Irish lose forward Martin for season

October 5, 2009

Notre Dame junior forward Scott Martin's season is over.

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Martin, who sat out last season after transferring from Purdue, was expected to start for Irish coach Mike Brey this season.

Martin tore his ACL in his left knee during a preseason workout on Thursday and will miss the entire season.

"I am very disappointed for Scott," Brey said in a statement. "He had worked so hard last season in practices and in the weight room improving his overall strength and getting himself ready to be a big part of our lineup this season."

It's a huge blow for a Notre Dame team that returns National Player of the Year candidate Luke Harangody and also adds guard Ben Hansbrough, who sat out last season after transferring in from Mississippi State.

"I don't think what they have planned for their team they're going to let anyone negotiate it down their senior year," Brey said. "We've got a lot to work with here and we still want to chase down a NCAA tournament bid, which is what we talked about in our first team meeting."

Martin, who is expected to have surgery later this month, averaged 8.5 points and 3.8 rebounds two years ago as a freshman at Purdue.

Brey said the fortunate thing is with the injury starting before the start of practice in two weeks it gives the Irish plenty of time to find a replacement. The most likely candidates are Carleton Scott and Tim Abromaitis, a pair of juniors who have each sat out a season.

"They're veterans now and should be in a position to give us more," Brey said.

Three freshmen also will be competing for playing time. The Irish, who also return senior guard Jonathan Peoples, also could go with a three-guard lineup at times, Brey said.

"You have three guys who are in their fourth year of college basketball and really know how to play," he said.

The Irish began last season ranked No. 9 in the nation and with the goals of winning the Big East and advancing to the NCAA Final Four for the first time since 1978. Instead, the Irish saw their season collapse with a seven-game losing streak. Notre Dame finished as the league's No. 10 seed and ended the season 21-15.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.