Notre Dame (7-2, 0-0) vs. Delaware State (2-12. 1-0) Saturday, Dec. 20, 2008 • 7:00 p.m. (Est.) Joyce Center (11,418) • Notre Dame, Ind.
Notre Dame Set For Two Games Before Christmas Break
With the completion of final exams, Notre Dame returns to the basketball court on Saturday night against Delaware State. The contest marks the final two non-conference games for the Irish before opening up BIG EAST play at DePaul on Dec. 31.
Tonight’s matchup with the Hornets is the first-ever meeting between the two schools. In fact, Notre Dame has never played a school from the state of Delaware.
Notre Dame wraps up a three-game homestand on Monday night (Dec. 22) when they play host to Savannah State. The Irish have played five of their nine games on the road (one true away game and four neutral site contests)
Notre Dame heads into Saturday’s matchup with Delaware State riding the nation’s second-longest home game win streak with 41 consecutive wins at the Joyce Center.
The lone non-conference game following Savannah State will be when the Irish travel to Los Angeles, Calif., for a Feb. 7 matchup against the UCLA Bruins.
Notre Dame’s 93-61 victory on Nov. 30 against Furman marked the 39th straight home victory at the Joyce Center as the Irish eclipsed the all-time school record — a 60-year old mark — of 38 consecutive wins at the old Notre Dame Fieldhouse set from 1943-48. The win over Boston University last Saturday, pushed the streak to 41 consecutive victories, the second-longest active streak among all Division I schools.
Notre Dame’s streak extends three-plus seasons as the Irish have not lost since suffering an 80-72 setback to Marquette on Feb. 25, 2006.
Luke Harangody returned to the Irish lineup against Ohio State after missing the Furman and South Dakota contests because of pneumonia. Harangody became ill following Notre Dame’s win over Texas on Nov. 26, but did play in the loss to top-ranked North Carolina in the championship of the EA Sports Maui Invitational.
Since his return, Harangody has averaged 24.0 points and 15.5 rebounds.
McAlarney Looks To Join 1,000-Point
Senior Kyle McAlarney is 20 points shy of becoming the 49th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point plateau. He heads into Saturday night’s contest with 980 career points in 83 career outings for an 11.8 career scoring average.
Points A Plenty
Notre Dame is averaging 82.9 points per game this season and has topped the 80-point mark in all but three contests and scored 90-plus points in three games.
The Irish’s 102-point outburst against South Dakota marked the 10th time during Mike Brey’s tenure that Notre Dame topped the 100-point plateau.
Notre Dame’s 62 points against Ohio State marked its lowest output of the season.
In The Polls
Notre Dame is ranked 12th in the Associated Press and 14th in the ESPN/USA Today polls this week. The Irish began the year ranked ninth and climbed to as high as seventh a week ago in both rankings. That was the highest ranking for Notre Dame since the 2002-03 campaign when the Irish climbed to fifth in the AP poll and sixth in the ESPN/USA Today ranking in the second week of January 2003.
Keeping The Streak Alive
Notre Dame ran its current home court win streak to 41 games (second-longest in the nation and longest in the 40-plus year history of the Joyce Center) following its win over Boston University (74-67) on December 13. The Irish have recorded back-to-back undefeated campaigns at the Joyce Center each of the last two seasons and Notre Dame is the the only school in BIG EAST history to finish undefeated at home in consecutive seasons. The previous mark of 38 consecutive games, which the Irish tied in the season opener against USC Upstate was set at the Notre Dame Fieldhouse and began with a 41-31 win over Wisconsin on December 11, 1943 and ended with a 68-51 loss to St. Louis on February 9, 1948.
With its 19 three-pointers against South Dakota, Notre Dame set school and Joyce Center records for three-point field goals in a game. The single-game record previously was 17 set against St. John’s in Madison Square Garden on March 6, 2006.
The 19 treys also were the most by the Irish and an opposing team at the Joyce Center. The most ever for a Notre Dame team at the Joyce Center was 16 versus Loyola (Ill.) on Nov. 20, 2000. The most three-pointers by an opponent at the Joyce Center is held by Villanova as they connected on 16 on Jan. 7, 1999.
