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Notre Dame Basketball

Mike Brey Notebook | 1.23

January 23, 2021

Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey spoke on Friday afternoon as the Irish prepare for Miami on Sunday. 

On Prentiss Hubb vs. Boston College:
"He has managed our offense for the most part really well. One of the things we've tried to challenge him leading up to Boston College, and I would include Trey Wertz and Dane Goodwin, a more consistent competitive defensive stance. I think we addressed some things. His concentration on both ends of the floor, I thought it maybe was his best since he's been here. 

"Offensively, he gets it. He runs our team and he's cleaned up shot selection through the year. He's been better with his shot selection. Now, I want to add the defensive concentration and more of a physical stance. They have the ability to have a better, stronger and more focused stance on the ball." 

On Hubb trying to figure out what the team needs from him:
"I think the evolution of what he needs to do for our group, I thought he really got everybody involved. He's finding people. He finds Dane. Cormac (Ryan) being in a little smoother, more comfortable offensive rhythm probably helps him. 

"Also, Trey on the floor with him helps him handle the ball a little bit too. He gets off the ball some. He's found that he can sneak off the ball and be a two-man. That's an evolution, especially because Trey's only been eligible or healthy sporadically the last couple of weeks." 

On Hubb taking fewer shots at the end of the clock:
"One of the things we did on Thursday and Friday was go back to practicing with a 20-second shot clock. We get down the floor quick and we don't walk it up. Trying to get down the floor and get into a little more of swinging it and drive. Swinging it and throw it into the post. 

"It's a bit of a catch 22 because there's been nights where some guys aren't in a great rhythm and he looks around and goes, 'Ok, I tried to get everybody involved and they're not really feeling it, so I better try and do something.' That's probably where I've been protective of him at times. Having said that, I think we have other guys trending the right way and he can be a little more secure about spreading it around." 

On Miami: 
"Last time they played in their building, they beat Louisville. They weren't' very good up at Syracuse the other night. They're an athletic group. They're going to drive at our heart and our lane and be up on our backboard. That's an area where we have not been as good as we need to be. It's a great challenge for us. 

If we could put a two-game win streak together in this league given where we are, it would be a heck of a thing. That's what was so disappointing about Monday's game being canceled. The last media timeout in Charlottesville last Wednesday, I said, look, we have a chance to win two games in three days. I know that's greedy to say that when you've lost four in a row and been thumped, but I thought they needed some hope. I thought it was a realistic comment. 

"It was kind of disappointing as much as the Howard had a lot of symbolism, education and statements around it; it was also a team we could beat. To win two games in three days after what we've been through, I thought it would have helped us. 

"You back to a week of training camp and practice, yesterday we went to the arena and it was basically a game. We got up and down because we had to play mid-week. 

"Miami is driving at you, up on the backboard and it will be the rubber hitting the road for us. Can we handle it?" 

On not being at the 13 scholarship limit again:
"I guess we haven't forced it. I don't think we've ever said, 'Hey, let's fill them up.' That's probably part of it. You want guys to see a path to playing time, even though as freshmen, it's not there right away. 

"We've just kind of 11, 12 or whatever - next year if everyone comes back with everyone coming in, we'd be at 12, I believe. You find bodies, Elijah Morgan has been a heck of an addition, to make sure you have enough to practice. 

"It's probably been a little bit of don't force it and show guys a path. I've been a big believer in the locker room and guys knowing they're going to have a chance. You want to avoid it, but I guess you can't avoid it with the new rule of transfers, you like to retain kids. The way the world is now, we o have kids who just wanted to go and play. 

"I guess if it doesn't happen quick, kids are looking to go. The transfer rule, even though it was delayed, will go through. It's going to be year-to-year managing of your roster. As I talk through this, maybe it is more get 13 guys and if you lose three, replace them with two. It's a weird way of thinking and not how I've thought about it, but we may be in new territory when that rule becomes official."  

On balancing being scrappy and staying healthy: 
"I think we needed to remind our guys that they do have an edge. Nobody gets to this level of playing college basketball without being a competitor and having an edge about them. When you get thumped a little bit by really good teams, you're back on your heels  and human nature kicks in. 

"I just thought we had to taste it every day in practice and we continually do even though we scrimmaged yesterday. We started practice as we will today with our compete drill, which is one-on-one from different spots. The guards are out on the perimeter and the big guys are in the post. You're isolated. Can you put a chest on him? If you get scored on, you stay in until you get a stop and then another guy goes. 

"We had a situation yesterday with a player, we had different guys scored eight straight times on him before he got a stop. He was thoroughly exhausted. 

"I don't need anyone getting hurt either, so that's gotta be something we do the rest of the year. They really love it. They need it. They need to remind themselves of it. If it comes to three games in six games and recovery, we'll have to balance that, but we've got to stick our nose in there a little bit in our compete drill every day the rest of the day."  

On Nate Laszewski:
"When he's on the court, he does space the floor. If it's a second big guy guarding him, that's a difficult matchup. We've done a really good job of finding him in transition. He's hard to locate as he's running and spotting up. Our guards, especially Prentiss, really know where he is and have found him. 

"It's a tough matchup when you have a big on him. What a lot of people have done is anytime he's in a ball screen, they've switched him. Now, Prentiss' man is on Nate and he really is locked up in him. What we've kind of done is he's going into the post and we've posted him. He's gotten fouled, or he's got some buckets inside. 

"I really give Prentiss a lot of credit for that. He sees that right away and verbalizes that. Nate's scoring and doing it all kinds of ways. I'm proud of the guy he's become." 

On lack consistency from team:
"We've been all over the board in other areas. You try a little bit of everything. A little bit of tough love, confidence giving and a little bit of changing the lineup. Cormac Ryan coming off the bench, has that helped him? He comes in and he's been a little smoother and not as frenzied on the offensive end. He always defends for us and works on the defensive end. 

"Dane Goodwin, the same way. He's rolling and then all of a sudden, he's a little bit missing in action. We bring him off the bench. 

"You'd like not to start guys to jumpstart them and get to a maturity level of you seven guys are playing and here's how we're going to start. Can you deliver? We've not been able to find that. You keep pushing buttons and playing around with some stuff with lineups, playing time, starting and tough love. The day before the game hugging them up to get them feeling good. It's a little bit of a mixed bag. 

"I've certainly do not have the finger on the pulse of it at this point." 

On playing a conference tournament this year: 
"We've all talked about it on our campuses with our ADs. There has been nothing from the ACC office and Paul (Brazeau) on a change of plans for the ACC Tournament. 

"one of the theories my AD (Jack Swarbrick) has - and he's on the subcommittee and talks weekly with Paul, is why would your team go all the way to Greensboro when the risk is you could only play one game? Is there a different format in Greensboro where you're guaranteed more than one game? Jack Swarbrick has thrown a lot of different ideas at Paul and I think that's valid. 

"How that shapes up, I don't know. There are a lot of things being thrown out there, but by February 1, we probably are going to have to make some decisions on if it will be the normal format or if it will be different. 

"One of the concerns I heard brought up is will teams opt-out of the ACC Tournament given their situation? That's probably a reality. They could say, 'We're done.' I know Paul is trying to be as flexible as possible, but I like the idea of maybe the format is different and not everyone goes down there and the guys who lose are done. You get a couple games guaranteed. 

"One idea I heard as three five-team pods so everybody would have four games. That's kind of interesting. I don't know what that does for TV and we have to fulfill that for the ACC Tournament window. More guaranteed games, given that we've lost games and we're not going to have the full allotment is probably a good idea."

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