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Notre Dame Basketball

Notre Dame Transcript | Postgame Boston College

March 12, 2020

Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey, TJ Gibbs and Juwan Durham spoke following Wednesday's win over Boston College. 

MIKE BREY: Well, I'm thrilled with how we played on both ends. I thought we were really ready, really focused. I thought our defense kind of sparked us, and I thought our zone helped us. We had success with zone against them up in Chestnut Hill, so we rode it. But any time we can get that thing to 80 and make double-digit threes, that's how we have to advance and beat people in this league.

Q. You heard Coach just say, get it to 80. Last time you played Virginia, 50-49. I'm sorry I'm asking you to jump ahead, but what do you remember about the match-up with Virginia and why is it so hard to approach 80 against them?
TEMPLE GIBBS: We know that they're a solid defensive team. Last time we played them they did a really good job of being in the gaps. The thing about us is when we move the ball and we play how we play, I think the sky's the limit for this team. We know that we're good. We know that they're going to come down and they're going to slow it down and play at their pace, but we're mature enough this year, this year we've matured, that's the biggest thing about this team, we've matured it comes and breeds confidence, and that's what we have NOW.

JUWAN DURHAM: Basically just piggyback off what T.J. said, they're a poised team and we just know that we got to come in and play as hard as we can, and it was a close game, like he said, but I think we can make something happen next time.

Q. For T.J., the ACC has announced there will be no fans at the games tomorrow. I'm just wondering as a player what do you think that experience will be like?
TEMPLE GIBBS: It's definitely going to be different. Coach said it's going to be more like a scrimmage than it is an actual game. But we can't have that mindset, we have to come out and play like our lives are on the line still. We play for the fans, it's going to be, not sad, but just a little bit of a different environment. Our families are usually here and it's a little bit easier to play and a little bit more energy in the building, but we have to bring our own energy and just play the way we play.

MIKE BREY: We'll be able to bring our families, right? Your families will be there.

TEMPLE GIBBS: Perfect, yeah.

Q. Have either of you ever played in a basically empty gym, and what was your memory of that?
JUWAN DURHAM: Probably just for a practice or for a scrimmage.

MIKE BREY: Cincinnati last year we scrimmaged them in Bankers Life, where the Pacers play, so it was a different kind of atmosphere.

TEMPLE GIBBS: Yeah, you could hear your echo in there.

Q. Going off the last question as far as there not being the fans, the crowd noise not being there, how much of an effect is it going to have with this not being a scrimmage, this is an ACC Tournament game?
MIKE BREY: Yeah, I think everybody is mature enough, our players are mature enough, and I would include Virginia and everybody that's going to keep playing tomorrow, that they know you get a chance to advance and play for a championship and you get to compete and go for it. So I don't think there's going to be any letdown or distraction. You know, we practice over 100 practices a year in a gym like that tomorrow. It'll be a very -- I'm going to remind us of some of our great practices when there's seven people in the gym and we're going at it.

I think kids want to compete. They still know they're playing on national TV and everybody is watching them and still know they're playing for a trophy. So I think kids will -- this level of guys just love to hoop, so they get to play again.

Q. Mike, as President of the Coaches' Association, how closely have you been monitoring all this, and did this kind of decision to you feel inevitable?
MIKE BREY: You know, I've been -- Jim Haney and I have been texting all day. I owe him a call here in about an hour, because we've got to got our board on the phone here one day this week, even though we're very busy. Kind of almost felt this was coming, after I saw the announcement from the NCAA, that it would trickle down to here. I think moving forward, one of the things you think about is player safety, the student-athlete. I spoke to my kids last night before we went over the scouting report, and I told them, look, I want you to know, if you talk to your mom, we're going to keep you safe. I've got a band and cheerleaders, I've got a heck of a travel party down here, and so moving forward after this week is going to be really interesting as we all are probably getting a feel for it, but I mean, that was the decision, and I think the ACC did a great job reacting quickly. I thought there's no way, after I saw the NCAA's decision, that we'd have people in the building tomorrow. I even thought maybe they'd shut it down tonight.

This is unbelievable, interesting times as we move forward. But again, I go back -- kids just -- they love to play and they love to compete. I think they'll really play their backsides off, even though it'll be echoing in there tomorrow.

Q. You mentioned 80 points.
MIKE BREY: Yeah, no way. 80 combined. We're going to go 80 combined.

You know, the one thing, again, we've had -- maybe the law of averages finally kicks in against them because they have dominated us. I'm the first one to admit it. You know, you just have to value the ball and value possessions because you're not going to have as many of them.

We do that well. We're good with the ball. That's why we had a chance. And we're just going to have to really value it, and you can't -- I'm going to remind them the same thing we did in Charlottesville and we had a chance to win, but it's going to be game situations, and they're really good at it because they're in them all the time. They're in close games all the time.

But I know they're coming in rolling with winning eight in a row, but we'd like another shot at them. We respect the heck out of their program.

Q. What does Virginia's length do? How does that cause problems? Jae, obviously, but their wings are also really long.
MIKE BREY: Yeah, that's one thing they've done is the court seems smaller when you play against them on the offensive end because their wingspans are so good and their recovery time is great. Now, the lineup we start now is a little more conducive to play against a jammed-up defense because we can spread you a little bit and handle the ball a little better with our guards. We rarely played Mooney and Durham together much tonight, which was kind of by design -- and I have all the respect in the world for Juwan Durham because he started every game, and he didn't sulk, he went about his business and had a great impact. And then Dane Goodwin -- Dane Goodwin and Nate Laszewsk have to play more for us. I've been trending this way. You start one of them, and then we've just got to get those guys on the court more.

But hopefully with our smaller lineup, maybe we can open the floor up a little bit more. Easier said than done, though, against these guys.

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Notre Dame Transcript | Postgame Boston College

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