Notre Dame is averaging 10.6 three-pointers per game this season and is shooting 42.0 from beyond the three-point stripe (95-226).
The Irish have made 34 more three-pointers (95-61) and are averaging 3.8 more three-pointers than their opponents.
After making just 11 three-pointers in their first two games, the Irish have made 84 and averaged 12.0 per game over the last seven outings and made 10-plus three-pointers in five of those seven contests.
Notre Dame has made 63 (12.6) three-pointers in their last four games.
Series Record Vs. Hornets
Tonight’s game is the first-ever meeting between the Irish and Delaware State.
Mike Brey is familiar with Delaware. While head coach at the University of Delaware, his Blue Hen teams were 4-0 all-time against the Hornets.
Notre Dame vs. Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
Notre Dame has never played a team from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC).
Irish In The National Statistics
Luke Harangody ranks ninth in scoring (23.0) and fifth in rebounding (12.4).
Kyle McAlarney stands in three-point field goals made (4.08) and is 29th in three-point field percentage (.473).
As a team, Notre Dame ranks second in turnovers (9.8), 11th in scoring offense (82.9), 34th in scoring margin (+14.6), seventh in assists (19.6) and 11th in three-point field goal percentage (.420).
Big Win Against Hoosiers
Notre Dame’s 88-50 win over Indiana in the first round of the EA Sports Maui Invitational marked the largest margin of victory ever for an Irish team in the 68th meeting between the two schools. It also marked the second straight win for Notre Dame against the Hoosiers. The two teams have not played each other since a 55-45 victory in Bloomington, Ind., on Dec. 8, 2004.
Rare 30-30 Outing
Kyle McAlarney became the first player since Troy Murphy in 2000 to record back-to-back 30-point outings. McAlarney’s 32-point outing against Furman on Saturday came just four days after he scored a career-high 39 points against North Carolina.
The last Notre Dame player to score 30-plus in consecutive games was Troy Murphy when he netted 31 at the Joyce Center versus Loyola Marymount (1-2-00) and 33 against Connecticut (1-5-00) at the Hartford Civic Center.
Thirty Something Guys
Ryan Ayers became the third different Irish player to score 30-plus points in a game this season when he registered a career-high 35-point performance in Tuesday night’s win over South Dakota. It also marked the first 30-plus point game of his career. Ayers’ nine three-pointers tied the Joyce Center single-game three-point record by an Irish player (he now shares with Kyle McAlarney).
Luke Harangody topped the 30-point mark for the fourth time in his career in the season opener against USC Upstate as he scored 30 points.
Kyle McAlarney recorded back-to-back 30-plus point outings when he scored 39 against North Carolina and followed that up with a 32-point effort versus Furman. He has five 30-point performances during his career.
The last time Notre Dame had three different 30-point scorers in the same season was in 1991-92: Elmer Bennett: 32 pts. vs. DePaul (1-29-92), 38 pts. vs. Detroit (2-4-92) and 39 pts. vs. Virginia in overtime of NIT final (4-1-92) LaPhonso Ellis: 31 pts. vs. North Carolina (1-11-92) and 30 pts. vs. St. John’s (2-29-92) Daimon Sweet: 30 pts. vs. North Carolina (1-11-92)
Irish Earn Runner-Up Finish In Maui
Notre Dame finished second at the EA Sports Maui Invitational in its second-ever appearance in the tournament. The Irish advanced to the championship game against top-ranked North Carolina by virtue of its wins over Indiana (88-50) and sixth-ranked Texas (81-80). Notre Dame lost to the Tar Heels 102-87 in the title game.
In the win over Indiana, five Irish players recorded double figures with Tory Jackson matching his career-high as he finished with 21 points, five rebounds, six assists and three steals. Kyle McAlarney canned six three-pointers as he netted 18 points, while Luke Harangody finished with 14 points, five rebounds and a career-high five steals. Ryan Ayers netted double figures for the first time this season and Luke Zeller posted his first career double-double as he tallied 10 points and grabbed a personal best 11 boards.
