Senior All-American Bonzie Colson recorded back-to-back double-doubles to start the season but his services might not be needed long when No. 14 Notre Dame hosts Chicago State on Thursday. The Cougars lost games against Iowa and Purdue by an average of 51 points and don’t possess the type of talent to keep this one close for long.
Colson averaged 22.5 points and 12 rebounds in two victories to raise his career double-double count to 25. The 6-foot-5 forward scored 27 points on 11-of-15 shooting in Monday’s 88-62 victory over Mount St. Mary’s and also contributed 11 rebounds, three steals and three blocked shots. “Every game is different,” Colson said after the romp. “Once we realize that, it’s an easy game to play.” Chicago State faces long odds of springing the upset after the noncompetitive contests with Iowa (95-62) and Purdue (111-42).
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ACC Network Extra
ABOUT CHICAGO STATE (1-2): The Cougars received their opportunity to steamroll an opponent with Tuesday’s 101-53 victory over NAIA program Silver Lake (Wis.) College. Chicago State racked up 21 steals while junior guards Anthony Harris (seven steals) and Fred Sims Jr. each scored 19 points. Sims has team-leading averages of 13 points and 4.0 rebounds despite shooting just 31.8 percent from the field, while Harris (9.3) is shooting a solid 58.8 percent.
ABOUT NOTRE DAME (2-0): Junior guard Rex Pflueger produced his first career double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds in the victory over Mount St. Mary‘s. The 6-6 Pflueger is just 4-of-14 shooting while averaging 8.0 points and 9.5 rebounds but his standout defense and tenacity has made him a favorite of coach Mike Brey. “He’s such a winner. He does whatever it takes,” Brey said after Monday’s victory. “He’s an ace in the hole and he can guard anyone on the perimeter. I think that’s a key for him understanding, not hanging his hat on his jump shot. I think he’s understanding where to get his stuff offensively. He’s really another leader on the floor.”
1. Notre Dame has won the four previous meetings by an average of 36.5 points, and prevailed 91-60 last season.
2. Fighting Irish senior G Matt Farrell, who is averaging 14 points, has reached double digits 33 times in his career.
3. The Cougars are shooting just 16.9 percent from 3-point range.
PREDICTION: Notre Dame 97, Chicago State 61