Miami at No. 21/22 Notre Dame
Friday, November 8 - 7 p.m.
Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center - Notre Dame, Ind.
Television: ESPN3 (Dan Gutowsky; Darrin Horn)
Radio: Miami IMG Sports Network (WMOH 1450 Hamilton; WFMG 101.3 Richmond; WONE 980 Dayton; WDBZ 1230 Cincinnati)
REDHAWKS TIP OFF SEASON AT NO. 21/22 NOTRE DAME: Miami University’s men’s basketball team begins a three-game road stretch to start the season when the RedHawks travel to the University of Notre Dame for a 7 p.m. game on Friday, Nov. 8. With eight new faces on their roster, the RedHawks will have a different look than a season ago but will be challenged early by a Notre Dame squad that returns nine letterwinners, including four starters, from a team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament second round a season ago. Of Miami’s six returning players on its roster, four were starters in 2012-13.
GRAND OPENING: For the 38th time in program history, Miami hits the road to open its season. The RedHawks are 15-22 when opening the season on the road and are 72-36 in all-time season openers. Miami has won four of its last six season openers, however, the RedHawks have lost their last three when opening their campaign on the road, including a 97-59 loss at No. 6 NC State last season. The RedHawks’ last win in a season opener was in Oxford in overtime against Dayton on Nov. 15, 2011, 72-67. Miami’s last win in a season opener on the road was at Liberty to tip off the 2003-04 season, 71-55.
ABOUT THE FIGHTING IRISH: Notre Dame returns nine letterwinners, including four starters, from a team that posted a 25-10 mark and advanced to the NCAA Tournament second round a year ago. The Fighting Irish are ranked No. 21 in the preseason Associated Press poll and No. 22 in the USA Today Coaches preseason poll. The Fighting Irish begin their first season in the Atlantic Coast Conference after 18 years in the BIG EAST. Notre Dame returns its top scorer from last season in senior guard Jerian Grant, who averaged 13.3 ppg and 5.5 apg, and is a Preseason All-ACC selection. Eric Atkins (11.2 ppg, 5.5 apg), Pat Connaughton (8.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg) and Tom Knight (5.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg) are the other returning starters for the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame defeated Indianapolis, 95-69, in its first exhibition game and produced a decisive 93-44 win over Tusculum College in its second exhibition.
THE SERIES WITH NOTRE DAME: Friday marks the ninth meeting between Miami and Notre Dame in a series that began in 1909 and is tied at four wins apiece. The RedHawks have won four of the last five meetings with the Fighting Irish with the last game decided by a mere point in Oxford on December 8, 2001 in a 70-69 loss for the Red and White. Miami’s last trip to Notre Dame was on Dec. 9, 2000 with the RedHawks capturing a 73-64 win, which was MU’s last win in the series. The last time the Fighting Irish defeated Miami at Notre Dame was on Dec. 9 1944, 68-36. When playing at Notre Dame, the series is tied, 2-2.
UP NEXT: Miami continues a three-game road stretch to start the season when the RedHawks travel to Arizona State for a 9 p.m. (ET) game on Tuesday, Nov. 12. Eight days later, the RedHawks travel to local foe Xavier for an 8 p.m. game on Wednesday, Nov. 20 Miami returns to Millett Hall to host Wilmington in its home-opener at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23.
MIAMI SPORTS NETWORK FROM IMG COLLEGE: In its seventh year of its partnership with IMG College, the Miami Sports Network from IMG College continues its coverage of Miami men’s basketball with a group of affiliates blanketing most of Southwest Ohio and Southeast Indiana. "The Voice of the RedHawks" Steve Baker delivers the play-by-play coverage, while Terry Bridge provides color commentary. Tune in to one of Miami’s game-day affiliates: WMOH-AM 1450 (Hamilton, OH), WFMG-FM 101.3 (Richmond, IN), WDBZ-AM 1230 (Cincinnati, OH), WONE 980 (Dayton, OH), MURedHawks.com (All-Access Subscription).
TURNING 109: Miami’s game at Notre Dame on Friday, Nov. 8, marks the start of the 109th season of Miami University Basketball.
WILL POWER: Miami should have plenty of "Will" power this season. In addition to returners senior forward Will Felder and junior guard Will Sullivan, Miami added sophomore guard Willie Moore, a transfer from the University of Oregon, to the mix this season. The trio combined for 28 points, 12 rebounds and 3 assists in Miami’s exhibition game against Northwood on Oct. 30.
