Despite having three potential scholarships available, it took a long time for Mike Brey, Anthony Solomon, and the rest of the Notre Dame coaching staff to get a commitment to their class of 2014, but they've finally got one. Forward Martin Geben (Hagerstown, MD - St. Maria Goretti) is listed at 6'9" and 230 pounds and fills a major need in the Irish frontcourt.
Geben, not a real fan of the recruiting process, was reportedly won over after his visit to South Bend over the weekend of Aug. 30th-Sept. 1st. Both his parents made the trip from native Lithuania; it was his mother's first trip to the United States and his father's second. The visit was a home run for all involved to finally secure Geben's commitment.
The Irish went right into ACC territory to get Geben out of Maryland, where he plays high school and AAU ball. They beat out conference foes Maryland, Miami, Georgia Tech, and especially Virginia for his services. He also had offers from the likes of Marquette, Xavier, Temple, and Villanova.
Recruiting Service Rankings:
ESPN - 3 star, NR nationally, #42 PF, 76 rating
Rivals - 4 star, #98 nationally, #20 PF
Scout - 4 star, NR nationally, #15 C
247 - 4 star, #104 nationally, #22 PF, 92 rating
247 Composite - 4 star, #131 nationally, #30 PF, .9037 rating
Martinas Geben Basketball Highlights - Class of 2014 - National High School Hoops Festival (via CityLeagueHoopsTV3)
There are more Youtube highlights of Geben's AAU Team Takeover that feature him prominently as well.
Geben will likely come in ready to contribute off the bench as a freshman. He is exactly the type of 4 that Brey wants in the ACC, as he can spread the floor as a shooter but still bang around inside for points and boards. Brey is very high on this kid, as he basically followed around Geben's AAU team this summer, and with a thin depth chart in the frontcourt after this season, I think it's very likely that Geben sees significant minutes early and often.
Honestly, I don't think it takes very long before Geben is a starter, unless there is a transfer that materializes later to bring in a veteran. With only Zach Auguste and Austin Torres as post players and Austin Burgett as a possible stretch 4, there just is not a whole lot of competition, especially for someone this staff thinks so highly of already. I think the Rob Kurz comparisons are apt, and if he is anything like the former Irish captain, he will be a very valuable part of some (hopefully) deep ACC and NCAA tournament runs. I think Geben starts by his sophomore season, and while he may never be a star, he can do very well for himself and the Irish by being the type of do-everything big man that Kurz was. Like Kurz, there may even be an NBA future in it for him.
Welcome to Notre Dame, Martin!