Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Basketball

Rex Pflueger Out For The Year

December 17, 2018

Notre Dame and head coach Mike Brey knew this season would be an uphill challenge as 2018-19 was clearly a youth movement. 

Things got tougher this weekend as senior captain Rex Pflueger tore his ACL and will be out for the remainder of the year. 

Pflueger issued a statement on Instagram:

“First of all, I want to thank everyone who has reached out to me with kind words and positivity for both my family and myself! I am saddened to find out that I did in fact tear my ACL in our last game against Purdue… But at least I didn’t break any bones so that’s awesome lol. This is just one of life’s crazy tests that I have prepared myself for with the loving help of my family and my friends. I will continue to cheer and push my Notre Dame family to not only compete but to dominate for the rest of the season. We have an incredible group of players who will pick up right where we left off last game. I will not let this injury affect the person I am and will continue to stay positive for better times to come! Thank you Irish Nation.”

The injury to the Dana Point (Calif.) native had to be super frustrating as Pflueger was playing his best ball of the season. In his final game against Purdue on Saturday, the 6-foot-6 guard scored seven points and recorded a career-high 10 assists. 

“You develop a close relationship with your guys when you have them for four years,” Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey said in a statement. “Rex Pflueger is like a son to me. I’m extremely disappointed he won’t be able to continue this season. He has been an unbelievable winner and leader for us. He has continually helped me endorse our culture here at Notre Dame. I look forward to him continuing to lead and giving me  great feedback the rest of the season." 

Notre Dame was already down forward Elijah Burns (Transfer to Siena) and freshman guard Robby Carmody (shoulder surgery), so this puts even more pressure on Brey and his young squad. 

Pflueger was averaging 8.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists a game. Combined with his leadership on the floor, it won’t be easy to replace the intangibles Pflueger brought to the table. 

Freshman guard Dane  Goodwin will likely step into a more significant role with Pflueger gone for the year. The  Upper Arlington (Ohio) native enters Tuesday’s game against Binghamton averaging 5.8 points and 2.9 rebounds in 17.9 minutes a night. Junior Nik Djogo could also see a return to the floor after finding himself out of the rotation over the first 10 games. 

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