NOTRE DAME AND GEORGIA TO MEET IN CBE CLASSIC CONSOLATION
Notre Dame (4-1) will face Georgia (3-1) on Tuesday in the consolation game of the Progressive CBE Classic. Tip-off is slated for 7:45 p.m. (ET) inside the Sprint Center. The game will be aired on ESPNU and ESPN3 with Dan Shulman (play-by-play) and Bob Knight (analyst) calling the action.
The Fighting Irish Digital Media radio crew of Jack Nolan (play-by-play) and Jordan Cornette (analyst) will call the action on radio (affiliate listings on Pg. 5) and their broadcast can also be heard on UND.com.
This will be the third meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Georgia. The Fighting Irish are 2-0 against the Bulldogs. The two teams last met in the first round of the 2010 Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla. and Notre Dame overcame a 12-point (37-25) halftime deficit to produce an 89-83 double-overtime victory. Notre Dame's Tim Abromaitis deposited a game-high 25 points in the win over the Bulldogs.
Irish head coach Mike Brey is 1-0 all-time against Georgia.
The other Notre Dame-Georgia showdown took place during the 1993-94 campaign (Feb. 6, 1994). The Irish captured an 88-85 win in Atlanta, Ga.
Georgia is the first SEC opponent the Fighting Irish have faced since they fell to Kentucky, 72-58, last season. Notre Dame is 5-1 in its last six games versus SEC competition. The Irish are 7-7 against SEC teams during the Mike Brey era (12 seasons).
Notre Dame is 20-7 in in-season tournaments under head coach Mike Brey. The Irish won the Old Spice Classic last season.
Notre Dame currently has a 23-game home win streak.
PROGRESSIVE CBE CLASSIC
The Irish fell to Missouri, 87-58, on Monday in the semifinals of the Progressive CBE Classic. Notre Dame went 2-0 in regional-round action of the CBE Classic by capturing home wins over Detroit (59-53) and Sam Houston State (74-41).
Notre Dame was the runner-up in the 2002 event when it was called the Guardians Classic. The Irish topped Belmont (76-48) and IUPUI (89-45) at home before traveling to Kansas City's Municipal Auditorium for the semifinals and final. Notre Dame bested Furman (75-50) in the semifinals before falling to Creighton (80-75) in the title game.
ABRO IMPRESSIVE IN RETURN
Forward Tim Abromaitis returned to the Irish lineup on Monday against Missouri following a four-game suspension. Abromaitis posted team-high totals in points (22), rebounds (8) and assists (3) against the Tigers. It was his 22nd career game with 20 or more points.
The Notre Dame graduate student missed the first four games of the regular season due to a misunderstanding in the technicality of an NCAA rule governing seasons of competition that dates back to the 2008-09 campaign.
In his sophomore year ('08-'09), Abromaitis played in Notre Dame's first two exhibition games against Briar Cliff (Oct. 31) and Stonehill (Nov. 9) and then was withheld from competition for the remainder of the season in order to preserve an extra year of eligibility. Under NCAA rules, and specifically Bylaw 18.104.22.168.3, freshman student-athletes are allowed to participate in preseason exhibition contests and still preserve the entire year of eligibility. The Bylaw, however, does not provide the same exception for returning student-athletes in their sophomore, junior and senior seasons. Therefore, Abromaitis technically used a season of eligibility when he participated in those two preseason exhibition contests during that year.
Abromaitis' fifth year of eligibility has been preserved for this season due to an NCAA waiver that took into consideration the Notre Dame men's basketball coaching staff's misunderstanding of the rule and on the condition that he be withheld from the first four regular-season games.
This season's opener was the first game Abromaitis missed since he sat out the 2008-09 campaign. He had played in 69 straight contests.
Abromaitis averaged 15.4 ppg. and 6.1 rpg. last season.
Sophomore guard Jerian Grant, who sat out all of last season, on Monday was named the BIG EAST Rookie of the Week for his efforts in the first four games of the season. Grant scored in double-figures in all four contests, including two 17-point performances.
Grant became the first first-year Notre Dame player to reach double-figures in points in his first four games since Luke Harangody began his career with five straight double-digit games during the 2006-07 season.
DRAINING FROM DEEP
Notre Dame is shooting 40.2% (37-92) from three-point range this season. The Irish have registered 10 or more three-pointers in a game twice this season. Notre Dame drained 10 treys (on 19 attempts) against Sam Houston State and followed that up with an 11-for-23 performance versus Delaware State. The Fighting Irish made 10 or more three-pointers in a game seven times last season.
The Fighting Irish are in the middle of a stretch that has them playing eight games in an 18-day span. The stretch will end with a road test at Gonzaga on Nov. 30.
Four different Irish players established or tied career-high marks in points in Friday's win over Delaware State. Senior Scott Martin deposited a career-high 23 points, while sophomore Alex Dragicevich and junior Mike Broghammer tallied career-best point totals of 18 and nine, respectively. Sophomore Jerian Grant matched a career-high total with 17 points.
COOLEY COMING TO PLAY
Junior forward Jack Cooley notched his first career double-double by registering 11 points and 17 rebounds in Friday's win over Delaware State. The 17 rebounds, which included 10 offensive boards, were a career-high total for Cooley. He became the first Irish player to haul down that many rebounds in a game since Luke Harangody had 17 against Louisville during the 2008-09 season (Feb. 12, 2009).
