Sept. 15, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame forwards Tim Abromaitis (Unionville, Conn.) and Scott Martin (Valparaiso, Ind.) will serve as captains for the 2011-12 men’s basketball season. Abromaitis and Martin are the lone returning starters from last season’s squad that is coming off of a 27-7 campaign and second-place BIG EAST regular-season finish after matching the best mark in program history with a 14-4 record. The 27 wins a year ago were the most in the modern era for an Irish team.
“I’m excited that we have these two guys leading our group this season,” says Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey. “They are going to be great voices in our locker room for the younger players and will help us early on in the season as we look to create our identity. They’re two guys who have a tremendous work ethic and great understanding of our basketball program and what it takes for us to be successful.
“Tim was a captain for us a year ago and I am certain that he will have even greater impact this year over our group. After not playing for two seasons prior to last year, Scott really started to become an important piece of the puzzle for us and played extremely well down the stretch, especially at the BIG EAST Tournament. After all that he has gone through, our players have a tremendous amount of respect for him and how he has gone about his business here at Notre Dame.”
Abromaitis, who returns for a fifth season with the Irish program after not seeing action during the 2008-09 campaign, becomes the first two-time captain since Rob Kurz (he served as a captain for both the 2006-07 and 2007-08 campaigns) and the 19th different player in program history to serve as a captain for more than one season.
Abromaitis was a member of the 2011 USA Men’s Basketball World University Games Team that traveled to Shenzen, China for the August competition. The USA squad earned a fifth-place finish while registering a tournament-best 7-1 mark. Over the course of the eight games, he averaged 6.4 points and 4.3 rebounds and started three contests.
Abromaitis was one of three players a year ago to start all 34 games. He finished as the team’s second-leading scorer and rebounder as he averaged 15.4 points and a career-best 6.1 rebounds. The 6-8, 235-pound forward has scored in double figures in 57 games during his Irish career and reached the 20-plus point mark on 21 occasions. Abromaitis scored a season-high 30 points in Notre Dame’s win over Villanova this past season that marked his third 30-plus point outing of his career. He became the 51st player in school history to reach the 1,000-point mark for his career.
A third team all-BIG EAST selection in 2011, he was named MVP of the Old Spice Classic in November 2010 after leading his team to the tournament crown in Orlando, Fla. In addition, he was a third team all-BIG EAST selection after averaging 14.7 points and 5.4 rebounds in conference play.
Abromaitis was the BIG EAST Scholar Athlete of the Year in both 2010 and 2011 and received the league’s Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Award each of the last two years. He also was named to the Capital One Academic All-America first team for men’s basketball each of the past two seasons. Abromaitis graduated from Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business with a degree in finance in May 2010 and earned his MBA in May 2011 after being enrolled in an intensified one-year MBA program during the 2010-11 school year. He also became the third player in BIG EAST history to earn the Conference’s Scholar Athlete of the Year in back-to-back seasons.
Heading into his final season with the Irish, Abromaitis has scored 1,109 points for a 13.7 career scoring average.
After sitting out two seasons (2008-09 due to NCAA transfer rule 2009-10 with an ACL injury), following his transfer from Purdue in June of 2008, Martin played in all but one game last season and earned starts in all 33 contests while averaging 9.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 30.5 minutes. The 6-8, 219-pound forward reached double figures in 19 contests and scored a career-high 21 points (the first 20-plus point outing of his career) in Notre Dame’s loss to Louisville in the semifinals of the BIG EAST Championship. He registered his first career double-double against Marquette (10 points, 11 rebounds) on Jan. 20, 2011 and dished off a career-high six assists versus Syracuse on Jan. 1, 2011. Martin was named to the BIG EAST Championship All-Tournament Team after averaging 16.2 points and 5.5 rebounds in Notre Dame’s win over Cincinnati and loss to the Cardinals.
Abromaitis, Martin and their Irish teammates will be in search of a sixth consecutive 20-win campaign in 2011-12 when they open up the campaign against Mississippi Valley State on Saturday, Nov. 12. The last time a Notre Dame team won 20-plus games in six consecutive campaigns was from the 1983-84 season until 1988-89 campaign.