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Notre Dame Basketball

Mike Brey Notebook | Miami Win

January 24, 2021

Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey spoke following the 73-59 win over Miami.

On the win: 
"I thought defensively we were really good to keep them in the 50's and 38 percent shooting from the floor. We played a lot of zone tonight, yet our stances were good keeping people in front of us. 

"We shared the ball and we had 19 assists - a little too many turnovers, but we shared the ball. Methodically made the right plays on offense. Maybe we're finding something defensively in the last two." 

On the importance of building on last week's win:
"We needed it bad. You had to wait so long to play. I give these guys credit. Their concentration when it's eight practice between games instead of two or three has been pretty good. 

"A two-game win streak in our league and to win a road game no matter who you're playing - you kind of feel a little bit differently and feel more confident. We've been searching for a little bit of a vibe and confident body language. We had a little bit more of that in the second half." 

On knowing he can make a starting lineup change and have it be positive: 
"You have great kids. Simply, we've been into this compete drill and who competes the hardest. The blue shirts, which started the game, competed harder than the white shirts.  Even though I rotate the jerseys in practice, that group competed harder. Halfway through practice, I said they're starting.  To the credit of the starters, their attitude and heads were great. 

"The starters rooted all day yesterday, today and in the shootaround for the guys starting. They were really good at trying to help them be confident and cheering for them the first four or five minutes. It's the kind of kids we get at Notre Dame. They were fabulous. I'm proud of how they handled it." 

On this game being the one to change the lineup:
"Our tone of better stance, better chest, more attention to detail defensively and more accountability defensively - guarding your guy and not getting beat off the dribble, I thought that started Thursday and Friday in practice before Boston College. I thought we carried it over really well. 

"It then became eight days of demanding it, which is a little bit of a pain in the backside for our guys. 

"My feeling was I have to draw a line in the sand and even though they are our starters and played really well against Boston College, I think that standard has to stay for our group. We'll see who starts on Wednesday based on Tuesday's practice and who competes the hardest." 

On good first half:
"They had 22 points at halftime. I thought our defense was great and we were good in our zone. We had a little 3/4 court pressure to take some clock off. We were accountable in a stance. We had active hands. We do have some guys that have steal instincts and when you let them play in an open stance, they get their hands on stuff. We had eight steals, which is a lot for us. 

"I thought offensively we were in a good rhythm. I thought Prentiss was fabulous. Prentiss may have played his best overall game last Saturday and I didn't start him. You hope you have a great enough relationship with Prentiss, Nate, Dane and Juwan that they all will respond the right way. 

"Sometimes you never know and you worry about that, but I think I've invested enough over three years with my relationship that they're going to respond well and they did." 

On Prentiss Hubb:
"He was pissed off. He was talking in our huddles, challenging guys if they got beat and getting guys in the right position. There was even more of a strong personality. I hope he continues with that." 

On game pressure when Miami cut the lead to seven in the second half: 
"I think it would have been panic on my part if I called timeout. Our players knew we had timeouts and we had the arrow if you got tied up in a trap. I'm sure Prentiss may have wanted to call a timeout, but I'm not going to call a timeout. We need to work ourselves through it. I thought we did a great job working through it and we got a little more organized being receivers and we scored against the press. That helps. We didn't play scared or safe. We went and scored against it. 

"My assistants were saying to call a timeout, but I just didn't' want to do that. We have to tough through this thing." 

On staff agreeing with starting lineup change:
"I yelled it at the top of my lungs at the end of practice. 'That's it. The blue shirts are starting tomorrow. Shoot 10 free throws and I'll see you on the bus.'

"There was no debate. My assistants read the defense well and said we aren't going to poke back at this one. I second-guessed myself on the plane, but we have great kids and we're trying to set up a competition standard. I'm really proud of them. I thought they would react well and I'm not surprised they handled it like men." 

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Mike Brey Notebook | Miami Win

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