Notre Dame (3-0) vs. Liberty (1-3)
Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009 o 7:00 p.m.
Chicago Invitational Challenge
Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center (9,149)
Notre Dame, Ind.
Radio: Jack Nolan (play-by-play analyst)
LaPhonso Ellis (color analyst)
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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. Liberty
Notre Dame (3-0) plays the fourth game in a five-game homestand on Sunday night against Liberty (1-3) in the first-ever meeting between the two schools.
Sunday's contest is part of the Chicago Invitational Challenge. The Irish are scheduled to play Liberty this evening and then take on Kennesaw State on Tuesday (Nov. 24) before heading to Chicago, Ill., to face Northwestern in the first of two games on Nov. 24 at UIC Pavilion.
Notre Dame improved to 3-0 on the season with an 82-52 victory over Long Beach State on Thursday night as five Irish players scored in double figures. Luke Harangody recorded his first double-double of the season as he finished with 29 points and 12 rebounds. Tory Jackson added 13 points, Ben Hansbrough and Tim Abromaitis each added 11 points, while Jonathan Peoples finished with 10 points.
Liberty enters the game with a 1-3 record and is coming off of a 73-41 setback to Old Dominion on Thursday evening.
Liberty is a member of the Big South Conference and Notre Dame is 2-1 versus teams from that conference. The last time an Irish team faced a team from the Big South Conference was in 2007 when Notre Dame lost to Winthrop 74-64 in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Irish seniors Luke Harangody, Tory Jackson and Jonathan Peoples have logged heavy playing time in their Irish careers. The trio has played in a combined 304 contests and been in the starting lineup on 181 occasions.
Harangody has made 86 consecutive starts in the 102 contests he has played as he earned a spot in the starting lineup in the 16th game of his freshman season. He has averaged 28.2 mintues per game. He missed the only two games of his career last season when he was diagnosed with pneumonia.
Jackson has never missed a game during his collegiate career (104 contests) and started 90 games while averaging 31.7 minutes per game.
Peoples is approaching the century mark in games played and heads into this evening's contests having played in 98 career outings with five starts.
A New Era In Notre Dame Basketball - Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center
Notre Dame basketball gets a facelift in 2009-10 as the largest renovation in Joyce Center history signals the opening of Purcell Pavilion. The $26.3-million project, which began with groundbreaking ceremonies in September 2008, was made possible by lead gifts from Philip J. Purcell III, Vincent J. Naimoli and Mike Leep, Sr. The renovation encompasses construction of a new three-story structure at the south end of the arena that will include a new three-story lobby, the Notre Dame ticket operations (approximately 4,500 square feet) and a varsity shop to sell apparel and souvenirs (approximately 3,000 square feet), in addition to a new club seating and hospitality area. Replacement of the existing Joyce Center arena seating, including the installation of chair-back seating throughout the arena, took place during the summer of 2009 following Commencement Exercises in May. The entire project is scheduled for completion in January 2010.
The arena is Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center - and the new club/hospitality area (and two outdoor patios) will be named the Naimoli Family Sports Club Room. The new varsity shop will be named the Mike Leep Sr. Varsity Shop, while the three-story atrium is named after former Notre Dame athletic director Dick Rosenthal.
Class of 2010 Aims For History
The Irish senior class of Luke Harangody, Tory Jackson, Jonathan Peoples and Tim Andree enters its final season looking to become the all-time winningest class in career and BIG EAST Conference victories at Notre Dame. The quartet has a 73-31 record for a .702 winning percentage and is 33-19 (.635) overall in BIG EAST play. They need 21 wins to surpass the 92 wins from the 1975-79 and 1977-81 classes. The most BIG EAST wins are 40 set by Irish teams from 2000-04 and 2004-08.
Harangody Tops Associated Preseason All-America Team
Luke Harangody was the leading vote-getter on the Associated Press Preseason All-America Team that was announced Nov. 2. Harangody received 57 votes from the 65-member media panel. Joining him on the preseason AP All-America team was junior Cole Aldrich of Kansas (49 votes), senior Sherron Collins of Kansas (39 votes), junior Patrick Patterson of Kentucky (35 votes) and junior Kyle Singler of Duke (30 votes).
