#18 Notre Dame Fighting Irish: College Basketball 111 in 111

notre dame cheerleading

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

Mike Brey continues to produce results as Notre Dame Fighting Irish head coach.  With pretty much everybody back from last year, ND will once again be a major player in what figures to be their final year as members of the Big East Conference.

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Notre Dame gets another year for Scott Martin

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Notre Dame was unable to get a sixth year of eligibility out of the NCAA for their oft-injured star Tim Abromaitis, but they were able to get the same situation approved for forward Scott Martin (Valparaiso, Ind.). The Purdue transfer will return to play for the Irish in 2012-13.

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Notre Dame Winning with 3 Cs: Confidence, Cohesion, Chemistry

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Given what was expected of Notre Dame this year, versus what they’ve produced, it’s time to talk about Fighting Irish leader Mike Brey as possible conference coach of the year. He has two Big East coaching awards already (’07, ’08), but this could be the best coaching job he’s ever done.

A so-called rebuilding year has turned into a 21-4, top ten nationally ranked season. ND has won its last seven Big East games, matching the second-longest Big East regular-season win streak in program history.

Their overtime win over #15 Louisville this past week conveyed all that has been going right for ND this year.

“The whole team brought a lot of confidence,” said star guard Ben Hansbrough.

“Especially when I had that rebound and I dropped it. It was great to see my guys will their way back into it and continue to fight.”

By Paul M. Banks

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Notre Dame Routs USF: Notes and Numbers

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Notre Dame is off to its best start in 30 years in men’s college basketball and gaining confidence with every victory. The eighth-ranked Fighting Irish too their seventh straight Saturday, routing runt of the Big East litter South Florida 78-55 with a balanced scoring attack led by Jack Cooley’s career-high 18 points.

The strong start is the program’s best since the 1980-81 season. The Irish can match their best-ever record through 14 conference games (11-3 in 2000-01) by winning at No. 25 West Virginia next Saturday.

For those of you unaware, Cooley is nicknamed “Baby Gody” because of the fact that he has the same haircut and looks a lot like the just departed Luke Harangody.

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Scott Martin a Key Addition to Notre Dame Resurgence

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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

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Scott Martin, a Versatile Purdue Transfer, Key Cog for Notre Dame

mike brey

One of the keys to Notre Dame’s college basketball season will be how much the Irish get out of 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. At Media Day Coach Mike Brey discussed what Martin’s best strength is.

“He really can rebound the ball, that’s something he does but it’s got to be a couple different guys.”

The Irish are currently 6-0 and in order for their record to stay impressive they’ll need to get the most out of Martin, the team’s fifth leading scorer and rebounder.

By Paul M. Banks

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Notre Dame Hoops Media Day Notes, Quotes and Observations

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When it’s 85 degrees outside, it’s somewhat difficult to think about college basketball season, but practice is underway and Notre Dame Media Day is already over.

It was interesting to see if ND Head Coach Mike Brey would still rock his trademark mock turtleneck underneath a sport coat today, as this afternoon was shorts and flip-flop weather.

And the light-hearted banter I walked in on (a bit late unfortunately) was all about the topic of wardbrobe, the NBA’s new dress code for coaches and how the mock doesn’t work for men who are out of shape.

Then the press conference officially began and it was all business. Well, basketball actually, because that’s the business at hand.

By Paul M. Banks

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