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Notre Dame Basketball

Mike Brey Notebook | Virginia Tech Loss

January 27, 2021
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Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey spoke following the 62-51 loss to Virginia Tech. 

On the loss: 
"I don't want to see them again. They've shut us down physically and defended us twice now. We got no answers and I don't know if I helped our guys much offensively. 

"It's a heck of a group. They're men and they're physical in the lane. They're really athletic defensively and there was nothing close to any type of offensive rhythm and it was because of their defense." 


On finding answers:
"I don't know. That's a great question. I may be running out of buttons. Throwing it to the post has helped us against pressure defense. We went in there to Juwan (Durham) and he couldn't finish. That helps us when he can get a couple in there and we don't have to try and drive against such athletic ability. 

"It was demoralizing - we had a couple layups where we beat a guy and some of the recovery blocks they made athletically - that's a whole other level. 

"They scored 62 points and only shoot 40 percent from the floor. That's about as good as we're going to do defensively. We don't have much time to dwell on it. We have to turn around and see if we can go to Pittsburgh and be better." 


On facing pressure and athleticism:
"I think they're tougher. They have tougher guys. I love my guys, but they're really tough and physical defensively. It's exhausting playing against it. It kind of wears you out.

"It's not any secret weapon. We tried a little bit of everything offensively to try and help our group. I couldn't help them at all with any different kind of movement or look or entry.

"We actually drove it a little in the second half and got some fouls. We were better with the ball. I think we had nine turnovers at halftime and that's such a deep hole to dig out of. Anytime you had a little bit of life, they made a play right at your throat. Assassins. This group of Virginia Tech guys are assassins." 


On PG Prentiss Hubb:
"The interesting thing with Hubb is I know people get on him sometimes trying to do too much. There is a perfect example of when we can't get really anything else going, then it's the only choice we have. Yeah, he's got to force some stuff and make some plays, but he's really a tough kid. 

"It was bothering him that we couldn't get stuff. I have the utmost respect for him. He just didn't have much help tonight, so he has to do a little bit more and then he ends up forcing some plays and having a few turnovers, but it's the only option we have sometimes. It's nice when we have a little more balance. He was on an island tonight trying to do stuff and I got the utmost respect for him. He lays it on the line all the time." 


On turning the page to Pitt:
"We'll flush it and move on. There's no film to watch. We'll come in tomorrow and get ready for Pittsburgh and understand Pittsburgh has physicality and athletic ability that can get out and guard us like Virginia Tech. We move on quick." 


On what it takes to beat a team above them in the ACC:
"I don't know. We've not really been able to do that. I don't know. I think that's frustrated all of us, our players included. We haven't been able the last two years to get anybody above us. We'll have some chances, but it's kind of where we are. 

"We're kind of pigeonholed right now in this league the last year and a half. It's an amazingly gifted league at the top as we have experienced the last year and a half." 


On finding toughness:
"I actually think starting with the Boston College game, we've played with a little more edge and physicality. I thought a couple plays tonight we were in position and they just jump over you. We fought to get our chest in front of people and just couldn't finish the play. 

"I think we've upped it really and it was demoralizing that we couldn't get anything going offensively. There's no question Cormac (Ryan) helps us and is another guard that can maybe go off the dribble and make a play when you have to have some guys to do that. 

"Prentiss was about the only guy who could do that most of the night. Dane (Goodwin) did a little bit more in the second half. Trey (Wertz) actually - this level of intensity for Trey is really something he's adjusting to. I do think he's improved and understanding how physical the game is in this league. It's still a learning curve for him in some issues. Some of his drives in the second half when he was pissed and got a three-point play, he hadn't done that. I don't think he's ever had to do that against those kind of bodies. We have to give him time to do that." 

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Mike Brey Notebook | Virginia Tech Loss

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