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Notre Dame Basketball: What We Learned - Virginia Tech

The Irish keep fighting, but the results don’t show.

NCAA Basketball: Virginia Tech at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

1. The Irish Will Be Better Off Because Of This Tough Stretch

Though the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are severely undermanned and lack a scoring punch without Bonzie Colson and Matt Farrell, they scrap and somehow keep themselves in ball games. They are quietly building a toughness in players like T.J. Gibbs, John Mooney and Rex Pflueger. While he is probably not ready to take over and make it his team, Gibbs is getting a pretty good audition at being thee guy for the Irish. This adversity is going help Gibbs and the Irish next season. I’d bet pretty good money on it too.

2. I Feel Bad For Marty Geben

Geben is playing the best basketball of his career, and it is kind of going to wayside because the Irish keep on losing. In conference play he’s averaging 12.2 PPG and 10.6 RPG. He’s leaps and bounds better on offense and on the boards. If you told me four years ago he’d morph into the player is he right now, I would have never believed you. I really wish his strong play would be helping the Irish, but without Colson and Farrell wins are few and far between right now.

3. Will Pflueger Ever Make The Jump Offensively?

With guys like V.J. Beachem and Steve Vasturia departing from last year’s team, we all knew that a handful of guys would need to step up offensively. Gibbs has, Geben has, and the other guy everyone thought would take the next step was Rex Pflueger. Thus far, he hasn’t. He’s averaging just 8.7 PPG and shooting 37% from the field and just 33% from the three. Before his 15 point “outburst” on Saturday night, Pflueger had scored just 15 points in his previous four games. It’ll be interesting to see if Pflueger can build any type of momentum offensively, as the Irish head into the final stretch of the season.

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Posted by One Foot Down - For Notre Dame Fighting Irish fans on Saturday, January 27, 2018