Big East, Notre Dame Loses Top Player for Year in Tim Abromaitis

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Looks like Notre Dame is in serious trouble this season. Their co-captain Tim Abromaitis suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee at practice this morning and will miss the remainder of the 2011-12 season. His loss will be felt not just in South Bend, but throughout the Big East and college basketball worlds.

Abro played in two games and was averaging 14.0 points and 7.0 rebounds. He had missed Notre Dame’s first four games (all wins) due to misunderstanding of a technicality in an NCAA rule governing seasons of competition that dated back to the 2008-09 campaign when he played in the first two exhibition of his sophomore campaign and then sat out the remainder of that season.

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Notre Dame’s Tim Abromaitis will complete MBA Ahead of Basketball

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Everywhere you look, college football and college basketball news stories are filled with scandal and skullduggery. It’s enough to make one think there are no good guys left among the coaches, and no “students,” in the term “student-athlete.”

Tim Abromaitis of Notre Dame is an exceptional exception. His team finished the season ranked #4 in the final poll, earned a #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament and they return three senior starters next year. He was the team’s second best offensive weapon behind Big East Player of the Year Ben Hansbrough, and should have an even bigger role next year.

By Paul M. Banks

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#8 Notre Dame Beats DePaul, Wins Battle of Chicago Big East Teams

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It’s been ten days since Notre Dame last played a college basketball game. And it was big; the biggest one in Mike Brey’s career. The Fighting Irish defeated then #2 Pittsburgh at their building, to assume second place (tied with Louisville) in the toughest conference in the nation.

Aside from a couple missed dunks here, and a blown chippy there, the Irish did not look rusty at all in their visit to All State Arena. A let down at DePaul? Wasn’t going to happen for ND, as the Irish pulled away from the Blue Demons well before halftime.

DePaul trailed just 24-20 at the 7:31 mark, but soon found themselves down 37-24 at intermission. The second half was all ND, as the Irish increased their lead in the all time series to 58-44, 7-2 since both of teams joined the Big East. ND cruised to an 83-57 victory; their seventh straight over the Demons.

By Paul M. Banks

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UConn’s Jim Calhoun very Impressed by Notre Dame

So how important were Notre Dame’s basketball victories over #8 Georgetown and #9 Connecticut in the last week? Well it hasn’t happened in a half-century. The last time Notre Dame defeated AP top 10 teams in back-to-back home games came in 1960-61. They defeated #7 DePaul 61-58, then #7 St. John’s 64-63. Which is especially impressive when you consider they finished 12-14 that season.

Those are the only two times it’s happened in Irish college basketball history.
On Tuesday night they significantly limited UConn’s Kemba Walker, the nation’s leading scorer, and it caught the attention of Jim Calhoun, the dean of Big East coaches.

“Mike’s (Brey, Irish Coach) is doing one of the best jobs in the league because it’s a nice team, a nic team to watch playing together,” said Calhoun.

“They’re good because they move the ball, they have the outside threat, (Ben) Hansbrough is a son-of-a-gun competitor, amd Timmy (Abromaitis) is one fo the most improved players in the country, and the work ethic he’s put in tobecome as good as he is really speaks well.”

By Paul M. Banks

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Notre Dame Hoops Uses Unconventional Formula for Success

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“My theme is a lot of interchangeable parts,” Notre Dame Fighting Irish Head Coach Mike Brey said of his team this season. And it’s true, while last year’s team leaned heavily on Luke Harangody in the post and Tory Jackson at the point, this unit often sports a very unconventional line-up.

The Irish have ascended to the #15 national ranking in college basketball by sometime playing a set of five that includes four four-men.

“Certainly Ben and Abro are the most most confident to make plays, especially against are our early non league slate, and that’s not lost on me. They’ve been in the battles a little longer than the other guys,” Brey said of his system.

Indeed this team has won with experience, as seniors Ben Hansbrough and Tim Abromaitis lead the way.

By Paul M. Banks.

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#15 Notre Dame Hoops Winning Because of Experience

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There may be a “Ewing Theory” at work in South Bend. Despite losing Luke Harangody, the first player in Notre Dame basketball history to be a three-time first-team All-Big East selection, and the first player in program history to lead the conference in both scoring and rebounding in consecutive seasons, the Fighting Irish are getting better.

They lost a marquee college basketball player to graduation, but still have plenty of experience. And that experienced nucleus has help them ascend to #15 in the nation.

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99 in 99: #39 Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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The Big East is once again stacked this year.  Eight of the top 39 teams in my “99 in 99” college basketball preview rankings call the conference home.  Notre Dame comes in at #39 despite losing four-year starters Luke Harangody and Tory JacksonClick here if you missed teams #40-#99.

You can also check out Paul M. Banks’ story from the Irish’s media day.

By: David Kay
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