NOTRE DAME VS. SYRACUSE

The University of Notre Dame men’s basketball team (11-6, 2-4) returns home to Purcell Pavilion to complete its two-game ACC series with Syracuse (11-7, 4-3) Wednesday night on ESPN2 (7 p.m. ET).

Notre Dame and Syracuse will be meeting for the 52nd time on Wednesday, with the Orange holding a 29-22 advantage in the series. The Irish are 3-4 against Syracuse in ACC play.

Notre Dame’s 88-87 victory over Syracuse on Jan. 4, 2020, marked the first time the Irish won consecutive games at the Carrier Dome since 1990-92.

The two teams first met in Achbold Gym at Syracuse on Feb. 12, 1914. After a 27-year hiatus, the teams met back in Syracuse in 1931. The Orange’s first trip to Notre Dame occurred in 1932 (a 26-18 victory, the first in the series for Notre Dame, in The Fieldhouse).

Notre Dame won seven consecutive games against the Orange from 1932 through 1942, before the series went on another long hiatus. The two teams met in Purcell Pavilion on Feb. 9, 1985, with the Orange claiming a victory and the series has remained constant since that point (with the teams becoming BIG EAST Conference opponents in 1995-96 and moving to the ACC in 2013-14).

The Irish are looking to sweep an in-season series against Syracuse for the first time since 1997. That year, the Irish defeated Syracuse 69-52 in Purcell Pavilion on Jan. 2, then defeated Syracuse 73-58 in the Carrier Dome 16 days later on Jan. 18. This season’s meetings with Syracuse are separated by just 18 days.

BY THE NUMBERS: IRISH VS. ORANGE

1 Notre Dame leads the country in least amount of fouls committed per game (12.1).
1 Notre Dame leads the country in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.80. The Irish are ahead of Virginia Tech (1.67) and Gonzaga (1.63). Notre Dame has 300 assists this season compared to just 167 turnovers.
1 Senior John Mooney leads the nation in rebounds-per-game with a 13.9 average. Mooney has recorded double-doubles in 14 of 16 games played this season – and in 11 consecutive games. He is the only player in Division I averaging 15-plus points and 13-plus rebounds per game this season.
2 Notre Dame is second in the country in least amount of turnovers committed per game (9.8), behind Virginia Tech’s 9.5 average.
3 Notre Dame is the only ACC team with three players in the top seven of the conference in assist-to-turnover ratio (all games). Senior T.J. Gibbs is second (3.10), graduate student Rex Pflueger is fourth (2.23) and sophomore Prentiss Hubb is seventh (2.07).
3 Key shooting percentage categories in which T.J. Gibbs ranks among the best in the ACC (conference games). Gibbs is second in FG% (35-62, .565), second in FT% (22-25, .880) and first in 3FG% (16-29, .552, min 2.5 3FGM/g).
5 Notre Dame will face Syracuse on Wednesday, the team’s third ACC home game of the season. The Irish join Georgia Tech as the only ACC teams to face five conference opponents on the road in their first eight games of the league schedule.
11 With 10 points and and 13 rebounds at Georgia Tech last week, John Mooney posted his 11th consecutive double-double of the season. He has surpassed his personal-best of eight consecutive double-doubles from 2018-19 and has matched the school record of 11 with Luke Harangody (2008-09). Mooney is the only Notre Dame player to boast two runs of eight or more consecutive double-doubles in a career. See pages 4 and 5 for more details.
10.4 John Mooney is first in overall rebounding in Division I (13.9) and also paces Division I players with a 10.4 defensive rebounds per game average. He is the only Division I player averaging over 10 defensive rebounds per game.
14 John Mooney is second in the NCAA lead in double-doubles with 14 behind Nathan Knight from William & Mary (15), as of Monday, January 20. (Mooney also has logged 11 consecutive double-doubles entering the Syracuse game).
14.5 John Mooney is averaging 14.5 rebounds per game in conference play this season – the best of any major conference player in the nation (Minnesota’s Daniel Orturu is second at 12.4 rpg in Big Ten play).
17.6 Notre Dame is currently tied for sixth in the country and first in the ACC in assists per game with a 17.6 average. The Irish have five games this season with over 20 team assists (22 vs. Howard, 24 vs. FDU, school-record tying 33 vs. Detroit Mercy, 23 vs. Alabama A&M, 26 at Syracuse).
23.3 Points-per-game on the road in ACC play this season for Prentiss Hubb. He has surpassed 20 points in each road game (at UNC, at NC State, at Syracuse, at Georgia Tech) while averaging 5.0 apg and shooting .500 from three-point range (18-36).
26 Points needed by T.J. Gibbs to become Notre Dame’s all-time leading scorer in ACC competition. Gibbs has 714 points against ACC opponents (regular season), behind Steve Vasturia’s 739.
55 T.J. Gibbs is shooting .552 from three-point range in ACC play this season. That mark ranks him fourth in the country among major conference players in conference play. Maryland’s Jalen Smith (.579) is first followed by UK’s Immanuel Quickley (.577) and Virginia Tech’s Jalen Cone (.571) – minimum 1.5 3FGM/game.
62 With 35 double-doubles in 56 career starts, John Mooney has posted the best double-double per start percentage (.625) since game starts became an official game stat in the 1978-79 season. See page 4 for more details.
200 John Mooney reached 200 rebounds (currently he has 209) in 15 games this season, matching Blake Griffin (2008-09) as the fastest major conference player to reach that mark since Tim Duncan did it in 14 games during the 1996-97 season.

