Notre Dame Basketball

Mike Brey Notebook | 1.17.19

January 17, 2019

Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey updated injuries and previewed Saturday’s game with NC State on Thursday afternoon. 

On TJ Gibbs losing 10 pounds:
“He’s got some back. I saw him yesterday and he was eating again. It’s just tough luck. He’s feeling a lot better.”

On John Mooney’s health
“I give John a lot of credit. That ankle was really sore. It tells you the toughness of this guy. I thought he’d be more of a game-time decision. He was bouncing around at the shootaround on Tuesday.” 

On Juwan Durham’s health:
“He’s still sore and we’re dealing with that one a little bit. John and TJ are better but I think it will be a day to day issue with Juwan and how we handle it.

“He doesn’t want to talk about it and wants to practice.” 

On the freshmen coming along:
“I’m really happy with where Prentiss is right now. We could have used one more scorer down there. I think Dane (Goodwin) can be a little more aggressive going to the basket early in the position. They have turned down shots sometimes and I got on them about it. I thought Nate (Laszewski) was more aggressive the other night. 

“They have to be aggressive for us and it’s a process with them. You hope they can follow Prentiss’ lead.” 

On adjustment to the ACC for the freshmen:
“I asked them after the first two league games what their thoughts were. They said the speed of guys and Nate dealt with the speed of a guy from behind the other night. They are adjusting and they will adjust. They are smart and tough. We have to keep giving them minutes to do it.” 

On Prentiss Hubb turning the corner:
“We had him in a blue shirt for a little bit. We call it 'blue shirt therapy.' You put a guy in a blue shirt and all of a sudden Coach isn't watching as much. You’re loose and playing. We were going to bring him off the bench which went out the window 20 minutes before the Syracuse game. 

“I’m hoping we can build on this a little bit. I thought he was really good down there in a tough atmosphere handling the ball. TJ (Gibbs) was taken away by them and his health.” 

On adjusting to low numbers in practice:
“We haven’t gone very long. Coach (Ryan) Ayers goes a lot in practice and he’s in there. We limit how long we go. We’re not necessarily doing charge drills.” 

On positives from UNC:
“I thought our defense was good and our transition defense was good. We got beat up on the backboard for a spurt which cost us. We didn’t get some 50-50 balls. It was hard to generate another scorer, but I thought from our effort and how we defended, we keep putting ourselves in position. 

“John said on the plane ‘We’re close.’ We are. We have to keep trying to help them and teach them to see if guys will step forward like a few did against Boston College.” 

On NC State:
“They have athletic bodies. They are Carolina like in tempo. They want to play fast and will be on the offensive boards. They have really good guards and I have a feeling Johnson will play against us. We couldn’t handle him at all last year in Raleigh. 

“They’ve got guys who can take you off the dribble and they go at your throat. We did a good job of controlling the tempo the other night and we have to do the same thing. We don’t need a race track game with North Carolina or NC State. 

“We have to handle the ball against pressure. They pick up full-court and we’ve been good with the ball.” 

On staying realistic with the team:
“We could really use a win against a quality opponent to get closer to .500 in this league. You have to stay close to .500 in this league to have a realistic shot at getting in the NCAA Tournament. 

“I also have been realistic with them. It’s a little like a page of last year’s book. Our January is really hard. You have to keep guys alive no matter what happens. In this league, you can always surge and be part of the discussion, which last year’s team did when we were totally off the radar at 3-7.” 

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