April 16, 2014
NOTRE DAME, ind. – It’s no secret that Notre Dame men’s basketball coach Mike Brey has an affinity for guard play. A guard himself during his collegiate playing days, Brey has had a knack during his 14-year tenure on the Irish sidelines for developing some of the program’s most accomplished players at that position.
Brey can now add another name to the long list of talented guards who have played for him as Matt Farrell, a 6-2, 170-pound guard out of Point Pleasant Beach, N.J., has signed a National Letter of Intent during the spring signing period. He is set to become part of the University of Notre Dame men’s basketball program in the fall of 2014 and will join frontline players Bonzie Colson (6-6, 200 pounds, New Bedford, Mass.) and Martin Geben (6-9, 230 pounds, Vilnius, Lithuania) as members of the Fighting Irish Class of 2018. Colson and Geben inked their national letters of intent during the early signing period in November.
“I’m thrilled that Matt Farrell is joining our basketball program,” Brey says. “I love watching him play; I have flashbacks of Kyle McAlarney (2005-09) when I watch Matt play. He’s extremely skilled and has a tremendous worth ethic. And like Kyle, was when he was a player here, Matt is really a gym rat and has a great feel for the game.
“Our three incoming players really compliment each other. Matt, Bonzie and Martin will each have an impact for us next season.”
A four-year member of the boys’ varsity basketball team at Point Pleasant Beach High School, Farrell finished his school’s career assist leader (545) and second all-time leading scorer (1.431). He also grabbed 307 rebounds and made 331 steals during his scholastic career. Farrell owns career averages of 13.1 points, 5.0 assists, 3.0 steals and 2.8 rebounds. He also shot 54.1 percent from the field, 41.9 percent from three-point range (71 career three pointers) and 79.0 percent from the free-throw line.
A first-team all-state selection as a senior, the two-time first team all-Shore Conference selection averaged career-bests of 19.5 points, 5.9 assists, 3.0 steals and 3.8 rebounds in 2013-14 while leading his prep team to the state semifinals. His Point Pleasant Beach prep squad finished with a 29-2 record en route to its first Shore Conference Tournament championship and it’s second consecutive New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Central New Jersey Group 1 title.
Farrell, who helped his squad to a 37-3 home record from 2011-14 that included a string of 30 consecutive home wins, had one of his best outings of the ’13-’14 campaign, in the Shore Conference Tournament championship tilt as he netted 15 of his game-high 25 points to lift his top-seeded squad to the 49-41 victory over second-seed Christian Brothers on March 1. A two-time all-division selection and player-of-the-year honoree, Farrell was the first-ever unanimous recipient of the Kerwin Award, an honor selected by the Shore Conference coaches and presented annually to the league’s top player.
Regarded as one of the state of New Jersey’s top point guards, Farrell also guided his team to two divisional championships and two sectional crowns during his prep career. Among his other honors was his selection as a first-team all-state honoree by the New Jersey Star-Ledger as a senior. Farrell also was a first team all-metro selection that included players from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. He earned Ocean County player-of-the-year accolades twice and was earned first-team all-Group One recognition on two occasions.
Farrell averaged double-figure scoring in each of his final three seasons. As a junior, he netted 15.1 points, dished off 6.7 assists, made 4.2 steals and grabbed 3.0 rebounds. Farrell also shot a blistering 62.9 percent from the field (151-240). During he sophomore campaign, he finished with 11.7 points, 4.3 assists, 2.5 points and 2.2 steals.
“Matt is a natural fit for our program because of his feel for the game,” Brey says. “He’s got an edge about him when he plays, kind of like Kyle (McAlarney) and Ben (Hansbrough) did when they were here and has a burst of speed off the dribble. He plays with a great deal of confidence, has a high basketball IQ and gives us another ball-handler in the backcourt.”