In the first game of the 2008-09 college basketball season matching two top-10 teams, the eighth-ranked Irish prevailed by one point over the sixth-ranked Longhorns. Luke Harangody led led all scorers and rebounders with 29 points and 13 rebounds as one of three players in double figures as he recorded his third double-double. Kyle McAlarney finished with 19 points and he nailed five three-pointers while playing all 40 mintues of the contest. Tory Jackson turned in another key effort as he tallied 16 points, grabbed five rebounds, dished off seven assists and made three steals.
Kyle McAlarney made a school record 10 three pointers (eclipsing the record he set a last season against Syracuse in February 2008) en route to a career-high 39-point performance against the Tar Heels as the Irish fell in the championship game. McAlarney, who played 39 minutes in the contest, also finished with six assists. Luke Harangody finished with 13 points and seven boards in the loss, while Tory Jackson notched double figures for the fourth consecutive game as he added 10 points.
More Maui Tidbits
Luke Harangody and Kyle McAlarney were named to the all-tournament team at the EA Sports Maui Invitational, joining Danny Green, Tyler Hansbrough and Ty Lawson. Lawson was the tournament’s most valuable player.
Kyle McAlarney averaged 25.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists as he shot 51.0 percent from the field (25-49) and 55.3 percent (21-38) from three-point range.
Luke Harangody ended the tournament averaging 18.7 points and 8.3 rebounds, while Tory Jackson averaged 15.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 5.3 assists and 2.3 steals.
Notre Dame earned its best-ever finish in its second-ever appearance in the Maui Invitational. In its only other appearance in 1993, the Irish were 1-2.
After scoring just 10 points in the season opener against USC Upstate and being held scoreless for just the fourth time in his career in Notre Dame’s win against Loyola Marymount, Kyle McAlarney has averaged 22.4 points per game (157 points) in the last seven outings. He has shot 53-107 (.495) from the field and 41-83 (.494) from three-point range.
McAlarney set a Notre Dame school record against North Carolina with his 10 three-pointers and then followed that up with nine treys versus Furman. Both were the most three-pointers made by an opposing player in a single game.
McAlarney had three 30-point outings last season and now totals five for his career.
Ryan Ayers netted back-to-back career-high scoring efforts in Notre Dame’s wins over Furman and South Dakota.
He recorded a then-career-high 19 points against Furman as he connected on 8-13 field and 3-6 from the three-point stripe.
Ayers followed that up with a 35-point effort against South Dakota as he was 12-20 from the field and 9-14 from three-point range.
Ayers has scored in double figures in four games this season.
Tory Jackson’s 21 points against Indiana matched the junior guard’s career high and was the third time in his career that he scored 20-plus points in a game. Both of Jackson’s other two 20-point efforts occurred during his freshman season (2006-07 campaign) when he scored 21 points versus Marquette and 20 against Georgetown in the semifinals of the BIG EAST Championship.
Jackson has scored in double figures in six of nine games so far this season.
Double The Pleasure
Luke Zeller’s 10 points and 11 rebounds against Indiana was the first career double-double for the Irish senior. The 11 boards also marked a personal high and the second time this season that he achieved a personal best. In the season opener against USC Upstate, he finished with a career-high 18 points.
A Top-10 Win
Notre Dame’s win over number-six Texas in the semifinals of the Maui Invitational was the first for the Irish over a top-1o foe since Dec. 7, 2006 when the Irish beat #4/5 Alabama at the Joyce Center (99-85). Notre Dame is 10-12 versus top-10 foes under Mike Brey.
Just Another Day In The Office For Gody
Luke Harangody, who averaged 20.4 points and 10.6 rebounds during the 2007-08 campaign, scored 30 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in the season opener against USC Upstate. It marked the fourth 30-plus point performance of his career and his 26th career double-double.
Luke Harangody’s 27 points and 17 rebounds in Notre Dame’s win at Loyola Marymount on November 21 marked his 56th game in double figures and the 23rd time in his career with 20-plus points. The 17 boards were the second-most in 67 career outings and 27th time in his career that he has registered a double-double.
His 29 points and 13 rebounds in the win over Texas was the 28th double-double of his career and the 24th game of his career with 20-plus points.
Since returning from pneumonia after missing the Furman and South Dakota games, Harangody has recorded back-to-back double-doubles. He scored 25 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in his first game back against Ohio State and then had 23 points and 15 points against Boston University.
