ORLANDO, Fla. -- Quick hitters from coaches in Orlando last week:
• If Notre Dame reaches the NCAA tournament for a second straight season, it will be because Purdue transfer Scott Martin makes a major impact.
Notre Dame coach Mike Brey is heaping high praise on Martin, a redshirt junior guard (senior academically) who missed all of last season after tearing the ACL in his left knee. Martin didn't play the previous season while sitting out after his transfer from Purdue. He started 32 of 34 games for the Boilermakers as a freshman and was the fourth-leading scorer on the team (8.5 points per game).
Howard Smith/US PresswireNotre Dame coach Mike Brey says forward Scott Martin's offensive game will be tough to stop.
To ensure that Martin gets some quality run this summer, he'll be off later this week with some fellow college players on a tour that will go to Belgium and France.
Brey said Martin's offensive game will be tough to stop. The 6-foot-8 forward has a step-out game with plenty of ability to hit the midrange shot.
The Irish should be able to score with Martin replacing Luke Harangody's production (or at least that's the plan) in addition to 6-8 forward Tim Abromaitis, 6-3 guard Ben Hansbrough and forwards Tyrone Nash and Carleton Scott.
If you're looking to predict the Irish's finish within the Big East, expect Notre Dame to be in a second-tier group that likely will consist of Connecticut, St. John's, Marquette, Seton Hall and Louisville behind a first-tier group of Pitt, Villanova, Syracuse, Georgetown and West Virginia. The Irish have more than enough to be atop their group and challenge for an NCAA tournament bid.
• Brey confirmed that ND, Purdue, Indiana and Butler are working on scheduling a doubleheader in Indianapolis (at either Conseco Fieldhouse or Lucas Oil Stadium) for the 2011 or 2012 season. Indiana obviously can't play Purdue because both are in the Big Ten, but other combinations could work.
• Harangody, the Boston Celtics' second-round pick in the NBA draft, went back to Notre Dame's camp and showed why he has a great chance to make the squad: his work ethic. Check out the good speech he gave to the campers about a player who was never coddled.
• Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury said the school likely will find out later this month whether Dee Bost wins his appeal to play when the fall semester starts. Bost declared for the NBA draft but failed to withdraw his name by the new May 8 deadline. He told Stansbury that he didn't realize the new deadline or at least thought he could go through the draft unselected and still return to school, but that rule had been rescinded.
Bost would be the Bulldogs' lead guard if he returned. He averaged 13 points and 5.2 assists per game last season. The Bulldogs will lose Bost's experience if he doesn't return, but it isn't like they have no replacements. Stansbury is banking on major contributions from point guard Brian Bryant and shooting guard Jalen Steele. Meanwhile, Stansbury is anticipating that Renardo Sidney will be in shape and ready to be a force inside once he's eligible after the first nine games.
• BYU coach Dave Rose, who continues to be a medical marvel after winning his battle with a cancerous pancreatic tumor last year, will speak in front of Congress in Washington in late September to promote cancer-research funding.
• Rose's biggest coup in scheduling remains his ability to get the Cougars into the Wooden Classic next season against UCLA. BYU has coveted a game against the Bruins regardless of venue. Playing UCLA on a neutral court in Anaheim is a major victory for Rose. BYU likely will be a bit jealous in 2012 -- and beyond -- when Utah gets UCLA on its Pac-10 schedule once it joins the Pac-12.
• Tennessee coach Bruce Pearl would still love to see the SEC tournament seeded 1 through 12 instead of its current format. As it stands, the West and East get treated equally with the top seeds on each side getting byes regardless of record. The coaches discussed this at their spring meetings but couldn't agree on a switch to propose to the athletic directors.
• A New York judge put off announcing potential damages against James Madison in the Marist versus JMU case after former Dukes coach Matt Brady broke his contract and left two years ago. The initial hearing was set for July 26 but was rescheduled for Thursday.
• One of the top three jobs in the Horizon League is still open. Illinois-Chicago athletic director James Schmidt is still pursuing a replacement for Jimmy Collins, who abruptly retired last month. The job has collected a lot of interest, and sources say top assistants -- Vince Taylor (Minnesota), Mark Montgomery (Michigan State), King Rice (Vanderbilt), Howard Moore (Wisconsin) -- all have a real shot. There is also potential interest from Matt Graves of Butler, Steve McClain of Indiana, Scott Spinelli of Texas A&M and head coach Jeff Neubauer of Eastern Kentucky. UIC needs a coach who knows Chicago well. The facilities are among the top three in the Horizon (everyone is behind Butler's Hinkle Fieldhouse), and the proximity to talent might be No. 1.