Nov. 27, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Senior point guard Martin Ingelsby is no rookie.
Yet, numerous preseason publications viewed him as the question mark surrounding this year’s squad. Is he quick enough? Is his defense strong enough? Is his ball-handling ability good enough?
Well, the senior answered all those questions in Saturday’s game against Cincinnati. He racked up five points, five rebounds and eight assists. In 39 minutes of play, Ingelsby only turned the ball over once and earned his team a 69-51 victory.
“He did just a great job,” Brey said. “That is the way he has been since October 14. I really don’t even worry about that position.”
Ingelsby caused no concern for Brey as he calmly commanded the team to a “methodical” lead. He faced his toughest assignment thus far of the season in leading the team against the defense of Cincinnati’s Kenny Satterfield. The point guard, Satterfield, is touted as one of the nation’s premier players not only on offense but on defense as well.
“He did a solid job defensively,” Brey said. “It does not look like he can guard anybody but there he is taking a charge, there he is stripping a guy and there is getting a loose ball. His feel for the game always puts him in great position defensively.”
Notre Dame faced its toughest competition of the season thus far at the Wooden Tradition. The 14th-ranked Irish faced its first ranked competition of the season in the No. 16 Bearcats. Many viewed the game as Ingelsby’s first true test as the starter.
Brey has shown nothing but complete faith in the senior guard since day one.
“When I got the job at Notre Dame, I was relieved when I knew that I had a senior guard there,” Brey said. “He is 22 years old and has played a lot of college basketball. I slept a lot better knowing that he was there.”
This season Ingelsby returned as the starter with the graduation of last year’s point guard Jimmy Dillon. Ingelsby lost his starting job last season after the seventh game of the season. It proved a tough pill for the guard to swallow.
He went from averaging 27 minutes in the 1998-’99 season to averaging less than 15 minutes per game in the 1999-’00 season. Ingelsby may get more minutes than any other player on this year’s team. In just three games, Ingelsby has proven he deserves his starting role, racking up 29 points and 25 assists.
The biggest question still lies at the point guard position. However, it does not rest with Ingelsby but with who is behind him. Brey admits that he must development freshman Torrian Jones rapidly to get Ingelsby some rest.
He knows that for the team to have a successful season they can not expect its starting point guard to play the full 40 minutes, even if it is a veteran like Ingelsby.