Notre Dame is ranked 10th in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today polls, marking the first time since the 1980-81 season that the Irish have been ranked in the top 10 of two polls at the same time. Brey's squad is enjoying their first stint in the rankings since the 1989-90 campaign when they began that season as a ranked team (19th in the first AP ranking before dropping from that poll the following week).
The Irish are 4-0 for the first time since 1988-89, when they finished 21-9. That season also featured the last NCAA Tournament victory for Notre Dame. A win tonight would mark the first 5-0 start by an Irish team since the 1979-80 squad won its first seven en route to a 22-6 record.
After trailing by 13 points, the Irish ran off the last 10 points of the first half to go into the break trailing by three, 39-36. A 60.7 percent shooting effort from the field in the second half allowed Notre Dame to come back for the victory. Vanderbilt, who started three freshmen, had just one basket in the final 4:46
Vanderbilt (Ryan Humphrey-24, Troy Murphy-23, David Graves-19)
FOLLOWING TROY ON THE WEB:
Follow All-American Troy Murphy on the world wide web at www.und.com/troymurphy. The site includes biographical information, statistics, pictures, a weekly diary, a listing of awards and honors and links to articles on the web which have been written on this Irish junior. For more information on the site, contact the Notre Dame Sports Information Office at (219) 631-7516.
NOTING THE WINS A YEAR AGO:
Notre Dame's 22 wins during the 1999-2000 campaign marked the most for an Irish team since the 1986-87 season when that squad finished with a 24-8 mark and advanced to the regional semifinals of the NCAA tournament. It also marked the 19th time in school history that an Irish team had won 20 or more games. Notre Dame had not posted back-to-back 20-win seasons since the 1987-88 and 1988-89 seasons.
MURPHY AND THE WOODEN WATCH:
Troy Murphy is one of the Preseason Top 50 candidates for the 2000-2001 John R. Wooden All-America team. Murphy, a member of the 10-member squad last season, has been designated as one of the top 25 vote-getters. He and Duke senior Shane Battier are the only two previous candidates among the list of 50. The Award Committee will release a Midseason Top 30 list with the 10-member Wooden Award All-America team announced on March 27, 2001. From that squad, one member will receive the Wooden Award Trophy as the nation's "Most Outstanding Collegiate Basketball Player." The announcement will be made on April 6, 2001, and will be shown on a one-hour telecast on Fox Sports Net.
Troy Murphy is listed as the second-leading vote-getter among 30 preseason candidates announced for the 2000-01 Naismith College Basketball Player of the Year Award presented by the Atlanta Tipoff Club. The preseason candidates including Murphy are: Shane Battier (Duke), Lonny Baxter (Maryland), Charlie Bell (Michigan State), Carlos Boozer (Duke), Cory Bradford (Illinois), Eric Chenowith (Kansas), Jarron Collins (Stanford), Juan Dixon (Maryland), Joe Forte (North Carolina), Jason Gardner (Arizona), Tony Harris (Tennessee), Udonis Haslem (Florida), Brendan Haywood (North Carolina), Casey Jacobson (Stanford), Richard Jefferson (Arizona), Joe Johnson (Arkansas), Ken Johnson (Ohio State), Kaspars Kambala (UNLV), Jason Kapono (UCLA), Mike Kelley (Wisconsin), Terence Morris (Maryland), Tayshaun Prince (Kentucky), Kenny Satterfield (Cincinnati), Brian Scalabrine (Southern California), Jamaal Tinsley (Iowa State), Jason Williams (Duke), Loren Woods (Arizona), Michael Wright (Arizona) and Vincent Yarbrough (Tennessee).
MURPHY GOES HAWAIIAN:
Troy Murphy's travels took him twice to Hawaii within a two-week span in August and early September. The Irish junior participated in the Pete Newell Big Man Camp just before returning to campus for the start of the school year and met up with former Notre Dame standout and 1997 BIG EAST Player of the Year Pat Garrity. Murphy made a second trip across the mainland when he played for the USA Men's Select Team on Sept. 2 in Honolulu against the USA Basketball Men's Senior National Team. The game was televised by NBC and Murphy finished with four points and three rebounds.
