Blue and Gold Illustrated

Preseason 2016

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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86 PRESEASON 2016 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED MEN'S BASKETBALL BY MATT JONES A rguably Notre Dame's biggest question mark in its starting five comes in the form of 6-10, 255-pound junior center Mar- tinas Geben. Though the Lithuanian big man has started just one career game at Notre Dame and averaged just three minutes per contest this past season, head coach Mike Brey said last month that Geben will be in the starting lineup when the team begins the 2016-17 campaign. Geben averaged 1.4 points and 0.9 rebounds last season and appeared only in late-game situations when the outcome was already decided. He did not play in 20 of Notre Dame's 36 games. Proving himself is what motivates Geben. "As a competitor you have to come with the mindset that you have some- thing to prove every single day," Ge- ben said after the team's final workout of the summer. "That's how I feel. I think I need to continue to prove my worth on the court to my teammates and the coaches." Geben — who goes by Marty — is poised for a breakout season, accord- ing to Brey. "He's one of those guys we've had here where the junior year, it's time," Brey said. "[Jack] Cooley, [V.J.] Beachem, [Zach] Auguste … it's a long list. I told him when we came down here in the spring, 'When you come down, you better not have a blue shirt on. You better walk into the gym with a white [starting] shirt on and think of yourself as a starter.' " The Irish are looking to replace 45.9 percent of their rebounding from last year 's Elite Eight team, including a team-high 10.7 boards per game from Zach Auguste, who is now with the Los Angeles Lakers. Geben, who noted he has shed 10 pounds since last season, relishes the role of the under-the-radar post player on a team full of shooters. "There is absolutely no pressure, especially on me," Geben said. "The opponent's defense is going to be fo- cused on the shooters, so it makes my job easier as far as the inside. Nobody is really going to expect strong inside play, especially this year after losing Zach." Brey called Geben the team's most New Role Lithuanian big man Martinas Geben has his coach's confidence entering season Geben has started just one game in his first two seasons at Notre Dame, but he is expected to get more minutes this year. PHOTO BY JOE RAYMOND

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