Iowa State v Notre Dame

2014 power forward Martin Geben verbally commits to Notre Dame

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With Jack Cooley having graduated and Tom Knight and Garrick Sherman both being seniors, Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey could have used a win on the recruiting trail when it comes to adding to the front court rotation. The Fighting Irish heard the news they were hoping for on Friday, as 6-9 power forward Martin Geben has verbally committed to attend Notre Dame.

The news was first reported by Jeff Borzello of Geben’s decision to commit to Notre Dame comes one week after he took his official visit to the school, and he’s their first commitment in the 2014 class.

Originally a native of Lithuania, Geben attends St. Maria Goretti in Hagerstown, Md. In addition to playing with the Team Takeover AAU program this summer Geben represented his native country in the FIBA Under-19 World Championships, posting averages of 5.9 points and 5.1 rebounds per game (53.2% FG) on a Lithuanian squad that won the bronze medal.

In 2014 Notre Dame will have, in addition to Geben, Zach Auguste, Austin Burgett (both sophomores this season), current redshirt freshman Eric Katenda and current true freshman Austin Torres in the front court. Notre Dame has a few more spots to fill, with Knight, Sherman and point guard Eric Atkins out of eligibility after the 2013-14 season. The school lists guard Jerian Grant as a senior, but he does have another season of eligibility remaining due to the fact that he redshirted in 2010-11.

Illinois’ injury woes continue as starting center needs knee surgery

George Niang,Abdel Nader,Mike Thorne, Jr.
AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser
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Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.

Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.

Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.

The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.

John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.

NEW PODCAST: Recapping Feast Week

Kris Dunn
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.

For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.

Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.