Wednesday, January 05, 2011


The highlight of Tuesday night's Big East schedule was a Top-15 battle in South Bend (IN) between Notre Dame and Connecticut. Jim Calhoun's club opened the scoring with a three-pointer by freshman Jeremy Lamb to take a 3-0 lead. However, the Irish would run off 13 consecutive points to take a 13-3 lead, a lead they would never give up.

"I thought we did an incredibly poor job opening the game, allowing three-point shots to get them into a rhythm," Calhoun said following the game.

Tim Abromaitis started the barrage with a three to make the score 7-3 and then Scott Martin connected on a pair of three's just 30 seconds a part to punctuate the run and put the Irish ahead by 10 just 3:31 into the game.

Connecticut was forced to play catch-up all night and twice cut the Irish lead to two points in the first half, but each time the Irish would respond and add a little more cushion. The half ended with another Abromaitis three-pointer to give the Golden Domers a 38-30 halftime lead.

The Irish, not a particularly deep team under Mike Brey, were shorthanded as starting forward Carleton Scott was out with a hamstring injury. Scott is the team's third leading scorer, second leading rebounder and leader in blocked shots, but the Irish stepped up physically in the challenge against the Huskies.

"They physically handled us getting over screens," said Calhoun. "They physically handled us during rebounds. They pushed and bumped us. We all know this is a very physical league and they did a nice job with it. I think this is the most physical defensive team Mike (Brey) has had and obviously offensively they did a great job."

Notre Dame won the battle of the boards with a 36-33 rebounding edge. Starting in place of Scott was freshman Eric Atkins, a point guard out of Baltimore (MD). Atkins scored just seven points, but he directed the offense and contributed five assists without a turnover, drawing the praise from the Hall of Fame coach on the other sideline.

"I thought that Notre Dame did a great job, especially with (Carleton) Scott out and (Eric) Atkins played well against a pressure defense," said Calhoun.

The Huskies started out the second half with a 9-2 run, capped off by a pair of Kemba Walker buckets, and suddenly drew within a point of the Irish. The Irish had the answer each time, however, and kept their lead throughout and their own 9-2 run pushed their lead to 11, 64-53, with 5:31 left after a Ben Hansbrough steal and lay-up.

Hansbrough scored five of his game-high 21 points in that run and took on the challenge of defending Walker, the leading scorer in the BIG EAST. Walker scored 19 in the contest, but took 23 shots in doing so. His streak of 11 consecutive games of scoring more than 20 points was ended by the Irish and Hansbrough.

"I told Ben Hansbrough that it was a heck of a workout to guard Walker and then score 21 points while making key plays," Mike Brey said after the game. "Ben has been a man, but tonight he was the ultimate man on both ends of the floor."

Still, the young Huskies would not go away. Freshman Shabazz Napier hit a clutch three, sophomore Jamal Coombs-McDaniel also connected on a three-pointer and, of course, Walker made clutch plays as well. A pair of Walker free-throws with 22 seconds left brought UConn to within two at 70-68.

Abromaitis would make one of two foul shots and after a Walker miss on a three-pointer, Tyrone Nash would connect on a pair from the charity stripe for a 73-68 lead. Napier would draw UConn back to within a possession with a pair of foul shots of his own and the Huskies had new life after Abromaitis missed a pair of free throws with nine seconds left. The forward was an 87% shooter from the line a year ago but is now just seven of 14 on the season.

Connecticut was unable to make Notre Dame pay for their failure to put the game away as a long three-point attempt to tie by Napier missed badly.

In addition to the 21 scored by Hansbrough, Abromaitis added 19 with Scott Martin (13) and Tyrone Nash (11) also scoring in double figures. The Irish jump right back into BIG EAST action Saturday night when they host St. John's. The Red Storm has opened BIG EAST play with a 3-0 record and is the only team to date to win more than once on the road in league play. The Irish hold a 9-6 edge against SJU in league play.


Read more!

