May 12, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Irish head coach Matt Doherty has taken steps to assure that last season’s successful run was not a fluke.
Besides revamping the program, Doherty coached the team to a successful season and taking them all the way to the NIT championship game.
A large part of the season’s success is due to All-American Troy Murphy. The Big East player of the year announced in early April that he would return for his junior season with the Irish. The forward led the league in scoring and rebounding.
“I think we can accomplish great things with this group and I look forward to a great year,” Murphy said at the April 7 press conference.
Murphy went against the trend of this year’s collegiate stars by opting to stay in school. All underclassmen have until May 14 to declare whether they will forego their eligibility and enter the NBA draft.
“The young man has turned down a million dollars. . . I think it says a lot about the way he feels about his teammates and this university that he’s decided to come back,” Doherty said.
Notre Dame’s starting line up will remain mostly in tact. The Irish will lose just three players to graduation. Point guard Jimmy Dillon will be the biggest void to fill for the Irish.
Doherty has tried to solidify his team’s chances for another successful year with his recruits. He received three early commitments in November from Chris Markwood, Torrian Jones and Tom Timmermans.
Markwood is a standout from South Portland High, who committed early to Notre Dame. He earned Mr. Maine basketball honors and USA Today Honorable Mention.
The 6-foot-5 guard chose Notre Dame over the likes of Maine, which heavily recruited him. Markwood cited Notre Dame’s participation in the Big East as one of his reasons for committing to the Irish.
With the point guard position open, Jones will contend for it. His toughest competition will come from Martin Ingelsby. The 6-foot-4 guard sat out several months of his senior year with a broken wrist. In his junior season, he shot 50.2 percent from the field. For the season he averaged 17 points per game.
Timmermans is 6-foot-11 center from the Netherlands. He attended Blue Ridge School in Dyke, Virginia. He averaged 12.5 points per game.
The Irish still have another scholarship offer to extend in the spring signing season. The season began in mid-April and lasts for a month. Doherty’s main concern rests with the point guard slot and trying to build added depth at the position.