Rex Pflueger To Return For Fifth Season In 2019-20
Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey confirmed after his team’s 72-62 loss to Syracuse on Saturday afternoon that senior guard Rex Pflueger will return to the Fighting Irish as a fifth-year medical redshirt and graduate student in 2019-20.
The starter/captain suffered a torn ACL late in the 88-80 victory versus Purdue at the Crossroads Classic on Dec. 15. Barring any transfer or other attrition, that would mean all 11 scholarship players on this year’s team will be back for the 2019-20 campaign, Brey’s 20th with the Fighting Irish.
There was uncertainty about Pflueger’s status for next season, and Brey said he and the staff were going to investigate the graduate transfer market next spring to see if they could have more veteran presence in the backcourt while the current freshman trio of Prentiss Hubb, Dane Goodwin and Robby Carmody (sidelined the rest of the year after shoulder surgery) continue to evolve. But after a meeting with Pflueger this Friday, the agreement was made that both needed each other.
“We just got our graduate transfer guard in Rex Pflueger,” Brey said. “He’s going to be rehabbing but I have a feeling he will rehab quicker than most guys. He’s a maniac with that stuff.”
Pflueger will enroll in an accelerated MBA program that previous Fighting Irish basketball players Tim Abromaitis and Joey Brooks also had during their career.
“I’m thrilled,” Brey said. “…The whole team comes back now. I don’t know if that happens in college basketball. The theme was we’ve got some unfinished business, he and I."
Beyond the basketball part of the equation, Brey also noted that Pflueger’s mother, Rebecca, is experiencing a fight with brain cancer.
“We need him and he needs us,” Brey said. “He needs to be with us. His dad and I talked about that, and [Rex] and I talked about that. I love the basketball part of it, but everything this young man has done for us and what’s going on with mom right now — please keep her in your prayers, as we have — he needs to be with us another year.”
Prior to his injury, Pflueger was averaging 8.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game, leading the team in the latter category.