April 10, 2017
The University of Notre Dame men’s basketball team held its year-end awards ceremony on Monday, April 10, 2017, as part of the annual Evening With Notre Dame Basketball celebration. Junior forward Bonzie Colson was named the Notre Dame Monogram Club Most Valuable Player to cap the evening.
Colson led the team in scoring (17.1 ppg) and rebounding (10.1 rpg) while amassing 19 double-doubles. A third-team All-America selection by the Associated Press and The Sporting News, Colson announced earlier in the day that he will be returning for his final year of eligibility in 2017-18.
Junior Matt Farrell copped the Outstanding Playmaker award after his breakout junior season. Farrell led the Irish in assists (196, 5.4 per game), steals (51, 1.4 per game) while scoring 14.1 points per contest. The Legends Classic Tournament MVP, Farrell also earned ACC-All Tournament first-team honors while starting all 36 games for the Irish.
Senior Austin Torres earned the Knute Rockne Scholar-Athlete Award. Torres will return for a fifth year of eligibility in 2017-18 and will graduate in May with a degree in management consulting from the Mendoza College of Business.
Sophomore Rex Pflueger fittingly earned the team’s Defensive Player of the Year award. The team’s ‘defensive specialist,’ Pflueger routinely matched up with the opposing team’s best perimeter player in each contest. He started 11 of the team’s final 12 games of the season and logged 31 steals, 12 blocks and 4.7 points per game.
Freshman T.J. Gibbs was named Newcomer of the Year after appearing in all 36 games in his rookie season while averaging 15.0 minutes per game and scoring 4.7 points per contest. He also shot .321 from three point range and .831 from the free throw line.
The graduating senior duo of V.J. Beachem and Steve Vasturia earned the Captain Award for their outstanding leadership during the 2016-17 season. Beachem and Vasturia helped the Irish win a school-record tying 92 games over the past two seasons and join Bruce Flowers (1976-79) as the only Notre Dame basketball players to earn seven NCAA tournament victories over a four-year stretch.
An Evening With Notre Dame Basketball officially wraps up the 2016-17 season for the Fighting Irish. The 2017-18 schedule will be released in the fall, but some of the Irish opponents have already been announced.
Notre Dame’s ACC schedule will featured home-and-home matchups with Boston College, Georgia Tech, North Carolina and NC State. Florida State, Miami, Virginia Tech, Louisville and Pittsburgh will visit Purcell Pavilion while the Irish will hit the road to face Clemson, Duke, Wake Forest, Virginia and Syracuse.
Notre Dame also will take part in the 2017 Maui Invitational that has announced a tournament field of Chaminade, California, LSU, Marquette, Michigan, VCU and Wichita State. The tournament matchups are expected to be announced in the summer of 2017.