Dec. 6, 2004
The University of Notre Dame official athletics site, www.und.com, continues its tribute today to the school's celebration of 100 Seasons of Basketball. Spanning the entirety of the college basketball season, www.und.com, will update this section of the site every weekday 100 times in an effort to highlight Notre Dame's 100th Basketball Season in 2004-05.
The updates will change between trivia questions, quick bios from Notre Dame's all-century team, various "On this date in Notre Dame Basketball" elements and more.
Also available this season is the book 100 Seasons of Basketball, produced by the University of Notre Dame Sports Information Office and Notre Dame Sports Properties. The book is available exclusively through the Notre Dame Bookstore (call 800-647-4641 or to go www.ndcatalog.com).
Week Three (#11 - #15)
Week Two (#6 - #10)
Week One (#1 - #5)
#20 (Friday, Dec. 10, 2004)
Notre Dame Basketball Trivia
Who holds the Notre Dame record for assists in a single game?
A. Chris Thomas
B. John Paxson
C. Tim Singleton
D. Jackie Meehan
The answer is D, Jackie Meehan. The game was March 7, 1970, when Austin Carr scored an NCAA tournament game record 61 points vs. Ohio University. The victory (112-82) was Notre Dame's first NCAA tournament victory in 12 years. Collis Jones also scored 29 points and picked up 17 rebounds in the game.
Also - on this date in Notre Dame Basketball History (including this weekend's dates) -
Dec. 11, 1954 - Notre Dame hosts its first nationally-televised game (CBS) in the Fieldhouse, a 73-70 loss to Indiana.
Dec. 11, 1976 - Unbeaten in 115 non-conference games at home, UCLA is shocked in Pauley Pavilion by the Irish 66-63. Donald Williams scores 22 points and freshman Rich Brannning sinks the go-ahead basket plus the game-clinching free throws. The victory highlights a 7-0 start that sees Notre Dame climb to #2 in the nation.
Dec. 11, 1979 - Freshman John Paxson drills four consecutive free throws in the waning seconds at home as #4 Notre Dame defeats Larry Brown's #7 UCLA Bruins, 77-74.
#19 (Thursday, Dec. 9, 2004)
One-Of-A-Kind All-American Duo
Notre Dame became the only school to have both a men's and women's first-team Associated Press All-American selection in back-to-back seasons in 2000-01. Troy Murphy and Ruth Riley both earned All-America honors during the 1999-2000 and 2000-01 seasons. Notre Dame is one of just three schools to have a men's and women's All-American in the same year (North Carolina in '95, Connecticut in '96).
Murphy was Notre Dame's first two-time All-American since Adrian Dantley in 1974-75 and 1975-76, while Riley was the first in the history of the women's basketball program at Notre Dame.
The men's program is second all-time in consensus All-America selections since the NCAA began making the picks in 1929. The Irish have earned 10 selections by 10 different players, trailing Kentucky's 20 selections by 15 players. Notre Dame's first consensus pick was Moose Krause in 1932, while Murphy is the most recent.
Also, on this date in Notre Dame Basketball history...
Dec. 9, 1974 - Adrian Dantley pours in 32 points at home against #9 Kansas as the rebuilding Irish, minus John Shumate and Gary Brokaw, record their 1,000th victory in basketball. Dantley finished the season with a 30.4 scoring average, second in the nation in 1974-75.
#18 (Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2004)
Instant Classic - Irish Defeat Three Top 10 Teams In Seven Days
On Dec. 8, it is only logical to look back at one of the high points of the Mike Brey Era so far at Notre Dame. In the late fall of 2002, the Irish faced #10 Marquette, #8 Maryland and #2 Texas in seven days with the last two games played during the BB&T Classic in Washington, D.C.
Not only did Notre Dame defeat all three teams, the Irish trounced both Marquette (92-71) and Maryland (79-67) before handling Texas (98-92) in the BB&T Classic Championship game.
Marquette and Texas eventually advanced to the NCAA Final Four that season, while Maryland joined Notre Dame in the Sweet 16.
Since 1948 - when the inaugural college basketball Associated Press was released - Notre Dame became just the third known college basketball program to vanquish a top-10 ranked squad in three straight contests (1976 Indiana and 1993 North Carolina).
Chris Thomas scored 32 points (with 10 assists) against Marquette, while Torin Francis led Notre Dame to victory over Maryland with 20 points (Matt Carroll adding 19). Playing an up-tempo game against Texas, Francis was spectacular again with 21 points, 10 rebounds and eight blocked shots.
