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Notre Dame Basketball

Mike Brey Notebook | Georgia Tech

January 8, 2022

Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey spoke following the thrilling 72-68 win at Georgia Tech on Saturday evening. 

On the win: 
"They've all been like that here. You can feel it coming the last 10 minutes. I'm really proud of our group. We've really grown in some areas of mental toughness and believing we're going to finish. 

"To find a way to finish it - our old guys were really good. Blake (Wesley) was fabulous. There's a neat vibe about this group now starting with the Pitt game, Carolina and tonight. They feel they're going to figure it out."

On team making the game hard at times:
"We want to sell tickets and we're all about ratings - that might be part of it. We weren't very good early defensively. We found a way to figure it out in the second half. I have a feeling all our games will be like this. So far, we've come out on the right side of it.

"I talked to them the last eight minutes about being right where we want to be. Game pressure on them and see if they can figure it out." 

On getting Dane Goodwin, Prentiss Hubb and Nate Laszewski going at the same time, but last three buckets in OT came from them:
"I'm really proud of those three guys and I would add Carmody as far as being a part. They've traveled a long journey to want to be good, better and special. They've set the tone for us, starting with the Kentucky game. They've all made big plays at different times and have shown experience and toughness.

"They kind of deserve what they're getting. Great kids, great attitudes and they've done everything we've asked them to do." 

On what it means to get an ACC win on the road in overtime:
"It's a confidence builder and I'm going to keep convincing them we win close games because I think every one will be like this. I'm going to need my rest emotionally. 

"I love the group." 

On being in 4th place in the ACC:
"I know there are 8pm games tonight and I told the guys I can't wait to look at the standings at midnight. We're going to be in fourth at 3-1. I actually mentioned it to them because I want them to keep dreaming it and put a banner up for regular season champions. By the way, there's a 2015 banner from the tournament. We're in the mix and we need some rest." 

On his excitement knowing his team can win close games:
"I think the karma is swinging back our way. You ride karma. I just look at little signs and trends. You have to earn karma, don't get me wrong, but I just feel like the karma is swinging back our way. 

"This group has been really determined to figure out a way to win. You have our seniors and you add these two new guys, Paul (Atkinson Jr.) and Blake are great additions, but the leadership of Nate (Laszewski), Prentiss and Dane has been really good as far as talking and trying to get us to where we are now." 

On Prentiss Hubb:
"He had nine assists and didn't score at halftime. He wants his team to win bad. He's been Blake's mentor and you can watch that interaction. He has great comments and he has great suggestions to me at times. He's been in our system and knows us. 

"He knows his weapons around him. One timeout, he said let's keep going to Paul. I said, exactly. He's bounced back from a tough start. He's our voice and serves the drink for us." 

On Paul Atkinson Jr. coming off the bench tonight:
"It was a little bit of two things. Cormac is our best defender and we thought to put him on Devoe. I didn't think Paul was playing very well. I didn't think Paul's edge was up and I really challenged him the last couple days. I thought he responded big-time to we need more and you need to be more active. 

"He responded like a man. We went back to that lineup with Paul and Nate in the second half. It was a little bit two-fold. We needed more, man. He responded well." 

On zone defense in the second half:
"That saved us a little bit. We rode it pretty good. It stalled them. That's when we made the run to tie it. I think what we've done in all three league wins, we've gotten out of the zone at the right time and gone back to playing man-to-man to finish the game. 

"It can buy us some time and change a rhythm of a team, which it did in really all three games, Carolina especially and this one tonight. 

"To win it, you gotta get bodies on bodies. I thought we were great keeping our chest on people and guarding drivers. We couldn't do that the first 15 minutes. They were going by us like we weren't there." 

On veterans in the huddle down the stretch:
"They were great. By the time I get in there, they're talking about it. I'm really convincing them that we're the best at game situations. We love it. We're addicted to it. 

"This is our time. We get to overtime and let's roll. This is what we wanted. I think they're starting to believe that." 

On message to Blake Wesley on his late three:
"I think what I tried to do with him and he's such a special one. This is special, man. Just take a good one. Keep it simple. Sometimes he settles a little bit and then sometimes a great player goes, 'Hey coach, I got this' and just rises up and gives you the lead. 

"'Hey Ben Hansbrough. Hey Blake Wesley. Let me shut up and go ahead and win the game.'

"I think I'm experienced enough to get the hell out of the way of great players and let them play. He's fearless. I thought he and Hubb together were having fun the last few minutes. They were driving and kicking to each other. They were yo-yoing and had the defense on their heels." 

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Mike Brey Notebook | Georgia Tech

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