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Notre Dame Basketball

Mike Brey Notebook | Post-Clemson

February 12, 2022

Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey spoke following the 76-61 win over Clemson on Saturday. 

On the win:
“That’s seven in a row under 65. I think our defense was really key and we never let them get going from the three-point line, which was a goal. Our zone helped us like it did in the first game. It changed the rhythm. 

“I thought we were really methodical offensively and it’s a group that’s played together a lot. You can really see it. The young guy is special. He jumps started us. When you have a special one, you kind of let him go.” 

On Clemson being down a few guys:
”When we prepped for them the first time they really stretched you. We were worried and we played zone. Brad runs such good stuff and it’s so methodical. It was hard to guard it man-to-man. They’re down some bodies.

“You know what’s awesome. The Clemson fans are awesome. They had a tough Tuesday and Thursday. That was a tough place to play. I tip my cap. They were out there supporting their team and their team is down some bodies. For us to get another road win and that’s six for us, we feel we got a chance man. We're chasing the guys from Durham for the regular-season title. They did their thing and we did ours. I’ve been excited about these seniors and how they’ve led.” 

On Blake Wesley:
”He’s really a gifted guy. You try not to take him out. I actually was subbing for him and he hit another one. I told Cormac Ryan to go in for Prentiss and let him go another four minutes.

“You know what's great about this team and this older group - they knew they needed Blake to get where they wanted to get - an NCAA Tournament bid. They’ve embraced him, especially Prentiss Hubb. They have said go for it because we need you to win. There has been no jealousy - he’s the guy from South Bend, he’s talked about a lot and he’s talked about a one-and-done or two-and-done. We need you to win and we got you. 

“I really respect that out of our seniors.” 

On the difference in the team over the last month:
”Defensively, we have really bought into helping each other on that end of the floor and changing defenses. Our zone has really helped us and then controlling tempo. We're not the fastest group. We’re not Virginia methodical, but we’re close the way we run it in the halfcourt. It almost challenges you because you’re not going to get it back as much. There aren't as many possessions. Who can be more efficient? We don't foul and don't put you on the line even though some Clemson fans thought we did today. 

“If we can limit threes and not foul, I don't think you can score 70 in a college game. I think we can make enough threes. We have not shot it well, but we made 13 today and Laszewski didn't make any. I tip my cap to him. He just gutted it out. He’s sore as heck, but he gave us some minutes to help us. 

“We’re a confident group and they had some goals they set as a senior class in the preseason and it’s neat they have ownership of themselves as they're chasing this thing. It's fun to watch.” 

On fouling less than 10 times for five out of the last six games:
”We really emphasize it. I think it's been part of our culture for a while. Not fouling and putting people on the line - I really talked to this group about not fouling because I wasn't sure we had a seventh guy, even though Nate gave us some stuff today. I'm really proud of him because he's still hurt.

"If you get people off the foul line and keep it at five or six threes, how do you get to 70? Maybe it's an analytic we've fallen into." 

On Cormac Ryan and Trey Wertz:
”I turned to the assistants with about 20 seconds left and said Trey and Cormac have been fabulous in this stretch. You know what's funny? A guy getting hurt ups their minutes. 

"I thought it would help those guys. One would start and they both would play more. Sixth and seventh men always want to play more and start. They're playing right. We get Nate back and have seven playing right, then we have a chance." 

On having a group that can answer opponents runs:
“I told our guys as good as our defense was - this has happened on the road four or five times - every time their crowd wanted to get into it, we had a mature, assassin-like offensive possession. Smart. That's where this group has really grown, knowing how to control tempo and get something smart offensively to slow a building down." 

On fifth straight ACC road game where Notre Dame has had a double-digit lead:
”I didn't know we could be this cruel and tough. I thought we had a chance to really grow. Our seniors were very hungry to do something special. They thoroughly embraced Paul and Blake, our two new guys. 

"A Hubb, Goodwin, Cormac Ryan, Laszewski and now Paul - those guys are old guys that really know how to play. They're really chasing something. We said, let's keep chasing the guys from Durham. They did their job and we did ours. We're going to keep chasing them." 

On Dane Goodwin:
”We've had different guys and Dane has been fabulous. We rode him for a stretch. He's a fearless guy. 

"Thankfully, our group knows who to ride. There is no baggage or jealousy. Hubb is directing that whole thing. Let's get Dane going. Let's get Blake going. We'll come back to Paul and Cormac here. Prentiss has done a great job quarterbacking the whole thing." 

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