"I'm really thrilled that they decided to invest in him," said Irish head coach Mike Brey of Ollie. "His players love him, you can tell. He walks that line of being able to be close to them, but yet being their coach and getting on their backsides extremely well. … I think it's great continuity for Connecticut to have him running the show."
Riding a 17-game home-court winning streak, Notre Dame is 46-1 in its last 47 home games and a remarkable 26-6 in their last 32 league games. Connecticut has fallen to the Irish in four of the team's last five meetings dating back to March 2010 after previously defeating Notre Dame in four straight, including a streak-breaking victory in 2009 on the Joyce Center Floor after the Irish had won 45 straight in South Bend.
The last time a Notre Dame team was 14-1 to start the season was in 1973-74 when that Irish squad went 24-1 before losing again.
Player ProfilesA look at Notre Dame's seven-man rotation entering tonight's contest. Senior big man Tom Knight and freshman C/F Zach Auguste could also see time.
Jack Cooley -- Has 30 points and 21 boards through a 2-0 Big East start…Cooley has produced 10 double-doubles (second-most in the nation) in the team's first 15 games and never posted fewer than eight rebounds to date this season…Knocked down 28 of his last 35 free throw attempts…Ranks sixth nationally at 11.4 boards per game with only one of the five players above him scoring better than his 15.2 average…His 63.7 percent shooting clip ranks fourth among Big East players; 10th in the nation.
Eric Atkins -- Has hit for double digit points in 10 of 15 and assists in five with another five contests producing six or more dimes for his teammates…Has yet to commit more than four turnovers in a game this season and ranks sixth nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (4.12 assists for each turnover)…Predictably, the Irish point guard averages a team-high 36.2 minute per game yet has committed two turnovers or less in 10 of 15 games this season…The junior from xx is averaging 11.2 points while hitting at a career-best 45.2 percent from long range (19-42).
Jerian Grant -- Ranks second on the team with 12.7 points per game, with four straight in double figures and a hot streak from both the field (22 of 39) and the charity stripe (12-12) during that span…HIs 5.3 assists are second to backcourt mate Eric Atkins and Grant has produced five games with eight or more assists, and four others between four and seven while playing the second most minutes (34 per game) on the squad…Currently shooting 47 percent from the field, 75 percent from the line, and 35 percent from beyond the arc.
Scott Martin -- On the best hot streak of his career, connecting on 10 of his last 14 from long range, all in Big East play…Martin has hit on 31 of 61 three-point shots this season after making just 26 percent last fall and 30 total three-point buckets over the course of the season…Ranks second on the squad with 6.4 rebounds per game and has committed just two turnovers over his last eight outings.
Pat Connaughton -- Ranks fifth in scoring (9.0), third in rebounds (4.7), and third in assists (2.8) through 15 games while knocking down 10 of his last 21 from long range and 36 percent on the season…Has already produced 12 more assists this season (42) than in all of 2011-12 (30), his freshman campaign…Swingman has attempted at least six field goals in all but two games this season, connecting on 26 of his last 45 attempts in a six-game span.
Bench: Garrick Sherman and Cameron Biedscheid -- Sherman, the squad's top bench big man, is scoring nearly nine points with four rebounds per game and ranks third in the Big East with a 62.7 percent field goal percentage (52-83)…Has played between 13 and 18 minutes in each of the last six games after sitting out an early December game vs. Brown due to a bruised knee…Sherman has been solid from the charity stripe at 71 percent...
Biedscheid has hit his last six three-point shots though the true freshman did not attempt one from long range in Monday's win at Cincinnati…Played just 10 minutes in Monday's road win vs. Cincinnati without scoring a point on just one shot attempt.