Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Basketball

Noise Doesn't Phase Pflueger

February 22, 2020

Rex Pflueger has heard and seen it all over the last five years. He's seen the highs and lows of being a basketball player, but also life.

The California native has always kept a smile on his face and came up big when his team needed him the most as he pulled down an offensive rebound to set up the game-winner against North Carolina earlier this week. 

"I've dealt with the hardest pressure of my life last year," said Pflueger. "I don't think there is anything that could phase me as much as that. I try to take things not too seriously and understand the severity of it. When we go into every single game, we know we have to play it like it's a championship game. 

"You have to be calm, cool and collected in a lot of situations. I'm happy our team did what we did down the stretch during the last game." 

The Notre Dame experience has also allowed Pflueger to grow as a person and player. 

"Here at Notre Dame, we have so many different personalities," explained Pflueger. "You absorb off of everybody. You get some of Dane's (Goodwin) calmness and lack of talking. Then you get TJ (Gibbs), who is exuberant in everything. Once you kind of get into this big melting pot of personalities, you start to understand to feel in certain situations."

Pflueger didn't admit it was nice to silence those in the fanbase who feel he shouldn't be on the court, but he credited his mindset for helping him make the significant play. 

"There's a lot of criticism around that, but it's nice a play like that was in that situation," Pflueger stated. "I feel like I try to make those plays every minute of the game. Realistically, I'm going to play my game and my idea of playing basketball is winning. That's my mentality always. I try to do the little things and get my team going. I want to make sure we're in the best position to win at the end of the game." 

The negative chirps on Twitter are seen, but they don't have an impact.

In fact, Pflueger is simply tired of seeing the same negativity and it doesn't impact his game. 

"I've heard it so many times and so much from everyone," laughed Pflueger. "I think that is the point. I am tired of it. I've heard everything. People have said everything to me, so nothing can affect me too much." 

The win over North Carolina might not be as big as in some years, but for Notre Dame, it was a timely win.

"That's what I love about our group," stated Pflueger. "We got our butts kicked at Duke, but we knew we had another opportunity. No matter how bad you lose or how great you win, there is always another game coming soon." 

Pflueger is more than aware his time at Notre Dame is quickly coming to a close and wants to make his presence felt in every way over the final five games.

"I'm trying to take in every moment like it's my last knowing it comes to an end soon," said Pflueger. "I've got three more home games, so I'm going to enjoy every single one of them. I'm going to try to do it with a smile on my face." 

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