INDIANAPOLIS | Scott Martin did everything he could to downplay any type of revenge storyline against Purdue on Saturday afternoon.
The sixth-year senior also did everything he could to lead Notre Dame to a 81-68 victory over the Boilermakers at the nightcap of the Crossroads Classic at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
The Valparaiso native knocked down a 3-pointer to start the game and took a defensive charge in the final moments. In between Martin had five points and eight rebounds in 33 hard-fought minutes against the Boilermakers.
Martin spent his freshman year at Purdue before transferring to Notre Dame for the rest of his career. Saturday represented the first time Martin took the floor against his former squad.
“It was just another game, one that was fun to be a part of with the atmosphere,” Martin said. “I don’t know any of the guys anymore, so there wasn’t anything really special about the game from that end.”
While Martin may not know any of the current players, he certainly understands Purdue coach Matt Painter and his tendencies. Notre Dame teammate Jack Cooley went out of his way to compliment Martin after the game for the help with preparation. Cooley had a team-high 18 points and nine rebounds.
“His pointers were really helpful for all of us,” Cooley said. “It’s just like in the NFL when you pick up a guy from the scout team right before you play the team. It was really helpful to have Scott in there.”
Notre Dame coach Mike Brey took his praise of Martin a step further when he remarked that the senior will go down as one of his favorite players to every take the floor under Brey’s guidance.
“I was really happy for him tonight,” Brey said. “He’s a veteran and he handled this like a man. He’s taking 3-pointers, taking charges, I mean, he’s 32 years old and in his eighth year of college or something. I’m really going to miss him. He’s going to be a heck of a coach someday.”
Martin and Painter briefly crossed paths in the handshake line after the game, but the pair didn’t have any conversations with each other. Painter didn’t engage in any nostalgic talk about Martin in a Purdue uniform, but he was highly complementary of the senior.
“He’s a good basketball player and he allows them to run their offense,” Painter said. “He’s always touching the ball and he just doesn’t turn it over. Scott is just an intelligent guy and you can’t have enough intelligent guys on the court.”