Our last post in the player profile series was a look at one of Mike Brey’s most promising recruits in D.J. Harvey. Next, let’s look at one of Brey’s most trusted veterans, and the most important part of the Irish backcourt this season.
Matt Farrell emerged during the second Elite Eight run for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in as many seasons in 2016. After starting his sophomore season on the bench, his court vision and ball security made him a valuable asset in March. Now, after breaking out in his junior season and making himself a strong candidate for Comeback Player of the Year, Farell will look to lead the Irish offense and form a devastating scoring duo with Bonzie Colson in the 2017-18 season.
3 Things to Know About Matt Farrell:
- Farrell’s first four career starts came in the NCAA Tournament, helping lead the Irish back to the Elite Eight in 2016
- Farrell’s late-game heroics against Northwestern last November earned him MVP honors in the Legends Classic Tournament. A wild and-one layup sealed a close victory for the Irish against the Wildcats at the Barclays Center
- He also saved some of his best play for the 2017 ACC Tournament, earning a spot on the ACC All-Tournament First Team and almost led the Irish to their second conference tournament championship in three years
YouTube Hot Fire:
Farrell has shined in plenty of tournament games, but this play was simply brilliant, and is broken down perfectly in this video:
I, RyChi, Dub Thee:
In the first entry of Farrell’s new wizarding book series, he earns the title “Matt Farrell and the Sorcerer’s Steal”
There’s not much to debate or dissect here. Farrell will orchestrate the Irish offense and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him on the floor for 35 minutes a game this season. Farrell will be an important veteran presence for backcourt partner T.J. Gibbs this season, who will be looking to make a similar jump as a junior that Farrell enjoyed last year.
Farrell’s offensive statistics skyrocketed across the board last year, and the Irish will need more of the same this year as they face a tough schedule, especially in conference play. Brey will be looking for Farrell to be more aggressive with his shot as well, particularly from beyond the arc. The Irish lost a pair of deep shooters in V.J. Beachem and Steve Vasturia, so Farrell will need to take on some of the shooting workload they left behind. Farrell shot 42 percent from three last season, and is more than capable of the job. Not to mention he and Colson will be one of the best one-two punches in the country this season on the offensive end.