Cooley leads the Irish with an 8.4 rpg. average this season.
CRASHING THE BOARDS
Notre Dame out-rebounded Delaware State 46-24 in Friday's victory. The Fighting Irish had 21 offensive rebounds, which resulted in 28 second-chance points. Those were the most offensive boards for the Irish since they had 21 against DePaul during the 2007-08 season (Feb. 2, 2008).
FRESHMAN ON FIRE
Pat Connaughton's 24 points against Sam Houston State on Wednesday were the most for a Notre Dame freshman since Torin Francis had 25 against Arizona in the Sweet 16 of the 2003 NCAA Tournament (March 27, 2003).
Connaughton's 24 points off the bench in the Sam Houston State game were the most bench points by an Irish player since Chris Quinn netted 25 against Quinnipiac during the 2003-04 campaign (Dec. 23, 2003).
ATKINS ON THE ATTACK
Sophomore point guard Eric Atkins returned to the Irish lineup on Monday against Missouri after missing two games due to illness. Those were the first two missed games of his Irish career.
Atkins registered a team-high point total in the first two games this season. He scored a career-high 27 points in the season-opening victory over Mississippi Valley State and then deposited 13 points against Detroit.
Against Mississippi Valley State, Atkins was 6-of-7 from the field, including 3-of-3 from three-point range, and 12-of-12 from the free-throw line. Both the three-point and free-throw totals were career-high figures.
Atkins' perfect day from the charity stripe against the Delta Devils marked the most makes without a miss for an Irish player in a game since Tim Abromaitis also went 12-of-12 against Seton Hall on Feb. 11, 2010.
ABROMAITIS EARNS PRESEASON ACCOLADES
Notre Dame forward Tim Abromaitis has been selected to the preseason watch lists for both the John R. Wooden Award and the Naismith Trophy. Both awards are presented annually to the national player of the year. Fifty student-athletes appear on both watch lists.
Abromaitis was named to the six-man preseason All-BIG EAST First Team.
The Fighting Irish forward also is one of 30 candidates up for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award.
413 AND COUNTING
Notre Dame has made at least one three-pointer in 413 straight contests dating back to the 1998-99 campaign. The Fighting Irish have made at least one three pointer during every game of the Mike Brey era. 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. Notre Dame finished 0-7 from beyond the arc in that contest. In 2008-09, the Irish set a single-season three-point record with 319.
Seven teams on Notre Dame's 2011-12 schedule are ranked in the latest Associated Press top-25 poll. Five of the squads - #4 Connecticut, #5 Syracuse, #7 Louisville, #16 Marquette and #17 Pittsburgh - are BIG EAST foes, while the Fighting Irish faced #21 Missouri on Monday and will also meet #19 Gonzaga in non-conference action. The Irish will face fourth-ranked UConn twice during the regular season.
BACK TO THE BB&T
Notre Dame will meet Maryland on Dec. 4 in the BB&T Classic at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The Fighting Irish will be making their third appearance in the event, which is held annually in the nation's capital. Each of the last two meetings between Notre Dame and Maryland has occurred at the BB&T Classic. Notre Dame topped Maryland, 79-67, in 2002 en route to the event title. The Irish bested the Terrapins, 81-74, in the 2006 BB&T Classic.
Notre Dame will battle instate rival Indiana in the inaugural Crossroads Classic at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind. The game between the Irish and the Hoosiers is part of a doubleheader on Saturday, Dec. 17. Purdue and Butler meet in the first game at 2:00 p.m. (ET) followed by Notre Dame and Indiana at 4:30 p.m. (ET).
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION
Notre Dame will have 17 television appearances during the 2011-12 season. The Irish will appear on ESPN's family of networks 16 times in addition to being on CBS once.
Freshman guard/forward Pat Connaughton also is a pitcher on the Fighting Irish baseball team. Connaughton is the 66th Notre Dame student-athlete to compete in both basketball and baseball and the first to do so since Tom Hansen during the 1973-74 academic year.
Tim Abromaitis and Scott Martin will captain the Fighting Irish during the 2011-12 season. Abromaitis is the 19th player in program history to serve as a two-time team captain.
WHAT A RUN
Notre Dame has posted a 100-43 (.699) record since the beginning of the 2007-08 season. The 100 wins are the most victories in program history over a five-year span.
The past four seasons has produced the most regular-season BIG EAST victories (46) in school history. The Irish have gone 46-26 in BIG EAST regular-season play over the past four seasons.
Last season's 27 wins (27-7) were the most in the modern era of Fighting Irish basketball. Notre Dame's highest win total ever was 33 (33-7) in 1908-09.
The 14 regular-season BIG EAST victories in 2010-11 tied the program standard. The Fighting Irish went 14-4 in BIG EAST play in 2007-08.
Notre Dame's 15 BIG EAST wins (14 regular season, 1 tournament) last season were the most in program history (combined regular season and tournament).
Mike Brey is in his 12th season along the Irish sidelines. He is the third-longest tenured coach in the BIG EAST, behind only Jim Boeheim of Syracuse and Jim Calhoun of Connecticut. Brey stands sixth all-time in career BIG EAST victories (both regular-season and tournament) with his 119-83 (.589) mark. He is one of eight coaches in BIG EAST history to record 100 conference wins.