Oct 19, 2013, 1:31 AM EDT
Mike Franz, the official 2013-14 men’s basketball beat writer for the In The Paint blog, is currently a sophomore at Holy Cross College. Over the course of the year Mike will bring you insight from within the student section, interviews with Fighting Irish players and stories from inside the team circle. You can follow Mike (and the rest of the Notre Dame student beat writing staff) on twitter at @JrNDBloggers.
This week I bring you some unfortunate news about sophomore forward, Zach Auguste. It was confirmed Wednesday that the 6’10” big man has suffered a broken left hand and will be out anywhere from four to six weeks.
On October 10th, he suffered what appeared to be a bad fracture to his hand. However, after x-rays were made of his hand, it was identified as a complete break.
“This is really unfortunate for Zach that he suffered this injury because he had such a great summer and preseason for us,” Coach Brey said.
Zach Auguste will appear to miss both exhibition games against Indianapolis, on October 28, and Tusculum, on November 1. Although this is an unfortunate injury and all Notre Dame fans wish Zach a speedy and healthy recovery, it is a blessing he had this injury early and not in the heart of the difficult schedule.
Missing what appears to be, in worst case scenario, the first five regular season games, Notre Dame will get their big man back just in time for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on December 3. Being able to be that big presence underneath and crashing the boards (basically taking Jack Cooley’s job) is what Irish fans, players and coaches expect out of Auguste this upcoming season.
Coach Brey knows what Zach means to this team and that he can help this team play some of its best basketball this program has seen in years.
“Zach is going to be a key for us on the frontline this season. I love the energy and passion he has brought to practice,” Brey stated. “Zach knows and understands that he’s a big piece of the puzzle for us this year and that we are counting on him at both ends of the floor.”
As a freshman, Auguste played in 25 games for the Irish, averaging 3.7 points a game. However, he shined when given more playing time in games, as shown in the Marquette game on March 2nd. Auguste played 21 minutes and scored a career high 15 points.
Fans should expect great things from him this upcoming season once he comes back from this injury. Brey said, “Since the end of last season, he’s been really focused on improving all aspects of his game and he’s really matured.”
This new found maturity is what he will needs as he wills his fellow players onto victory in these early games. As the old expression goes, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” And Irish faithful should expect this to be the case with Auguste.
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