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Notre Dame Basketball

Mike Brey Notebook | Pitt Win

January 30, 2021

Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey spoke following the 84-58 win at Pitt on Saturday night. 

On the win: 
"Our most complete game and I'm thrilled for our group. We've won three of four in this league and I know Wednesday was disappointing, but we have a chance to win four out of five if we can get Tuesday at home. Things can get interesting like they did last year when we came off at 2-6." 

On getting a rare blowout win at Pitt:
"A lot of memories in this building. We talked about our defensive stances and they've come a long way. Could we then get into a flow offensively from there? Could we start a second half better than we've started? 

"We really put it all together. I think we had 24 stop-scores and 15 was the highest we've ever had. That's an example of when we can come down the floor when the defense isn't set and read the defense and play basketball with good passers and shooters, it's fun to watch. That's kind of how we played tonight." 

On 7-0 run to start the second half:
"Scott Martin said we're up and playing well, but remind them we haven't started the second half well. We talked about that at halftime more than anything. We certainly delivered. We shot it well because we got good looks. We really passed it, moved and shared it. 

"When those seven guys are healthy, that's a nice rotation of guys that know who they are. I hope we can keep them fresh and healthy because I think maybe we found something." 

On establishing Juwan Durham on the block early in the game:
"It takes some pressure off. He has good low post footwork. We like throwing it in there and he's unselfish with it. He can score it around the bucket. 

"They got out on us like Virginia Tech did. You can throw it in there when guys are really mauling and pressuring you. He can go and score. That helps. It changes their ball pressure because they look and help a little. Then you get some looks.”

On Trey Wertz playing point guard: 
"I thought Trey Wertz being able to be our point guard - we've done this more. Trey to handle. Prentiss to come off the stuff and be like a scoring guard. We've kind of morphed into that now as Trey has gotten more comfortable and it's helped us." 

On practices following Wednesday: 
"We couldn't od much Thursday because it was such a physical game. We were fistfighting on the defensive end and trying survive offensively the way they guarded us. We went to the weight room and talked a little bit. I thought Friday's practice was really good. 

"This has been a cool group of kids. They're not too high when they win and not jumping off buildings when they lose. They know who they are and I thought we came here ready to go for it, kind of like we did at Miami. It's two road games in a row where we really just went for it." 

On showing the team they were improving despite Virginia Tech blowing them out:
"We won two of three. Disappointing we couldn't beat Virginia Tech. I heard Virginia Tech was pretty good today, by the way. We know who they are and we've seen them twice. 

"I showed them our KenPom defensive numbers. In three or four games, we went up from 202 to 140. Virginia Tech scored 62 points and shot 40 percent from the floor. That wasn't the problem. It's us getting into a flow offensively and being able to handle athletic ball pressure, which we knew we were going to see tonight. 

"We got some transition stuff and Juwan scoring early, so we looked at it as more of we won two of three and let's win three of four. We have a chance to win four of five. I actually said to flush Virginia Tech, we have a chance to win two-in-a-row. I'm trying anything." 

On Cormac Ryan:
"Cormac Ryan is such a natural rebounder. We didn't have him the other night. He hadn't been as comfortable. His other stats, assists to turnover, steals and rebounds. He just hadn't shot it well. The man can shoot the ball. I've watched this kid in practice all of last year. The man has a big-time stroke and it was only a matter of time. It was neat to see tonight and I'm thrilled for him. He can score it and he's got teammates that know how to find him." 

On Juwan Durham:
"Juwan has been playing well and it wasn't a very good night (VT) and only played 11 minutes the other night. I did not talk to him for two days, but he was going to start. I give him credit. I knew he'd be pretty good tonight bouncing back and getting himself ready." 

On defensive improvements:
"Through my 21 years, it's been a little bit of a roller coaster of who we are defensively. Coming off the Virginia road trip, which was crushing, we really had to challenge our kids and they challenge each other. We identified it. Some of the stuff we took away was just one-on-one defense without even having to help. We rotate and got a chest on a guy. We really have come a long way. We'll watch that tomorrow. We aren't going to watch any of our offense. We know how to play on that end of the floor. We have to keep sitting down in a stance and guarding our guy." 

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