Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Official Athletics Website

Notre Dame Men's Basketball... What They Are Saying

Oct. 13, 2017

As the 2017-18 college basketball season tip off closes in on the calendar, national pundits, analysts and web sites have started to release preseason predictions. It is safe to say that the University of Notre Dame basketball team and its players have been among the most talked about over the past two weeks.

Here is a quick recap of the accolades, rankings and mentions the Fighting Irish have earned…

2017-18 Notre Dame Fighting Irish

National Rankings

4th (ESPN BPI)

14th (USA Today)
“Charles Barkley clone Bonzie Colson is staying in South Bend for one more season and he’ll be a national player of the year candidate following an underappreciated junior campaign that saw him average 17.8 points and 10.1 rebounds a game. Also returning is point guard Matt Farrell (14.1 ppg, 5.4 apg), who coach Mike Brey, a former Duke assistant, said is better than Bobby Hurley. Those two will position the Irish for great things in 2017-18 with the inside-out game, with other glue guys filling in.”

16th (The Athletic – Pay Site)

16th (The Sporting News)
“The Irish have two very important pieces for an NCAA Tournament squad -a reliable double-double guy in the paint (senior Bonzie Colson) and a reliable veteran handling the basketball (Matt Farrell). Sure, they’ll miss scorers Steve Vasturia and V.J. Beachem (they combined to average 27.6 per game), but the cupboard isn’t bare in South Bend. Far from it.”

18th (Fan Rag Sports)

19th (Blue Ribbion Basketball Yearbook)

19th (SBNation)

22nd (NBC Sports College Basketball Talk)

Team Features

Fan Rag Sports – Mike Brey Believes Notre Dame’s Defense Is Improved

Blue and Gold Illustrated – Notre Dame Basketball Might Have Slight Identity Adjustment

Irish Insider – Basketball Milestone Awaits Mike Brey – Who Are The High-Major Coaches Who Don’t Break The Rules?

On Notre Dame’s Mike Brey …

  • “Brey and his staff seem to target a certain type of kid. They’re not usually surprising you with anything. They just target a certain type of kid, get him and win with him. You don’t hear any funny-business. We’ve recruited against them. And we’ve lost players to them. But I’ve never thought it was because they cheated to get something done.”
  • “He really does do everything the right way. There’s not even a hint or a sniff about improper doings, and you just, quite frankly, don’t get that with a lot of people. With a lot of guys we talk about, ‘You have to go ‘Hmmm … ‘ when something happens. And it’s almost all the big names too. But not with Brey.”
  • “I could either go with Brey or Beilein … but I’m going with Brey. I think he does it right. I’d actually be shocked if he didn’t.”

Senior | F | Bonzie Colson

Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook – Preseason National Player of the Year

Athlon – First Team Preseason All-American
“A bona fide monster inside who continues to develop as an outside threat. The long-armed 6’6″ center averaged 17.8 points and 10.1 rebounds in Mike Brey’s spacing-oriented scheme last year. He’s also a sneaky good defender due to his quickness, strength and active hands.”

Sports Illustrated – Player of the Year Challenger
“Colson has a remarkable tendency to simultaneously impress and confound viewers. He gets buckets, he cleans the glass, he blocks shots, he gets to the free throw line, and he does all of those things really well, but it’s not entirely clear how he pulls it all off in a husky 6′ 6”, 224-pound frame. Our system favors three ACC teams over Notre Dame entering the season, so Colson may need to offset his team’s performance with individual brilliance to some degree. That shouldn’t be too much to ask of him, given his track record of efficient, high-volume scoring and productive rebounding. He’ll be the more valuable half of arguably the ACC’s most potent point guard-big man tandem, along with senior Matt Farrell.”

NBC Sports College Basketball Talk – Second Team Preseason All-American
Bonzie Colson is a walking bucket. Standing 6-foot-5 with a 7-foot-2 wingspan, Colson could not be a more perfect fit for Mike Brey’s small-ball offense. He’s borderline impossible to stop one-on-one, he’s unselfish and his length allows him to play as a five despite standing just 6-foot-5. After averaging 18 points and 10 boards as a junior, Colson should no longer be a secret.”

College Sports Madness – First Team Preseason All-American
College Sports Madness – ACC Preseason Player of the Year

Senior | G | Matt Farrell – Ranking College Basketball’s Best Nine Point Guards
“While Bonzie Colson is getting the majority of the pub as Notre Dame’s MVP, Farrell could wind up stealing that title from his teammate by the time we get to March. I saw him firsthand in July at the Under Armour All-America camp, where he went up against a number of high-profile returning college players. Farrell looked stronger, quicker and as heady as ever.

He’s not necessarily an underrated player, but his defining season is likely coming in 2017-18. The Fighting Irish have averaged 27 wins since Farrell joined the team. He and Colson will have Mike Brey’s program flirting with that number again. Look for Farrell to alternate from being a dominant lead guard to a necessary distributor every other possession, practically. It’s not out of the question that he averaged 17 and 7. In fact, it’s likely.”

Senior | F | Martinas Geben

The Sporting News – Geben Helps Lithuania Outmuscle Purdue For Gold Gold

Blue & Gold Illustrated – A Golden Summer For Geben

Irish Insider – Productive, Proud Basketball Month For Geben

Junior | G | Rex Pflueger

Blue and Gold Illustrated – Pflueger Builds Confidence During Overseas Summer Experience

Sophomore | G | T.J. Gibbs

Fan Rag Sports – 20 Breakout Players in 2017-18
“Mike Brey raved about Gibbs’ commitment to conditioning during the July recruiting circuit and that will be a critical component for both him and the Irish next season. Notre Dame has never played that deep of a rotation under Brey’s watch. Gibbs’ ability to log major minutes alongside both Matt Farrell and Rex Pflueger within the confines of a three-guard alignment is massive. After averaging just 4.7 points last season as a freshman, expect this New Jersey native to be in double-figures as a sophomore.” – Why Temple Gibbs Will Have A Breakout Season For Notre Dame – Possible Breakout Players
Matt Farrell and Bonzie Colson come to mind when you think of Irish coach Mike Brey and his knack for recruiting and developing under-the-radar talent. It might officially be time to add Temple Gibbs to the watch list.

Last season, Farrell went from bit player to a point guard Brey claims is better than Bobby Hurley. This season, Gibbs could enjoy that same meteoric rise, even with Rex Pflueger clogging his playing time.

The former four-star prospect has all the talent in the world and did well in spot duty as a scorer and distributor as a freshman, despite playing just 15 minutes per game. With Steve Vasturia and VJ Beachem exhausting their eligbility, Gibbs could find himself playing a major role at the shooting guard, with Pflueger perhaps sliding over to small forward if Brey opts to go with small and athletic lineups.”