November 16, 2015

The two players Notre Dame is expected to rely shined in the season opener.

Demetrius Jackson and senior forward Zach Auguste will try to build on their performances when the 18th-ranked Fighting Irish host Milwaukee on Tuesday night.

Jackson scored a career-best 27 points on 10-of-14 shooting in an 87-56 rout of St. Francis (Pa.) on Friday. The junior point guard and first-team preseason all-ACC selection also had eight rebounds and made three of Notre Dame's 10 3-pointers.

"It is his team. He's calling stuff. You know I didn't call much. He was calling sets, entries, out of bounds situations," coach Mike Brey said. "He's got that ability to score and make plays and then he's defending. He's really explosive, he's really confident, and he's got a group around him that are easy to play with for him."

Auguste had 15 points and a career-high 14 rebounds, achieving his pregame objective. The Irish outrebounded the Red Flash 53-31, including 21-8 on the offensive glass, and held them to 32.7 percent shooting.

"(The double-double is) an individual goal I have," Auguste said. "My team believes in me just as much as I believe in them. It's something I wanted to go out and do."

Notre Dame is hoping Jackson and Auguste can step into the roles filled by Jerian Grant and Pat Connaughton during its 32-win season in 2014-15, second-most in program history.

The Irish are getting a prime chance to build momentum for their pursuit of another 30-win campaign with none of their first four games against major conference teams.

Milwaukee, though, enters with a 3-0 record for its best start since winning its first four in 2011-12.

The Panthers earned all of their victories at the Cable Car Classic at Santa Clara over the weekend, beating the host school 71-65 on Sunday. Junior guard Akeem Springs had 17 points and 10 rebounds - his second double-double in 49 career games - while junior forward Austin Arians was named MVP after averaging a team-leading 15.3 points.

Milwaukee scored 71 points in all three games and held each of its three opponents to 65 or fewer despite allowing two to shoot better than 51.0 percent.

It has lost six in a row to ranked opponents, falling 93-54 to No. 5 Wisconsin on Dec. 10 in its only such matchup last season.

The Panthers are facing Notre Dame for the second time. They lost 70-69 to the No. 22 Irish in the opening round of the 2003 NCAA Tournament in Indianapolis.

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