Harangody has recorded a double-double in five of the seven games he has played.
Luke Harangody enters tonight’s game against Delaware riding a 38-game double-figure scoring streak.
The 95 points scored in the 95-58 victory over USC Upstate were the most scored by an Irish team in a season opener since the 2001-02 when Notre Dame defeated New Hampshire 99-53 on Nov. 16, 2001.
Zach Hillesland, who battled plantar fasciitis during the preseason and missed the first exhibition game against Briar Cliff, started the game against USC Upstate and scored 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds while also dishing off four assists in 21 minutes. Hillesland was 4-6 from the field and 5-7 from the line. It marked the 13th time in his career in which he scored in double figures. He scored eight points, grabbed 12 rebounds and dished off five assists versus Furman.
Hillesland netted his second double-figure scoring effort of the season as he 11 points in the win over Boston University.
Luke Zeller had a career outing against USC Upstate in the season opener as he came off the bench in 19 minutes of action to score a personal best 18 points as he connected on 6-7 shots from the the field and was 4-6 from the three-point stripe. In addition to the 18 points, he grabbed five rebounds. Just one day prior to Luke’s performance, his brother Tyler scored 18 points as a starter for the North Carolina Tar Heels in his collegiate debut.
After leading the nation in assists a year ago (18.4 per game), Notre Dame dished off 25 assists in the season opener against USC Upstate. Last season, the Irish dished off 20-plus assists in 12 games, including a season-high 28 in the season opener against Long Island. Notre Dame also had 20 assists in the loss to North Carolina, 22 against Furman, a season-high 28 in the win over South Dakota and 20 versus Boston University. The Irish are averaging 19.6 assists per game this season and own a 0.50 assist-to-turnover ratio.
It’s All In The Experience
Notre Dame’s regular starting lineup of Zach Hillesland (86 games played/29 starts), Luke Harangody (72 games played/56 starts), Ryan Ayers (90 games played/27 starts), Tory Jackson (74 games played/62 starts) and Kyle McAlarney (83 games played/64 starts) boasts a combined 238 starts in the 405 games the five have combined to play in during their careers. Luke Zeller, who was the first player off the bench in the season opener against USC Upstate, has started 26 games in the 98 that he has appeared in during his three-plus seasons with the Irish.
Top 10 Debut
Notre Dame was ranked ninth in ESPN/USA Today Preseason Coaches’ Poll that was released on October 30. It was the highest preseason ranking ever for the Irish in the preseason coaches’ poll. Prior to this season, its highest ranking ever was 17th in 2000-01. The last time the Irish started the season ranked in the preseason coaches poll was in 2004-05 (21st). The BIG EAST led all conferences with seven teams ranked in the top 25 — Connecticut (2nd), Louisville (3rd), Pittsburgh (6th), Marquette (17th), Georgetown (18th) and Villanova (25th).
The Irish also were ranked ninth in the Preseason Associated Press Poll. It marked the fifth time in program history that Notre Dame has debuted in the top-10 of the AP poll.
The Irish have not begun a season ranked in the top 10 of the AP rankings since 1980-81 when they were 10th. Notre Dame’s highest-ever AP preseason mark was third in 1978-79. The Irish were ranked fourth in 1977-78 and fifth in 1979-80. The last time Notre Dame was ranked in the preseason AP poll was in 2004-05 when the Irish were 20th.
Leader Of The Pack
Notre Dame led the nation in assists during the 2007-08 campaign. In 33 games, Notre Dame dished out 608 assists (the third-highest single-season total in school history) for an 18.4 average per game.
Nine Straight Postseason Appearances
Notre Dame’s appearance in last year’s NCAA tournament field marked the fifth NCAA berth for the Irish in seven years. Since 2000, Notre Dame has appeared in either the NCAA or NIT tournaments — the longest postseason stretch in school history.
Five 20-Win Seasons Under His Belt
With its 25-8 record last season, Notre Dame reached the 20-win mark for the fifth time in eight seasons and second consecutive year under head coach Mike Brey. Notre Dame’s 20-win campaigns under Brey have been in 2000-01 (20-10), 2001-02 (22-11), 2002-03 (24-10) and 24-8 (2006-07). In the 103-year history of the program, Notre Dame teams have won 20 or more games on 32 occasions.
