Notre Dame sophomore guard Eric Atkins has been the alpha for ND this season, especially since Abto went down for the season with a ACL injury. Today he was named a captain along with forwards Tim Abromaitis and Purdue transfer Scott Martin for the remainder of the 2011-12 season.
“Since we lost Tim (Abromaitis), Eric has had a stronger voice in our locker room and proven to be a leader for us both in games and in practices,” ND Coach Mike Brey says. “As we begin Big East play, I thought that it was important for Scott (Martin) to have someone alongside him who will share this role with him on the court. I look forward to having both of them leading us through the conference season.”
Atkins is Notre Dame’s leading scorer among all active players with a 13.9 scoring average. He has started all 11 games he has played and missed contests (Sam Houston State and Delaware State) due to illness. Atkins has reached double figures in seven games this season and has twice eclipsed the 20-point mark. In the season opener against Mississippi Valley State, he scored a career-high 27 points and also netted 26 points against Maine. Atkins, who ranks second on the team with 44 assists (behind Jerian Grant with 55) dished off a career high nine assists versus Bryant.
As a freshman, Eric played in all 34 games and made six starts while averaging 5.8 points and 3.2 assists.
Martin is just better suited for the second banana role than alpha dog. We know this much is true. Atkins, a B-More area product, is better suited to be the #1, coincidentally the position he plays on the the court. He is the Irish point guard of the future. And get ready for lots of uncreative media types and really poor journalists to start using the “Atkins Diet” pun in their headlines.
Notre Dame opens Big East play tomorrow night when they host Pitt. But don’t expect much. This will certainly not be like last year when they were the league’s runner-up. With no Hansbrough and no Abro, expect them to take a lot of lumps during conference play.
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