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Notre Dame Basketball

Mike Brey Notebook | Louisville Loss

February 23, 2021

Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey spoke following Tuesday's disappointing loss at Louisville. 

On the loss:
"When we made a little bit of a run in the second half, we had a few open looks in transition that we're going to have to make to beat a Louisville. We made those in Durham to make it interesting and we couldn't make them here. 

"They are a great defensive team. They can athletically guard you and take away stuff. It was hard for us to score against their set defense. Some guys made threes to start the game I didn't expect, but that was kind of a hole we could never really dig out of." 

On not having top seven players playing well:
"You're not going to beat a team as talented as Louisville - as gifted as Louisville. We need all seven of them playing well to beat anybody. Those seven have to be a good rhythm. We had some guys that just didn't play well offensively. 

"I think you have to give Louisville credit. They couldn't really cut and move or take it off the dribble, so we were left with Prentiss Hubb almost being the only guy that could do it. When we get into that mode, we're just grasping at straws." 

On Nate Laszewski: 
"The reason he's shooting a high percentage is he doesn't take any bad shots. He can't go get his shot off the dribble and that's kind of a good thing because he can't force anything. I think what's happened is they've switched ball screens with him. When athletic teams switch ball screens with him and that had the feel of a Virginia Tech defense - and there's an athletic guy up in him, he's got nowhere to go. 

"I feel for him there. We tried to run a couple out of bounds things for him to get looks and he got a couple looks. He didn't make any of them, but when they're switching everything and there's an athlete up in him, it's hard for him. To his credit, he just swings the ball and doesn't force anything and tried to defend and rebound on the defensive end." 

On shot selection:
"I thought we got some pretty good looks. I'll go back to the Virginia Tech feel of an athletic defense. You're maybe so harassed by the time you get the open look, you're feet aren't very calm. I think that causes you not to shoot it as well. The ones we needed when we were hanging around and got it to five were transition ones. Those were clean ones we had made before and that helps us. We didn't make any of them."

On losing the rebounding battle:
"Their athletic ability on the backboard is freakish. We have a hard time controlling that some nights." 

On watching the team struggle on offense and on the glass:
"It's hard. You're subbing differently. We went to four guards and we didn't play the two big guys much together because at least we got Juwan on some roll stuff. We had some guys who could drive and get fouled. You're hanging on for dear life. 

"It's a real mental test because you can't see a bucket go in, but then you have to go back down on the other end and defend and block out some athletic ability. It's not a recipe for us to win a game. I'm sitting there watching really almost 40 minutes of this is going to be intense defense and we're going to struggle and can we rebound it well enough to hold them off. We never really could. We tried. We had a spurt in the second half. When we cut it to five, it still felt like 10 because everything was so hard." 

On Notre Dame’s defense:
"They shot 42 percent from the floor for the game. That's pretty good. Now, they got 14 offensive rebounds and many of them were at key times. (Carlik) Jones made some big ones because he's a player of the year candidate. He's a great guard. We even played a little box-and-one. We tried a little bit of everything so someone else would take a shot. 

"We got some other guys to take the shot, but we couldn't get the first miss enough. When we got the first miss and here we come, five-on-four, four-on-three, or four-on-two because they have so many guys crashing. We got some really good looks and we don't hit any of them. That's really deflating. We didn't get any of them. You just can't get over the hump then." 

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