In the offseason, the talk around the college basketball program in South Bend was all about personnel losses -most notably Tory Jackson and Luke Harangody- not new additions.
But today Notre Dame’s 21-4 record signifies the best 25-game start under head coach Mike Brey. It’s the first time the Irish have won at least 21 of their first 25 games since the 1980-81 campaign. Notre Dame’s 10-3 Big East record matches the best 13-game start in Big East play in program history. The Irish have secured their second straight 10-win Big East campaign and it’s the seventh time (in 11 seasons) under Brey that Notre Dame has notched at least 10 league victories.
A big reason is Scott Martin, a Purdue transfer who missed the last two seasons, one from NCAA mandated transfer protocol, and a second year from a knee injury. Martin is a 6-8 senior who sees most of his 27 minutes a game at guard.
By Paul M. Banks
The Irish are currently in line for a #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament and in order for their record to stay impressive they’ll need to get the most out of Martin, the team’s fourth leading scorer and rebounder. And his 38″ vertical.
“It’s coming back, ” he told the media last week.
Health. Health. Health. When it comes to the Fighting Irish nation and the analysis of Martin, it usually revolves around that idea.
“I’ve always felt like I’ve felt good, but now I’m feeling better and better, I didn’t realize I could feel this good. It’s all building on top of itself. One day I feel good and the next day I’m better,” Martin said.
On Saturday, Martin reached double-figures in points for the 12th time out of the past 14 games. He has scored in double-figures 15 times overall this season. He’s also started every game but one for a team that is establishing itself as one of the major players in the toughest conference in college basketball.
“Campus is excited, students are excited and we’re excited…We are playing well on the road right now. We’re excited. We have a couple of road wins in a row and are trying to extend that streak. We are excited to play every game. When you’re playing well you just want to keep playing, and thankfully we get to do that,” Martin said.
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net. He doesn’t have a real nickname, but he is also a regular contributor to the Tribune’s Chicago Now network, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports.com
He does a weekly radio segment on Chicagoland Sports Radio.com and Cleveland.com
You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank
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