Harangody also was one of nine BIG EAST players named to the 50-person 2009-10 Naismith Trophy Preseason Watch List that was announced by the Atlanta Tipoff Club.
In August, Harangody was named to the John R. Wooden All-America Team Preseason Top 50 List. Among the 50 returnees, he is the only two-time member of that squad having earned a spot on the 10-member team in both 2008 and 2009.
Harangody also was named as one of 30 candidates in men's basketball for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award.
Same Game, New Number
Irish fans will not see the familiar No. 2 worn by Tory Jackson in his first three seasons as he has switched jersey numbers and is wearing No. 3 in 2009-10.
Irish In Season Openers
With the victory against North Florida last Saturday, Notre Dame owns an all-time record of 87-18 (.829) in season openers and have won all 10 openers under head coach Mike Brey. Since the opening of Purcell Pavilion (formerly the Joyce Center), Notre Dame teams are 35-6 (.854). The last time Notre Dame lost a season opener at home was against Miami of Ohio on November 13, 1998.
Notre Dame Rolls Under Brey in November
Notre Dame teams have traditionally played well under had coach Mike Brey during the month of November. During his 10 seasons on the Irish bench, his teams have compiled a 37-6 (.860) record.
Busy Start To Season
Notre Dame faces a busy opening to the season with seven games in 14 days. Tonight's game is the third in six days for the Irish and is the third home tilt in five home contests in the span of eight days before they travel to Chicago, Ill., for the Chicago Invitational for two contests. Notre Dame plays seven games during the month of December all at Purcell Pavilion.
Irish Aim For Fourth Straight 20-Win Season
Notre Dame will be looking for its fourth straight 20-win season in 2009-10. The Irish recorded a 24-8 record in 2006-07, finished 25-8 in 2008-09 and posted a 21-15 mark in 2008-09. Notre Dame last had three consecutive 20-win campaigns in head coach Mike Brey's first three seasons from 2000-03. The last time Irish teams reached the 20-win mark in four straight campaigns was from 1983-89 when those Notre Dame squads under former head coach Digger Phelps had six consecutive 20-win seasons.
Notre Dame has earned appearances in the postseason in each of the last 10 years - it's the longest stretch in school history. The Irish have been in the NCAA Tournament on five occasions and in the National Invitation Tournament five times during this current stretch.
Under 10th-year head coach Mike Brey, Notre Dame has played in the NCAA five times and NIT four times. The Irish advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2003.
Non-Conference Home Win Streak
With its win on Thursday night against Long Beach State, Notre Dame extended its home win streak versus non-conference opponents to 40 games. The Irish last lost to a non-conference opponent at home when they suffered a 71-57 setback to Michigan on Dec. 3, 2005.
Harangody Tabbed as BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year
Luke Harangody is approaching a milestone never before achieved by an Irish basketball player - 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. Heading into Sunday night's contest against Liberty, Harangody is just 102 points and 23 rebounds shy of reaching that mark with 1,898 points and 977 rebounds to in 102 career outings.
Only four players in Notre Dame history have scored 1,000 points and grabbed 1,000 rebounds:
Tom Hawkins (1956-59):1,746 points, 1318 rebounds
Bob Whitmore (1966-69): 1,580 points, 1043 rebounds
LaPhonso Ellis (1988-92): 1,505 points, 1075 rebounds
Walter Sahm (1962-65): 1,077 points, 1146 rebounds
Mike Brey is in his 10th season along the sidelines and is the third-longest tenured coach in the BIG EAST, behind only Jim Boeheim of Syracuse and Jim Calhoun of Connecticut. Brey stands seventh all-time in the BIG EAST win 92 victories (92-69 overall that includes regular-season and tournament contests). He needs just six wins to move ahead of Steve Lappas, who coached at Villanova, on the career wins list and is eight wins shy of becoming just the sixth coach in BIG EAST history to record 100 conference wins.
