Notre Dame Basketball

Mike Brey Notebook | 1.24.19

January 24, 2019

Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey spoke on Thursday as the Irish welcome No. 2 Duke (Monday) and No. 3 Virginia (Saturday) to Purcell Pavilion. 

On the next two games:
“We didn’t come back until Wednesday and we didn’t get out on the court, but from watching our game last year, some of the stuff we do in our offense got some good looks. We have different personnel and some older guys, but we have to see if we can get to that offensively. 

“We’re going to have to defend. This group has been receptive to defending.”

On hitting the offensive glass:
“We are missing the first shot a lot and we got 20 the other night. John (Mooney) is always on it. Nate (Laszewski) and Dane (Goodwin) get up on the boards. Chris (Doherty) has the ability to do that too. We started charting that last year. We probably really need to keep emphasizing it.” 

On positives of shooting:
“We continue to take really good care of the ball. We continue to share it and move it. The open looks we’re getting we have to take. One of the things I hope develops is Goodwin and Laszewski are getting more selfish about their shot. They have to score for us. They’re getting better in practice and in games not turning shots down and even forcing some stuff because they have to for us. 

“They’re unselfish kids and it’s taken a while to get them to understand. Their older teammates have told them to go. Those guys have to keep trying to make some plays for us. They have the potential to be nightly double-figure scorers. We need that bad.” 

On staying focused on UVA after a tough loss and Duke on Monday:
“I don’t know if there’s been a bigger weekend in the history of our program with these two teams coming in. It’s a great opportunity. It’s something they’ll talk about it when they come back to reunions. We have a heck of a challenge on Saturday. They are men and we’re still searching with some youth.” 

On forcing shots from TJ Gibbs:
“He’s gotten caught at the end of the clock a little bit. He’s had to force some stuff for us a few times. I talked to him about being a little calmer with it. He can’t pass to himself. A lot of times he’s been our playmaker. He’s been getting everyone else shots. 

“It’s one of the reasons you like Prentiss (Hubb) in there with him because he finds TJ and gets him some stuff. TJ doesn’t have to force things to jump-start us.” 

On specifics of injury to forward Juwan Durham:
“It’s a slight bone bruise. Those things are touch and go. It’s a little bit with what we dealt with Matt Farrell. We brought Matt back too soon. He played Carolina and it was a little bit of a flashback to Farrell. We have to let this calm down. 

“We’re going to re-evaluate in two weeks and see how he feels. We can’t force it. We’re going to try a little more at the middle of next week and possibly Boston College.” 

On Durham’s mindset:
“He really feels bad because he wants to help his team. We’re hurting and he’s become such a team guy. He wants to help his group. He has been on the bike, but we sure miss that rim protection. He’s unlike anybody we’ve had. He’s turned easy buckets for other teams into fast breaks for us. Just having a guy back there after he blocks one or two, everyone looks for him. They look around a little bit.

“He’s also one of those guys shooting 60% from the floor.” 

On his own mindset:
“It’s pretty darn good. I was a little frustrated the other night and got a T. I told our guys I have to be smarter about that. They have to see me fighting and scratching too. 

We keep putting ourselves in position. We have chances. That last hurdle is really a big one for us to get over. We have to keep trying and swinging. If we could be in that situation at the under-four timeout on Saturday, it’d be awesome. 

“I do think our young guys are starting feel like they belong and are getting a feel for this league.” 

On youth:
“We’ve never had all three of them play well together. It’s been one and a half. With Goodwin and  Laszewski, they have the ability to put double figures on the board and they have to be aggressive. They have to force a shot every now and then. We need them to score for us.” 

On winning a big game at home:
“It’s been a while. When you get one like Saturday or Monday, you can really change psychologically. The karma really changes and we’ve seen it happen before. We have nothing to lose. No one is giving us a chance in the next two. Let’s just let it rip and play.” 

On playing Duke and UVA in a three-day span:
“Those are quick turnarounds. We had to do it a lot in the Big East and the ACC. You can’t do much physically during the day in between no matter what happens on Saturday. It’s a mental day. 

“These kids all came to Notre Dame to play in big games and to play the top of the ACC. I don’t think you feel much fatigue on Monday.”

On the impact of home crowd:
“Our crowd had been great. They’ve been intrigued about the new faces and who they are and how they’re developing. They have really helped us. Our students being back really helps us. They’ll be awesome in both of these.

“I was walking around campus in September and they all talked about this weekend. This has been the weekend everybody has talked about.” 

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