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Notre Dame Basketball

Mike Brey Notebook | Post-Texas Tech

March 20, 2022

Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey spoke following the loss to Texas Tech on Sunday night. 

On the loss:
”Great college game. Tournament game. I'm proud of our guys. We had our chances. I told them last night, would you be okay going to San Francisco. It was 55-54, because I think that's what it's going to be. And we hung in there. We had our chances. But they made a few more plays. And they're really gifted and they are a great defensive team.”

On message to the team:
”Our locker room - we emptied the tank physically, not only today, but starting on Wednesday night. And they kind of emptied it emotionally in there. We had a lot of tears in there. As a coach you look and go, everybody was fully invested.

“I told them I feel for them. I'm disappointed because I don't get to coach this nucleus anymore. And, man, were they energizing to work with every day.”

On the last two minutes:
“We turned it over and we missed some free throws. Probably our free throws, and we're a really good free-throw shooting team. That probably hurt us a little bit.

“We're not where we're at unless we haven't ridden Blake Wesley on putting his head down and going to the hole. And I know he had some tough ones, but I live with it because he's our best creator, especially against those physical defensive guys.”

On Texas Tech forward Kevin Obanor:
“He's really good. They're men. I mean, when you watch the center jump, our bodies compared to their bodies, whew. And every time we played the Big 12, I've always said, physically and age-wise -- of course Iowa State crushed us. So did West Virginia. We gave this Big 12 a little better go. But it's always been physical. Men. And it kind of wears on you a little bit. It exhausts you a little bit. But I thought our guys were as physical defensively.”

On three-point shooting:
“We needed 11. We needed double digits. I'm telling you. And I thought when we got going in the second half, but I know they don't shoot it great and don't want to shoot it. We were going to have to drive -- that's why we went four guards the second half. We were driving and kicking. And we had to make 11 or 12 to win.

“Double digits is a key for us. And we got into a rhythm doing it. But we needed a few more. And we had unbelievable -- I know I think we took 28. We had great looks. But you know what they do, they exhaust you. And then your legs feel a little different playing against it.

“But when I saw nine, it was like we need more than that from there.”

On if Texas Tech did anything to impact Notre Dame’s three-point shooting:
“I think they were switching out, getting out on us more forcing us to drive. That's why we had driving opportunities. Dane got in there. Blake got in there. He missed a couple but he got in there. I think they just said switch everything and make them drive it to the rim.

“Of course, when you do get a head and shoulders on them a little bit, there's another big, physical dude, usually, back there. And then you've got a physical guy riding you. So those finishes are hard. But we just didn't play the two bigs. I go back, should we play two bigs, but we didn't run offense. We were just playing basketball. Drive-kick. Drive-kick. Drive-kick. You can't run anything against them. Which is kind of what I thought would happen.”

On message after losing in that fashion:
“My message was how disappointed I am just because we can't coach them anymore. But you guys that can return -- for a week we've been around March Madness. We've been around this stuff. We felt it. And regular season and what we've done, I said, you can be stinging for an hour and then I want to see some smiles back at the hotel. And I'll get with all of you about your future.

“Obviously we've got a lot of that locker room can come back. And we have to work through that here in the spring, and we will.

“But they were very emotional. They invested, man. That's all you can ask.”

On roster management:
“I said, we have a bunch of guys here that have to make some decisions. And the big thing is no one has to make that decision fast. We'll get back. We'll talk about it. I'm going to meet with all of you individually Tuesday and Wednesday, next week -- this week. And we'll work through it. And we've got level-headed guys.

“If everybody wants to test the waters, put your name in. Go ahead. Can I test the waters? I'm just kidding. Let everybody test the waters. Go ahead. See what -- and then we'll work through it. I'm very excited about what's coming. And then I've asked our assistants every day now that it's March what's going on in the portal? Because we may pick off a few there.

“I've mentally prepared myself that this is another process now that we're going to be in probably for six weeks, two months, maybe up until summer school. And we'll do the best we can trying to figure it. And each one of those guys I need to remember could be on their own schedule and I'll respect that. Because, man, they gave us everything they had this year.”

On if he would do anything different offensively looking back at the last two minutes:
“I think as a coach you always go, should we do this different? We couldn't feed the post. We couldn't feed Paul. And they just are long and they were fronting. So that was taken away.

“And any kind of motion we run, that was taken away. We flattened it one time and ran a little something for Dane and we got a 3. We came back to that a little bit. But then they jump back.

“Eventually Blake Wesley has been our best playmaker, and I will live and die with that. I told him, nobody's hanging their head on this. He's the guy that has to make plays. And so he's kind of on the hot seat with it. But I love him. And we're not where we're at unless the young man came up the road from downtown South Bend, right?”

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Mike Brey Notebook | Post-Texas Tech

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