Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Basketball

Mike Brey Notebook | Duquesne Win

November 20, 2018

Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey spoke following the 67-56 win over Duquesne on Tuesday evening. 

On the win:
“What a great win for our group. I’m really proud. They went on a 10-0 run in the second half, and you’re at a crossroad again. I felt we answered. Our defense was excellent, and we ended with nine straight stops to get out of there. 

“We’ve gone nine straight days. I told them it didn’t start off great losing the first one to Radford we’ve recovered pretty well. Maybe we’re having guys get more confident.” 

On Elijah Burns leaving the team:
“I was disappointed because here’s an amazing stat. We’ve lost nine players in 19 years. That’s got to be a record in Power Five. I don’t like losing guys. He is going to graduate. 

“The other day Juwan (Durham) and Nate (Laszewski) got in there and gave us some stuff. I respect Elijah because I asked him to finish the semester with us. He told me ‘Coach, I don't want to be a bad influence and I’m not in with two feet.’

“We’ll support him as he graduates. Let’s be honest, minutes are on the table when someone leaves. All of a sudden Durham, Laszewski, (Dane)  Goodwin - there are more minutes to go around. We are committed to a youth movement.” 

On Burns seeing the youth movement:
“I think he felt it a little bit. It’s not happened many times, but when I can’t get the role the guy wants, then it’s probably time for everyone to move in a different direction. I got a nice text from his mom thanking me for the opportunity.

“I always feel I let guys down when I don’t deliver on their basketball career. We do promise a degree, and he’s going to get his degree. There’s pressure to win. I want these kids to have a great basketball experience. We’re not undefeated in that area, but most guys have had a good experience.”

On Burns potentially ending up playing for another team this year:
“Unlike football, you can’t play four games and then redshirt. We probably have to work through a waiver with him. We would be supportive. This is a kid who redshirted because he had microfracture on his ankle. The way they are giving out waivers for undergraduate transfer, if anyone deserves a waiver, it’s him. 

“He could be playing for someone January 1st, and that would be awesome.” 

On the possibility of being in close games all year:
“It’s kind of who we are. Who is going to be in there? Who is going to finish? It was an interesting lineup that finished for us. We’re talking about a little bit of everything. It’s new territory for me.” 

On what he knows about the team to this point: 
“We have been grinding for nine straight days. They’ve also been grinding academically a little bit around here. Before the game, they were so locked in and focused. I told them don’t change. They are serious, focused and I really think they love each other.

“We have a chance to get better if we don’t change.” 

On this team being a challenge from a coaching perspective:
“I’ve never had a situation like this. Five years at Delaware or 18 years here where I’ve had this many new guys. We’re in a total youth movement. That’s why Elijah (Burns) left us. We love Elijah. We’re committed to the youth movement. We have some darn good veterans, and John Mooney has jumped up quick. 

“I like it. It’s a little bit like a coaches clinic every day. Stop, talk, think, and it’s exhausting. It’s really fun because they are awesome and neat students.” 

On guard Dane Goodwin:
“There’s a toughness about him. That was a game situations game, and he’s really good in all our game situations in practice. My biggest knock on him is he turns down shots. I thought he took good shots today and didn’t turn any down. 

“He’s a physical driver and a heck of a feel for the game. He’s unafraid, and he can defend and rebound.”

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