November 21, 2012
Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center (9,149)
Notre Dame, Ind.
Shawn Kenney (play-by-play) Sean Kearney (analyst)
Broadcast on UND.com (free)
Sirius 123, XM 190
Jack Nolan (play-by-play)
LaPhonso Ellis (analyst)
FIGHTING IRISH RETURN HOME TO FACE GEORGE WASHINGTON
Notre Dame will play host to George Washington on Wednesday in the first-ever meeting between the two schools. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. (ET) inside Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center.
The Fighting Irish went 1-1 over the weekend in the championship rounds of the Coaches vs. Cancer (CVC) Classic at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Notre Dame fell to Saint Joseph's, 79-70 in overtime, in the semifinals and topped BYU, 78-68, in Saturday's consolation game.
Wednesday's game can be seen on ESPN3. Shawn Kenney will handle play-by-play duties, while Sean Kearney will serve as the analyst.
Jack Nolan (play-by-play) and LaPhonso Ellis (analyst) will call the action on radio (affiliate listings on Pg. 2) and the broadcast can also be heard for free on UND.com.
BREY CONNECTION TO FOGGY BOTTOM
Tonight's game against George Washington certainly will bring back memories for Irish head coach Mike Brey. A native of Rockville, Md., Brey played one season (1981-82) at George Washington and graduated from the University in 1982. He was named team captain and team MVP for the Colonials. Brey played his first three seasons at Northwestern State in Louisiana.
Brey's wife Tish Schlapo also graduated from George Washington and was a standout volleyball player for the Colonials for four seasons.
Both of Brey's parents also have connections to the Washington, D.C. school. His mother, Betty, was a swim coach at GW, while his father, Paul, earned a master's degree at the University.
IRISH AGAINST THE A-10
Notre Dame is 109-52 all-time against teams currently in the Atlantic-10 Conference. George Washington is Notre Dame's second A-10 opponent this season. The Irish fell to Saint Joseph's, 79-70 in overtime, on Friday during the semifinals of the CVC Classic in Brooklyn, N.Y.
The Fighting Irish are 0-2 in their last two meetings with A-10 schools. Notre Dame fell to Xavier, 67-63, in the second round of last season's NCAA Championship. Prior to that contest, Notre Dame's last matchup against an A-10 opponent was a 64-52 win over Saint Louis at the 2009 Chicago Invitational.
NOVEMBERS TO REMEMBER
Notre Dame is 42-0 at home in the month of November under head coach Mike Brey. As a program, the Fighting Irish have won 45 straight home contests in November. Notre Dame's last home loss in November was a 76-65 setback to Miami (Ohio) on Nov. 13, 1998.
COOLEY COMING TO PLAY
Senior forward Jack Cooley is averaging team-best totals in points (17.0) and rebounds (11.8). He has notched two straight double-doubles and has three on the season.
Cooley averaged 16.5 points and 13.5 rebounds in the two championship-round games of the CVC Classic. He was named to the CVC Classic All-Tournament Team. Cooley also was selected to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll.
He is the only Notre Dame player to score in double-figures in all four games this season.
ATKINS ASSISTING THE IRISH EFFORT
Junior point guard Eric Atkins dished out a career-high 10 assists in Friday's game against Saint Joseph's. He became the first Notre Dame player to record 10 assists in a game since Ben Hansbrough on Feb. 28, 2011 (vs. Villanova).
Atkins also tallied 12 points in the contest to record the first double-double of his career.
He has a team-high 21 assists (5.25 apg) this season.
Notre Dame opponents are shooting just 38.6% (91-236) from the floor this season. That includes a 25.4% (16-63) mark from three-point range.
KEY RUNS SEAL WIN AGAINST THE COUGARS
Notre Dame trailed BYU 47-40 with 14:45 left to play in Saturday's contest. The Irish went on an 18-4 run to claim a 58-51 with 8:48 showing on the clock.
After BYU climbed to within two points (63-61) with 4:27 remaining, the Fighting Irish outscored the Cougars 15-7 the rest of the way.
Notre Dame was 10-for-12 from the free throw line in the final 1:32 of the game.
GRANT GREAT IN SECOND HALF
Junior guard Jerian Grant helped the Irish overturn a 32-31 halftime deficit by scoring 17 of his 19 points in the second half of Saturday's 78-68 win over BYU. Grant was 5-for-7 from the field and 6-for-6 from the free throw line in the second period. He played all 20 minutes in the half and also notched four assists and three steals.
As a team, Notre Dame was 14-for-22 (63.6%) from the field in the second half.
PLAYING WELL IN PURCELL
The Fighting Irish are 102-7 in their last 109 games played at home. That .936 home winning percentage over the course of the last six-plus seasons ranks second nationally. Kansas is first with a .964 mark.
The Irish are 37-1 (.974) in their last 38 home games.
The Irish are in the middle of a stretch that has them playing eight games in 20 days. Notre Dame has nine contests, including one exhibition, on its docket for the month of November before playing just five games in December.
Beginning with Wednesday's game versus George Washington, Notre Dame will play four home games in a nine-day stretch. The Irish will face St. Francis (Pa.) on Saturday, Chicago State on Monday and #8/7 Kentucky next Thursday. Following the Kentucky game, the Irish will not play again until Dec. 8 versus Brown.
Senior center Garrick Sherman came off the bench to notch career-best totals in points (22) and rebounds (9) in the 84-57 win over Monmouth (Nov. 12). The point total led all players in the game, while his rebound mark tied him with teammate Jack Cooley for game-high honors.
Sherman's previous career-high for points were 10 against Washington on Nov. 24, 2010, while he was at Michigan State. His previous high for boards were eight versus Eastern Michigan on Nov. 12, 2010.
The Irish returned 2,003 of their 2,257 total points (88.7%) from one season ago. The team also brought back 88.7% of its minutes played from last season.
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.
The class is ranked 10th by Scout.com and 11th by Rivals.com.
Beachem (6-6, 180-pound small forward) and is ranked 64th by Scout.com and 85th by Rivals.com. He 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 (6-1, 179-pound point guard) is ranked 26th overall by Scout.com and 30th by Rivals.com. As a junior, he averaged 22.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.0 steals 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) is ranked 90th overall by Scout.com. He 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.
COOLEY ON WOODEN AWARD PRESEASON TOP 50 LIST
Senior forward Jack Cooley has been named to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 by the Los Angeles Athletic Club. Chosen by a preseason poll of national college basketball media members, the list is comprised of 50 student-athletes who, based on last year's individual performance and team records, are the early front-runners for college basketball's most prestigious honor.
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 1726-940 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.
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 own 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.
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.
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 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. 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.