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Notre Dame Basketball

Mike Brey Notebook | Post-Howard

January 17, 2022

Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey spoke following the win over Howard.

On what he learned about his team during today's game:
"This wasn't much different than the games we've been in the last month where there is game pressure, game situations and we've got to make decisions. It was one of those where you could feel it the whole first half. We were going to have to escape to win the game. 

"I'm thrilled we escaped. We turned the ball over too much. You can go over the mistakes we made, but we did find a way to get out of here." 

On Nate Laszewski:
"I think he's in a great frame of mind. The decision we made early in the second half was we can only play one big guy. We even experimented with five guards, but we were going to play one big guy. They were hard to deal with and they were switching stuff. 

"I think he played the whole second half. We couldn't take him out. He was solid defensively. He made some big shots. He was a pressure release. He played like the senior he is." 

On this game being too far as it relates to game situations:
"Some of our turnovers against pressure were an adventure and disappointing. I think you have to give Howard credit. They really came after us as you could probably tell, this atmosphere was as good as any ACC road atmosphere as far as hard on the visiting team. 

"Of course, we had a lot of fans here, which was cool. We made the free throws. We made the passes. Prentiss (Hubb) had at times tough stuff, but he made a big drive to win the game." 

On playing a hard game less than 48 hours ago leading to turnovers and mistakes:
"I was very worried today physically and mentally for us. We did invest a lot in Blacksburg in a really physical game. We really need two days off now before we get going in practice on Thursday. We did some tough stuff when we had to." 

On going with Nate Laszewski over Paul Atkinson Jr. in the second half: 
"It wasn't necessarily Paul was playing bad or someone was playing bad. It was let's ride four guards around Nate and let him be the focus. I think he really delivered for us. You ride what you ride.

"I'm proud of him. He was an anchor defensively and he scored for us. He kind of played with a will to win. I think that's an area he's really grown." 

On offense with four guards: 
"We really couldn't run our offense against them. They were switching everything, contesting, trapping and eventually, you had to drive it. I thought we had some great drives and we had a key back cut by Cormac (Ryan) at the right time. 

"What helped us was having four guards in to alleviate a little bit of pressure instead of two big guys." 

On Prentiss Hubb:
"One thing about Prentiss Hubb as you have seen, he can make a mistake or miss a shot or turn it over, but he doesn't get deflated. He does want to make a play to win the game. That's why no matter what's happened leading up to the last 30 seconds, I'm apt to keep him out there. That was a big-time drive." 

On Cormac Ryan bouncing back after missing free throws against Virginia Tech:
"I know that was a tough one the other night. He steps up and sticks both of them. He's a fearless dude. He's just a winner. I felt bad for him the other night, but he wanted to be right back in there and made two big ones. His back cut was a key play too." 

On what Blake Wesley is doing to become an elite freshman:
"I think he has great veteran teammates to play with. Prentiss Hubb has been a great mentor to him. For the most part, he's really lets the game come to him. I think he fits well with our personnel. 

"He's a special talent getting to the basket and has good length. I thought he had some great defensive sequences. Tough time with the ball a couple times, but he's learning. 

"In college, you have to play with two hands on the ball and you can't play with one hand. He's been able to play with one hand because he's so talented, but he gives us an unbelievable lift. I think he has really good older teammates that are like big brothers and have helped him. 

On the next step for Wesley: 
"One of things we've really challenged him is being a more consistent practice player, coming in every day and being prepared. Every freshman has that issue. Can they come back and be business again? 

Nate Laszewski and Dane Goodwin are amazing role models for him because they're business every day in practice. That's something we talked to him about and I talked to him before practice about being locked in. 

"It happens with a lot of young guys, but he's so coachable. He's really coachable." 

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