As a team, the Irish are shooting 52.9 percent from the field (119-225), 50.0 percent from three-point range (37-74) and 76.6 percent from the line (82-107). Notre Dame has held its opponents in its first four games to just 35.4 percent overall (99-280), 20.2 from the three-point arc (17-84) and 65.5 percent (36-55) from the free throw line.
Notre Dame has made the most of its opportunities from the free-throw line this season as the Irish have converted on 76.6 percent of their chances (82-107) from the charity stripe. The Irish are averaging nearly 21 free throws made per game. Notre Dame opponents have had just more than half as many opportunities (55) and made only 36 free throws (9.0 per game) this season.
FIRST HALF FIRE DRILL:
Notre Dame's first-half shooting totals in its first two games against Sacred Heart and Loyola were hard to imagine as the Irish shot 67.9 percent from the field, 75.0 percent from three-point range and 83.3 percent from the free throw line.
Troy Murphy has scored 30-plus points in two of Notre Dame first four games this season. The junior forward had 31 in the season opener against Sacred Heart and 30 vs. Cincinnati on Nov. 25. He scored 30 or more points in nine games last season and has 14 career 30-plus outings.
HUMPHREY GETS FIRST DOUBLE DOUBLE IN IRISH UNIFORM:
Ryan Humphrey registered his first double double in an Irish uniform when he scored 10 points and grabbed 12 rebounds against Cincinnati in the victory. During his two seasons at Oklahoma, he posted double doubles in 10 outings and grabbed 10-plus rebounds in 16 contests.
IRISH THREE-POINTERS EXTEND TO 54 STRAIGHT GAMES:
Notre Dame has had at least one three-pointer in 54 consecutive games, a mark that dates back to the 1998-99 campaign. The last time the Irish failed to connect on at least one three-pointer in a game was against Connecticut in a 101-70 loss in Hartford, Conn., on January 12, 1999. Notre Dame set the school single-game three-point mark when it nailed 16 three-pointers against Loyola.
INGELSBY RETURNS TO STARTING ROLE:
Senior Martin Ingelsby returned to his role as Notre Dame's starting point guard in the season opener against Sacred Heart. A starter in his first two seasons, Ingelsby lost his starting job in the seventh game of the season a year ago and averaged just 14.8 minutes and 4.8 points per game in 1999-2000. He is averaging 8.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 7.5 assists in four games. Ingelsby responded to his return as an Irish starter with 15 points nailing a career-high five three-pointers in the first game. He hit on all five of his three-point attempts from beyond the arc in the first half and finished with six assists and just one turnover in the contest. Against Loyola, he had scored nine points (all from three-point range), dished off 11 assists and just one turnover. In the win against Cincinnati, he had five points, five rebounds, eight assists while playing 39 minutes. He played all 40 minutes vs. Vanderbilt and had three points and five assists. Ingelsby has 30 assists and just four turnovers in four games this season.
DISHING IT OUT:
Martin Ingelsby leads the Irish with 30 assists. His 11 assists (one shy of his career-high) against Loyola (Chicago) on Nov. 22 marked the fifth time in his career he had 10-plus assists. The previous four outings in which he had 10 or more assists occurred in his freshman season (1986-87). For the season, Ingelsby has 30 assists and just four turnovers. He has played a total of 135 minutes in the first four games and is averaging a turnover every 33.8 minutes. Ingelsby's assist-to-turnover ratio is 0.13.
