Purdue-Notre Dame Preview
Scott Martin began his collegiate career as a prized recruit at
Purdue. Now, the Notre Dame senior wants his current school to
continue its recent success by beating his old one.
Facing the Boilermakers for the first time since leaving West
Lafayette more than four years ago, Martin looks to help the No. 22
Fighting Irish to a seventh consecutive victory Saturday at the
Crossroads Classic in Indianapolis.
Part of a talented freshman class with Robbie Hummel, E’Twaun
Moore and JaJuan Johnson dubbed the “Baby Boilers,” Martin averaged
8.5 points and 3.8 rebounds to help Purdue finish second in the Big
Ten in 2007-08. However, Martin apparently didn’t feel comfortable
in coach Matt Painter’s system and transferred to Notre Dame after
He sat out the 2008-09 season, then missed 2009-10 with a torn
ACL. Now 24, Martin has started all 74 games he’s played at Notre
Dame, and though he never blossomed into the star recruiters felt
he could be, Martin is a team leader and a valuable role player as
the Irish remain one of the nation’s steadiest programs.
While Martin has some extra incentive to play well Saturday, the
6-foot-8 guard insists his only focus is helping Notre Dame (8-1)
remain undefeated since a 79-70 overtime loss to Saint Joseph’s on
“It has been a long time since I played for (Purdue),” said
Martin, who averages 8.9 points with career highs of 7.5 rebounds
and 45.2 percent shooting from 3-point range. “I play for Notre
Dame, and I am really excited to get out there and try to get a
While these prominent Indiana basketball powers have split their
previous 40 meetings, this is the first since Notre Dame’s 71-59
win March 17, 2004, in the NIT. Though Purdue (4-5) has struggled,
Martin and the Irish expect to be challenged in the back end of a
doubleheader that opens with top-ranked Indiana facing Butler.
“It is really Indiana basketball at its finest,” said Martin, an
Indiana native who is 9 of 17 from beyond the arc in his last three
Martin scored a season-high 14 points and pulled down eight
rebounds in the Irish’s 84-57 win over Brown last Saturday. Notre
Dame has beaten its last six opponents by an average of 18.6 points
and held them to 56.7 per game.
“We are going to have to sustain this throughout the season,”
said guard Jerian Grant, who is averaging 15.7 points in the last
three games and 8.0 assists in the last four. “Being consistent and
playing well is definitely going to be big for us.”
Freshman Cameron Biedscheid scored a season-high 17 points off
the bench against Brown, and could see more time Saturday if 6-10
sixth man Garrick Sherman misses a second straight game with a knee
injury. The 6-7 Biedscheid has averaged 12.3 points and gone 11 of
18 from 3-point range in the last four games.
“I’ve just really been stepping up and knocking the shots down,”
Purdue has had major trouble making baskets, ranking near the
bottom of the Big Ten with 66.6 points per game on 41.6 percent
shooting. Losers in two of their last three, the Boilermakers hope
they hit rock bottom last Saturday when they shot 29.8 percent in a
47-44 loss at Eastern Michigan.
“(These losses) have to affect us for the better,” said Purdue
guard and Indianapolis native Terone Johnson, who averages a
team-leading 13.0 points. “We can’t keep getting a win here or a
win there if we want to play at a high level.”