Nov. 4, 2015

Notre Dame Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

No. 19/18 Notre Dame (0-0, 0-0) vs. Caldwell University (0-0, 0-0)
Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015
Site: Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center (9,149)
Game Time: 7 p.m. ET
Coverage: WatchND (Free)
Radio: Notre Dame Basketball Radio Network
Talent: Jack Nolan (Play-By-Play); LaPhonso Ellis (Analyst)

The Matchup

  • The game will serve as the first-ever meeting between the Fighting Irish and Cougars. It also marks the final of two exhibition contests for Notre Dame.

Scouting the Cougars

  • Caldwell head coach Mark Corino, who has complied a 426-355 record in 27 seasons at the helm of the program, led the Cougars to a 15-13 overall record last season.
  • The Cougars were recently picked to finish in fourth place in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference, as voted on by the 14 conference coaches.
  • Caldwell returns two of its top three scorers from the 2014-15 campaign, including seniors Dawan Lighty and Billy McDonald. Lighty averaged 15 ppg. and 2.4 rpg. last season, along with a team-best 24 steals. McDonald averaged 13.4 points and 4.2 rebounds, while shooting 49.1 percent from the field.

Last Time Out: Notre Dame 87, Saint Francis (IL) 56

  • The Irish returned to the Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center hardwood Friday, Oct. 30, recording an 87-56 win in exhibition play over the St. Francis Fighting Saints.
  • Twelve different Notre Dame players scored in the contest.
  • Sophomore Bonzie Colson, part of Notre Dame’s starting rotation, led the Irish with 12 points, while junior starters Demetrius Jackson and Steve Vasturia added 10 points each.
  • Sophomore Matt Farrell came off the bench to net 10 points and dish off four assists as he played 18 minutes in the contest.
  • Senior Zach Auguste, junior V.J. Beachem, Jackson, Vasturia and Colson, all earned starting nods in the exhibition opener.
  • As a unit, Notre Dame shot 49 percent (29-of-59) from the floor, including 38 percent (8-of-21) from 3-point range. The Irish outrebounded the Fighting Saints 45-23 and registered 17 assists. Notre Dame scored 25 points off 18 St. Francis turnovers.

ACC Preseason Honors

  • Notre Dame was selected to finish fourth in the 2015-16 Preseason ACC poll, according to a vote of the media in attendance at ACC Operation Basketball. Fighting Irish junior guard Demetrius Jackson was named to the Preseason All-ACC first team, while senior forward Zach Auguste was a second-team selection.

Irish Nationally Ranked in Both AP and Coaches Polls

  • Coaches voting in the 2015-16 USA Today Coaches Poll selected the Fighting Irish in the No. 18 spot nationally in the preseason rankings, announced Nov. 2.
  • Notre Dame is ranked No. 19 in the Associated Press preseason poll (Nov. 2).

Welcome to the Team

  • Mike Brey and his coaching staff have added four student-athletes – Elijah Burns (Troy, New York), Chad Holtz (Ruston, Louisiana), Rex Pflueger (Dana Point, California) and Matt Ryan (Cortland Manor, New York) – to the Irish roster this season.
  • Elijah Burns, a 6-9, 234-pound forward from Troy, New York, spent three years at LaSalle Institute before transferring to Blair Academy in Blairstown, New Jersey where he played two years. Burns averaged 14.0 ppg., 9.0 rpg., and 5.9 apg., while leading Blair Academy to a 19-7 record and Mid-Atlantic Prep League championship.
  • Chad Holtz, a 6-5, 198-pound forward from Ruston, Louisiana, joins sophomore Matt Gregory as one of two walk-ons on the Irish roster. Holtz led Jesuit High School in Tampa, Florida to a 22-7 record in his senior season, serving as team captain.
  • Rex Pflueger, a 6-6, 198-pound shooting guard from Dena Point, California, was named Orange County Register Player of the Year after leading Mater Dei High School in scoring (17.0 ppg.), assists (3.4 apg.) and steals (3.0 spg.) during his final scholastic season. A two-time captain at Mater Dei, Pflueger enters Notre Dame as a four-star recruit.
  • Matt Ryan, a 6-8, 217-pound forward from Cortland Manor, New York, was named Mr. New York Basketball in 2015 following his senior campaign at Iona Prep, averaging 20.0 ppg., 8.0 rpg. And 5.0 apg. for the Gaels. A pure and skilled shooter, Ryan scored more than 1,000 points during his prep career.