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Men’s Basketball: ND hosts Lewis for exhibition

Bill Brink | Friday, October 30, 2009

New season, new arena for the Irish.

Notre Dame opens the renovated Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center Sunday in an exhibition match-up against Lewis University.

The Irish finished last season 21-15 (8-10 Big East) and beat Rutgers in the Big East tournament before falling to West Virginia. They made it to the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) semifinals but lost to Penn State.

Notre Dame will need to make up for the loss of guards Kyle McAlarney and Ryan Ayers as well as forwards Zach Hillesland and Luke Zeller. McAlarney averaged 15 points per game and hit 42.3 percent of his 3-point attempts.

The new pavilion, located on the south end of the Joyce Center, cost $25 million and adds a new entrance to the arena. It also houses a club seating area and a new varsity store and ticket office.

Senior forward Luke Harangody, who averaged 23.3 points and 11.8 rebounds per game last season, rejoins the Irish for his senior year. Harangody was selected as the Big East’s preseason Player of the Year. He’ll be joined by senior guard Tory Jackson, who averaged 11 points a game last season.

Senior guard Ben Hansbrough sat out a year after transferring from Mississippi State but is eligible to play this season.

The Irish lost junior guard Scott Martin to a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) before the season. The most likely to play in his place are junior forwards Tyrone Nash and Carleton Scott.

Three freshmen joined the Irish roster this season. Mike Broghammer, Joey Brooks and Jack Cooley will supplement a Notre Dame team that, due to Martin’s injury, lacks depth.
Martin was a transfer from Purdue who sat out a year as well. He was expected to start.

Lewis finished 16-12 last season and 10-8 in the Great Lakes Valley conference. Junior guard Dennis Thomas, Jr. is the team’s leading returning scorer, averaging 10.2 points per game last season.

The Irish scored 75 points per game last season and as a team hit nearly 40 percent of their 3-point attempts.

Tip-off for Sunday’s exhibition is scheduled for 7 p.m.