Blue and Gold Illustrated

Preseason 2016

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

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Page 86 of 99 PRESEASON 2016 87 MEN'S BASKETBALL improved player and expects him to flourish in the starting role. The coach said the Irish were more effective last season with Geben on the bench, downshifting Bonzie Colson to the center spot and bringing Matt Ryan, Rex Pflueger or Matt Farrell off the bench for a smaller lineup. "That made us more efficient," Brey said. "So Martin got caught with play- ing small, even though I thought he practiced great the last six weeks of the season." For now, Geben's role is simple, the coach explained. "I told him when we started in the spring a couple workouts, get Beachem and [Steve] Vasturia open, rebound and defend, and everything will take care of itself," Brey said. "Well, Marty is really sharp and he also knows, 'This is my time.' I think he's embraced that role, he's played it all summer and my goal is to start him on opening night. "Nothing has changed from watch- ing him this summer and giving him the opportunity and confidence to be our starting center, and then we'll see what we do with those other bigs." Geben said his weight loss — which consisted of regular conditioning ses- sions with hoops strength and con- ditioning coach Tony Rolinski — has made him smoother and more fluid on the court. "Kind of like Muhammad Ali said, he hated to work out but he wanted to live as a champion for the rest of his life," Geben said. "That's kind of the same mentality … you hate it while you're doing it, but you love the fruits of your labor." Farrell and Geben also received some added experience after their summer practices in South Bend. The juniors took part in a trip to It- aly with USA East Coast Basketball, a college all-star team. From Aug. 6-13, the team played four games across Northern Italy, visiting Milan, Lake Como and Bellagio during the tour. "Matt and Martinas will be two key contributors to our team and this op- portunity to gain more on-court play- ing experience against international competition will be invaluable in their development," Brey said in a release before the trip. "They both saw limited minutes last season and this chance to increase their competitive court time and continue to learn how to play with each other will give them some great momentum entering another season of ACC basketball." Coached by Guy Rancourt of Divi- sion III Lycoming College, the team played two games in Altavilla and two in Vedano Olano against Italian Series A and Series B division players, along with imported players from Serbia and Croatia. Farrell and Geben also traveled with the Irish on the team's most recent foreign tour to Italy for a 10-day trip in August 2014. The team visited Rome, Pesaro, Venice and Milan during that trip. CELTICS INK DEMETRIUS JACKSON Former Notre Dame point guard Demetrius Jackson, the 45th over- all selection by the Boston Celtics in June's NBA Draft, signed a three-year, $5.5-million contract. There is a team option for a fourth year. Jackson played eight summer league games for the Celtics, averag- ing 5.2 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 16.6 minutes per game. "Demetrius had the potential to be- come a next-level player as soon as he joined our program," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said of the Misha- waka native. "He continued to work hard on his development and has now earned an opportunity to compete at the highest level with one of the NBA's best organizations. "His work ethic and leadership abil- ities give him a foundation to develop into a 10-year guy in the league." GAME TIME ANNOUNCED Notre Dame's Big Ten-ACC Chal- lenge game at the Joyce Center against Iowa will tip off at 8 p.m. Nov. 29 on ESPN, the leagues have announced. Both teams made the NCAA Tour- nament last year. Notre Dame made its second straight Elite Eight, while Iowa advanced to the second round. The matchup will be the teams' third meeting in the past four seasons. The Hawkeyes beat the Irish 98-83 in the 2013 Big Ten-ACC Challenge at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Last year, Notre Dame defeated Iowa 68-62 in a consolation round game at the Advo- Care Invitational in Orlando, Fla. ✦ Recruiting Notes • Baltimore Mount St. Joseph High School 2017 three-star shooting guard Darryl Morsell has listed Notre Dame in his top five schools. The 6-4, 195-pound Morsell — who is currently unrated by Rivals — was offered a scholarship in July by Mike Brey and lists the Irish among his other finalists Dayton, Maryland, Villanova and Virginia Tech. "They are a winning program," Morsell said of Notre Dame. "They have a good winning tradition. If I went there I think I would be part of something big that's known for winning." • Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha High School 2017 four-star small forward D.J. Harvey announced he would take three of his official visits in the next month: Texas (Aug. 26-28), Louisville (Sept. 2-4) and Notre Dame (Sept. 9-11). The Fighting Irish football team opens its home season that weekend versus Nevada. Harvey also was in attendance for last year's football game versus USC. The 6-7, 180-pound Harvey is a prime target. Brey said the recruiting priority this year centers on signing two wing players to help compensate for the graduation of current senior starters V.J. Beachem and Steve Vasturia after the 2016-17 season. Harvey is ranked No. 42 nationally by Rivals. — Matt Jones Demetrius Jackson signed a three-year, $5.5-mil- lion contract after the Boston Celtics selected him 45th overall in June's NBA Draft. PHOTO BY JOE RAYMOND

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