Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Basketball

Mike Brey Notebook: Ball State

December 5, 2017

Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey spoke about Ball State’s 80-77 upset on Tuesday night. 

On what’s missing:
“We haven’t been very good since we’ve been back from Maui. We have some work to do before we go and play again. I can’t put my finger on it. I have tonight and tomorrow morning to try and figure out how to help them better, especially offensively early. 

“It’s one of those games where our defense was good enough in the first half, but we’re not very good offensively. We missed some open looks. We missed some good ones. We’re probably feeling it a little bit. All of sudden you get some expectations on you and you play tight.”

On senior point guard Matt Farrell:
“I thought he turned a couple of shots down. He shot it better in practice yesterday. He was great late, but he gets into his rhythm in the first half, and we’re a different offensive team. He and Bonzie have to click together when we’re playing good teams.” 

On junior guard Rex Pflueger:
“He’s our guy. Hell, I thought he played pretty good defense on the last shot, which was a bomb. Give the kid credit. 

“We just felt eventually – TJ was on him. Matt played him a little bit, but eventually, it has to be Rex. He gave us our best opportunity. 

On refocusing team:
“This is the first time we’ve taken a big punch and a disappointing loss. The loss in East Lansing, we could feel that one coming for a while, and we know they’re a heck of a team. This was the first time we’ve really been smacked.

“I’m interested to see our demeanor. I thought our demeanor was good in the locker room. Nobody was overly emotional. Our old guys know it’s a long season. My theme to them was me figuring out a way to help them more. I’m confident they’ll come back and want to be coached.” 

On preparation:
“We’re prepared for Ball State like they were NC State. I knew they were really good. Some people said it wasn’t smart scheduling, but I felt for our strength of schedule that we should play them. I knew it would be a dogfight. I had that feeling all day that it would get down to game situations. 

“We weren’t relaxed. I think a good team got into their rhythm and knocked us back at times. I give our guys credit. We figured out a way to tie that thing up with 20 seconds to go. This group has a lot of good stuff there.”

On team:
“This season so long and has ups and downs. We don’t have time to be overly emotional. It’s time to come in and teach tomorrow. We have to look at some things and reflect as a staff on how to help our team more. 

On sophomore forward John Mooney: 
“On a tough night for us, I thought Mooney was really good. Maybe we’re finding something there. He can stretch the floor and shoot it too. It was a tough night for DJ Harvey. He gets in and never gets going. Now, you’re playing against some veteran guys and in a hole. We have to get him ready to play on Saturday because we’ll need him. 

“Elijah (Burns) and (Austin) Torres, there are nights we’re going to use them. Mooney gave us some good stuff and competed.” 

On sophomore guard TJ Gibbs:
“He was struggling tonight. He forced a couple things and probably what got to Gibbs was having to guard Persons. Person was scoring and is an older guard. That probably frustrated him at times.” 

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