Thursday, December 09, 2010


The Big East has been flexing its muscles in the early part of the 2010-2011 college basketball season as the dominant conference thus far. Last night the SEC took a small bit of wind out of the sails of the conference by sweeping both contests in the DirecTV SEC/Big East Invitational played at Freedom Hall in Louisville (KY). In the opening contest, Arkansas got past Seton Hall by the score of 71-62 and the evening was closed out with No. 17 Kentucky using a strong second half to put an end to the undefeated start of No. 23 Notre Dame, 72-58.

The Fighting Irish entered the contest with an 8-0 record and looked to take control of the contest early using a 16-4 run to take a 27-20 lead midway through the first half. Senior Ben Hansbrough connected on four three-pointers and scored 14 of his team-high 21 points in the game's first 10 minutes helping the Irish to the seven-point lead.

After Kentucky cut the lead back to two, Hansbrough would spark a 9-0 run with a three and a jumper and the Irish had their largest lead, 38-27, with 4:44 left in the first half on a pair of free throws by Tim Abromaitis.

However, the Irish offense would disappear and the Wildcats embarked on a 26-6 run over 14:40, spanning the first and second halfs for a 53-44 lead with 10:04 left in the game. Notre Dame would go more than 12 minutes without a field goal, missing 10 consecutive shots and turning it over five times in that stretch as Kentucky took control of the game.

"We missed some stuff around the basket, that deflated us a little," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said afterwards in the AP write-up. "I thought we were poised at times and we were frazzled at times. We weren't scoring."

The Irish mounted one last charge, cutting the deficit to four, 57-53, with 5:03 remaining when freshman Eric Atkins made two free throws. However, Terrence Jones took over for UK going on a personal 10-4 run putting John Calipari's club up by 10, 67-57, with just 1:13 remaining. Jones dominated the contest scoring 27 points, grabbing 17 rebounds and adding three assists and two blocks for good measure as Kentucky took home the win by the final of 72-58.

"Jones is an amazing talent, a tough matchup," Brey said.

After his hot start, Hansbrough finished with 21 points, just just two in the game's final 24 minutes. Carelton Scott added 10 points and eight rebounds for the Irish as Notre Dame shot just six of 30 (20%) from the field in the second half after shooting 56% (14-25) in the opening 20 minutes.

The Irish fall to 8-1 on the season and have Gonzaga coming to Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center this Saturday night for a non-conference showdown.


Don't forget the Big East fan on your holiday shopping list with 2011 Big East Tournament Ticketsicon this March in Madison Square Garden. Also visit our 2011 Big East Tournament & Tickets page for more details.



Read more!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Notre Dame had little trouble Wednesday night as the Irish Bolt to Big First Half Lead and Topple IUPUI (South Bend Tribune) 93-70 at Purcell Pavilion.

On a night where the Weather was Frightful, the Irish were Delightful (Journal Gazette), especially Ben Hansbrough, who scored 22 points to lead the Irish.

Tim Abromaitis continued his strong play with 18 more points in his new starting role and Luke Harangody added an efficient 16 points and 11 rebounds as he moves into fifth place on the all-time Irish scoring list.


Read more!

Monday, December 07, 2009


Notre Dame found themselves in quite a tussle with Central Florida for 20 minutes. The Irish went into halftime tied at 41 with the visitors after a Tim Abromaitis bucket at the buzzer tied the score. It was just a small contribution as the Irish Junior Shined in First Start (Journal Gazette), scoring 31 points for the game and helping the Irish break things open in the second half on their way to a 90-72 win at Purcell Pavilion in South Bend. Abromaitis and Luke Harangody Help Irish Improve to 8-1 (NWI Times) as Harangody added 29 points and 7 rebounds in the win.

The Irish got a slight scare late in the game when Buena Vista's Tory Jackson Twisted an Ankle Late in ND's Win (MLive.com) and did not return to the game. Irish Coach Mike Brey told the press after the game that Jackson could have returned, but with the game in hand they took the conservative approach to prevent the chance of additional injury. Jackson had an excellent floor game running the Irish offense with 9 assists and zero turnovers in 27 minutes.

Abromaitis' Big Day Powered the Irish (South Bend Tribune) early as he tied his career high of 17 points before intermission and picked up the slack for Harangody who missed the final 5:40 of the first half with three personal fouls.

