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Notre Dame Basketball

Mike Brey Notebook: Michigan State

November 30, 2017

Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey spoke about the 81-63 loss at Michigan State on Thursday night. 

On the loss: 
“My worst fear was them getting off to a great start because when they do that in this building, it’s a heck of an uphill climb. They really got off to a great start. As much as you practice transition defense, you can’t simulate how they get down the floor. 

“I loved our fight in the second half. We got it to seven. I’d like to look at the tape with them tomorrow. We probably made some mistakes when we got it to seven. 

“They’re really good. They’re as good as anyone in the country. We learned a little bit about our group. Hats off to them. They were really ready to play.” 

On early offense:
“It’s something we have to think about. I give credit to poor offensive rhythm to two great defensive teams we played in a row. It’s grueling when you have to dig out of a hole. Hopefully, we can be better if first half’s, so we’re not digging out of a hole.”

On rebounding:
“We don’t play Michigan State again? They’re the best rebounding team in the country. We’re good.” 

On halftime:
“We talked about it feeling like Wichita State. We had a run in us. We defended and executed to start the second half. We took a couple of charges. You feel you have a shot at this thing. 

“The difference was they made a big shot every time we threatened. Wichita State didn’t. 

On Jaren Jackson on Bonzie Colson: 
“Jackson’s length really bothered Bonzie early. He’s even bigger than I remembered. We recruited him. He’s really long. I give Bonzie credit that he kind of figured it out in the second half. 

“He let the game come to him, and he didn’t freak out because two shots were blocked early. We have to keep helping him with that because we’re going to see a lot of length in our league. He practices against Juwan Durham so he gets that length, but their length in the paint was hard to deal with.” 

On lessons learned: 
“We have a tough group. They’re really poised. They talked about making a run at halftime. There weren’t a whole lot of things I needed to say. Colson and Farrell set the tone. I love how they prepare and how they talk. We made the run, but we couldn’t get over the hump.

“When they come at you with fresh bodies, they just keep coming. That really takes it a toll.” 

On freshman forward DJ Harvey:
“That was an intense atmosphere on DJ Harvey. It was the first time in that atmosphere. He was a little wide-eyed, and I can’t be surprised I saw that. He was good in Maui, but this was a different level. 

“We just have to keep helping and coaching him. Some guys didn’t play as well as they wanted, but Michigan State really defends, and they have fresh guys on you.” 

On big minutes for starters: 
“When you’re digging out of a hole, and it’s fragile that it may go to 30 points, it’s hard to get them off the floor. I thought DJ Harvey was a little bit overwhelmed and even our young big guys were too. That’s why I went to (Austin) Torres in the second half. 

“I would have liked to keep those minutes off, but it’s hard. In big games, our main guys are going to play 30+ minutes. That’s how we have run the program. Tonight it was a little overwhelming because their fresh bodies wore us out.” 

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