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Notre Dame Basketball

Mike Brey Notebook | Kentucky Win

December 12, 2020

Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey spoke following the 64-63 win at Kentucky on Saturday. 

On the win: 
"My opening statement should be, 'Wow.' 

"I'm really proud of our group. We talked about growing up and getting one of these. We knew as good as we were in the first half offensively, there's going to be a run coming. For us to hold the run off and play enough defense to escape - I'm really proud of our group. I think it's something we can build on." 

On team finishing:
"Where we grew was when we couldn't get flowing offensively like we did in the first half, we didn't hang our head and we played enough defense and rebounded enough to keep them at 63 points." 

On the first half offensive explosion:
"That may have been one of the most beautiful 20 minutes offensively I've ever witnessed. For me to say that with the offensive lineups that I've had through the years, it was unbelievable. 

"Of course, my paranoid self knows they are going to play better defense and they did." 

On final defensive possession:
"We debated a little bit because obviously, we played a lot of zone.  Our 1-3-1 was very good for us tonight. It kept them back on their heels and not attacking as much. 

"We felt we had to have bodies on people and I thought Juwan Durham did a fabulous job getting out to challenge. Sarr had hit two shots like that earlier in the half, but he was pushed out more and Juwan really challenged. 

"I love that we had to play defense to win a game." 

On second half offensive performance & defense: 
"I think where my teams through history at times, we've always been pretty good offensively. Sometimes some of those offensively gifted groups, if they couldn't score it and get into their rhythm, we didn't have the fight on the defensive end. It would affect us on that end. 

"I thought this group showed a lot of maturity in just game four. It's still early in the season." 

On 1-3-1 zone:
"We stole this from Kermit Davis at Ole Miss last year. We were looking around for something other than our 2-3 zone. I was watching it one night and when they go 1-3-1 and when the ball goes to the corner, it eventually becomes a 2-3 zone. 

"It makes guards play over the top of the big guy. Nate Laszewski is just fabulous playing up there and being big. 

"It's hard for a smaller guard to eventually break you down a little bit. It took them out of playing downhill with their athletic ability because they have great drivers." 

On first win at Rupp in school history:
"We were so disappointed the other night we couldn't finish the other night against Ohio State. We really did some good things. I said, 'This will really come down to if we can get loose balls and enough defensive rebounds to win.' 

"That's really what it was in the second half. Our offensive flow - to give us that lead and the ability for us to score and know how to play with each other helps us. I just liked our mental toughness. I know there wasn't 20,000, but that electric noise was pretty good. We got rattled against the press a couple times. I kind of liked our maturity, mental toughness and then our leadership. 

"Hubb and Cormac Ryan, the stuff they talk about in our timeouts are mature guard stuff." 

On bench play: 
"I thought both of them were great. Matt Zona in the first half was fabulous for us. He's playing against big, long, athletic guys and he's a fighter. (Nik) Djogo, he's not healthy. He's not 100 percent and he played on a bad wheel. He at least knows how to play with us. He made the one shot, but he's not in there to make shots. He's in there to move the ball, flow,  defensive rebound and guard. I singled him out after the game because I know he was hurting. 

"When we get him healthier, he'll be a key for us. I thought Zona gave us great stuff." 

On getting a win and facing adversity:
"As a teacher and it's early, it's my worst nightmare. We're up 22 and a run is coming and if you can't get out of here and hold them off, what's the psyche of the group? 

"I think this group has some great mental toughness. They've been through a lot as young players and they've really shown that. They're mature, poised, but I wanted it so bad for them. I'm thinking as Sarr's shot is in the air, 'Cmon now, man. This group deserves one.' 

"I hope it's a confidence builder for us. Maybe an identity builder. If we're not playing pretty offense, which we couldn't do the last 20 minutes, we still can defend and rebound enough to win a game." 

On PG Prentiss Hubb scoring the last nine points: 
"The man is a flat out warrior. I thought he quarterbacked that 48 points in the first half and never really forced anything. In the second half, they were really guarding our other guys and they aren't' as good of receivers. 

"He had a couple turnovers, but then when it comes down to it, nobody wants to win more than him. There's a great Ben Hansbrough edge about this kid that I just love being around. I think it rubs off on his teammates."

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Mike Brey Notebook | Kentucky Win

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