The Irish return to action on Wednesday inside Purcell Pavilion when they host IUPUI.

With his father, Michael Jordan, watching from the upper press box, freshman Marcus Jordan was 4-of-4 shooting for nine points in 20 minutes for UCF.


Read more!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


It was a big night for Notre Dame big man Luke Harangody as the Senior Scores 2000th Career Point in Victory (Journal Gazette) over Idaho State. Reaching the milestone 22 seconds into the contest did not slow down as Harangody Sets Another Record in the Win (NWI Times) becoming the first Irish player to combine 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. Harangody finished the game with 27 points and 12 rebounds leading the Irish to the 80-70 win.

The Irish shot 55% from the floor for the game. Ben Hansbrough added 14 in the win. But the night belonged to Harangody as the6-foot-8 forward from Schererville (IN) now stands sixth on Notre Dame's career scoring list, as he passed former Irish star and current Indiana Pacer Troy Murphy. His 2,025 career points are just 535 less than Austin Carr's all-time record of 2,560.

After a close first half, ND used an 18-5 run to begin the second half and put the game away. Idaho State did manage to shoot 51% on the game, indicating the Irish could still use improvements on the defensive end of the floor before Big East play starts later this month.


Read more!

Monday, November 09, 2009


Courtesy of NBE Basketball Report

Notre Dame was in action back on Friday night as Slow & Steady Wins it for Irish (South Bend Tribune) in a 75-54 exhibition victory over Division II Quincy (Ill.) University at Purcell Pavilion.

As is the norm, Luke Harangody based the Irish with 17 points and 11 rebounds. He continues to show his willingness to step out beyond the arc and he connected on three of four three's in the win. Mississippi State transfer Ben Hansbrough finished with 14 points, six assists and five rebounds for Notre Dame who opens the regular season Saturday afternoon against North Florida.


Read more!

Monday, April 27, 2009


April 27, 2009

Verbal Commitment ALERT: Eric Atkins, 6'1 PG from Mt. St. Joseph (MD) High School

Projected 2009-2010 Roster

Seniors: Luke Harangody* (BF), Tory Jackson (PG), Jonathan Peoples (G),
Juniors: Carlton Scott (F), Tyrone Nash (F), Tim Abromaitis (F), Ben Hansbrough* (SG)
Sophomores: Scott Martin** (SF)
Freshmen: Joey Brooks (SF), Jack Cooley (BF), Mike Broghammer (PF), Thomas Knight (PF/C)
2010 Commitment: Eric Atkins (PG)

* Harangody has declared for the 2009 NBA Draft, but has not hired an agent. He still has the option of returning to school.

A source with knowledge of the situation, has informed the NBE Basketball Report that 6-foot-1 point guard Eric Atkins committed to Notre Dame earlier this evening. Atkins is the first commitment for Irish head coach Mike Brey and staff in the class of 2010.

Read More...Click 'Read More' Below!!!


Probably the biggest position of need for Mike Brey in the Notre Dame recruiting class of 2010 is point guard. The Irish hope to have that position taken care off with the verbal commitment of Eric Atkins, a 6-foot-2 guard from Mt. St. Joseph High School in the Baltimore (MD)-area.

Atkins has been on the NBE radar for over a year now and our staff has been impressed with him on and off the court with each encounter. On the court, Atkins is long and lean, pushing 6'3 nowadays and working diligently at adding to his frame and is up to about 175 pounds, maybe a little more by now. Atkins has always shown a willingness to defend, set-up teammates while running the team and his own ability to score points when needed. Off the court, Eric has always been well spoken and is a good student that will be an asset to the Irish program.

Throughout his recruitment, schools such as Georgetown and Pittsburgh were very involved until receiving commitments from other guards and schools like UMass, Vanderbilt and Alabama were showing increased interest in his services.