 

IRISH TRADITIONALLY AMONG BEST IN THE COUNTRY AT TAKING CARE OF THE BALL

Notre Dame finished third in the NCAA last season in turnovers per game – posting the fifth consecutive season of ranking in the nation’s top-10 for least amount of turnovers in a game. The Irish are also perennially one of the top teams in the country in assist to turnover ratio.

The Irish have not averaged over 10.0 turnovers per game since a 10.3 mark in 2013-14 (which was still good enough for 26th nationally).

A DECADE OF ‘NO FOUL’ CONTINUES

One of the mantras of Notre Dame basketball under Mike Brey has been to keep the amount of opponent foul shots down. Defend without fouling is a way of life for Irish basketball and the statistics bear out that trend.

In the last 10 years, Notre Dame has failed to finish among the top 10 in least amount of personal fouls committed just twice. They have also led the country in least amount of personal fouls three times. So far, in 2019-20, the Irish are ahead of Virginia (12.8) and Oklahoma (13.0) for the NCAA lead.

MOONEY LEADS THE COUNTRY IN REBOUNDING

Senior forward John Mooney leads the nation in rebounds per game with a 13.9 average. Mooney is the only Division I player in the country averaging 15-plus points and 13-plus rebounds per game (as of January 9, 2020).

MOONEY CLIMBING THE BREY-ERA CAREER REBOUND CHART

Passing 700 career rebounds against Syracuse, John Mooney became the seventh Mike Brey-era (2000-01- current) player to collect 700 or more rebounds. The see sidebar on page 5 for the all-time rebounding chart, on which Mooney currently ranks 17th.

MOONEY GRABS 200 REBOUNDS IN JUST 15 GAMES

John Mooney reached the 200 rebound plateau in just his 15th game played against Louisville on Jan. 11. That matches Blake Griffin (2008-09) for the fastest to 200 rebounds in a season since Tim Duncan did it in 14 games during the 1996-97 season.

MOONEY MATCHES CONSECUTIVE DOUBLE-DOUBLES MARK

Now with 10 consecutive double-doubles and 13 in 15 games played this season, senior John Mooney is threatening the school record for consecutive games with a double-double. Luke Harangody set the mark with 11 straight in 2008-09. Mooney is the only Notre Dame player to ever record two consecutive double-double streaks over eight games in a career.

MOONEY POSTING DOUBLE-DOUBLES IN 63 PERCENT OF HIS CAREER STARTS

Up to 35 career double-doubles (ninth all-time at Notre Dame), John Mooney has posted nearly all of his career double-doubles in the past two seasons. He has earned a double-double in 35 of 56 starts – a .625 percentage that has not been seen since game starts became an official stat in the 1978-79 season. Expand to just games played against some of the top double-double performers in school history and the .625 percentage remains among the best.

MOONEY LOOKING TO BECOME NINTH IRISH PLAYER WITH OVER 600 REBOUNDS IN FINAL TWO SEASONS

Currently the 17th leading rebounding in Notre Dame history, John Mooney has posted much of that production over the past two seasons. In fact, Mooney has pulled down 593 rebounds since the start of the 2018-19 season. Only eight Notre Dame players have posted over 600 rebounds in their final two seasons in an Irish uniform – Tom Hawkins, ‘59, 834; Collis Jones, ‘71, 741; Walt Sahm, ‘65, 708; Mike Graney, ‘60, 687; John Shumate, ‘74, 684; Ron Reed, ‘65, 675; Bob Whitmore, ‘69, 659; Luke Harangody, ‘10, 624; Troy Murphy, ‘01, 607.

IRISH BOAST SOLID RECORD FOR ANNUAL HOME-AND-HOME ACC SERIES

Notre Dame faced its traditional ACC rivals – Boston College and Georgia Tech – five times last season. The Irish swept the Eagles, split a home-and-home with Tech and then defeated the Yellow Jackets in the ACC tournament. Notre Dame lost its first game in this four-game series to Boston College in December, but still boasts a 20-6 record against these two opponents in league play since joining the ACC in 2013-14. That mark is the best in the conference against a team’s dedicated home-and-home opponents.

DURHAM POSTS TWO NOTEWORTHY DOUBLE-DOUBLES

Senior Juwan Durham responded to the loss of John Mooney (illness) on the front line against Presbyterian with 11 points, 15 rebounds and four blocked shots to record his second career double-double. He followed up with 12 points, 11 rebounds and four more blocks against Fairleigh Dickinson. It was just the seventh and eighth time a Mike Brey era player has recorded 10+ points, 10+ rebounds and 4+ blocks – and the first time since John Mooney did it at North Carolina last season.

Others who have accomplished such a double-double include current Irish assistant coach Ryan Humphrey (2001), Torin Francis twice (2003, 2004), Luke Harangody (2008) and Bonzie Colson (2017).

DURHAM ALREADY AMONG TOP SHOT BLOCKERS IN NOTRE DAME HISTORY

Blocked shots are one of the youngest official NCAA official statistics, only becoming a part of the game boxscore for the 1985-86 season. With that in mind, it is still noteworthy that senior Juwan Durham (who still retains a year of eligibility after 2019-20) has already established himself as one of the top shot blockers in Notre Dame history.

In his first full season at Notre Dame in 2018-19, Durham swatted 63 shots which ranks fifth on the Notre Dame single-season blocked shots list.

This season, Durham pushed his career blocked-shot average to 2.4 and is one of just three Notre Dame players to average over 2.0 blocks per game in their career.