As Lou Somogyi writes in 100 Seasons of Basketball: "More than any other week of Irish basketball since 1987, this string of success fortified the program's return to the national stage after hitting its nadir during the 1990s and enduring its dues-paying venture into the BIG EAST in 1995."
#17 (Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2004)
The Snake Pit
The building disappeared from campus in 1983, but the Notre Dame Fieldhouse still holds a special place in the memories of many Irish basketball fans. The home of the Fighting Irish from 1898-1899, then 1907 through the 1967-68 season, the Fieldhouse was labeled `The Snake Pit' by opposing coaches. Notre Dame posted a 474-91 record in the building (.839) including 17 unbeaten seasons.
"The coaches used to fear coming in (there). It was impossible," said Ed `Moose' Krause, the former athletic director who, as an Irish scoring star and coach from the 30's to the 50's, was 66-12 in the fieldhouse.
The original fieldhouse was finished in 1898. It burned nearly to the ground two years later, but Notre Dame legend has it that the Rev. Andrew Morrissey, then University president, called a meeting to discuss building a fireproof replacement even before the embers stopped smouldering. It was completed within months.
Early in the century, basketball was played on a clay court that had to be rolled and watered daily, but in 1925 - using the proceeds from the 1925 Rose Bowl (the final appearance of the Four Horsemen) - the University built an addition with a wooden basketball floor.
With a capacity of about 6,000, The Snake Pit was a hated destination for opposing teams and coaches - including coaching legend Adolph Rupp.
"I was coaching at the time," said Krause. "Rupp said there was no way you can win at Notre Dame. He said the band was right behind him and he couldn't hear the whistle blow and he couldn't even talk to his players."
Perhaps Rupp was a bit upset because Krause led the Irish to a 65-55 upset of Kentucky in 1948 - a Wildcat team which went on to a 36-3 record, a collegiate championship and an Olympic gold medal. Rupp promised never to return to the fieldhouse and kept his word. Kentucky did not appear at Notre Dame again until 1982.
Notre Dame moved into the Athletic and Convocation Center (ACC) in 1968-69. In May of 1987 it was renamed the Edmund P. Joyce Center to honor the long time University executive vice president and chairman of the faculty board on athletics.
The Fieldhouse lived on as an art house after the 1967-68 season, housing the University's art department until the building was torn down in 1983. The cornerstone of the building can still be seen on campus where the structure once stood.
The building that hosted legendary basketball games, Knute Rockne football pep rallies, speeches by Franklin Roosevelt and performances by Bob Hope has disappeared, but its legacy will forever be remembered in the Notre Dame basketball program.
Also - On this date in Notre Dame Basketball history -
Dec. 7, 1925: The University utilizes proceeds from the '25 Rose Bowl to upgrade the fieldhouse. The '25 opening game is played on this date, a 52-26 victory over Armour Institute.
Dec. 7, 1968: The dedication game of the ACC sees #5 Notre Dame lose to #1 UCLA, the two-time defending champion. Lew Alcindor's 29 points lead UCLA's 88-75 victory and overshadow Austin Carr's 26 points
#16 (Monday, Dec. 6, 2004)
Legend of the Hardwood - LaPhonso Ellis
LaPhonso Ellis came to Notre Dame from the projects of East St. Louis, Ill. Learning to play basketball by shooting at monkey bars, or at a milk crate nailed to a tree, Ellis developed into one of Notre Dame's all-time great power forwards and the fifth overall pick in the NBA draft.
Scoring 27 points in his freshman debut against St. Bonaventure, Ellis never looked back - racking up 1,505 points and a school-record 200 blocks. He also averaged 11.1 rebounds per game in his career.
A member of the NBA draft class which included Shaquille O'Neal, Jim Jackson and Latrell Srpewell, Ellis eventually played for the Denver Nuggets, Atlanta Hawks, Minnesota Timberwolves and Miami Heat. In 1998, he established the LaPhonso D. Ellis Scholarship, which benefits Notre Dame students from East St. Louis. He currently lives in Minnesota with his wife, Jennifer, and their three children: Alexis, P.J. and Walter.
Also - on this date in Notre Dame Basketball history-
Dec. 6, 1947:While head coach Moose Krause is in Los Angeles as Notre Dame claims its second straight football national title with a 38-7 victory over USC, assistant basketball coach Terry Brennan opens the season with a 66-49 victory over Indiana State. The head coach of the Sycamores that day was John Wooden.
Dec. 6, 1950:Prior to the season opener against Franklin, Krause announces the '50 season would be his final as basketball coach so he can devote his time exclusively to administrative duties.