Nov. 8, 2012
#22/23 IRISH OPEN REGULAR SEASON SATURDAY AGAINST EVANSVILLE
Notre Dame will open its 108th season of men's basketball on Saturday against intrastate foe Evansville. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m. (ET) inside Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center.
The contest is the first of two preliminary-round games of the CVC (Coaches vs. Cancer) Classic. The Irish return to action on Monday against Monmouth in a second-round matchup.
The Fighting Irish will head to the newly-built Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., to take part in the championship rounds of the CVC Classic. Notre Dame will square off against St. Joseph's on Nov. 16 in the semifinals and then play either Florida State or BYU the following night in the title game or third-place contest. TruTV will broadcast the championship rounds of the tournament.
The Notre Dame-Evansville game can be seen on ESPN3 with Shawn Kenney (play-by-play) and Sean Kearney (analyst) calling the action.
Fighting Irish Digital Media's Jack Nolan will call the action on radio (affiliate listings on Pg. 2) and the broadcast can also be heard for free on UND.com.
SPECIAL DISCOUNT FOR MILITARY MEN AND WOMEN
In recognition and appreciation for the men and women currently (or formerly) in military service, Notre Dame is offering a special discount for Saturday's game as part of Military Appreciation Day. Any individual who presents a military identification card can purchase tickets at Purcell Pavilion for themselves and family members for just $5.
FIGHTING IRISH HISTORY WITH THE PURPLE ACES
Saturday will be the 10th meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Evansville. The Fighting Irish hold a 5-4 advantage in the series.
The last meeting was a 76-70 home victory for the Irish on Dec. 6, 1992. Notre Dame is 4-0 at home against the Purple Aces. Evansville's last win over the Irish was a 74-56 decision on March 9, 1992, in Evansville.
The first-ever showdown between the two schools occurred on Feb. 23, 1960, in Evansville. The Purple Aces won that contest 92-87. Notre Dame and Evansville met seven times between 1960 and 1966 but not again until 1992.
Notre Dame's Mike Brey has never faced Evansville during his head coaching career.
IRISH SUCCESSFUL IN SEASON OPENERS
Notre Dame owns an all-time record of 89-18 (.832) in season openers and has won all 12 openers under head coach Mike Brey. Since the opening of Purcell Pavilion (formerly the Joyce Center), Notre Dame teams are 38-6 (.864) in season openers at home. The last time Notre Dame lost a season opener at home was against Miami of Ohio (76-65) on November 13, 1998.
Notre Dame bested Mississippi Valley State, 80-67, at Purcell Pavilion in last season's opener.
A LOOK AT EVANSVILLE
The Purple Aces posted a 16-16 record last season and finished third in the Missouri Valley Conference with a 9-9 league mark. Evansville fell to Princeton, 95-86, in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational (CBI). The Purple Aces return three starters from last season's squad.
Head coach Marty Simmons is in his sixth season at Evansville and his 12th season as a college head coach.
PLAYING WELL IN PURCELL
The Fighting Irish are 100-7 in their last 107 games played at home. That .935 home winning percentage over the course of the last six seasons ranks second nationally. Kansas is first with a .964 mark.
The Irish are 35-1 (.972) in their last 36 home games.
The Irish will start off the 2012-13 regular season with eight games in 20 days during the month of November.
108 YEARS 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 1723-939 for a .647 winning percentage. In 17 seasons as a member of the BIG EAST, the Irish own a 160-130 (.552) record in conference regular-season play.
BREY HEAVILY INVOLVED IN COACHES VS. CANCER PROGRAM
Playing in the Coaches vs. Cancer (CVC) Classic is appropriate for Notre Dame since head coach Mike Brey is extremely active in the CVC program. He currently ranks eighth nationally (fourth among individual coaches) in fundraising for the CVC program that is sponsored by the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the American Cancer Society. Since beginning his partnership with CVC at the University of Delaware in 1994, Brey has helped raise nearly 2 million dollars.
