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Notre Dame Basketball

Mike Brey Notebook | Post-Wake Forest

February 19, 2022

Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey spoke following Saturday's loss to Wake Forest. 

On struggling to get in a flow offensively down the stretch:
”Their defense really picked up. They're really good. You have to give them a lot of credit. I thought we were going to have to score 80-something to get out of here tonight. They're just too good offensively. 

"We had some great looks. Cormac (Ryan) made one on the other side and he had a great look to tie it. They beat us up inside, which people continually will come after us inside." 

On 18-4 and 17-4 runs in the first half:
”I just love our group. I told them, heads up and that was a great college game. Two really good teams going at it. Their crowd was awesome. It was an unbelievable college basketball atmosphere. We hung in there and kept making plays to give ourselves a chance. We just couldn’t quite get our hands on enough first misses and loose balls. We doubled one time in the post and they hit a three. It’s the old 3 vs. 2 thing. I said we’ll get out of that. 

“We had 43 points at halftime and I’m thinking we're going to have to score 85 to win. They’re just too good offensively and we couldn’t.” 

On the law of averages swinging against them after road success the last two months: 
"No question. Also, how we beat them in the tournament last year. We beat them twice. I'm thinking this is going to be a hard one today. The law of average- basketball Gods say if you get this one today, it's going to be one of the great steals. 

"We'll go back and get a little bit of rest. We're glad we have two at home this week. We emptied the tank. They made some more plays. 

"(Alondes) Williams was everything as advertised. We tried a little bit of everything and had no answers." 

On comfort he can take knowing his team has responded after a loss:
"Our guys are really disappointed they couldn't finish. They really believe. Of course, we haven't been in bounce-back mode much. When we have, we've delivered. That's where we're at with a Syracuse team coming in here on Monday. 

"I have full confidence in this group. They're in the midst of chasing some things they've never done before. They'll rally and be ready for practice." 

On Wake Forest winning the offensive boards 16-2:
”We played small a bunch, which we've done and it helped us. Think about the first half. We won the first half. We played small. We had 43 points, but they had nine offensive rebounds. We're going to give up something, but can we score more? 

"We really couldn't do that in the second half and we felt we tried to play bigger at times, the two of them at the same time. We did do a little better job on the backboard. 

"It's that trade-off of we're small and we're giving up some second shots, but we just went on an 8-0 run and we made three threes. That's my dilemma over there with the staff all the time." 

On Blake Wesley ascending while other freshmen are hitting the wall:
“First of all, he's an athletic marvel. He's an absolute freak of nature and I mean that in a complimentary way genetically. He's a beautiful athlete put together. 

"He has a toughness about him and a will. He plays a little older. I'm just so pleased with how he's improved, especially with shot selection, playmaking and he was involved in everything today. 

"He continues to get better defensively. He comes down and rebounds for us. Just thrilled how he's playing.” 

On playing two bigs:
”It's always a feel thing. We started most of the season with two bigs until Nate (Laszewski) has been injured. The one thing that's been interesting with one big is we can score. Cormac Ryan gets another 12. Now that he's starting and kind of feeling a little better about himself, he's getting us double digits consistently. That's an interesting thing moving forward and do we continue to start that way and bring Nate off the bench with Trey (Wertz)? 

"The two bigs are good to us and then when do we want to spread it out even more and Dane (Goodwin) is our second big? We could never really take advantage much of Dane as our second big enough tonight. 

"Dane's the first guy on the scouting report. They take him away a little bit and some other guys did some stuff." 

On losing when they hit 14 threes:
”I said, God, what a waste of bullets. You made 14 tonight and can't get out of there. We were going to have to score and make shots to beat them. Can you absorb enough twos and they made six threes. The one time we doubled the post, the basketball Gods will come to me in my sleep and say, I told you not to double the post. 

"Those jump hooks are hard to watch sometimes. I do think we can get a little better position. We're getting caught a little too deep, but they still count as two. We feel overall we've been able to absorb that, but not necessarily in the second half today." 

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