April 11, 2016
The University of Notre Dame men’s basketball team capped off its 2015-16 season with the annual ‘Evening With Notre Dame Basketball’ event on Monday, April 11. The event featured a two-hour open house during which Irish basketball fans met the coaching staff and each player as they tour the basketball facilities, followed by an awards ceremony and the unveiling of the final team highlight video for the season.
Senior Zach Auguste and junior Demetrius Jackson were both named the team’s Most Valuable Player during the awards ceremony. Jackson was also named the team’s ‘Outstanding Playmaker.’ Junior V.J. Beachem earned the ‘Most Improved Player’ award, junior Steve Vasturia nabbed the ‘Defensive Player of the Year’ nod and sophomore Martinas Geben was named the Knute Rockne Student-Athlete Awardwinner.
Auguste finished off his time at Notre Dame in 2015-16 playing the best basketball of his collegiate career. He ended the season with a career-high 14.0 points-per-game average, led the ACC in rebounding average (10.7 per game) and compiled 22 double-doubles during the season.
A third-team all-ACC selection, Auguste scored in double-figures in 11 straight games during a key stretch of the schedule when the Irish secured their spot in the NCAA tournament. One of his signature performances included a 19-point, 22-rebound effort against Duke in the ACC Championship quarterfinal, becoming the first Irish player to grab over 20 rebounds in an ACC game. He also scored a season-high 24 points in his final game in Purcell Pavilion against NC State on March 5.
Jackson, who has declared his eligibility for the 2016 NBA Draft, earned both the team MVP award and the team’s ‘Outstanding Playmaker’ award. It is the second straight season Jackson has been named the team’s top playmaker. He led the team in scoring (15.8 ppg), assists (164, 4.7 per game) and steals (43, 1.2 per game) and was a second-team all-ACC selection.
Jackson cemented his legacy in Irish basketball history against Wisconsin in the NCAA regional semifinal come-from-behind victory with six points and two steals in the final 19 seconds, pushing Notre Dame to its second consecutive NCAA Elite Eight. He was named to the NCAA East Regional All-Tournament Team.
Beachem’s selection as the team’s Most Improved Player follows his memorable performance in the 2016 postseason. Named to the NCAA East Regional All-Tournament Team, Beachem was one of the top players in the entire NCAA tournament, scoring 70 points (17.5 per game average) and shooting .429 (12-28) from three point range in four NCAA tournament games.
For the season, Beachem doubled his scoring output (5.9 to 12.0) and rebounding average (1.4 to 3.9) from his sophomore season while starting all 36 contests for the Irish.
Vasturia earned his second straight defensive player of the year award Monday evening. Routinely assigned to guard the best offensive player on the opposing team, Vasturia finished fifth in the ACC in minutes played per game (36.1) while also scoring a career-high 11.4 points per game.
Geben earned minutes in 16 games this season, while focusing on his development on and off the court to take on an increased role with the team in 2016-17. He also put in top effort in the Mendoza College of Business where he is working toward a major in management consulting, earning the team’s Knute Rockne Student-Athlete Award.