No. 20 Notre Dame Handles Army, 88-47
Colin Falls scored 24 points and Notre Dame made 15 3-pointers, both season highs, to beat Army 88-47 on Thursday night for its ninth straight victory - its longest winning streak in 20 years. With Falls making all seven shots he took in the first half, Notre Dame (10-1) led 46-20 at halftime. The 46 points were the most given up by the Black Knights (9-3) in a half this season - it also was more points than they had given up in any of their previous three games. Matt Bell hit a 3-pointer and converted on a three-point play to cut the lead to 47-26 early in the second half. But Falls hit another 3-pointer to spark a 15-2 run as Notre Dame moved ahead 63-30.
Notre Dame (3-1) takes to the court of Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center for the second time in less than 48 hours when it entertains Army at 2 p.m. (ET) on Sunday.
The contest will mark the final game for the Irish in the month of November.
The game will be broadcast on ESPN3 with Mike Couzens (play-by-play) and Sean Harrington (analyst) calling the action.
A free audio broadcast will be available on WatchND.tv. Jack Nolan will handle play-by-play duties, while former Irish standout Colin Falls will serve as the analyst. The broadcast can also be heard on The Notre Basketball Radio Network headed by WSBT 96.1 FM and 960 AM in South Bend. A complete affiliate list is available on page 5 of this notes packet. The broadcast also is available on Sirius/XM channel 91 (College Sports Nation).
Notre Dame bounced back from Sunday's loss to Indiana State to defeat Santa Clara 84-69 on Friday night. Army has not played since Wednesday night when it dropped an 89-74 decision at home to Delaware.
THE SERIES WITH ARMY
This will be the ninth meeting between the two schools with Notre Dame winning all eight previous matchups.
The two schools have not played since Dec.21, 2006, when the Irish earned an 88-47 victory at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center. Notre Dame is 5-0 all-time against the Cadets at home and 4-0 at Purcell Pavilion.
The first meeting between the two programs took place on Feb. 28, 1931, at West Point with the Irish coming away with a 26-25 victory.
The lone neutral site contest was played in New York City in the Postseason National Invitation Tournament on March 16, 1968. Notre Dame won that contest 62-58.
Notre Dame is 44-5 all-time versus teams from the Patriot League.
The five losses suffered by Irish teams to Patriot League opponents have been to Holy Cross (3), Lafayette (1) and Navy (1).
Notre Dame's eight wins against Army are the most against any Patriot League foe.
ATKINS JOINS 1,000-POINT CLUB
With his fifth point in the Indiana State game last Sunday, senior point guard Eric Atkins notched his 1,000th career point and became Notre Dame's 54th member of the 1,000-point club (first since Jack Cooley last season).
Atkins' game-best 18-point effort against the Sycamores was his 51st career double-figure performance.
He followed that performance up with a 16-point night on Friday against Santa Clara. He currently is averaging a career-high 13.0 points per game and owns a overall 9.8 scoring average in 105 career outings.
Connaughton is 10-of-19 (.526) from three-point range this season, while Grant is 10-of-22 (.455) and Atkins is 7-of-18 (.389).
PAT AN ALL-AROUND PERFORMER
Junior guard/forward Pat Connaughton is Notre Dame's third-leading scorer (11.0) and second-leading rebounder (6.3). He is tied with Jerian Grant for three-pointers made (10) and his 52.6 three-point field goal percentage tops the Irish.
Connaughton tallied 16 points and eight rebounds last Sunday versus Indiana State. He was 4-of-7 from three-point range against the Sycamores.
Connaughton scored in double figures in Notre Dame's first three games of the season.
HOME STREAKS SNAPPED
The 83-70 setback to Indiana State last Sunday was Notre Dame's first home loss in the month of November under head coach Mike Brey, who is in his 14th season with the program. The Irish had been 48-0 at home in the month under Brey. As a program, Notre Dame had won its last 51 home contests in November. Prior to Sunday, Notre Dame's last home loss in November was a 76-65 setback to Miami (Ohio) on Nov. 13, 1998.
The loss also was Notre Dame's first non-conference home defeat since an 87-85 setback to Loyola Marymount on Dec. 12, 2009. The Irish had won 30 straight non-conference home games.
Notre Dame is 49-1 at home in the month of November under Brey and is 52-1 in its last 53 home November outings.
For Atkins, his selection proves to be historic, as he becomes the first three-time captain in the 109-history of the program, while Connaughton is in his first season in the captaincy role.
The backcourt trio of seniors Eric Atkins and Jerian Grant along with junior Pat Connaughton has logged significant playing time together over the past two-plus seasons. Notre Dame's four returning starters from 2012-13 (including senior forward Tom Knight) have started a combined 228 contests with 205 of those starts coming from the Atkins-Grant-Connaughton combination.
PLAYING WELL IN PURCELL
The Fighting Irish are 120-10 in their last 130 games played at home. That .923 home winning percentage over the course of the last eight seasons ranks fourth nationally.