"POLLING" RANK: For the second straight year, Miami opens it season against a ranked opponent. The RedHawks tipped off the 2012-13 campaign at NC State, who received a No. 6 ranking in the preseason polls. This season, Miami travels to No. 21/22 Notre Dame to begin the 2013-14 season. It is also the second straight year Miami has opened the season at an ACC school.
FELDER TABBED EAST DIVISION PRESEASON ALL-MAC: Senior forward Will Felder was named to the Mid-American Conference East Division Preseason Team in a poll of a 25-member MAC News Media Panel that was released by the conference office Oct. 29. An honorable mention All-MAC selection as a junior, Felder was the leading rebounder for the RedHawks a season ago and was the team’s top scorer in MAC play. He averaged 11.6 ppg and 5.3 rpg over 31 games and averaged 13.3 ppg and 5.8 rpg in MAC action. Felder ranked fifth among conference leaders in field goal percentage, shooting 52.1 percent for the season and 54.3 percent in conference games. Felder ranked among MAC statistical leaders in six categories in 2012-13.
HONORING COLES: This season, the Miami University men’s basketball team will wear a special patch on both its home and road uniforms to honor the memory of long-time Miami head coach and 1965 alumnus Charlie Coles. The circular black patch has the initials CC in white. Coach Coles, who spent 16 years at the helm of the RedHawk program, is Miami’s all-time leader in wins and is the Mid-American Conference record holder for career conference wins. Coach Coles retired on March 5, 2012 following the RedHawks’ last game of the season. He passed away on June 7, 2013, at the age of 71.
THE RETURNERS: Miami returns six players, including four starters from a season ago. The RedHawks return four starters in senior guard Quinten Rollins, senior forward Will Felder, junior guard Will Sullivan and sophomore guard Reggie Johnson. Sophomore guard Geovonie McKnight is the other letterwinner to return for Miami. Senior forward Bill Edwards also returns after being sidelined much of the season due to an injury. The RedHawk returners have made a combined 171 career starts for MU. Despite returning just six players from a season ago, that group accounted for 56.4 percent of the RedHawks’ scoring and 53.6 percent of its rebounding a season ago.
THE NEWCOMERS: Miami adds a large and diverse class of talented newcomers to its 2013-14 roster. After sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer guidelines, sophomore center John Hawkins is able to suit up for the RedHawks in 2013-14. Miami also added senior forward/center Blake McLimans, who is pursuing his master’s degree at Miami after earning an undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan, as well as sophomore guard Willie Moore, who is a transfer from the University of Oregon and will compete for the RedHawks this season. Miami has two talented freshmen who hail from Australia in forward Joshua Oswald and guard Jaryd Eustace. Joining the team but sitting out the season due to NCAA transfer guidelines is junior guard Eric Washington, who played at Presbyterian College the last two seasons. The RedHawks also have two walk-ons in senior guard Philip Bennett and sophomore forward Brian Oddo.
CLOSING IN ON 1300: This season, Miami University’s men’s basketball program seeks its 1300th all-time win. The Red and White have amassed a program record of 1298-1092 over the past 108 years.
EXHIBITION ACTION: In a tune-up for the season, Miami hosted Northwood on Oct. 30, defeating the Saints, 76-71. Five RedHawks scored in double figures. Sophomore guard Willie Moore led all players with 16 points, sinking 6-of-8 field goals, including three from 3-point range. Freshman guard Jaryd Eustace chipped in 14 points, while senior forward/center Blake McLimans added 13, senior forward Will Felder tallied 12 and sophomore guard Reggie Johnson added 10 points in the winning effort.
ODDS ‘N ENDS: The RedHawks return 56.4 percent of their scoring and 53.6 percent of their rebounding from a season ago ... Miami was predicted to finish fifth in the MAC East Division in a poll of the MAC News Media.
A MIAMI WIN WOULD ...
• Be the RedHawks’ fifth win in six games against the Fighting Irish.
• Be the RedHawks first win over a ranked opponent since 2001.
• Make Miami 73-36 in season openers.
A MIAMI LOSS WOULD ...
• Be Miami’s third straight loss when opening the season on the road.
• Drop the RedHawks to 15-23 in season openers on the road.
• Give Notre Dame a 5-4 lead in the all-time series.