Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Basketball

Farrell Has Day-To-Day Focus

February 24, 2017

Notre Dame finds itself in a four-way tie for second-place in the ACC heading into weekend. Head coach Mike Brey wants his team to focus one day at a time and heading into Sunday’s matchup with Georgia Tech focus shouldn’t be a problem.

The Yellow Jackets knocked off the Irish 62-60 on a layup as time expired in Atlanta less than a month ago.

“We’ve been looking forward to this game after what happened down there,” point guard Matt Farrell stated on Thursday. “We felt we let that one slip away. We forced it a couple times in transition and we have to get better shots against them.”

It was a tough game for Notre Dame to drop as they fought back in the second half and gave up 25 points off the bench to Tadric Jackson. The Irish also lost the rebounding battle by 12 on that day.

We like to think teams have to adjust to us going forward. - Matt Farrell
However, the loss marked somewhat of a turning point for the Irish. Brey downsized his lineup to be quicker and to spread the floor more. The lineup does present some challenges on the boards for Notre Dame, it also makes their opponent work on the defensive end.

“We like to think teams have to adjust to us going forward,” said Farrell. We’re going to do things a little different against them this time. We might have trouble rebounding but then you might have trouble guarding us. It works both ways

“When we do rebound, we can be really special. In the games we have won against teams that should be outrebounding us, we’ve held our ground. It’s tough for teams to guard us when we go 5-out.”

The loss also made Farrell adjust his game to a more controlled attack. Farrell’s style of play is always going to be aggressive but the junior has dialed it back a little bit after getting in trouble with penetration against Georgia Tech.  

Farrell’s job on Sunday will be to make sure his team is taking good shots, which means he has to set them up for good shots.

“We’re still going to attack the rim and get in the lane,” he explained. “We have to make good decisions down there. We also have to do a better job guarding against them.

“They are a good defensive team and they move you around on offense. It’s important to get good shots against them every time down the floor.”

The biggest positive heading into Sunday’s matchup is the Irish are finally rested. Notre Dame is enjoying an eight-day break from the ACC schedule and Farrell has taken advantage of the extra down time.

“It’s been good,” Farrell said. “We feel refreshed and we’re ready to go. We have three days to get ready for Georgia Tech and guys are excited to get back after it.

“I had a lot of school work and shot some free throws.”

During the time off, the ACC has changed quite a bit but Farrell wasn’t watching.  In fact, he was watching a TV series for the third time.

“I didn’t watch any of them, to be honest,” Farrell said of the crazy week in the ACC. “I was watching The Sopranos. I’m not worried about that. I’ve heard about them and saw the highlights but we’re going to stick to what we do. We have three games we have to take care of."
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