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Notre Dame Basketball

Mike Brey Notebook | Win Over North Carolina

January 6, 2022

Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey spoke following Wednesday's win over North Carolina. 

On the win:
"I'm proud of our group because like the Pittsburgh game last week, we had game pressure on us. We had to make some big shots and get some stops - and we did. They're so potent offensively. We had it under control and they go on that run, but again, I think we've grown a little bit this week as far as believing how to finish games and being in close games. 

"To be 2-1 in this league after how we had to win the last two games, I'm thrilled." 

On old guys playing old: 
"Experience - it was Prentiss (Hubb) the other night and it was Nate (Laszewski) tonight. What I've been impressed with the last two games was the huddles under eight minutes have both been really close games and you're not sure - we really came out of those pretty poised and figured out a way to finish. 

"We've shown some real toughness, poise and belief, which is great to see." 

On North Carolina's three-point shooting:
"It's one of those things where they made eight tonight, but they've made double-digit threes the last couple games. I know they got three guys out there who can really stroke it. Our thing was, let's just see if it's more two-point shots. It's tough when those jump hooks are going in, but they count as two. 

If you look at our numbers, we can make double-digit threes and then all of a sudden, we're scoring. At halftime, we had 39 and we were scoring. 

"That's four straight games of double-digit threes. I think it was mystery early shooting the ball, but we can really shoot it. We're getting calmer feet. 

"It was almost like the big fella from Kentucky. We've done this. Those count as two. We're up two possessions. We're not going to start doubling and biting guys because they made two in a row and the whole complexion changes. We did a better job after that guarding the arc." 

On senior leadership:
"These old guys have played a lot of basketball, especially the Dane, Laszewski and Hubb trio. They were in there as freshmen. They're hungry. I think they have great ownership of their team and would like to do something memorable. Sometimes it's my job to stay out of their way and let those guys lead, talk and figure it out. 

"Cormac Ryan, I thought was flat out fabulous defensively. I thought (Trey) Wertz gave us great minutes in the first half. He wasn't in there as much. 

"Blake (Wesley) is a gifted guy. Sometimes when we have a hard time scoring, he just gets us a bucket. I'm learning to let him loose to do that." 

On going with The Bend instead of South Bend on Blake Wesley starting lineup introduction:
"We haven't got to that yet. They say from right here in South Bend. Maybe as a sophomore (winks).

"It's really neat when he gets a hand from our people and it's South Bend, Indiana. It's a great story. Couldn't ask for more poise out of him. 

"He has good big brothers on this team that know they need him and know how to talk to him when he's young." 

On Prentiss Hubb turning a corner recently and Nate Laszewski having a big game:
"I'm going to convince them - here we go. Dane's been there. We have all three guys cranking. For Nate, he only got four shots or five shots - he's not going to just go get a shot. He does play with very good passers. Tonight, they really found him and he is moving himself around in some of the stuff we're doing offensively and learning to be crafty and find some spots. 

"Every one he rose up to take was going in. I'm thrilled for him. What's probably lost in him shooting the ball so well, the man defends his backside off. He works. He's dealing with Bacot most of the night, then he rebounds, rotates over and takes a charge. He talks. He gives so much effort on the defensive end. 

"It'd be nice to see all three of these guys in Atlanta. Here we go. Everyone ready? Let's go." 

On Cormac Ryan:
”He's a warrior. I do think bringing him off the bench has helped a little bit. He comes in and evaluates. He's a little calmer. I think a mistake I made was I didn't play him enough in the first half. He only played eight minutes and he should have played more. I corrected that in the second half. 

"He's our best defensive guard. He took the charges. We kept flipping him to Davis or Love depending on who we were afraid of the next couple minutes. He just stayed in front of them. He just works and made some big shots. He's a believer. I'm thrilled for him and he works at it. He wants to win." 

On Dane Goodwin:
"He has really kind of been different since June in our summer practices. He had three assists tonight. He had four the other night in Pittsburgh. He's really become a guard. I teased him all of last year, 'When are you going to be a guard and not a high school four-man.' 

"Certainly, he can score around the bucket. We find him, post him and run him off stuff. Now, he's made some plays. He's had seven assists in two games. It's almost like there's been a lightbulb there as far as finding people too. I think that growth is great. He's a warrior on that backboard. I know he didn't shoot it as well tonight, but the stuff around the bucket when we get him a touch, I think it's going every time." 

On Dane Goodwin and Blake Wesley shooting well from mid-range:
"It does help us. I tried to talk to Blake and I think he's gotten better at not settling for the three. He did on a couple tonight, but he can get to 15 and get you one. Dane can you that a little a bit. 

"That does help us where we're not living out there. We couldn't really establish Paul (Atkinson Jr.) tonight like we did at Pittsburgh, but we got some drives. Now, they start to get aware of our shooters and that hole opens up and we get a drive. Prentiss gets fouled and we get to the bucket a little bit." 

On road trip to Georgia Tech:
"If you can get to 3-1 in this league, you are starting to really feel it. We have to get some rest tomorrow. We're going to play against the zone. They play their little matchup zone down there. It's a tough place to play. 

"I think our guys remember we were in position last year playing really well and we couldn't finish it. There's a good vibe about this group. I think we found something this week. See if we can take it on the road." 

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Mike Brey Notebook | Win Over North Carolina

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