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Notre Dame Basketball

Mooney Could Get Opportunity Sooner Than Later

February 3, 2017
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Freshman John Mooney has played in 10 games this year and is averaging just over four minutes in those games. However, things could change shortly for the 6-foot-9 forward from Orlando, as head coach Mike Brey believes Mooney could see more action as the season progresses.

“Johnny is older than a freshman in how he handles himself and carries himself if he is thrust in there,” said Brey. He’s got older guys to help him. Our veteran guys are always good with a young guy.”

The Florida native wasn’t expecting to play a lot early this season if at all but knows players have to earn playing time in the Brey’s program and there’s no better example than the guys in front of him.

“I really wasn’t expected to play a whole lot early on, but if you look at some of the guys playing now, it’s a process,” stated Mooney. “If that’s what it is going to be like this weekend and the rest of the year, then that’s great.”

The past couple practices I have gotten more time with the first group. It’s just exciting. - Freshman forward John Mooneye
For Mooney, Brey told him to stay ready despite not getting consistent playing time. That’s exactly what he has done and if his number is called, Mooney will be ready. 

“It’s about being ready,” Mooney said. “Coach has always said to stay at it and be ready. If it’s my opportunity, I am going to make the most of it.

“It’s been kind of over the course of the year and staying ready. The past couple practices I have gotten more time with the first group. It’s just exciting.”

Brey hasn’t told Mooney he is going to get playing time, but a move up to playing with the starters in practice is a sign his opportunity is coming. 

“It’s not really like that, but if you’re practicing with the first group, then maybe your expected to play,” Mooney said of Brey telling him playing time was coming. “We’ll see how it goes.”

Mooney isn’t letting himself think too far ahead and knows his first meaningful minutes could come against one of the best programs in the country. Notre Dame will play North Carolina on Sunday in Greensboro (N.C.), so Mooney might get a break by not playing in front of a ruckus crowd. 

“I am pretty even-keeled,” explained Mooney. “I am not really going to let the crowd or stage get to me. It is North Carolina and it is exciting. If I play, that’s great. I am going to make the most of it”

One of the reasons Mooney could get time against the Tar Heels is the fact Notre Dame needs more size. In the three-game losing streak, the Irish have been beaten up inside and Mooney could help provide more size down low for Notre Dame.

“It’s just a matter of staying aggressive and wanting the ball,” said Mooney. “We have to box out. They are big and physical, so it’s a matter of matching that and being more physical than them.”
Discussion from...

Mooney Could Get Opportunity Sooner Than Later

jtthedomer
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What about Burns?He's been in Brey's system for 2 years now.I would think he would be in line for some PT.
jtthedomer
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What about Burns?He's been in Brey's system for 2 years now.I would think he would be in line for some PT.
ndfamily65
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P
Mike Brey has a way of saying and almost believing he will play certain players only to refuse to make the
Insertion of said player(s) into the lineup. Maybe that will change but if history is a teacher....
johnworne
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R
I believe so. Just isn't getting it done.Here i'm new user.

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john worne
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