BIG EAST Turnaround
Under head coach Mike Brey’s tenure, Notre Dame has had only one losing season. That season was in 2005-06 when the Irish finished 6-10 after beginning the BIG EAST campaign with a 1-8 record. Since that 1-8 start, Notre Dame has gone 30-11 (.732) over the last 41 regular-season games.
Notre Dame’s 17-0 record at home in 2007-08 marked just the fourth time since the opening of the Joyce Center in 1968-69 that an Irish team finished undefeated at home during the regular season. In 2006-07, the Irish were 18-0, which marked the most wins ever for a Notre Dame team in a single season. In addition to this year’s team and the 2006-07 squad, only two other Notre Dame squads ever completed a season undefeated at home — the 1973-74 and 1985-86 squads both finished their campaigns with identical 15-0 records. The Irish have been the only BIG EAST team to finish undefeated at home each of the last two seasons. Dating back to the 2005-06 campaign, Notre Dame has won 41 consecutive games at the Joyce Center — an active streak that is second among all Division I teams and is the longest during Mike Brey’s tenure.
Notre Dame’s current streak dates back to the final two games of the 2005-06 campaign as the Irish defeated DePaul (66-61) in the regular-season finale and Vanderbilt (79-69) in the first round of the NIT. Notre Dame’s last loss at home was an 80-72 setback to Marquette on February 25, 2006.
The Irish All-Time
The 2008-09 camapign marks the 104th season of basketball and the 14th as a member of the BIG EAST Conference. Notre Dame teams have posted a 1637-895 record for a .647 winning percentage. In BIG EAST play, the Irish own a 115-103 (.528) record all-time in conference regular-season play.
Always In It
Since the 2005-06 campaign, Notre Dame’s 31 losses have been by a combined 227 points for an average of 7.3 points per game. In the 88 losses suffered by Irish teams in Mike Brey’s eight-plus seasons, only 24 have been by 10 or more points and have been by a combined 626 points for an average of 7.1 points per game. Notre Dame’s 26-point loss (92-66) to Marquette on January 12, 2008 was the largest ever for an Irish team under Brey.
Now That's Something To Talk About
Notre Dame’s current record-setting 41-game home win streak spans three seasons — the final two games played during the 2005-06 campaign, the entire 2006-07 season (18 games), 17 games in 2007-08 and three games into the 2008-09 campaign. Here’s a look at the dominance of the Irish during its present win streak:
3,467 (84.6 ppg.) 2,608 (65.2 ppg.)
Margin of Victory
+792 points (+19.3)
Notes: Notre Dame has shot .500 or better in 17 of 41 games Notre Dame opponents have shot .500 or better in 3 of 41 games 29 wins by 10-plus points 16 wins by 20-plus points 11 wins by 30-plus points 5 wins by 40-plus points 1 win by 50-plus points
Current NCAA Division I Home Court Win Streaks: 1. BYU 53 2. NOTRE DAME 41 3. Tennessee 35 4. Kansas 29 5. Georgetown 27
BIG EAST Win Streak
Notre Dame’s 18-game BIG EAST homecourt win streak is its longest since the Irish joined the conference in 1995-96 and is the second-longest in conference history. 20 - Pittsburgh (6 games in 2003-04, 8 games in 2002-03 and 6 games in 2001-02) 18 - Notre Dame (1 game in 2005-06, 8 games in 2006-07 and 9 games in 2007-08) The only team that the Irish have not played at home during the streak is Georgetown. Notre Dame will face the Hoyas on January 5.
Joyce Center Streakin’
Notre Dame broke the Joyce Center home win streak mark on December 8 with its 108-62 win over Northern Illinois. Here’s a look at the Joyce Center streaks: 40 - Began with a 66-61 win over DePaul on 3/4/06 (current streak) 24 - Began with a 94-68 win over Xavier on 2/3/73 and ended with a 94-84 loss to Indiana on 12/11/74 22 - Began with an 88-68 win over Pittsburgh on 1/26/77 and ended with a 69-68 overtime loss to DePaul on 2/12/78 16 - Began with a 92-70 win over Fairfield on 12/9/82 and ended with a 51-47 loss to UCLA on 12/3/83 16 - Began with an 89-76 win over West Virginia on 2/20/02 and ended with a 87-79 loss to Connecticut on 2/24/03.