BIG EAST All-Time Winningest Coaches By Victories
(Includes conference regular-season and championship games)
Jackson Set to Become 50th 1,000-Point Scorer in Notre Dame History
Tory Jackson is looking to become the 50th player in program history to score 1,000 career points and needs just 75 to reach that mark. He owns a scoring average of 8.9 points and has played in all 104 games of his Irish career.
With 529 career assists, he would become just the fourth player in school history with 1,000 career points and 500 assists.
The current three players with 1,000 points and 500 assists include: Chris Thomas (2001-05): 2,195 points, 833 assists
David Rivers (1984-88): 2,011 points, 586 assists
Elmer Bennett (1956-59): 1,488 points, 516 assists
An Elite Club
With 1,898 points and 977 rebounds in 102 career outings, Luke Harangody is one of just four players in the 104-year history of the Notre Dame basketball program to score 1,800 points and grab 800 rebounds. The others to reach this milestone have been:
Adrian Dantley (1973-76): 2,223 points, 843 rebounds Troy Murphy (1998-01): 2,011 points, 924 rebounds
Tom Hawkins (1956-59): 1,820 points, 1,318 rebounds
A BEN-e-ful Debut
Senior guard Ben Hansbrough had a successful debut in an Irish uniform last Saturday as he scored 19 points and dished off four assists in 31 minutes. Hansbrough was 5-6 from the field overall in the contest.
He finished 5-5 from three-point range and in the process tied a Purcell Pavilion record for three-point field goal percentage.
Hansbrough followed that performance up with 18 points and seven assists against St. Francis.
As a team, Notre Dame is shooting 56.5 percent (95-168) from the field and 50.8 percent (32-63) from three-point range. Leading the way from the field and from the perimeter are Ben Hansbrough and Tim Abromaitis. Hansbrough is shooting 68.2 percent from the field (15-22) and 76.9 percent (8-12) from three-point range, while Abromaitis has connected on 71.4 percent of his shots (15-21) and 69.2 percenet from the perimeter (9-13).
Making It Count
Junior foward Tim Abromaitis, who played in just 12 games as a freshman in 2007-08 and did not play at all during the 2008-09 campaign, has had timely contributions in Notre Dame's first three games as he is averaging 13.7 points and 4.0 rebounds.
In the season opener against North Florida, Abromaitis came off the bench and registered then personal-bests 21 minutes and scored 13 points (first career game in double figures) as he connected on 5-6 shots from the field and was 3-4 from three-point range.
In Notre Dame's second outing of the season, he eclipsed his career best with a 17-point performance that also included grabbing a personal best five rebounds.
Abromaitis has scored in double figures in Notre Dame's first three games.
Notre Dame's new backcourt tandem of seniors Tory Jackson and Ben Hansbrough have combined for 38 assists and turned the ball over just nine times.
Jackson owns an 4.0 assist-to-turnover ratio (20 assists, 5 turnovers), while Hansbrough stands at 4.5 (18 assists, 4 turnovers).
Jackson is averaging a turnover every 20 minutes, while Hansbrough is averaging a turnover every 25.3 minutes.
The Peoples' Choice
Senior guard Jonathan Peoples has started the first three games of the 2009-10 campaign and five for his career. In the season-opening win over North Florida, he played a career-high 30 minutes in the contest and notched his third career double-figure outing as he scored 11 points on 4-7 shooting, including a 3-5 performance from three-point range.
Notre Dame finished first nationally in 2008-09 in two statistical categories - turnovers (9.5) and assist to turnovers (1.75).
In 2007-08, the Irish led the nation in assists with 18.4 per game.
105 Years Young
The 2009-10 campaign marks the 105th season of basketball at Notre Dame and the 15th season as a member of the BIG EAST Conference. Notre Dame teams have posted a 1653-908 record for a .645 winning percentage. In 14 seasons as a member of the BIG EAST, the Irish own a 123-113 (.521) record all-time in conference regular-season play.
BIG EAST Turnaround
During head coach Mike Brey's tenure, Notre Dame has had only two losing seasons in BIG EAST play - 6-10 in 2005-06 and 8-10 in 2008-09. Since the '05-'06 campaign when the Irish finished 6-10 after beginning the BIG EAST campaign with a 1-8 record, Notre Dame has gone 38-21 (.644) over the last 59 regular-season league games.
