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Notre Dame Basketball

Mike Brey Notebook | Post-Cal State Northridge Win

November 13, 2021

Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey spoke following the 68-52 win over Cal State Northridge on Saturday afternoon.

On the win: 
"I thought it was a hard game. We were having to play defense for long possessions. There weren't a lot of possessions. They were throwing it to the post and being physical and they had some bodies physically that we had to methodically be smart offensively to pull away. 

"I thought defensively, we were in good position and we had a little game pressure. That's good for the first game of the year as the rest of this schedule comes at us." 

On offense: 
"There's a great example of how they've (Blake Wesley and Paul Atkinson Jr.) added. I singled out Cormac and Prentiss after the game. I thought they guarded and moved the ball and found people even though they didn't score or as involved in the offense. They just played right. 

"That's a sign of some mature guys. I'm really proud of them because Blake and Paul were the guys going. Let's ride them. Certainly, Dane (Goodwin) has a different presence about him. He's physically guarding people. 

"One of the things we attacked with him was using his jump shot to set everything else up offensively. If you get a great look, take it. I think he's been more of a shooter first and then when they close out, he'll drive it. 

"Cormac and Prentiss - the security - we have to find a way to win and this is working for us. There is great maturity there and we have to keep it that." 

On Dane Goodwin finding a role like Steve Vasturia:
”That's who I kind of said my goal was to get him playing like. I think today he had Steve's tempo. He didn't do anything erratic. He played very smart and confidently. He was smart defensively. I just loved his presence overall. 

"That's a great comparison and no one was more dependable and rock-solid than Stevie V." 

On the potential of Blake Wesley starting:
"He and I have talked about that and that's not out of the question down the road. I actually thought about it at halftime. What's interesting is those seven know they're in the rotation, so just play right. 

"Now, those old guys get that and for Blake, it's kind of new. I told him at breakfast, don't force anything and let it come to you and you're going to play a lot today. 

"If that's the way we got to go some days - for Blake - Cormac, Trey, Dane and Prentiss, they're great big brothers to him. They've said we need you. 

"Prentiss is not threatened and he's secure. I'm proud of that. He knows we need him and bringing him along and they've done the same with Paul. 

"Prentiss turns to me early in the game and said, 'Let's run something to get Paul a touch.'"

On Blake Wesley's confidence:
"My thing with him is just don't force anything, you're going to play. You're coming off the bench, but you're going to play a lot. 

"I thought he had open jump shots and he just took them. Our great passers found him and then, in the second half, became a slashing guy. We went to him the last possession of the half. I wanted him to have the ball on a ball screen and he got in there. He probably should have shot it, but he dumped it and turned it over. 

"He has had a great frame of mind. He'll learn starting isn't as important as finishing and I bet he'll finish a lot and he also could start." 

On being able to go through Paul Atkinson Jr. in the post:
"My best years, even at Delaware, have been when you can throw it to low post guy and they have to respect it. You have some spacing around it. 

"I thought for Paul, there was an adjustment to physical bodies and he adapted. That's something we have to keep talking about. Now, there are different bodies coming at you on a nightly basis, but he plays with a great tempo. Our guys love throwing it in there to him." 

On where Notre Dame needs to improve:
"I really like where we are as far as our positioning on the first shot defensively. We just have to see if we can get that first miss. We're kind of back to that. I think that's always going to be something we have to keep an eye on. 

"Cormac Ryan, Dane Goodwin and Trey Wertz can all rebound. I thought our positioning and attention to detail against a down screen and cross-screen were great defensive drills. There weren't a lot of possessions, so you're offensive possessions have to be valued because you're going to go play defense for 25 seconds. 

"We're keeping it out of the middle. Our guards have done a better job in practice and not getting beat off the dribble as easy and having some pride in just staying in front of a guy." 

On defense helping the offense:
"I think we could rely on our defense a little bit more. We've improved there. It's been an unbelievable point of emphasis through the summer and fall. 

"I told them they were in the 50s. Let's see if we can keep people in the 50s and field goal percentage defense low. 

"I think we can rely on that better. We've been on it hard and they've been amazingly receptive. They know they're good offensively and then you add Atkinson and Wesley, those dudes can play. We have to move it, share it and take a good one, but on the other end, can we make it hard defensively for people and I think we're making progress there." 

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Mike Brey Notebook | Post-Cal State Northridge Win

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