On Saturday, Notre Dame basketball got some good news: Rex Pflueger, who was lost for the season with a knee injury, will return to play for Mike Brey next season.
While Saturday was a tough day for Notre Dame basketball, some good news was revealed during the broadcast. ACC Network color commentator Mike Gminski made comment that Rex Pflueger is enrolling in graduate school at Notre Dame and will be returning next year for a fifth season in South Bend.
Pflueger, who was lost to a torn ACL during the December 15th game against Purdue, will be a pivotal piece again next season. Notre Dame’s expectations should be high as they are set to return every key player from this year’s squad.
Pflueger, who was averaging career highs in points, rebounds, assists and steals this year, tweeted out a confirmation shortly after the Syracuse game concluded.
Pflueger had a tough start to the 2018-19 season, but had turned it around right before the injury. He had set his career high in points 3 weeks prior to going down. Long considered as more of a “glue guy” during his time in college basketball, he was being leaned on as more of a scorer this season. In his five games prior to the injury he averaged 9.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 2 steals and was shooting 60% from behind the arc.
TJ Gibbs and John Mooney are still only juniors, so the Irish will have a nice rotation of senior leaders as well as talented underclassmen next year. This year’s freshman will also benefit from a year of experience before those expectations go sky among prognosticators and fans alike.
The Notre Dame recruiting class for 2019 is currently empty, but every player from the start of the 2018-19 season is set to return with the exception of Elijah Burns (Transfer to Siena) and Liam Nelligan, who has only appeared in 5 games this season.
This also means that the Notre Dame program will soon get back to the “get old, stay old” model that Mike Brey is so famous for building.