Notre Dame is 55-4 (.932) in its last 59 home games.
FIGHTING IRISH FACTS
Since the beginning of the 2010-11 season, Notre Dame is 33-1 when shooting 50% or above from the field, 57-5 when outrebounding its opponent and 60-5 when leading at halftime.
The Fighting Irish went 5-4 against ranked teams last season. Over the last four-plus seasons, Notre Dame is 22-16 (.579) against teams ranked in the Associated Press top-25 poll, including a 12-2 mark at home.
Notre Dame is 4-3 in its last seven showdowns with a team ranked in the top 10 of the Associated Press poll. The Irish are 17-26 against teams ranked in the top 10 of the AP poll under head coach Mike Brey.
IRISH ENTER THE ACC
Following 18 seasons in the BIG EAST Conference, Notre Dame is entering its first season as a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Notre Dame will face each of the other 14 ACC member schools at least once during this season's 18-game conference schedule. Along with home-and-away dates with its "partner schools" Boston College and Georgia Tech, Notre Dame will meet both North Carolina and Virginia twice during the season. The Fighting Irish also will play host to Clemson, Duke, North Carolina State, Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech. Notre Dame's other road opponents are Florida State, Maryland, Miami, Syracuse and Wake Forest.
The 2014 ACC men's basketball tournament is scheduled for March 12-16 at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C.
FIGHTING IRISH PICKED FIFTH IN PRESEASON ACC POLL
Notre Dame was picked to finish fifth in its inaugural season of Atlantic Coast Conference play according to a vote of media in attendance at the league's annual "Operation Basketball." Duke will enter the 2013-14 season as the ACC favorite. The Blue Devils received 50 of 54 first-place votes in a preseason poll of media. ACC newcomer Syracuse (three first-place votes) placed second in the voting, followed by North Carolina (one first-place vote) and Virginia. Notre Dame was followed by Pittsburgh, Maryland and Boston College. Florida State placed ninth, followed by NC State, Georgia Tech, defending ACC champion Miami, Wake Forest, Clemson and Virginia Tech.
GRANT GARNERS ACC HONOR
Senior guard Jerian Grant was named to the five-man Preseason All-ACC Team. Grant averaged a team-best 13.3 points per game last season for the Fighting Irish. He also dished out a team-high 194 assists (5.5 apg.) in 2012-13. Grant earned Second Team All-BIG EAST Honors last season in addition to being on the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) District V Second Team.
ATKINS ON BOB COUSY AWARD WATCH LIST
Senior Eric Atkins was named to the watch list for the 2014 Bob Cousy Collegiate Point Guard of the Year Award. Atkins averaged 11.2 points and 5.5 assists as a starter in every game last season. He has 1,029 career points and 453 assists.
The annual honor, announced by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and is named for Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtic point guard Bob Cousy, recognizes the top point guards in men's basketball. A committee of well-respected media members and influential people within collegiate basketball from around the country comprise the committee. This year's watch list will be narrowed down to a final 20 in early February, then a final five in early March.
NOTRE DAME ADDS TWO FRONTLINE PLAYERS FOR 2014-15 CAMPAIGN
Irish head coach Mike Brey recently announced the signing of two frontcourt players to his 2014-15 roster. Bonzie Colson, Jr., a 6-6, 200-pound forward out of New Bedford, Mass., and Martin Geben, a 6-9, 230-pound forward from Vilnius, Lithuania, have signed National Letters of Intent during the early signing period. The duo will enroll at Notre Dame in the fall of 2014.
DIGGER PHELPS TO BE INDUCTED INTO NOTRE DAME BASKETBALL RING OF HONOR
Forty years to the day that one of the greatest moments in Notre Dame's illustrious athletics history occurred, the man who engineered the stunning 71-70 victory over top-ranked UCLA on Jan. 19, 1974, that ended the Bruins 88-game win streak will be inducted into the Notre Dame Basketball Ring of Honor. Richard "Digger" Phelps will become the sixth inductee into the Ring of Honor at halftime of the Fighting Irish men's basketball game against Virginia Tech on Jan. 19, 2014.
Phelps, who led Notre Dame to a sterling 393-197 record (.666) over his 20 seasons (1971-91) on the Irish hardwood, will become the first coach inducted into the Ring of Honor. The all-time winningest men's basketball coach at Notre Dame, he will join Austin Carr, Adrian Dantley, Skylar Diggins, Luke Harangody and Ruth Riley. Diggins will be inducted at the Notre Dame women's basketball game against Valparaiso later this month on Nov. 16.
NOTRE DAME TO TRAVEL TO IOWA FOR ACC/BIG TEN CHALLENGE
Notre Dame will face Iowa in the 15th annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge presented by DICK's Sporting Goods. The game is set for Tuesday, Dec. 3 in Iowa City, Iowa and will be televised by ESPN2 at 9:15 p.m. (ET).
The contest at Carver-Hawkeye Arena is part of a 12-game series involving teams from the two conferences over two nights (Dec. 3-4). ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will combine to televise all 12 games of the two-day event matching top college basketball programs playing for conference supremacy and the Commissioners Cup.
