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Notre Dame Basketball

Mike Brey Notebook | 1.5

January 5, 2021

Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey spoke on Tuesday afternoon as the Irish are once again looking for an opponent to play. 

On G Trey Wertz: 
"He was back shooting yesterday. I don't think he'd be available to play tomorrow if we play. I'm hoping maybe Sunday in Blacksburg is the reality for him. Trending the right way." 

On G Robby Carmody:
"Progress - starting to maybe get on the court and shoot a little bit. The reality for Robby is there is no way he should be in any 5-on-5 competition this season. For his sake and also given what the season looks like, my feeling is to really let this heal and strengthen. Let's try 5-on-5 in the first summer school practice in June.” 

On F Elijah Taylor: 
"Had his surgery and it was successful. He's in a cast because they really want that immobile for probably at least another week and maybe he'll start doing some therapy with our trainer." 

On Georgia Tech game being canceled: 
"This is our sixth cancellation. It's been issues in the other programs. We've tried to recover. As we speak, we're trying to get Western Michigan down here. It's convenient, regional and was a scheduled game we tried to pull off back in December. We need to play games as much as we've replaced an ACC game with an ACC game on Saturday and we were the test case for that. As disappointing as it was as we lost a close one, we got the game in. 

"As we move forward, in a perfect world, it would be great to say let's try and do what we did on Saturday - matchup ACC opponents. For example, Florida State has a bye week this week and we have a canceled game, but Florida State is on a pause. Not that we would have been able to do that by tomorrow night - we're getting good at this. 

"I appreciate the league gave us the green light to play people regionally. Again, where we're located in our outpost here in South Bend, we might need a little more flexibility to get games in than people on Tobacco Road or the Southeast. That means a Western Michigan, Butler, DePaul, Valpo - regional bus ride situations we need to keep in mind. 

"Hopefully, by 5pm, we'll have word on if we're playing Western Michigan tomorrow." 

On 27-games:
"None of us are going to play 27 games. I think we've all realized that now. We got to get 13 first to be eligible to play in the Hoosier Tournament (NCAA Tournament) that they announced yesterday, which is kind of cool. I tip my cap to Dan Gavitt for being creative and trying just like we are. 

"We're not going to play 20 league games either. We just have to get games.

"My point this morning was if we wait - and Jack Swarbrick brought this up 10 days ago with a subcommittee for basketball - if we wait and fill cancellations with just league games, we're going to run out of time. We got to play games.

"Let's say we took the philosophy of replace canceled games with only ACC games, which the league would love to do, I get that. But we may only play 15 games if we do that. If we have the flexibility to play Western Michigan if one is canceled or DePaul or Butler or Marquette or Valpo, we may play 21 games. I don't know what it means for the NCAA Tournament, nor do I care right now. It's getting the experience for our kids as many games as possible. 

"Dan Gavitt back in September came out and said 13 game minimum to be considered, but the other thing he mentioned on the conference call with the ACC coaches was we feel 20 games would be a heck of a max out of a season in a pandemic. Maybe that's as good as it gets, but we're going to have to have this flexibility. It's going to happen again and again. We've been able to stay clean, but I'm a firm believer in the law of averages." 

On scouting frustrations with cancellations: 
"We watched a bunch of film of Georgia Tech yesterday. We actually walked through a bunch of their sets and watched film of our two games with the team yesterday after they lifted. 

"Prep wise, I remember watching Western Michigan a month ago. We got to go back to those files. I watch a half of the other team we're supposed to play, not a whole game or two games. Then I have whoever has the scout pull out some offensive and defensive clips. 

"In fairness in basketball, other than the Wake Forest coach who is new, so we're going to be playing Carolina. We know how they play. We know how Syracuse plays. Everyone knows how we play. We have memory, books and video. We have North Carolina breakdown tapes and drills. We have all that. The league is not crazy and it would be in football. There's no question, but in basketball, it's a quicker turnaround and you can adjust. We're not spending the usual time on watching film of our opponent. Six times now, that's been thrown out the window at the buzzer." 

On G Prentiss Hubb balancing scoring as a point guard:
"I think he really works hard to do both and I think he really worked hard since the Michigan State game because I thought his shot selection was not great. Nate Laszewski isn't having the year he's having without Prentiss Hubb finding him a bunch. 

"Post feeding Juwan Durham the last couple games and finding Dane Goodwin. I like how he balances it. He knows he's going to play long minutes, so he doesn't have to force anything yet. We need him to score. 

"I've had guards like this in the past as long as they don't force anything as far as bad shots and I think we've made progress there." 

On Western Michigan:
"What I remember from them is they're old and physical. Remember the Toledo team that came in here and we had to escape with our life? When I watched film of them a month ago, I turned to our staff and said they remind me of Toledo. I haven't followed their record and I don't know where they stand, but they're older. I watched them play Butler to the wire. Butler had a positive and kind of shut them down, which then shut us down. 

"That was November 26th watching the Butler game. New coach and they run their stuff, but I was impressed with like I was with Detroit Mercy and Toledo last year, older guys who are physical." 

On graduate transfer commitment from Paul Atkinson Jr.:
"I need a little more time, but I'm thrilled. I've done less scouting and more recruiting the last six weeks. It has damn sure paid off.

"I'm happy how I invested my time. We're really excited, especially when you think about who returns and plugging this young man in. Hopefully, by the end of the week or early next week, I'd like to talk to you more in-depth about his game and him and the whole bit." 

On ACC scheduling and flexibility: 
"They proposed yesterday that we should go to Pitt on January 30th, which was the date we were going to go to North Carolina. We gotta do it. That'll be on paper. Whether we get that far, but you gotta try something. 

"Pitt and Syracuse just did it for tomorrow night. Let's just try and figure it out and get the league games in. Give the ACC Network inventory." 

On G Cormac Ryan:
"He didn't score a whole lot, but I thought his tempo was better in the North Carolina game. It wasn't as rushed and not putting it on the floor. I remember some of the turnovers he had in earlier games. He has a better tempo. I thought the shots he got were great. 

"The one thing I know he kicks himself a little bit, he probably should have kept that ball at the end. I think the next time, as he grows, he'll take that last shot. Go to the hole and get a shot. 

"He always works defensively. Sometimes he works too hard. I thought his tempo of taking a shot, not over dribbling and not forcing things was much better. We didn't win and we didn't get the result we wanted, but I liked his tempo."

On NCAA Tournament and Indiana High School basketball tournament running side by side:
"That's the first thing I thought of when I saw the announcement. I thought of the all-inclusive Indiana High School State Tournament, which was depicted so well by the movie Hoosiers and any basketball fan loves that whole thing. 

"I think it's similar to that and I'll bet you Dav Gavitt and his people were saying let's steal a page from that book in this crazy pandemic year. 

"I think it's cool. I tip my cap to Dan Gavitt and his people coming up with something extremely creative when we're all screwed up and just trying our best to get through this thing." 

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Mike Brey Notebook | 1.5

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