Notre Dame basketball ranks 13th in latest AP poll

SOUTH BEND, IN - NOVEMBER 16: Jalen Stephens-Holmes
SOUTH BEND, IN - NOVEMBER 16: Jalen Stephens-Holmes /

Mike Brey and the Fighting Irish have been putting on a show lately. Yes, those contests have been against less than stellar competition, teams that likely won’t even make the NIT tournament let alone the NCAA tournament. The Associated Press released their latest college basketball poll on Monday, the Irish ranked 13th.

Coming into the year, Notre Dame was poised as one of the dark horses to win the NCAA title come April. If you can consider a team ranked in the top 15 a dark horse that is. Most wouldn’t. Bonzie Colson looks like he is putting on a great case to be a legitimate player of the year candidate. Temple Gibbs is also making the most of his increased minutes, upping his scoring average from 4.4 last year to 17.7 so far this season.

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Against Mount Saint Mary’s, Colson showed the Mountaineers why he is one of the leaders for the POY award. Bonzie finished the game with 27 points and 11 rebounds on 11-15 shooting, he would also add 3 blocks and 3 steals as well. Junior guard Rex Pflueger would also finish the game with a double double, with 13 points and 10 rebounds. The biggest takeaway from this game for Pflueger was the 7-8 shooting from the free throw line, after shooting 66% from the charity stripe last season, he has upped his average to 90% in the three games played.

After the dominating performance against Mount Saint Mary’s, the Irish took on local Chicago college, Chicago State Cougars. The Cougars, members of the WAC conference are 1-4 on the season, and rank 341st out of 351 eligible teams according to KenPom rankings. As expected, Notre Dame completely demolished the Cougars, 105-66.

The main stars were not needed as much against Chicago State as they normally are, Colson only played 24 minutes, and no player saw the court for more than 30 minutes. Freshman D.J. Harvey had his highest scoring output of the season with 16 points in 22 minutes.

Related Story: Irish break loose for a 105-66 win

It will be tough for Notre Dame to jump into the top 10 of the AP poll next week unless a couple teams ahead of them lose. They are playing in the Maui Invitational against stiffer competition, if they can make it to the championship game they will likely be playing against top ranked Wichita State.