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Notre Dame Basketball

Mike Brey Notebook | Virginia Loss

December 30, 2020

Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey spoke following the loss to No. 23 Virginia on Wednesday night. 

On the loss: 
"Virginia made every big shot. Clark was such a winner and made big plays. I think it was Cormac's three and Hubb's three that were halfway down - in and out. You have to make one of those to get it to game situations. They came back on the other end. 

"Loved how our two big guys played. Maybe we're figuring something out. (Trey) Wertz maybe a week or two with the ankle. We'll adjust and head to Pittsburgh. 

"I hope we play the Pittsburgh game. We say go to Pittsburgh. Hell with it. Is the game on? I hope we play. We got eight games in. We played eight games. Let's get to nine." 

On belief they can win a game vs. ranked team:
"We have lost to five good teams - really, really good teams. We're not at that level to get over that hump yet. I was very matter of fact with them. We can't quite do that yet, but we're going to keep working on it. There is time to try to figure it out and see if we can get there. 

"We don't quite have that mindset to get over that hump against really good teams that believe. Clark is such a winner because he's won a lot." 

On not being able to get over the hump: 
"I wouldn't say frustrated. I almost expect it a little bit still. I could see we couldn't get over that hump. We're going to have to keep trying to get them confident and help them. They're trying to do it and putting themselves in position. You gotta get one or two to believe it against a really good team. 

"The teams we've played are really good. We're just not as good as them. Let's work to get better. There's time to do that." 

On offensive rhythm in the second half: 
"I was disappointed in our movement in the first half. What helped us is throwing the ball to Juwan (Durham). Even though we lost tonight, I hope we can build on something. Certainly, he'll start Saturday. Maybe he's jumpstarted. I thought his decisions with the ball in the post with Nate - they were really good together. 

"You got to build on that. It's seven games in and you have to build on it."

On Juwan Durham: 
"Juwan Durham really needed this. There's so much to work with there and Nate has been playing really well. When we throw it to Juwan in the post, we get good stuff because he makes good decisions with it and he's a good passer. 

"Even though we lost, I kind of like the look of what we did in the second half offensively with a low post option. We were still searching for that up until maybe tonight and we found it." 

On Juwan Durham as a passer:
"I think he's really unselfish and has a great feel for the game. They did double him early. I thought he did a great job finding people all the time and not trying to make a scoring pass out of it. 

"He really has a great feel for the game. We knew when we started the season that we needed him. If you think back to Michigan State, we threw it into him a bunch and they really kind of exhausted him with different bodies on him, leaning on him and he had a tough night. I thought he kind of struggled a little bit. We changed the lineup and brought him off the bench and I thought that helped. 

"He'll start Saturday and maybe we've got him back in a rhythm." 

On getting Prentiss Hubb on track:
"They take him away. I thought Purdue and then tonight, they know how much he makes us go. They really take Prentiss away. I thought in the second half, he became a playmaker and got to the basket. There's something to build on there because they really are up and into him since he's our quarterback. 

"I thought he did a better job in the second half not forcing stuff." 

On getting more guys involved on offense: 
"I think our guards did a good job in the second half of taking what the defense gave them, which was Juwan and Nate a lot and every now and then a kick out to our guards. Our guards drove it. We can't force stuff. I thought we forced stuff in the first half, especially against this level of competition. 

"In the second half, we were in a pretty good offensive rhythm. It's not like we've got to run stuff to get Dane going. I think we have enough guys that can score where we got to take what the defense gives them.

On guard Cormac Ryan:
"I think Cormac Ryan is still kind of finding himself. We gotta help him. Of those seven guys that were in the rotation, he's the youngest. He didn't play a whole lot at Stanford and missed half a season. He's still a young player.

"I think I realized that after game two and have tried to coach him differently and teach and be patient with him." 

On chances Pitt game will be played on Saturday:
"I don't know. That's the crazy thing. I'm disappointed we lost. I'm relieved we played a game. We got to play. It's a weird bar to have this season because we want to win as many as we can, but we got to play. 

"We have eight games under our belt at this point and that's great. We'll test tomorrow and Pitt will test. They'll tell us before we go get on the bus. 

"The one thing the ACC has done because you had the football situation where two teams went to Florida State to play and never played. They charted a plane and we've had maybe a little bit of that happen in basketball. We're really trying to stop that from happening. That is such a waste of resources for us to get all the way to Pittsburgh and get a phone call at midnight in the hotel, 'By the way, the game is off.' 

"If that were to happen, I'm going to call Duquesne and see if they're open or Robert Morris. That's how I think now if we get trapped. Could Robert Morris play on Sunday? Do they have an opening? Do they need a game? 

"I actually said the other day we could do a home and home with DePaul - a bus ride regional games - Butler or Marquette. That's the crazy thing with how your mind is working with scheduling right now. I hope we can go to Pitt and play. Our guys are trained to live day-to-day. I'm thinking about plan B. What if he can't go to Pittsburgh? Could someone play us Sunday here and not a league, or maybe it is a league game?"

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Mike Brey Notebook | Virginia Loss

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