By Patrick Kenney | Staff Writer
November 17, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Demetrius Jackson controlled the game on both ends of the floor Tuesday night. Irish fans are getting used to dominant performances from Jackson. In the infant stages of the new season, Jackson looks like a premiere candidate for All-American honors and even the Naismith College Player of the Year. Jackson has something to prove this year filling in for Jerian Grant and Pat Connaughton, the Irish’s two leading scorers a year ago. Well, he looked more than capable Tuesday night, nearing a double-double with 20 points and 7 assists.
Wisconsin-Milwaukee was coming off a three-game weekend stretch to start the season 3-0 but showed no signs of tired legs. They played well and hung with the Irish for most of the game, but it was not enough to match a talented Irish squad in the end. Austin Arians led the Panthers with 19 points on 5-of-7 from the three-point line, but the Panthers could never quite catch the Irish.
Jackson had plenty of help against a very solid Wisconsin-Milwaukee squad. All five Irish starters finished in double digits, but the bench was unimpressive. Aside from a couple of flashes from Matt Ryan, a freshman from Iona Prep High School in New York, the bench was nonexistent. In fact, Ryan accounted for the lone 5 bench points of the night. The starters more than made up for the lack of bench production.
V.J. Beachem tallied 19 points and was 4-of-7 from behind the arc. Beachem also recorded a career high 8 rebounds and seemed to be all over the floor. The Irish will need Beachem to continue playing at a high level in order to make a push for another ACC title.
Zach Auguste was ineffective for a lot of the night but did pick up his play in the second half and showed why there was so much hype surrounding him coming into the year. He finished with 17 points on 8-of-11 shooting and 6 rebounds. Auguste must be a consistent force down low for the Irish going forward in order to contend in the ACC. With Auguste as a dangerous big man down low, the Irish could be geared for another deep postseason run, but without Auguste, it will be very tough for the Irish to match up against some of the big dogs in the ACC.
The Irish resume play on Saturday in South Bend against UMass Lowell, who enter the game 1-1 on the year.
(Photo: AP File Photo, Jessica Hill)