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Notre Dame Basketball

Mike Brey Notebook | February

February 4, 2020

Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey spoke on Monday afternoon as the Irish look to move to 5-6 in ACC play. 

On scoring over the last four games:
"I think there's a little bit of everything. TJ Gibbs has settled into a nice tempo and is knowing how to get his stuff. He's playing with a great demeanor. Rex (Pflueger) is finding people and his court vision is at a really high level. Prentiss (Hubb) is finding people and when we need him to, scoring, not necessarily here, but on the road.

"Dane (Goodwin) is being very aggressive. I'm really pleased with how he's trying to get shots and hunt it. Nate (Laszewski) has been more aggressive.

"We're playing quicker and getting down the floor. You're kind of waiting because you feel even through last season that you had some weapons." 

On selling defense early in the season:
"I knew that was what we had to hang our hat on then. I was really selling our defense. Don't get me wrong; we were working at it and moving our feet. We were also doing it because that was the only way we could win. You go back and look at the offense trying to get rolling so we can take some pressure off our defense. 

"That was a sales job. We're sharp defensively. We know we have to play it in spurts and play some zone, but when we can get in those offensive spurts, I hope we can find our rhythm there and can continue it." 

On the significance of three-game winning streak in the ACC:
"It would unbelievable to get the third one here. Our crowd was great. When is the last time they had to warn the crowd about throwing stuff on the court? What do you think spurred that? Not that I'm endorsing throwing stuff on the court, but there was a little bit of anger and juice. There was a little edge. Good stuff. Please bring it on Wednesday and the rest of the way.

"To get to 5-6 in this league before what we have staring at us next week would be really huge." 

On Dane Goodwin:
"They are such a gifted group the three of them. We've seen Prentiss deliver and we're seeing Dane play with an edge and go for it. He's forcing some stuff offensively. I think he's really gotten comfortable. 

"The great thing is his teammates are great passers. That starting perimeter can really handle the basketball and find the open guy. They know what he is when he's with him. They really know how to find him and use him and screen for him. He benefits from playing with the starting perimeter because they know where to find him." 

On Pat Connaughton in the Dunk Contest:
"Is my work finally done here? I mean seriously. There is a Notre Dame guy in the Dunk Contest. That's it. What else is there to do? We haven't got back to Final Four yet. I'll keep trying for it. 

"That's the most awesome thing. I heard about a month ago he may have a shot at it. I texted him and if we weren't playing at 4:00 PM in Durham, how about you jump over me? 

"We're really proud of him. He'll have a following over there. That's good for our program."

On the month of February:
"We've had some nice February runs here where we've been scratching and clawing in January trying to find ourselves and get going a little bit. 

"You're getting closer to March and there's a little bit of buzz. Now, you have to play your way into that, but your seniors sometimes settle in a little. They see they have 10 league games left and one ACC Tournament game guaranteed. They kind of focus a little more."

On if he wants a buzz:
"I hope not. We are just going to try to hide. I think we should shut down all Social Media. We want to hide and do our thing. The only thing I'm going to say today is score like the Chiefs."  

On Juwan Durham playing time:
"It's human nature and I think he's struggling a little bit. I'm trying to tell him it's not that he's playing poorly or something he's doing wrong. It's something this other group is doing right. We need him. Florida State, he was kind of the big and we took Johnny (Mooney) out and played four guards around him. 

"I anticipate we'll start the same with the two big guys, but you never know. Maybe on Wednesday night, the three big guys rotate through more and that's how you're playing. 

"As a coach, it's important to keep him engaged mentally. He loves his teammates and he's got a great attitude towards it." 

On Prentiss Hubb playing better on the road than at home:
"It's amazing where I've tried to put my finger on that one. When people poke at him at Georgia Tech after he shot the air ball or the crowd pokes at him, he gets going. I haven't verbalized this to him, but he has a little bit of a 'Us against the world' on the road. He's even more talkative in the huddles. I have to figure out how to get that road mindset where he's me against the world. He's shown it on the road. 

"He's been good with the ball here. He had some rebounds and plays defense. He just hasn't had the scoring punch here. He loves when they're on him. I should plant three students on the baseline to just rip him starting with the starting lineups." 

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