BIG EAST Formula For Success
Since his arrival at Notre Dame, Mike Brey has led the Irish to an 80-50 (.615) record in BIG EAST regular-season games and a 3-8 mark in tournament play for an overall record of 83-58 (.589) against league foes. In Brey’s first season, the Irish posted their first-ever winning record in BIG EAST play and won the league’s West Division title with an 11-5 mark. Prior to Brey’s arrival at Notre Dame, Irish teams had a 35-53 (.398) regular-season record after joining the league in 1995-96.
312 And Counting
Heading into tonight’s game against Delaware State, Notre Dame has hit at least one three-pointer in 312 straight games, a mark that dates back to the 1998-99 campaign. 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 as Notre Dame finished 0-7 from beyond the arc in the game. The 2005-06 Irish squad set the single-season record with 288 three-pointers and fell just one field goal short of that mark (287) in 2006-07.
Home Sweet Home
Since the inaugural season in 1968-69 at the Joyce Center, Notre Dame owns a 494-141 (.778) winning percentage. The Irish are 109-27 (.801) at the Joyce Center during Mike Brey’s eight-plus seasons.
In Mike Brey’s eight seasons, his Irish teams have compiled a road record of 64-61 (.512) that includes a 41-40 (.506) in true road games and a 23-21 mark (.523) in neutral site contests.
Three New Faces On The Irish Bench
Anthony Solomon is back on the Irish sidelines this season as an assistant coach. He first was a member of Mike Brey’s staff in 2000-03 before leaving to become the head coach at St. Bonaventure University (2003-07) and then serving as an assisant at Dayton during the past 2007-08 season.
Ben Hansbrough and Scott Martin transferred to Notre Dame in June 2008 and will not be eligible to play during the 2008-09 campaign due to NCAA transfer rules. Hansbrough played two seasons at Mississippi State where he saw action in 65 contests and made 28 starts from 2006-08. He averaged 8.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 28.2 minutes per game during his two-year stint. Martin played just one year (2007-08) at Purdue and was the fourth-leading scorer for the Boilermakers as he averaged 8.5 points and 3.8 rebounds.
Irish Sign Four
Irish head coach Mike Brey announced the signing of four players to national letters of intent on November 12. Mike Broghammer (Orono, Minn./Hopkins), Joey Brooks (Houston, Texas), Jack Cooley (Glenview, Ill.) and Tom Knight (Dixfield, Maine).
Broghammer, a 6-9, 235-pound forward, averaged 11.9 points and 10.9 rebounds as a junior in leading his prep team to a final 27-2 record in 2007-08. A two-time all-conference honoree, he scored in double figures in 16 of 29 contests as a junior. He is the nephew of former Duke standout Christian Laettner.
Brooks, a 6-5, 200-pound guard, led Strake Jesuit College Preparatory to the District 18-5A crown as a junior while averaging 22.0 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals. He garnered first-team all-district honors and earned all-state recognition.
Cooley, a 6-9, 235-pound forward, averaged a double-double in his junior season at Glenbrook, netting 20.7 points and 11.2 rebounds, in adddtion to 3.4 blocked shots and 3.1 assists. A second team all-state honoree by the Chicago Tribune and Associated Press, he also garnered all-conference recognition.
Knight, a 6-9, 265-pound forward, averaged 16.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 2.3 steals and 3.1 blocked shots as a junior while being tabbed as an all-Mountain Valley Conference first-team selection. He led Dirigo to back-to-back Mountain Valley Conference crowns in 2007 and 2008 and runner-up finishes in those two seasons in the Class C Western Maine regional finals.
Success In The Classroom
The basketball team was one of six Notre Dame teams to earn the 2007-08 BIG EAST Team Academic Excellence award which recognized the highest collective grade averages in each conference sport. The Irish have earned a 3.097 cumulative grade point average and has produced a GPA of 3.0 or better in seven of the last nine semesters and the team cumulative GPA has been above 3.0 for other last eight semesters.