Atkins very likely could be the only true point guard on the roster when he arrives in South Bend as Tory Jackson and Jonathan Peoples are seniors in the 2009-2010 season. The Irish were also very active in the recruitment of NJ-native Kyrie Irving and were 'probably' going to receive a visit from Irving this summer, from what the St. Pat's standout told NBE this past weekend at the Providence Jam Fest. However, the competition for Irving was steep and the neighbors at Indiana have put themselves in very good position.

At this point, the Irish will likely have three more scholarship open in the class of 2010. With point guard out of the way, Pittsburgh-area G/F Tom Droney, a pair of Illinois shooter-extraordinaires in Ben Brust and Alex Rossi as well as Delaware big man Malcolm Gilbert are other current targets, with certainly more to emerge in the coming weeks.

Thomas Knight joined an intriguing Notre Dame recruiting class that already included Joey Brooks (SF), Jack Cooley (BF) and Mike Broghammer (PF) just before the November signing period. Coach Mike Brey is certainly looking to add some beef inside to a roster that will likely have only 2009-2010 season senior Luke Harangody as a true post player. Knight stands 6-foot-8 and weighs in the vicinity of 250 pounds, definitely giving the Irish some more bulk in the paint.

After visiting Davidson, Maine, Northeastern, Rutgers, and finally Notre Dame, the trip to South Bend blew Knight away and he made his decision earlier this week. Knight, even though he is built like a potential right guard, will surprise people with his perimeter skill set that will allow him to face-up and knock down shots. Knight is a hard-working player that is intelligent both on and off the court, making him a nice fit for Mike Brey's program at Notre Dame.

Earlier this fall the Irish picked up a third commitment with Minnetonka (MN) native Mike Broghammer pledging for ND.

Broghammer is a 6-foot-8, 215 lb power forward that knows his role on the floor and goes to work in the paint. Last season at Hopkins High School, Broghammer averaged about 12 points and 10 rebounds for coach Ken Novak and the Royals. A player like Broghammer provides depth behind Big East player of the year Luke Harangody upon his arrival and should be a nice compliment to Jack Cooley in the class, giving ND another physical player in the tough Big East, which will naturally help the NCAA Tournament Odds of the Irish in the future.

Cooley is the heir to the throne in the post for Notre Dame that is currently occupied by Harangody. Cooley is a very similar player to Harangody as he comes to work every game and thrives in a rugged game. He is well equipped for the physical play of the Big East. Cooley is a double-double machine with Glenbrook South and knows his place is in the paint.

Cooley joins Joey Brooks, who chose Notre Dame over Arizona State, Marquette, Oklahoma State, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest back in early Novemeber of 2007. He was an AAU teammate of former Irish target Steven Tchiengang who the Irish pursued until he committed to Vanderbilt.

Notre Dame, which did not sign any high school players from the class of 2008, does have a pair of new faces that will also make their debuts on the court in 2009-2010 with the incoming freshmen. Scott Martin played a vital role on the Purdue Boilermakers NCAA Tournament team of the 2007-2008 season. Martin averaged 8.5 points a game and nearly 4 rebounds a contest in 22 minutes a game, appearing in 32 contests for the 25-9 squad.

Martin hit 31% of his three-point attempts as a freshman and was second on the team with 78 made free throws, showing his ability to play inside and out offensively. The 6'8 wing played high school basketball at Valparaiso High School and was an AAU teammate of Irish big man Luke Harangody. After transferring from Purdue, Martin also visited Butler and Valpo, but he looks like an ideal player in Mike Brey's scheme and should step immediately into the position vacated by Ryan Ayers in the line-up after Ayers graduates. Martin will have three years of eligibility remaining after sitting out the 2008-2009 season.

Last spring Notre Dame added Mississippi State transfer Ben Hansbrough, the younger bother of national Player of the Year recipient Tyler Hansbrough. The native of Poplar Bluff (MO) averaged 10.5 points a game as a sophomore, connecting on 36% of his shots from beyond the arc. Hansbrough played over 33 minutes a game in his 30 contests this past season, helping Mississippi State to the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament. Hansbrough could be the heir to Kyle McAlarney when he graduates and will have two years of eligibility ofter sitting out the 2008-2009 season.

Thanks for stopping by!


Read more!