Football season is in full swing, but let’s not forget that basketball is fast approaching, and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are sure to be contenders again in the ACC this year. So let’s get started with our player profile series!
First up, we have the team’s best on-ball defender and best hairdo in junior guard Rex Pflueger. Despite averaging just 21 minutes per game, Pflueger was still able to average 0.9 steals per game and 1.1 blocks per game. Pflueger was Mike Brey’s go-to man when he needed some defensive energy off the bench, and he should expect more of the same this season, except in a starting role. An added bonus would be an uptick in offensive production.
3 Things to Know About Rex Pflueger:
- He can jump over three players and dunk while wearing a sick green uniform. Seriously, go watch last year’s uniform reveal.
- Like VJ Beachem in 2016, Pflueger experienced a tough time at the free throw line last season, shooting 66% from the charity stripe. Beachem was able to fix his free throw stroke in his final year with the Irish, so hopefully Pflueger can do the same.
- Pflueger was an ESPN Top-100 recruit out of the southern California area, and was the 2015 Southern California Player of the Year.
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D-Rex Pflueger, dinosaur of defense.
We know Pflueger will be heavily relied on to shut down the dangerous group of guards in the ACC, but it would greatly help the Irish if he can continue his upward trend in three-point shooting. With Matt Ryan transferring and Beachem graduating, Brey has lost a sharp shooter that can come off the bench and provide a hot hand. Pflueger will likely be a starter, but can he pick up some of the deep shooting that Ryan and Beachem left behind?
Pflueger shot 40% from beyond the arc last year, good for fourth best on the team. Ryan was the most efficient deep shooter in terms of percentage, so a further improved shooting display from Pflueger this season will go a long way in keeping the Irish offense among the best in the country, while still doing his thing on the other end of the floor.