Notre Dame junior big man Zach Auguste and the team received good news on Saturday as the school announced that he would play on Saturday against Miami. The 6-foot-10 big man was under academic suspension from the school earlier this week and missed Notre Dame’s win at Georgia Tech.
But he’s back and will play on Saturday:
Junior Forward Zach Auguste will dress for today's game vs. Miami (Fla.) and will play.
#12 ND vs Miami (Fla.)
2pm – ESPN2
This is really encouraging news for the Irish, since Auguste was blossoming during certain stretches of play this season. He was great in the second half against North Carolina and has clearly been Notre Dame’s most important interior player since they don’t have much size.
With Auguste back, Notre Dame is a really tough out at home and will be a major contender in the ACC. The junior is second on the team in points and rebounds per game at 14.3 points and 6.4 rebounds per contest. He’s also shooting 65 percent from the field.
On Wednesday morning, news leaked out of South Bend that starting center Zach Auguste did not make the trip to Georgia Tech with the Irish.
He wasn’t kicked off the team, it was just an academic issue that he has to get cleared up. And while Notre Dame head coach did comment on Auguste after the Irish beat the Yellow Jackets on Wednesday night in Atlanta, he didn’t provide much clarity for the situation.
“I don’t have enough info on it yet,” he added. “I’ll have a little more info on it (Thursday). … It’s out of my hands.”
This is the third time in a little more than a year that Brey has had a player in trouble because of his grades. Jerian Grant, who is having an all-american caliber season this year, was suspended from school for the second semester of the 2013-2014 season. He was essentially kicked off campus, but he returned to school in June. Demetrius Jackson was suspended for two games and missed a week of practice in February of his his freshman season because he had fallen behind with his classwork.
On Wednesday in Atlanta, Notre Dame started freshman Martinas Geben in Auguste’s place, but Geben was pushed around by Georgia Tech’s big front line. Brey settled on using Austin Torres and Bonzie Colson as the center in a — very small — 2-3 zone, and it worked, but it was a quick fix. Notre Dame already struggles defensively, they cannot afford to play the rest of the season without their best interior presence.
Notre Dame’s next three games are Miami at home followed by Virginia Tech and N.C. State on the road. On Jan. 28th, they host Duke.
Zach Auguste is in the midst of a breakout junior season for the Fighting Irish, but that appears ready to come to a screeching halt.
ESPN.com is reporting that Auguste will be held out of action due to academics and that his status is still undetermined. But according to a report from FOX28, Auguste has been suspended for the remainder of the season, which would be the second straight year in which Mike Brey has lost a key piece in his rotation midway through the season. Jerian Grant saw his 2013-2014 season come to a close at the end of the first semester.
When reached by NBCSports.com, a Notre Dame spokesperson simply said that Brey will “address the situation” after Wednesday’s game.
Auguste is averaging 14.3 points and 6.4 boards on the season, playing a pivotal role as a low-post scorer and, more importantly, as the screener in Notre Dame’s pick-and-roll heavy offense.