Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Basketball

Brey Notebook: Colgate

December 20, 2016
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Notre Dame got back into its winning ways with a 77-62 win over Colgate on Monday night. Head coach Mike Brey saw his senior star VJ Beachem get back into his flow with a big night with 20 points that included six three-pointers.

“He needed to see some shots go in,” Brey said of Beachem. “We’re not getting an NCAA bid without our seniors playing well. We can’t get there without them. I have to keep finding ways to help them and keep them in the right frame of mind to be productive for us.”  

Another dynamic Brey is feeling comfortable with is his new assistant coaches. Ryan Ayers and Ryan Humphrey joined the staff as first time assistants and while they have had some growing pains, Brey believes there is a solid balance.  

“I think other than Rod (Balanis), we are still feeling ourselves during games with Ryan (Ayers) and Ryan (Humphrey),” he explained. “They will get better and I knew that going in. They are fabulous during practices with the individual attention in their office and how they talk to guys. That’s way more important than any game feedback. Rod really helps me in that department and he should because he’s been here all 17 years.  

“I thought they were good after two tough losses. They have been talking about how we are going to bounce back and bringing the energy. They’re entuastic and positive guys.”  

Christmas morning, I am going to wake up and we’re in the Top 25. - Mike Brey
Sitting at 10-2 with losses to top-ranked Villanova and a Top 15 ranked Purdue, Notre Dame is in a pretty good spot with one game left before ACC plays starts. There are two things that Brey will focus on when the team returns on Christmas night.

“I think two of the things we were really concerned about in the two losses were movement in the second half and our talk defensively,” said Brey. “We still have to grow there and we had couple breakdowns. The first half I think we were really good, but in spots we still have to communicate, especially our defense is away from our bench.”

The communication on defense is key with Notre Dame set to travel to some tough road environments.  

“We help our defense in the first, our bench and guys are talking,” Brey said. “We need to help each other more with communication on that other end. I do like how the guys coming off the bench are playing. We have four guys we feel really good about and they know who they are.”

As the team heads home for a few days, Brey will get a chance to relax and collect his own thoughts before the ACC battles begin.

“I am just going to lay low,” said Brey. “It’s great because we’re not in practice routine and I try to get into my workout routine. I think a lot about ACC basketball at this time. Your mind wanders to that.

“I told our staff it’s much better to be ranked at Christmas than rank. It’s a good thing. Christmas morning, I am going to wake up and we’re in the Top 25. It’s a good Christmas.”
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