Dec. 18, 2012
KENNESAW STATE (1-8)
#22/22 NOTRE DAME (10-1)
December 19, 2012 o 7 p.m. (ET)
Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center (9,149)
Notre Dame, Ind.
Mike Couzens (play-by-play)
Sean Kearney (analyst)
Broadcast on UND.com (free)
Sirius 92, XM 190
Jack Nolan (play-by-play)
LaPhonso Ellis (analyst)
Gametracker on UND.com
#22/22 IRISH AWAIT OWLS ON WEDNESDAY
• #22/22 Notre Dame (10-1) will play its third game in five days when the Irish welcome in Kennesaw State (1-8) on Wednesday. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. (ET) inside Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center.
• The Fighting Irish will bring an eight-game win streak into Wednesday's contest. Notre Dame defeated IPFW 74-62 on Monday. It's the longest win streak for the Irish since they won nine straight games last season (Jan. 21-Feb. 22).
• This will be the second meeting all-time between Notre Dame and Kennesaw State. The Fighting Irish defeated the Owls, 80-62, on Nov. 24, 2009, inside Purcell Pavilion. That game was part of the Chicago Invitational Challenge.
• Wednesday's contest can be seen on ESPN3. Mike Couzens (play-by-play) and Sean Kearney (analyst) will be on the call.
• Jack Nolan (play-by-play) and LaPhonso Ellis (analyst) will call the action for the Notre Dame Basketball Radio Network. The broadcast is available on Sirius 92, XM 190 and can also be heard for free on UND.com (full affiliate listings on Pg. 2).
• Kennesaw State head coach Lewis Preston served as an assistant coach under Mike Brey at Notre Dame from 2000-06. The Irish posted a 118-70 record during those six seasons. The Fighting Irish appeared in the NCAA tournament three times during that span, including a trip to the Sweet 16 in 2003. The Irish won the 2000-01 BIG EAST West Division title during Brey's first season at Notre Dame.
• This will be the first time Brey has coached against one of his former assistants who is now a head coach.
PLAYING WELL IN PURCELL
• The Fighting Irish are 108-7 in their last 115 games played at home. That .939 home winning percentage over the course of the last seven seasons ranks second nationally. Kansas is first with a .965 mark.
• The Irish are 43-1 (.977) in their last 44 home games. Notre Dame has a current 14-game home win streak.
• Notre Dame has won 26 straight non-conference home games and the Irish are 67-1 in their last 68 non-league home contests. Notre Dame's last non-conference home loss was an 87-85 setback to Loyola Marymount on Dec. 12, 2009.
BUSY STRETCH TO END SEMESTER
• Wednesday's contest will be the third of four games in a seven-day span for the Irish. Notre Dame will conclude the stretch Friday against Niagara. Following that game, the Irish will return to the floor Jan. 5 against Seton Hall in the BIG EAST opener.
IRISH AGAINST THE ATLANTIC SUN
• The Fighting Irish are 7-0 all-time against teams from the Atlantic Sun Conference. Kennesaw State will be the first Atlantic Sun opponent for Notre Dame since its first-ever meeting with the Owls on Nov. 24, 2009.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
• The Fighting Irish have had a different leading scorer in each of the last five games. Six different players have posted a team-high point total in the last seven contests.
• Notre Dame has had at least five double-figure scorers in four games this season. The Irish had a season-high six double-digit scorers in the victory against Chicago State on Nov. 26 (Jerian Grant 22, Eric Atkins 13, Garrick Sherman 12, Jack Cooley 11, Scott Martin 11, Pat Connaughton 10).
• The Fighting Irish have seven players who are averaging at least 8.4 points per game, including four with a double-figure average.
CONNAUGHTON COMING TO PLAY
• Sophomore Pat Connaughton scored a season-high 18 points in Monday's win over IPFW. His previous season-high was 16 in Saturday's victory over Purdue.
• Connaughton was 7-for-9 from the floor against IPFW and also had six rebounds and five assists.
• He hit arguably the biggest shot of the game in the Purdue win. After the Boilermakers trimmed the Irish lead to nine (58-49) with 5:41 left to play, Connaughton drilled a three-pointer and Notre Dame would have a double-digit lead the rest of the contest.
DOUBLE-DOUBLE DOMINANCE FROM COOLEY
• Senior forward Jack Cooley is tied for second nationally with seven double-doubles this season. He has posted four double-doubles in the last six games. He has 20 double-doubles over the last two seasons.
• He has reached double-figures in points in six straight games, which matches a career-best streak that he also achieved last season.
• Cooley is averaging team-best totals in points (14.5) and rebounds (10.8). The rebound mark ranks 10th nationally. He has scored in double-figures in 10 of the 11 games this season.
MARTIN NEARING 1,000 CAREER POINTS
• Scott Martin enters Wednesday's game with 994 career points (9.2 ppg). Martin has tallied 722 points in his three-plus seasons at Notre Dame. He scored 272 points during his freshman season at Purdue.
DECEMBERS TO REMEMBER
• Notre Dame is 52-7 (.881) at home in the month of December under head coach Mike Brey. That includes a current 13-game home win streak in December.
• The Fighting Irish are allowing just 59.5 points per game this season. That is the best mark for the Irish through the first 11 contests of a season since 2004-05 when they allowed 57.0 points per game.