During the past fiscal year; Brey, and his wife Tish, helped raise $185,214 through a variety of initiatives. Notre Dame's CVC annual golf outing was the sixth-highest single fundraising event (hosted by an individual coach) in 2011, generating more than $100,000 in donations.
Brey was the recipient of the 2003 CVC Champion Award, given annually by the CVC National Council and the NABC. He has been a national board member of the Council since February 2003. He and Tish have been honored with several awards for their efforts in the community and were recipients of the 2007 Franklin D. Roosevelt Award presented by the March of Dimes for their volunteer service to the South Bend area.
In September 2009, Brey was among five head coaches to travel to Washington, D.C., to participate in the American Cancer Society's Cancer Action Network Leadership Summit & Lobby Day on behalf of the health care reform with regards to cancer research.
IRISH VICTORIOUS IN PAIR OF EXHBITION CONTESTS
Notre Dame posted exhibition wins over Quincy University (111-52) and Cardinal Stritch University (70-56).
Senior forward Jack Cooley led the Irish in points (18.0) and rebounds (8.5) in the two contests. Junior point guard Eric Atkins averaged 16 points and a team-best 8.5 assists per game. The Irish had three other players - junior guard Jerian Grant (14.0), freshman forward Cameron Biedscheid (11.5) and senior center Garrick Sherman (10.0) - average double-figures in points.
The Fighting Irish had 45 assists on their 65 made field goals in the two games. Notre Dame shot 45.2% (19-42) from three-point range.
The quintet of Atkins, Grant, Cooley, Pat Connaughton (So./G-F) and Scott Martin (GS/G) started both games.
IN THE POLLS
Notre Dame is No. 22 in the Associated Press preseason poll and No. 23 in the ESPN/USA Today preseason coaches poll. Three Fighting Irish opponents appear in the top 10 of both rankings. Louisville (#2), Kentucky (#3) and Syracuse (#9) are in the same spot in both polls. Notre Dame will face Louisville twice during the regular season.
A VETERAN PRESENCE
Notre Dame welcomes back the quintet of Eric Atkins (Jr./G), Pat Connaughton (So./G-F), Jack Cooley (Sr./F), Jerian Grant (Jr./G) and Scott Martin (GS/G) that started the final 15 games of last season. The Fighting Irish went 11-4 with that starting lineup.
The Irish return 2,003 of their 2,257 total points (88.7%) from one season ago. The team also brings back 88.7% of its minutes played from last season.
FIGHTING IRISH PICKED THIRD IN BIG EAST PREASEASON COACHES' POLL
Notre Dame was picked to finish third in the BIG EAST's Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Irish received one first-place vote. Defending BIG EAST tournament champion and 2012 NCAA Final Four participant, Louisville, was the choice to win this year's regular-season crown as the Cardinals garnered 14 votes (coaches are not permitted to vote for their town team). Louisville finished the `11-'12 campaign with a final 31-6 record. Syracuse was tabbed for second place as the Orange are coming off a program-best 34-3 season.
COOLEY AND GRANT GARNER PRESEASON BIG EAST ACCOLADES
Senior forward Jack Cooley earned a spot on the preseason all-BIG EAST first team. Cooley was a second team all-conference selection as a junior after averaging 14.6 points and 10.2 rebounds in league play.
Junior guard Jerian Grant was named to the league's preseason honorable mention team. Grant averaged 12.3 points and 5.3 assists per game in BIG EAST play last season en route to being named to the conference's all-rookie team.
Every Fighting Irish game during the 2012-13 season can be seen either on television or the internet. Notre Dame will have 21 of its games covered on the ESPN family of networks. The Irish also will have two games each on CBS and TruTV.
NOTRE DAME TO HOST KENTUCKY IN SEC/BIG EAST CHALLENGE
Notre Dame will play host to defending national champion Kentucky in the 2012 SEC/BIG EAST Challenge. The SEC/BIG EAST Classic consists of 12 games over a three-night span. The Wildcats will pay a visit to Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center on Thursday, Nov. 29.