No Irish player has been as consistent throughout the preseason and in the first four games as sophomore Matt Carroll. He registered double figures for the 20th time in his career against Loyola (Chicago) as he tied his career best with 22 points. He also dished off a personal best nine assists in the contest. Carroll is shooting 54.8 (17-31) percent from the field, 53.3 (8-15) from three-point range and 80.0 (8-10) from the charity stripe. Even more impressive is that he is second in the assist columnn with 23 (5.8 per game). Carroll also had a career-high nine rebounds against Vanderbilt.
HUMPHREY A SHINING STAR:
Ryan Humphrey, who transferred from the University of Oklahoma prior in the fall of 1999 and sat out all of last season, has scored in double figures in all four contests this season. He had a career-high 24 points (hitting nine-of-12 field goals), six rebounds and a season-high six blocked shots against Vanderbilt on Saturday night in the come-from-behind victory. He began his Irish career by scoring 19 points and grabbing nine rebounds in his official regular-season debut against Sacred Heart. Humphrey's first two points as a Notre Dame player came on a dunk 2:37 into the contest. He connected on seven of 10 shots from the field and played a total of 26 minutes. Humphrey had 16 points and seven rebounds against Loyola and 10 points and 12 rebounds for his first double double with the Irish versus Cincinnati. Humphrey is second on the team in both is averaging 17.3 points and 8.5 rebounding as he is averaging 17.3 points and 8.5 rebounds.
THE ALL-AMERICAN CONTINUES TO POST ALL-AMERICAN NUMBERS:
Troy Murphy recorded his 34th career double double (and second of the season) against Vanderbilt on Saturday night when he scored 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. It marked the 39th game of his career in which he scored 20-plus points. The junior forward has scored 30-plus points in two games this season -- 31 vs. Sacred Heart and 30 vs. Cincinnati -- giving him 14 in his career. Murphy has scored in double figures in 67 of 68 career games.
The most telling statistic from the first three games -- the 87 assists. Notre Dame has made a total of 119 field goals in their first four games which translates into an assist for every 1.37 baskets. As a team, the Irish have committed just 56 turnovers, resulting in a 0.64 assist-to-turnover ratio and a turnover every 2.86 minutes. Last season, Notre Dame had more turnovers (656) than assists (643).
GRAVES WILL BE NEXT IRISH 1,000-POINT SCORER:
It won't be long before junior David Graves becomes the 41st player in Notre Dame history to reach the 1,000-point mark. He has 920 points in 71 career games and owns a 12.9 career scoring average.
MOVING UP IN THE BIG EAST:
Notre Dame's 8-8 mark in BIG EAST play last season marked the first time since the Irish joined the conference in 1995-96 that the team did not have a losing mark in league play. Notre Dame was 4-14 in 1995-96, 8-10 in both 1996-97 and 1998-99 and 7-11 in 1997-98. Notre Dame had never been two games above the .500 level in BIG EAST play until last year's team began with a 2-0 record.
NEW KIDS ON THE BIG EAST BLOCK:
Mike Brey and Miami's Perry Clark are the two new coaches in the BIG EAST this season. Hired by their respective schools within eight days of each other, Clark was named head coach of the Hurricanes on July 6 after 11 years at Tulane, while Brey was introduced as Notre Dame's 17th head coach on July 14.
IRISH SHOW TRIPLE THREAT AGAIN:
Notre Dame's three-point shooting appears to be alive and healthy again this season as the Irish have canned an average of 9.25 three-pointers (37-74) in its first three games. Martin Ingelsby leads the way with 10, after nailing five in the season opener against Sacred Heart. In the season opener, the Irish began the contest by hitting eight of their first nine from beyond the three-point arc. They also had a school-record 16 against Loyola on Nov. 22. Last season, the Irish averaged 7.8 three-pointers per game en route to establishing the single-season mark with 287.
BIG EAST DIVIDE:
With the addition of Virginia Tech, the 14-team BIG EAST Conference has been split into two divisions. BIG EAST teams will once again play a 16-game conference schedule. Annually, teams will meet each divisional opponent on a home-and-home basis and will play four games against teams from the other division. Notre Dame has been designated to the West division, which also includes: Georgetown, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Syracuse and West Virginia. The East division members are: Boston College, Connecticut, Miami, Providence, St. John's, Villanova and Virginia Tech. The Irish play Boston College, Connecticut, St. John's and Virginia Tech in the single games this season.
BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP FORMAT TO CHANGE:
For the first time in the history of the BIG EAST Conference, every team will not advance to the league's postseason tournament. The top six teams in each division will qualify for the 2001 AT&T BIG EAST Championship in Madison Square Garden on March 7-10. First-round tournament games will feature cross-divisional matchups (the No. 3 seeds will play No. 6 seeds and the No. 4 seeds will play the No. 5 seeds). The top two teams in each division will be awarded first-round byes.
MURPHY MOVING UP IRISH SCORING CHARTS:
Troy Murphy became the 40th player in Notre Dame history to score 1,000 points on Jan. 29, 2000 when the Irish defeated St. John's. He started the season 16th on the all-time scoring list, but the 107 points he has scored in in his first three games have elevated him to 11th on the scoring list with 1,465 career points. Against Cincinnati, he moved ahead of Don Williams who finished his Irish career with 1,433 points and needs 24 points to pass Elmer Bennett who currently holds down the 10th spot on the career scoring list. Murphy became the second-youngest player in Irish history to score 1,000 points at 19 years and 272 days old. Former Irish All-American Adrian Dantley (1973-76) was 18 years and 355 days old when he scored his 1,000th point. Murphy also joins Dantley as the only Irish sophomores with 1,000 points. He scored his 1,000th point in his 48th career game -- the fifth-fastest among Notre Dame's 39 previous 1,000-point scorers. All-time leading scorer Austin Carr (1968-71) needed just 35 games, while Dantley needed 44. It took John Shumate (1972-74) and Bob Arnzen (1966-69) 46 games to score 1,000 points.
DOUBLE THE PLEASURE FOR MURPHY:
Among active Division I players according to STATS Inc. Troy Murphy is second with 34 career double doubles. He has scored in double figures in 67 of 68 career games he has played and has registered double figures in 55 straight contests heading into this afternoon's matchup with Loyola. The only time Murphy has failed to score in double figures was against Syracuse on Dec. 29, 1998.
Eight of Notre Dame's first 10 games of the season are at home and only one of those games is on the opponents' home floor. Tonight's game begins a six-game homestand for the Irish who will not play on the road again until they begin BIG EAST play at Syracuse on Tues., Jan. 2.
LIGHTS, CAMERA ACTION:
Notre Dame will make nine national television appearances during the 2000-01 season as the Irish will be featured three times on CBS and six times on ESPN. It is the most regular-season telecasts since the 1988-89 campaign when that Notre Dame squad also had nine of its games nationally televised. The national lineup is as follows: Indiana (Tues., Dec. 5 on ESPN), at Syracuse (Tues., Jan. 2 on ESPN), at Seton Hall (Mon., Jan. 8 on ESPN), at Kentucky (Sat., Jan. 13 on CBS), St. John's (Mon., Feb. 5 on ESPN), at Rutgers (Wed., Feb. 14 on ESPN), Seton Hall (Sun., Feb. 18 on CBS), at Connecticut (Mon., Feb. 26 on ESPN) and Georgetown (Sun., Mar. 4 on CBS).
BASKETBALL LUNCHEONS SET:
Three luncheons featuring Notre Dame men's basketball coach Mike Brey and his Irish players have been scheduled during the 2000-2001 season: Monday, Dec, 4, 2000 (the day before the Notre Dame-Indiana game), Monday, Jan. 22, 2001 (the day before the Notre Dame-Syracuse), Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2001 (the day before the Notre Dame-Boston College game).
All three luncheons, which begin at noon, will feature Brey, members of his squad, video presentations and other special guests. The Dec. 4 luncheon also will feature Notre Dame women's basketball coach Muffet McGraw.
