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Notre Dame Basketball

Krzyzewski Believes Brey Has Built A Great Program

January 29, 2019

Mike Krzyzewski has one of the best Duke teams he’s put together during his impressive career but he also spoke highly of the program Mike Brey has built at Notre Dame.
While the Irish and Blue Devils might be headed in different directions this season, Krzyzewski was impressed with the effort from Brey’s squad during Duke’s 83-61 win at Purcell Pavilion.
“I thought Notre Dame was ready,” stated Krzyzewski. “I know Mike has a young team who has been riddled with injury. We hit them hard but not because they didn’t play well. We just hit everything. I thought they played us hard the whole game.”
“This is the biggest improvement for them, they didn’t watch a miss, they went after a miss.  They got a lot of offensive rebounds.”

The relationship between Brey and Krzyzewski goes back years. In 1987, Krzyzewski hired Brey to be an assistant coach at Duke. Brey then left Duke in 1995 for Delaware.

Krzyzewski didn’t hesitate to give credit to Brey for helping him build the culture and program at Duke during his eight years in Durham. 
“We have a great relationship,” Krzyzewski said. “Mike helped develop our program when he was there. He was an integral part of us winning consecutive National Championships and going to seven Final Fours in nine years. Mike Brey and Tommy Amaker, those guys were amazing.”

Notre Dame is struggling this season and while no one will feel sorry for the Irish, Krzyzewski knows this season is an outlier for Brey’s program.
“When I was giving the scouting report to our team, we talked about we’re not playing a team,” explained Krzyzewski. “We’re playing the program. There aren’t as many programs as there are teams. Notre Dame has a great program. You have injuries or whatever, so there can be a blip right now.”

What makes Notre Dame a great program? Krzyzewski would know as he has won five National Titles and 12 trips to the Final Four since taking over Duke in 1980.
“The values, hard work and integrity is all there,” Krzyzewski stated. “It’s all Mike. Imagine me having him and Amaker in building our thing. I’m the lucky guy. I’ll be forever grateful to him for doing that and I love him. I respect the hell out of him. He’s one of the top coaches.”

Krzyzewski isn’t worried about how Brey will deal with this season as he gave an example of the 2005-06 season where Notre Dame lost six games during the regular season by one possession. 
“I remember they lost all those close games,” said Krzyzewski. “It was nuts. I remember calling him during it and asking if I could talk him off the ledge. He said “I’m good.’ I told him I knew he would be. That was one of the more negative things that can happen to a team and they handled that. They grew from it and that’s one of the reasons they are so tough.
“He’s a pro.”

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