InsideNDSports - Niagara guard Marcus Hammond commits to graduate transfer to Notre Dame
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Niagara guard Marcus Hammond commits to graduate transfer to Notre Dame

Niagara's Marcus Hammond drives past Ohio State's Meechie Johnson in an 84-74 victory for the Buckeyes on Nov 12, 2021.
Niagara's Marcus Hammond drives past Ohio State's Meechie Johnson in an 84-74 victory for the Buckeyes on Nov 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Phil Long)

Five-star signee J.J. Starling won't be the only new guard on the Notre Dame men's basketball roster next season. Marcus Hammond, a graduate transfer from Niagara, announced Monday a commitment to join the Irish for his final season of eligibility.

The 6-foot-3, 173-pound Hammond led Niagara in scoring last season with 18.1 points per game while shooting 43% from the field, 37% from 3 and 83.1% from the free-throw line. The senior also averaged 4.7 rebounds and 2.9 assists. Niagara finished the 2021-22 season with a 14-16 overall record and a 9-11 conference record in the MAAC.

Hammond, who visited Notre Dame last weekend, became a full-time starter at Niagara as a sophomore, when he led the Purple Eagles in scoring with 14.3 points per game. His scoring averaged dropped to 12.7 as the team's second-leading scorer in the 2020-21 season.

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The status of everyone who will be returning from Notre Dame's 2021-22 roster hasn't been completely settled, but the outlook has become a bit clearer in recent weeks. Graduate senior forward Paul Atkinson Jr. and senior guard Prentiss Hubb will not be returning.

Freshman guard Blake Wesley and senior forward Nate Laszewski are continuing to go through the pre-NBA Draft process, though they retain the right to withdraw until June 13. Wesley will likely stay in the draft. Laszewski's decision is less obvious.

Senior guard Dane Goodwin publicly announced Friday his plan to return next season. Head coach Mike Brey previously suggested senior guard Cormac Ryan would be returning next season as well.

Only one player from last year's roster has entered the transfer portal: walk-on guard Elijah Morgan, who played only 14 minutes as a junior last season. Any other players will need to enter the transfer portal by May 1 if they intend to play immediately next season at their new destination.

Notre Dame had six other scholarship players on the roster last season who weren't mentioned above: senior guards Trey Wertz and Robby Carmody, sophomore guard Tony Sanders Jr., sophomore forwards Elijah Taylor and Matt Zona and freshman guard J.R. Konieczny.

The Irish will add three incoming freshmen who signed with the Irish in November: Starling and four-star forwards Ven-Allen Lubin and Dominick Campbell. Starling (No. 21) and Lubin (No. 44) are two of the five highest-ranked recruits to sign with Notre Dame since Rivals started ranking recruits in 2002.

Notre Dame will continue to pursue other transfer portal options as well. The Irish also hosted Wright State forward Grant Basile for a visit this past weekend. The 6-9, 225-pound Basile averaged 18.4 points and 8.5 rebounds last season.

The NCAA scholarship limit for men's basketball is 13.

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