This will be Notre Dame's second appearance in the SEC/BIG EAST Challenge. In 2010, Notre Dame and Kentucky met at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky., with the Wildcats taking home a 72-58 win.
This year's matchup will be the 61st meeting between the two teams with Kentucky owning a 42-18 advantage in the series. The Wildcats' last visit to Purcell Pavilion was on March 25, 2009, in the quarterfinals of the National Invitation Tournament and the Irish snapped a 10-game losing streak to Kentucky with a 77-67 victory.
The Wildcats are 5-2 all-time in seven appearances at Purcell Pavilion. It will be the seventh time under Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey that the Irish will face Kentucky.
IRISH RETURN TO CROSSROADS CLASSIC
Notre Dame will battle Big Ten rival Purdue in the second annual Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind. The game between the Irish and the Boilermakers is part of a doubleheader on Saturday, Dec. 15. Indiana and Butler meet in the first game at 2 p.m. (ET) followed by Notre Dame and Purdue at 4:30 p.m. (ET).
IRISH AIM FOR SEVENTH STRAIGHT 20-WIN CAMPAIGN
Notre Dame has reached the 20-win mark in each of the last six seasons and nine times in the last 12 seasons under head coach Mike Brey. The last time Irish teams reached the 20-win plateau in six straight campaigns was from 1983-89 under head coach Digger Phelps.
Mike Brey is entering his 13th season along the Irish sidelines. He is the second-longest tenured coach in the BIG EAST, behind only Jim Boeheim of Syracuse. Brey stands fifth all-time in career BIG EAST victories (both regular-season and tournament) with his 133-89 (.599) mark. He is one of nine coaches in BIG EAST history to record 100 conference wins.
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.
Notre Dame posted a 22-12 record last season and finished third in the BIG EAST regular-season standings with a 13-5 league mark. The Irish made their third straight appearance in the BIG EAST Championship semifinals.
The Fighting Irish earned their third consecutive NCAA tournament bid and fell to Xavier, 67-63, in the second round in Greensboro, N.C. Notre Dame was the No. 7 seed in the South Region.
Forward Jack Cooley led the Irish in scoring (12.5 ppg) and rebounding (8.9 rpg) last season. Guard Jerian Grant had a team-best 5.0 assist-per-game average.
Cooley garnered the BIG EAST Most Improved Player Award in addition to being a second-team all-league pick. Grant was named to the conference's all-rookie team.
BIG EAST BEASTS
Notre Dame is 31-9 (.775) over its last 40 BIG EAST regular-season contests, including a 24-6 (.800) mark in the last 30 league games.
The Irish have gone 70-36 (.660) in BIG EAST regular-season play over the past six seasons. That is tied with Pittsburgh for the third-best mark in the league over that time span.
Notre Dame has gone 47-6 (.887) at home in BIG EAST play over the last six seasons. That is the best home winning percentage for any BIG EAST school in league play over that time period.
NOTRE DAME LISTED AS POTENTIAL HOST FOR ESPN COLLEGE GAMEDAY
The ESPN College Basketball GameDay cameras could be returning to Notre Dame during the 2012-13 campaign. ESPN released its College GameDay schedule and Notre Dame's matchup with defending BIG EAST tournament champion and 2012 NCAA Final Four participant Louisville on February 9, 2013, at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center is listed as one of two potential sites for the game. The other game that day which could be part of the Saturday Primetime broadcast is Pittsburgh at Cincinnati.
The site of the Feb. 9 contest will be chosen closer to the date of the game. The GameDay matchup will be played at 9 p.m. (ET) on ESPN and the game not chosen will be televised by either ESPN or ESPN2 at 6 p.m. that evening.
Notre Dame has hosted the Saturday morning show and primetime basketball contest on one other time -- Jan, 24, 2009, when the Irish played Connecticut.
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.