• Notre Dame opponents are shooting just 37.7% (244-648) from the floor this season.
HANDLING THE ROCK
• Notre Dame is second nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.72) and fifth in assists per game (18.7).
• The Fighting Irish rank 17th nationally in fewest turnovers per game (10.9).
• Notre Dame had 20 assists on its 29 made field goals on Monday against IPFW. It was the fifth time this season that the Irish had 20 or more assists in a game.
• Notre Dame ranks 15th nationally in shooting percentage with a .493 (306-621) mark.
• Senior forward Jack Cooley is 18th nationally with a .615 (59-96) shooting percentage. Senior center Garrick Sherman is shooting .641 (41-64) from the field although he doesn't have enough attempts to qualify for the NCAA rankings.
• Notre Dame shot 51.8% (29-56) from the floor in Monday's win over IPFW. It was the fifth time this season the Irish shot 50% or better from the field.
FEW FOULS FOR FIGHTING IRISH
• Notre Dame ranks fourth nationally in fewest fouls per game (12.2).
CLEANING UP THE GLASS
• The Fighting Irish are 9-0 this season when outrebounding their opponent. Notre Dame has a +6.6 rebounding margin per game this season.
CASHING IN FROM THE CHARITY STRIPE
• Notre Dame made a season-high 24 free throws (on 33 attempts) in Saturday's win over Purdue. The Irish put the game away by going 16-for-18 from the charity stripe in the final five minutes of the contest.
ATKINS ASSISTING THE IRISH EFFORT
• Junior point guard Eric Atkins is tied for fifth nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (4.3) and is tied for eighth nationally in assists per game (7.0).
• Atkins has three double-doubles this season (points & assists). He had 10 points and a career-high 12 assists against Brown on Dec. 8.
• Senior center Garrick Sherman is shooting a team-best 64.1% (41-64) from the floor this season. He tallied 11 points and was 5-for-5 from the field in Saturday's win over Purdue. Sherman has scored in double-figures in four of the last six games in which he has played (missed Brown game due to injury).
• During his two seasons at Michigan State, Sherman had one double-digit scoring effort and he already has notched five this season. He tallied a career-high 22 points against Monmouth (Nov. 12). He also hauled down a career-best nine rebounds in that contest.
BIEDSCHEID A LIFT OFF THE BENCH
• Freshman forward Cameron Biedscheid has come off the bench to score in double-figures three times this season. That includes a career-high 17-point effort against Brown on Dec. 8. He netted 10 points in the 64-50 win over Kentucky.
TAMING THE CATS
• Kentucky's 50 points in Notre Dame's 64-50 triumph on Nov. 29 were the fewest allowed by the Irish against a top-10 team since a 52-47 home win over No. 5 Maryland on Jan. 28, 1984. They were the fewest points for the Wildcats since a 73-46 loss at Kansas on Jan. 7, 2006.
• Kentucky entered the contest averaging 85.2 points per game and shooting 55.8% from the field. The Wildcats managed just 50 points and shot 40.4% (19-47) from the floor.
BREY VS. TOP 10
• The 64-50 win over #8 Kentucky on Nov. 29 improved Notre Dame to 17-23 (.425) against teams ranked in the top 10 of the Associated Press poll under head coach Mike Brey. That includes a 12-6 mark at home.
• Notre Dame has won four straight against top-10 opponents are 5-1 in the last six games against top-10 teams.
• The Irish are 5-4 versus non-conference top-10 opponents under Brey.
• Under Brey, unranked Notre Dame squads are 10-16 against top-10 teams.
DOUBLE-DOUBLE TIMES THREE
• Notre Dame had three players record double-doubles in the win over Chicago State on Nov. 26 (Jerian Grant 22 points, 10 assists; Eric Atkins 13 points, 11 assists; Jack Cooley 11 points, 11 rebounds). It's the first time the Irish had three double-double performers since Nov. 17, 2010. That game also was against Chicago State.
• Atkins and Grant joined elite company with their efforts. In the last 15 years, only one other pair of teammates had points and assists double-doubles in the same game. That was Connecticut's Jerome Dyson and Kemba Walker in 2010 against Notre Dame.
A VETERAN PRESENCE
• The quintet of Eric Atkins (Jr./G), Pat Connaughton (So./G-F), Jack Cooley (Sr./F), Jerian Grant (Jr./G) and Scott Martin (GS/G) has started 25 of the last 26 games for the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame has gone 20-5 in those contests, including a 9-1 mark this season.
• The Irish returned 2,003 of their 2,257 total points (88.7%) and 1,068 of their 1,144 rebounds (93.4%) 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.
• Beachem (6-6, 180-pound small forward) 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 averaged 22.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.0 steals as a junior 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) 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 SEASONS 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 1733-940 for a .648 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.
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.
• Sophomore guard/forward Pat Connaughton also is a pitcher on the Fighting Irish baseball team. Last spring, he appeared in 12 games, including 10 starts, and posted a 4-4 record with a 3.18 earned-run average. He logged 45.1 innings on the mound and registered 40 strikeouts.
• Connaughton was selected by the San Diego Padres in the 50th round of the 2011 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft.
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.