summer school and eventually earned a second chance with the Irish.
He averaged a double-double all three seasons under John Jordan from 1962-65. The 6-6, 205 pound Reed's 17.7 rebounds per game during the 1963-64 campaign is still an Irish record. He was selected in the fourth round of the 1965 NBA Draft by the Detroit Pistons.
When he moved on to Detroit, he investigated playing minor league baseball for the Milwaukee Braves - and it proved to be a good move. He was pitching in the Major Leagues by the end of 1966 and became a full-time pro hurler two years later. He spent 10 years in the Braves organization and on April 8, 1974, he earned the win in the game in which Henry Aaron hit his 715th home run, breaking Babe Ruth's fabled record. He also spent eight years with the Philadelphia Phillies, winning a World Series Championship in 1980.
Previous 100 Years in 100 Days updates:
Week Eight (#50-#54) ND - UCLA '74