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Men’s Basketball: Irish prepare for life without Martin

Chris Allen | Thursday, January 24, 2013

When the struggling Irish take the floor Saturday against South Florida, they will do so without their captain and most experienced player. Notre Dame coach Mike Brey announced in his weekly teleconference Wednesday that the Irish would shut down graduate student forward Scott Martin for an indefinite period of time.

Martin, a sixth-year senior who has been through an ACL surgery and a torn meniscus in his left knee in the past, has suffered in production recently as the No. 24 Irish (15-4, 3-3 Big East) lost three of their last four games to drop to .500 in the Big East. Brey said Martin would take time off to rest.

“We’re at a point now where our team has to do something with guys that are 100 percent physically,” Brey said. “If he does come back, it’s a pleasant surprise and when that is, I really don’t know.”

After transferring to Notre Dame from Purdue, Martin sat out the 2009-10 basketball season, his first in South Bend, while recovering from reconstructive knee surgery. Since returning to the lineup in the fall of 2010, Martin has been a fixture in Brey’s rotation.

The Indiana native missed a game earlier this season against Saint Francis (Pa.) with knee soreness. Since that time Martin’s production has declined – Martin went scoreless in losses to Georgetown and St. John’s.

“We’ve got to shut him down indefinitely to see if we have one more run in him,” Brey said. “It’s not helping our team.”
In Martin’s absence, Brey said he will look to an inexperienced group of bench players to replace the veteran’s minutes. Seniors Garrick Sherman and Tom Knight along with freshmen Zach Auguste and Austin Burgett are all candidates to replace Martin’s minutes in the lineup. Martin was averaging 7.9 points per game and 29 minutes per game through Monday’s loss to Georgetown.

“I think you’ll see a little bit of everything on Saturday,” Brey said. “I think I have to have a really open mind to that, and it could be a revolving door. If somebody jumps up there and takes that, and that’s how we play with that group, great. But I think I’m going into it thinking, we’re looking at everybody in a gold shirt.

“If they have to play their way into it a little bit, the young guys, we can do that. There’s a lot of games left. If we have to learn on the fly for a while to have what we need to have in February, that’s what we have to do.”

The Irish will take on South Florida in Tampa, Fla., on Saturd
ay at noon.

Contact Chris Allen at
callen10@nd.edu