Big East Conference 2012: Notre Dame Basketball Preview

The Big East Conference Tournament 2012 tips off Tuesday afternoon at Madison Square Garden, and this SB Nation New York StoryStream is the place to come for every tidbit of information. For a full schedule with results and updates of the bracket, click here.

Not much, if anything, was expected from the Notre Dame Fighting Irish entering the 2011-12 men's basketball season. The exceptions fell even further when the Irish lost senior forward Tim Abromaitis for the season.

However, just like in years past Notre Dame and its head coach Mike Brey found a way to make it work and somehow finished the regular season with the third-best record in the conference.

Head Coach: Mike Brey, 12th season

Many say Brey should easily win his second straight Big East's Coach of the Year award, and the opinion is extremely valid. What Brey has done with a team of "no-name players" is very impressive, however, now its time for him to do something he's never done. Win a Big East Tournament championship.

Team MVP: Jerani Grant, freshman guard

When Abromaitis went down with a season-ending injury it was Grant who stepped up his game and became the clear-cut go-to guy for Notre Dame. Grant finished the regular season as the Irish's second-best scorer (12.4 points per game) and best passer (4.9 assists per game), which was good enough to earn him a spot on the All-Big East Rookie Team.

Playing For: NCAA Tournament seeding

The spectacular regular season has allowed the Irish to not worry about their NCAA Tournament at-large berth because its going to come. But, Notre Dame could go from a possible No. 3-4 seed to possibly a No. 2 with a Big East Tournament crown.

Breakdown: Notre Dame proved that it can beat anybody, even the NCAA's elite, when it downed the (then) No. 1-ranked Syracuse Orange, 67-58, on Jan. 21.

In the contest, the Irish out hustled, shot and played the Orange, who's only regular-season blemish came at South Bend.

Notre Dame may not be the most athletic or talented squad at Madison Square Garden, but there's no doubting Grant, sophomore guard Eric Atkins and junior forward Jack Cooley will give their best effort anytime they take center stage on the "World's Most Famous Arena".

Big East Tournament Seed: No. 3, will play Thursday against either: No. 6 South Florida Bulls, No. 14 Villanova Wildcats or No. 11 Rutgers Scarlet Knights.

Roster and stats:


FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
Tim Abromaitis 2 38.0 5.0 15.0 33.3 0.0 5.5 0.0 4.0 4.5 88.9 1.0 6.0 7.0 2.5 3.0 0.5 0.0 3.5 14.0
Jack Cooley 30 28.4 4.7 7.6 62.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 3.1 4.4 70.7 4.0 5.2 9.2 0.7 1.4 0.6 1.6 2.7 12.5
Jerian Grant 31 35.7 3.7 9.5 39.0 1.6 4.6 35.4 3.4 4.2 81.5 0.5 2.3 2.9 4.9 1.7 1.2 0.2 1.7 12.5
Eric Atkins 29 38.1 4.0 9.9 40.1 1.4 3.8 36.9 3.1 4.3 72.6 0.7 2.5 3.2 4.1 2.1 1.3 0.0 1.7 12.4
Scott Martin 30 34.2 3.6 9.0 40.1 0.9 3.5 25.0 1.4 2.0 71.2 0.8 4.7 5.5 1.7 1.5 0.9 0.4 2.6 9.5
Alex Dragicevich 31 21.4 2.3 5.7 39.3 1.2 3.6 33.9 1.2 1.7 73.1 0.3 1.6 1.9 1.2 0.9 0.2 0.3 1.1 7.0
Pat Connaughton 31 23.3 2.5 5.9 41.8 1.2 3.5 34.9 0.7 1.0 74.2 0.9 3.6 4.5 0.9 0.7 0.5 0.2 1.4 6.9
Joey Brooks 29 11.7 1.1 2.7 40.5 0.2 0.6 43.8 1.0 1.7 58.0 0.6 1.5 2.0 0.7 0.7 0.1 0.1 1.2 3.4
Tom Knight 27 8.8 1.1 2.4 48.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.9 60.9 0.7 0.8 1.5 0.4 0.6 0.3 0.6 1.2 2.8
Mike Broghammer 23 5.5 0.8 1.3 63.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.7 20.0 0.7 0.8 1.5 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.4 1.0 1.8
Patrick Crowley 13 1.3 0.2 0.8 18.2 0.1 0.3 25.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.4

For a SB Nation New York preview of other Big East schools, click on its respective links: Syracuse, Marquette, Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Georgetown, South Florida, Louisville, West Virginia, Connecticut, Seton Hall, Rutgers, St. John's, Pittsburgh, Villanova, Providence, DePaul.

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