Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Basketball

Mike Brey Notebook | Illinois Win

November 27, 2018

Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey discussed the 76-74 win over Illinois on Tuesday night. 

On the win:
“For our group, that’s a fabulous win. They are a hard system to play against, and they grind you. You can’t run any offense because they get out in passing lanes and physically guard you. It wears on you. Great win for us. 

On forward Juwan Durham:
“I’m so proud of Juwan Durham. For him to come in and do that, he deserves it. It the midst of watching it, we’re up double-digits, and they make a run. I didn’t want us getting beat to spoil his coming out party.”

On Durham’s growth:
“It was a maybe a good style to play against. There was a big guy to guard, and he could lay back in the hole. He changes stuff. I thought it was interesting to watch it develop before our own eyes. Our team got so confident in him they were throwing it to him in the post. That’s new. 

“He made big free throws. You just never know when a light bulb is going to go on.” 

On Durham buying into his role:
“He’s been great with that. He’s understood rebound, defend and block shots. He’s hard to play against in practice.  Ryan Humphrey has done a fabulous job mentoring him. We’ve done more with him before practice and making the game more important. 

“This is more business-like for him. It’s also new for him. I told him he has a healthy body and a healthy mind. He’s just missed so much.” 

On Durham being healthy:
“The body was broken, and he hadn’t played much. There wasn’t much confidence. For a year, it was great to get his body in shape and stronger. I know people won’t believe it, but there’s 20 pounds on him. He’s never going to carry a whole lot of weight, but his frame of mind is good. He’s not gotten less than a B academically. 

“I’m proud of how he has engaged Notre Dame. He didn’t play much in high school because of the knees. If there was ever a kid that deserved it, it was him.”

On Durham building on performance:
“I have to play him more. He’s the sixth man on Tuesday at The Garden.” 

On Durham dealing with success:
“I think he’ll be level-headed. I do think it’s a big confidence builder for him. He’s never had an impact on a college game like this. I’m certainly going to sell that he has arrived.” 

On the importance of the win:
“We played great defense. We got nine straight stop to get it to double-digits, and then here they come. You have to defend the shot at the end. We played hard and grinded against a hard style of play. 

‘To escape, we will take it,” 

On the injury to Robby Carmody: 
“It’s the same thing that happened in the exhibition game. It didn’t pop out of the joint, but it’s a pinched nerve thing. He was available in the second half, but I looked at him at halftime, and he was cringing, so I decided not to go back to him. He’ll be ready to practice on Thursday.” 

On forward DJ Harvey:
“DJ was due. He did a better job of letting the game come to him. He forced some stuff in our two previous games. I’m thrilled for him too. When he gets flowing, he’s one gifted offensive guy.” 

On the trip to Madison Square Garden:
“Starting with DePaul, you go Big East, Big 10, Big 12, Pac-12 and Big 10. Nothing like taking your young guys to Madison Square Garden for bright lights. We’re going for it. Let’s go play next Tuesday.” 

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