FIGHTING IRISH RETURN TO CROSSROADS CLASSIC
Notre Dame will battle Big Ten rival Indiana in the third annual Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind. The game between the Irish and the Hoosiers will be the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday, Dec. 14. Butler and Purdue will square off in the second contest.
IRISH TO PLAY IN GOTHAM CLASSIC
Notre Dame will play host to three games at Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center as part of the second annual Gotham Classic before heading to New York City to take on Ohio State in the showcase game at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, Dec. 21. That contest will be televised by ESPN2.
The Irish will host three games in a five-day span. Notre Dame will face Delaware on Dec. 7, Bryant on Dec. 9 and North Dakota State on Dec. 11.
The format of the Gotham Classic features 10 games with all five teams playing each other. In addition to the games at Notre Dame, the slate of contests also includes: North Dakota State at Bryant (Dec. 7), Bryant at Ohio Sate (Dec. 11), North Dakota at Ohio State (Dec. 14), Delaware at North Dakota State (Dec. 16) and Delaware at Ohio State (Dec. 18).
Bryant and Delaware will meet at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 21 in the first game of the Saturday doubleheader.
NOTRE DAME STUDENT-ATHLETES AGAIN RANK #1 IN NCAA GRS
For the eighth time in nine years, the University of Notre Dame ranks number one on a percentage basis in terms of number of Graduation Success Rate (GSR) 100 scores, among all NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision schools.
Twenty of 22 athletics programs at Notre Dame compiled graduation rates of 100 percent, including the men's basketball team, according to the ninth year of GSR measurements developed by the NCAA. It's the first time Notre Dame's programs have combined for 20 perfect scores-after four previous years with 19.
None of the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly NCAA Division I-A) programs in the country had a higher percentage of 100 GSR scores than did Notre Dame with its .909 number (20 of 22).
In addition, Notre Dame ranked second among all FBS institutions with nine perfect scores among 22 sports (.409) in the federal graduation rate analysis.
BREY NO STRANGER TO THE ACC
Perhaps no person is better prepared to navigate the Irish basketball program into its new basketball conference home than head coach Mike Brey. A Rockville, Md., native, he grew up a Maryland Terrapin basketball fan and his first coaching job in the collegiate ranks was as an assistant coach at Duke for eight seasons.
Beginning in 1987-88, he helped Blue Devil head coach Mike Krzyzewski take his teams to six NCAA Final Fours and four national title games while winning back-to-back national titles in 1991 and 1992. The Blue Devils posted a sterling 216-65 record for a 76.8 winning percentage during his tenure at the school. Brey recruited and worked daily with four of the greatest players in that program's history -- Danny Ferry, Christian Laettner, Bobby Hurley and Grant Hill.
Notre Dame has earned appearances in the postseason in each of the last 14 seasons, which marks the longest stretch in school history. The Irish have been to the NCAA Championship on nine 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 nine times, including a current stretch of four straight trips, and NIT four times.
NOTRE DAME LOOKS TO NOTCH ANOTHER 20-WIN CAMPAIGN
The Irish have recorded seven straight 20-win seasons. It's the first time in program history that Notre Dame has compiled seven consecutive 20-win campaigns. The Fighting Irish have reached the 20-win plateau 10 times in 13 seasons under head coach Mike Brey.
Last season's 25 wins were tied for the second-most of the Brey era. The most wins for the Irish under Brey are 27 (27-7) in 2010-11.
Junior guard/forward Pat Connaughton also is a standout pitcher on the Fighting Irish baseball team. He has appeared in 22 games, including 20 starts, and boasts an 8-6 career record with a 2.43 earned-run average (ERA). He has logged 92.2 innings and has notched 69 strikeouts. As a sophomore, Connaughton went 4-2 and posted a 1.71 ERA.
Connaughton was selected by the San Diego Padres in the 50th round of the 2011 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft.
BREY TO BE INDUCTED INTO GEORGE WASHINGTON ATHLETICS HALL OF FAME
In January, Irish head coach Mike Brey will be inducted into the George Washington University Athletics Hall of Fame. Brey will be honored by his alma mater on the eve of Notre Dame's matchup with the Maryland on Tuesday, Jan. 14, during a special halftime ceremony at the Colonials' men's basketball game against VCU at the Charles E. Smith Center.
Brey played one season (1981-82) at George Washington after transferring from Northwestern State. During his one season on the Colonials' roster, he averaged 5.0 points and 4.8 assists while serving as team captain. He led George Washington in assists that season with 116 in 24 games and earned his bachelor's degree in physical education.
Brey is among seven former student-athletes comprising the 2014 George Washington Athletics Hall of Fame class. In addition to Brey, the class includes Greg Condon (`03, Baseball), Kwame Evans (`96, Men's Basketball), Cathy Joens (`04, Women's Basketball), Elena Meyer (`07, Softball) and Kim Warner (`04, Women's Soccer).