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MBB Game Day Central: Notre Dame

November 14, 2010  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Center Carter McMasters scored a career-high 10 points in Liberty's last meeting with Notre Dame.

Center Carter McMasters scored a career-high 10 points in Liberty's last meeting with Notre Dame.

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The Game

Following its season opening win over Virginia Intermont, the Liberty men's basketball team heads to South Bend, Ind., to take on Notre Dame in the Joyce Center for the second-straight season, Sunday. The Flames met the Fighting Irish for the first time last season in the opening contest of the Chicago Invitational. The Fighting Irish defended their home court, earning the 91-72 decision.

Watch and Listen to the Flames
There will be a radio broadcast for each game which will air on the Flames Sports Network (flagship WRVL 88.3 FM) with the new Voice of the Flames Alan York providing the play-by-play. York takes over play-by-play duties this season for longtime broadcaster Jerry Edwards, who retired this past spring after 29 years.

In addition to the radio broadcast, an Internet audio broadcast on will be available.

A Look at the Fighting Irish
Notre Dame finished the 2009-10 season with a 23-12 overall record, tying for seventh in the BIG EAST with a 10-8 posting. The Fighting Irish reached the NCAA Tournament last season, but were edged by Old Dominion in the first round, 51-50.

Three players return to the starting lineup for Notre Dame this season – Tim Abromaitis (16.1, ppg, 4.7 rpg), Ben Hansbrough (12.0 ppg, 4.4 apg) and Tyrone Nash (7.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg). The Fighting Irish lost two starters to graduation – All-American Luke Harangody (21.8 ppg, 9.1 rpg) and Tory Jackson (9.6 ppg, 5.3 apg).

The Fighting Irish opened the season in the Joyce Center against Georgia Southern, Friday night, defeating the Eagles, 98-61. Hansbrough led Notre Dame with 20 points, hitting 7-of-10 from the field, including 4-of-7 from behind the three-point arc. Jack Cooley and Abromaitis also finished in double scoring figures, posting 11 and 10, respectively.

Coaching Profile: Mike Brey
Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey enters Sunday's contest with a 311-165 career coaching record (15 years) and a 212-113 posting at Notre Dame (10 years). Last season, Brey achieved three coaching milestones, earning his 300th career victory, his 200th win at Notre Dame and his 100th BIG EAST victory. Brey is only the sixth coach in BIG EAST history to reach the 100-win milestone. During his tenure at Notre Dame, he has received BIG EAST Coach of the Year honors on two occasions (2007, 2008).

Prior to his arrival at Notre Dame, Brey spent five years at Delaware, amassing a 99-52 record as head coach of the Blue Hens. In 1997-98, Brey copped co-America East Coach-of-the-Year honors after his team finished with a 20-10 overall record and won the America East Conference title with a 12-6 mark.

Before taking over at Delaware, Brey served under Mike Krzyzewski at Duke for eight seasons, beginning in 1987-88. During that time, he saw the Blue Devils advance to six NCAA Final Fours, four national title games and claim the NCAA championship in both 1991 and 1992. The Blue Devils finished with a combined 216-65 record (.769) during his eight seasons and won 24 or more games in seven of those campaigns.

Liberty-Notre Dame Series
Sunday's matchup marks the second meeting between Liberty and Notre Dame. Last season, the Flames stepped inside the Joyce Center to take on the Fighting Irish in the opening contest of the 2009 Chicago Invitational.

Despite only trailing by eight at the conclusion of the first half, the Flames were unable to gain traction on the Fighting Irish in the second half, as Notre Dame pulled away take the contest, 91-72. Luke Harangody led Notre Dame with 32 points and nine rebounds, followed by Tyrone Nash and Tim Abromaitis, who each finished with 12 tallies.

Five Flames concluded the contest with double figures – Kyle Ohman (13), Evan Gordon (12) David Minaya (11), Patrick Konan (10) and Carter McMasters (10).

Liberty Versus the BIG EAST
The Flames are 0-6 against current members of the BIG EAST. Liberty is 0-1 against DePaul, 0-1 against Notre Dame 0-1 against Providence and 0-3 against Seton Hall.

BIG EAST on the Horizon
In addition to Notre Dame, Liberty will also match up with another BIG EAST member this season – South Florida. The Flames will meet the Bulls on Nov. 23 inside the Sun Dome in Tampa, Fla. The meeting will mark Liberty's second contest of four in the 2010 South Padre Island Invitational

Layer Versus the BIG EAST
Head coach Dale Layer is 2-1 all-time against current members of the BIG EAST. Layer's pair of wins came against South Florida during his tenure at Colorado State. During the 2002-03 season, Layer's Rams defeated the Bulls, 80-72, inside Colorado State's Moby Arena. The following season, the Rams edged the Bulls, 66-65, in the Sun Dome.

NBA Brothers
Sunday's matchup features two players whose brothers play in the NBA. Liberty's Evan Gordon is the younger brother of Eric Gordon, Jr., who was picked seventh overall by the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2008 NBA Draft. The elder Gordon is off to a great start this season, averaging 22.0 points, 4.8 assists and 3.6 rebounds.

Notre Dame's Ben Hansbrough is the younger brother of All-American and 2009 Naismith and Wooden Award winner Tyler Hansbrough. A four-year starter for North Carolina, Hansbrough was selected 13th overall for the Indiana Pacers in the 2009 NBA Draft after leading the Tar Heels to a national championship. This season, he is averaging 9.5 points and 4.5 rebounds per contest.

Rebounding Machine
In his Liberty debut, redshirt junior John Brown finished with a double-double, posting 18 points and 17 rebounds. The last time a Flame grabbed that many boards was during the 2008-09 season, Anthony Smith finished with 17 in a 91-80 win at VMI (Jan. 17, 2009). The most rebounds garnered by a Flame in a single game last season was 15 (Jesse Sanders, vs. VMI, Jan. 28, 2010).