Tickets are $16 each. Tickets are available by mail by writing Athletics Business Office, 112 Joyce Center, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556. Checks should be made payable to University of Notre Dame. No telephone reservations will be accepted. For more information, call 219-631-7246.
BASKETBALL TICKET SALES:
Season-tickets for the 2000-01 Notre Dame men's basketball season are sold-out. A limited number of single-game tickets for contests against Tennessee Tech (Dec. 17), Canisius (Dec. 19), Vermont (Dec. 21), Long Island (Dec. 29) and Rutgers (Jan. 6) are still on sale. All 3,200 student season-tickets allotted for the upcoming campaign also have been sold, a figure that has doubled from the 1,600 sold for the 1999-2000 season. Remaining tickets for the Tennessee Tech, Canisius, Vermont, Long Island and Rutgers cOntests can be purchased at the ticket office in the Joyce Center or by calling 219-631-7356.
WNTS TO BROADCAST 12 IRISH BASKETBALL GAMES:
WNTS Radio 1590 AM in Indianapolis, Ind., will broadcast 12 Notre Dame men's basketball games during the 2000-01 season in the Indianapolis market as part of the Notre Dame Basketball Network originated by Host Communications. WNTS 1590 AM, which is owned by S&M Broadcasting Company, Inc., has been broadcasting its signal in the Indianapolis area since 1974.
The men's basketball games on WNTS this season include: Nov. 22 vs. Loyola (Chicago) at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 5 vs. Indiana at 9:00 p.m., Dec.19 vs. Canisius at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 21 vs. Vermont at 7:30 p.m., Jan. 2 at Syracuse at 7:00 p.m., Jan. 8 at Seton Hall at 7:00 p.m., Jan. 16 vs. Pittsburgh at 7:30 p.m., Jan. 23 vs. Syracuse at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 5 vs. St. John's at 7:00 p.m., Feb. 14 at Rutgers at 9:00 p.m., Feb. 21 vs. Boston College at 7:30 p.m., and Feb. 26 at Connecticut at 7:00 p.m.
KEVIN WHITE RADIO SHOW:
A weekly half-hour talk show featuring first-year athletics director Kevin White debuted Aug. 27 on Chicago's ESPN Radio 1000. "The Kevin White Show" is scheduled to air from 11:00-11:30 p.m. for 30 consecutive Sundays on ESPN radio (1000 AM in Chicago, www.espnradio1000.com). The show also can be heard in 35 states. White will welcome to the show a series of guests and prominent figures associated with college athletics, including administrators, coaches and media members.
IRISH LIFE SKILLS PROGRAM HONORED AS ONE OF NATION'S BEST:
The Notre Dame CHAMPS/Life Skills Program has been identified as one fo the best in the nation by the NCAA Division I-A Athletic Directors' Association. Notre Dame received one of four program of excellence award at the Association's Sept. 25 awards dinner in Dallas. Honored along with Notre Dame were Arizona State University, the University of Iowa and Michigan State University. Notre Dame's Life Skills Program currently is under the direction of Bernard Muir, associate athletic director for student-athlete welfare.
In existence since August 1996, Notre Dame's Life Skills Program is committed to the total development of the University's student-athletes. It fosters the cultivation of skills that allow for their maximization on and off the playing field. The program develops and implements events and activities which are designed to facilitate learning in five key areas: academic excellence, athletic success, career preparation, community involvement and personal development. By the time a Notre Dame student-athlete graduates, he or she will have participated in approximately 40 hours of required skill building and development workshops in each key area. All freshmen and their parents participate in orientation sessions designed to assist in the transition into the University and to inform them about the Life Skills Program as well as other support services.
IRISH ARE AP'S FINEST:
For the first time in school history, both the football, men's basketball and women's basketball teams are ranked in the top 10 of both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today polls. The football and men's basketball teams are 10 in both rankings, while the women's basketball team is fourth in the two polls, an all-time high for that team.