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Notre Dame Basketball

Mike Brey Notebook | Post-Georgia Tech

February 26, 2022

Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey spoke following the 90-56 win over Georgia Tech on Saturday evening. 

On the win: 
”We really got out of the gate. We hadn't had a game like that in the league. I thought we were really ready to play. Getting stops and being able to run, I think, is something we're understanding is a fun way to play. The run in the first half as a coach, you sit back and enjoy it. 

"21 assists. Unselfish guys just playing the right way." 

On the game being easy:
"You get to the point in the season where a team that has nothing to lose comes here and we have something to lose. Are you tight? We just played. 

"Again, I think our defense was a key. What did they have? Nine offensive rebounds. That's 41 assists this week. The way we move it and share it and do it freely  - we don't worry if we're the hockey assist guy or the assist guy or the guy that gets the bucket. That is a key part of the fabric I want to make sure - just don't mess with it fellas. It's really good." 

On finding a different gear heading into March:
"I think we've been a little closer to having seven playing well, the seven that play. You have free minds, leadership and again, I think it really starts with (Prentiss) Hubb quarterbacking us the right way. 

"I'm so impressed with how Blake Wesley has learned how to be a more efficient guard. One of the phrases we've used with this team is you're winners and you're learners. 

"They really have been awesome learners as we've tried to teach, help and coach. It's really rewarding as the teacher to have students like this." 

On if this is what he expected from Cormac Ryan:
"I thought we would be able to get a little more on the offensive end. He's always rebounded and defended. When you're the sixth man coming off and maybe your rope is a little shorter, maybe you're a little more uptight. 

"It's funny how an injury to Nate  (Laszewski) opened the door to starting him and jump-starting him mentally on the offensive end of the floor. Now we have Nate healthy and Nate's like, 'I'm good. If you're good, I'm good. Let's go.' 

"For now, we'll do it that way. Who knows if we'll ever go back the other way." 

On characterizing change from last year at this time:
"In our profession, you're going to get put on the mat. You're going to get put up against it. That probably was the third time I've been put on the map in 22 years. Fortunately, I've had great support. People have had my back and hung with me - my bosses. 

"I felt if we could get it right with staff and how we come at them in the summer, I felt we could be really good. We're better than I thought we'd be. I really am proud of how they figured themselves out at 4-5. 

"It's a great example of the coaching profession, right? You just hang in there, keep working and griding. Our crowd has been fabulous. Our students were great and I know I'm going to lose them. They're going on spring break, but that's why I wanted to do a lap with them. We were sold out today. This job has been a great fit. It's a great fit. We worked to get momentum back. We get momentum and then some.

"As a coach, you're fully aware of what you sign up for in our profession."  

On when he knew the team was better than he expected:
"I actually thought how we responded after Boston College to beat Kentucky, I thought that week of practice and some mental work and then we delivered. We delivered with Hubb and Laszewski sitting next to me the last four minutes. I was like, this is pretty good. We got something here.

"I thought our captains were really good that week as we changed some things offensively and prepared differently. 

"I am so happy for our seniors. We threw them to the wolves as freshmen. It's funny. I was thinking the rotation of when we were going to go young and play these guys. We haven't really done that here. The mat said you have three one seeds in the league the year you're throwing your guys in there. 

"Now, they come around as seniors and there's no one seeds. Maybe there's a law of averages. Laszewski, (Dane) Goodwin, Hubb and (Robby) Carmody because he's part of the fabric, I'm really thrilled for them. They've been very focused on earning an NCAA Tournament bid and in the midst of it, we're still chasing a league title." 

On the path to the NCAA Tournament:
"I think we're in an amazingly strong position. We've missed it. I've missed it. It's been quite frankly missing it. I fake it good when I run into you guys. 

"I think our league is going to get five at the end of the day. We've handled our business. What's helped us as much as we've changed Selection Sunday since last year is that we're in a race for the regular-season title. It's kept us in the here and now and not projections, bracketology, or people. We have a hell of a resume. That's all I'll say." 

On the team being able to win in different ways: 
"We've been able to play a couple of different ways. I've been trying to get us to play a little faster on missed shots. I thought the other night, it gave us some key possessions to beat Syracuse and escape. We got out and ran. We didn't give up second shots. 

"I'm trying to sell to them and I think they're buying. When we get the first miss, isn't it fun playing like that? Go. 

"The way they share it, move it and run the floor, I think we have to remember to do it. I think it keeps us loose when we go and explode and get some easy buckets." 

On three-point defense:
"We really made a commitment to our overall defense. We thought we had to be better there, especially from the arc. I think it's just the principles we started teaching in the summer. 

"Again, I give Anthony Solomon a lot of credit there. We've just been more attentive getting out, chasing out and switching on stuff. I think our big guys are really mobile and can get out and guard guards. 

"They made single-digit threes and we made double-digit threes. It's a stat we've kept an eye on the whole time. We've been on the up side when it's looked like this stat sheet." 

On end of the first half:
"We tried to get a two for one. The foul gave us a chance to get organized there. We want him (Blake Wesley) at the end of clock stuff, ball screen stuff and Hubb knows that's good. He's the recipient sometimes. 

"With Blake, I'm just so pleased at the feel for the game that you don't really have to have in high school. You just get 40. You can take bad shots and force stuff. He's got a really good basketball IQ we've been able to connect with and again, he's playing with older guards. You can watch and see that's the right way to play. How Hubb is playing or how Cormac Ryan or Dane is playing. 

"I want to be smart enough to let him explode. He's a special talent." 

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Mike Brey Notebook | Post-Georgia Tech

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