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Irish to Open Gotham Classic at Home vs. Delaware

December 7, 2013
HOOSIER SPORTS 365



NOTRE DAME PRESS RELEASE

Game 8 Delaware (5-3) vs. Notre Dame (5-2) 

BlackRock Gotham Classic (Regional Round) Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013 4 p.m. (ET) Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center Notre Dame, Ind.

TV/INTERNET: ESPN3Regional Sports Network (check local listings) Mike Hogewood (play-by-play) Dan Bonner (analyst)

RADIO: Broadcast on WatchND.tv(free) Sirius/XM 85 (ESPN Xtra) Jack Nolan (play-by-play) LaPhonso Ellis (analyst)

LIVE STATS: Gametracker on UND.com

NOTRE DAME AND DELAWARE PREPARE FOR FIRST-EVER MATCHUP

  • Notre Dame (5-2) will face Delaware (5-3) at 4 p.m. (ET) Saturday inside Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center. It is the first-ever meeting between the two schools. 
  • The game is the first of three consecutive home contests for the Irish in the regional rounds of the BlackRock Gotham Classic. Notre Dame is slated to play three games in the next five days.
  • Saturday's game will be broadcast on the Regional Sports Network (check local listings) with Mike Hogewood (play-by-play) and Dan Bonner (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 great LaPhonso Ellis 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 85 (ESPN Xtra).

TOUGH STRETCH CONTINUES FOR IRISH

  • Notre Dame continues a grueling stretch in which the Irish play six games in 18 days. 
  • The Irish are playing their second game this week after falling to Iowa 98-93 in Iowa City on Tuesday night. That contest was part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.
  • Notre Dame continues play in the BlackRock Gotham Classic on Monday night when it plays host to Bryant and then entertains North Dakota State on Wednesday night.
  • Notre Dame concludes the week with a matchup against Indiana on Dec. 14 in the Crossroads Classic in Indianapolis.

A FAMILIAR FRIEND

  • Mike Brey, who began his head coaching career at the University of Delaware in 1995, faces the Blue Hens for the first time since he was named head coach at Notre Dame in July 2000. 
  • Brey coached at Delaware from 1995-2000 and compiled a 99-52 mark with the Blue Hens. Under Brey, Delaware won two America East regular-season and tournament championships (1998 and 1999) and guided the Blue Hens to the NCAAs in each of those two seasons. His teams also advanced to the National Invitation Tournament in his final season in 2000.
  • Irish assistant coach Anthony Solomon also spent a year at Delaware as a graduate assistant during the 1988-89 campaign.

NOTRE DAME VERSUS THE COLONIAL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION

  • When Mike Brey served as head coach of the Blue Hens, Delaware was a member of the America East Conference, but currently are members of the Colonial Athletic Association.
  • Notre Dame has an 11-0 all-time record versus teams from the CAA.

BREAKING DOWN THE BLACKROCK 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 Saturday, Bryant on Monday and North Dakota State on Wednesday.
  • 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.

GRANT JOINS 1,000-POINT CLUB

  • With his 20-point performance against Cornell on Dec. 1, senior guard Jerian Grant became the 55th player in Notre Dame history to score 1,000 career points.
  • It marked the second time in the young season that the Irish have had a player reach the 1,000 point mark. Grant's backcourt mate Eric Atkins reached the 1,000-point mark on Nov. 17 against Indiana State.
  • Grant has a career scoring average of 13.3 points per game and has started 74 of 76 outings in his two-plus seasons playing. Atkins has earned 80 career starts in 108 contests during his three-plus seasons and has averaged 10.0 points per game.
  • Grant is averaging a team-best 18.6 points per game this season. He is the only Notre Dame player to score in double-figures in all seven games.

ASSISTING THE IRISH

  • Senior point guard Eric Atkins' career assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.40 ranks first among all active Division I players. Ohio State's Aaron Craft is second on the list (2.28).
  • Atkins has 467 career assists and just 194 turnovers. The career assist total currently ranks 11th nationally.
  • This season, Atkins has 34 assists and just six turnovers for a 5.7 assist-to-turnover, which is the fifth-best mark in the country.
  • Fellow Notre Dame senior guard Jerian Grant currently ranks 28th in career assists (406) among active players nationally. Grant has a team-best 43 assists this season to go along with just 11 turnovers for a 3.91 assist-to-turnover ratio, which tied for 16th nationally.
  • Junior Pat Connaughton ranks 10th nationally in assist-to-turnover (4.60) this season.
  • As a team, Notre Dame has the country's second-best assist-to-turnover ratio (2.13) this season. The Fighting Irish also are second nationally in assists per game (20.8).

PUTTING UP THE NUMBERS

  • The Irish topped the 90-point mark for the third consecutive game in its 98-93 loss at Iowa. It is the third time in the Mike Brey era that Notre Dame has netted 90-plus points in three consecutive outings.  The last time was during the 2002-03 campaign when the Irish did it against Texas (98-92 win), DePaul (102-71 win) and Canisius (93-75 win).
  • Notre Dame topped the 100-point mark in its win over Cornell on Dec 1. It was the first time the Irish went over the century mark in a game decided in regulation since a 106-65 win over Sacred Heart on Dec. 19, 2011, and was the 15th time during Mike Brey's 14-year tenure that one of his Irish teams scored 100-plus points. 
  • That game followed up Notre Dame's 93-point effort against Army on Nov. 24. 
  • In the win over Cornell, the Fighting Irish had six double-figure scorers (including all five starters) for the first time this season (Jerian Grant 20, Eric Atkins 19, Pat Connaughton 18, Garrick Sherman 12, Demetrius Jackson 11 and Zach Auguste 10).
  • Notre Dame has shot better than 50.0% from the field in three consecutive games. The Irish shot a season-best 56.5% (35-62) from the floor against Army, 54.3% (38-70) versus Cornell and 51.5% (35-68) at Iowa.

TAKING CARE OF THE BASKETBALL

  • Notre Dame is averaging 20.9 assists per game and just 9.7 turnovers. In five contests, the Irish have dished off 20-or more assists and in four of seven games, have committed fewer than 10 turnovers.
  • The Irish dished off a season-high 28 assists against Cornell and committed just five turnovers in the game (one in the second half).
  • In the loss at Iowa, Notre Dame had 20 assists and seven turnovers. For the second straight contest the Irish turned the ball over just once in the second half after having six first-half turnovers.

SECOND-HALF SURGES

  • In back-to-back outings against Army and Cornell, Notre Dame outscored its opponents 60-35 (combined 120-70) in the second half in each of the two contests. The 60 points put up in both of the games were the most in any half for the Irish since a 62-point first-half effort against Georgia Southern on Nov. 12, 2010. They were the most second-half points for the Fighting Irish since they went for 64 against Cincinnati on Jan. 15, 2008.
  • The Irish shot 75% (24-32) from the floor in the second half against Army. That matched the highest percentage in any half for Notre Dame under head coach Mike Brey. The Irish also shot 75% (18-24) in the first half against West Virginia on Jan. 9, 2010, and in the second half (18-24) versus Niagara on Dec. 21, 2012.
  • Notre Dame was 23-37 from the field (54.3%) in the second half against Cornell.
  • Notre Dame's 19 second-half assists (on 24 made field goals) versus the Black Knights tied the most in a half for an Irish team under the direction of Brey. The Fighting Irish also dished out 19 assists in the first half of a 99-71 win over Canisius on Dec. 19, 2000.
  • The Irish outscored Iowa (50-46) in the second half in the loss to the Hawkeyes.

 


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