BIG EAST Formula For Success
Since his arrival at Notre Dame, Mike Brey has led the Irish to an 88-60 (.594) record in BIG EAST regular-season games and a 4-9 mark in tournament play for an overall record of 92-69 (.571) against league foes. In Brey's first season, the Irish posted their first-ever winning record in BIG EAST play and won the league 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 from 1995-2000.
340 And Counting
Entering tonight's contest against Liberty, Notre Dame has hit at least one three-pointer in 342 straight games, a mark that dates back to the 1998-99 campaign. The last time an Irish team failed to hit a three-pointer in a game was in 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 2008-09, the Irish set a single-season three-point record with 319.
Now That's Something To Talk About
Notre Dame has won 55 of its last 58 home games that included a school-record 45-game win streak from 2006-09. The Irish also tied a BIG EAST mark by winning 20 straight conference home games during that time period. Notre Dame became the first BIG EAST team in conference history to record back-to-back undefeated seasons at home after finishing 17-0 in '06-'07 and 18-0 in '07-'08. Here's a look at the dominance of the Irish over the course of the last 58 contests at home:
4,763 (82.1 ppg.)
3,769 (65.0 ppg.)
Margin of Victory +994 points (+17.1)
Notre Dame has shot .500 or better in 23 of 58 games; opponents have shot .500 or better in 4 of 58 games. There have been 38 wins by 10-plus points; 22 wins by 20-plus points; 14 wins by 30-plus points; 5 wins by 40-plus points; and 1 win by 50-plus points.
In the Spotlight
Notre Dame will appear on national television 14 times during the 2009-10 campaign that includes two games on CBS (UCLA and Georgetown), seven contests on either ESPN or ESPN2 and five games on ESPNU. The Irish appeared on national television a school-record 23 times in 2008-09.
Irish Sign Three Guards In Early Signing Period
Irish head coach Mike Brey signed a trio of guards during the early signing period in November: Eric Atkins (Columbia, Md./Mount St. Joseph/6-1, 170); Alex Dragicevich (Northbrook, Ill./Glenbrook North/6-6, 210) and Jerian Grant (Bowie, Md./DeMatha/6-5, 180). Atkins averaged 23.4 points, 6.0 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 3.2 steals en route to earning Baltimore Catholic League player-of-the-year honors and first team all-Baltimore Metor accolades. Dragicevich led his Glenbrook North squad to a 23-5 record in 2008-09 while averaging 20.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists and being selected as the Central Suburban League North Player of the Year. Grant will be one of three members from the current Notre Dame men's basketball family who attended DeMatha, which also is the alma mater of Brey and assistant Rod Balanis. As a junior, he averaged 7.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists and led his team to a final 32-4 mark and the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament titles.
When the Irish finished with a 3.168 grade point average following the 2009 spring semester, it marked the ninth time in 11 semesters that head coach Mike Brey's squad had finished with a 3.00 grade index or higher.
Members of the 2008-09 Irish squad earned a 3.151 following the 2008 fall semester, and, for the academic year, produced a 3.165 GPA. With the completion of the '09 spring semester, Notre Dame players had a cumulative 3.105 grade point average, the highest ever. It also marked the 10th consecutive semester that the team has earned a cumulative GPA of above a 3.00.
Notre Dame won the BIG EAST Academic Sport Excellence Award for men's basketball for the second time in as many years. The BIG EAST began recognizing the highest collective grade-point averages in each conference sport in 2008. The Irish men's basketball team has won it each of the two years it has been presented and joined two other Notre Dame squads (men's swimming and diving and women's tennis) as recipients in 2009.
Seven players were named to the 2008-09 BIG EAST Academic All-Star Team, while 10 of the 14 members of the squad earned a grade point average of 3.00 or better in the spring semester.
Trends Under Brey
Under Irish head coach Mike Brey, Notre Dame always has been a team that has had a high number of assists and very few turnovers. Here's a look a the Irish under Brey: ...