Notre Dame Basketball

Mike Brey Notebook | 2.21

February 21, 2019

Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey spoke on Thursday afternoon as his team prepares for Virginia Tech on Saturday afternoon. 

On what is stopping the team from being consistent in back-to-back games:
“We’ve defended better on the road than we have here. I’ve talked to them about it. Maybe it’s because there is more fear in your eyes on the road and you’re in a comfort zone here. For us the other night, we gave up some second shots, but it was one of those nights where we had to score 80 if we were going to win.  

“Sometimes if a team is scoring and we’re scoring, I’m OK with it given how challenged we’ve been offensively. When we can’t score early, it’s been such a burden for us.” 

On exchanging points against Wake Forest:
“The first timeout, it was 20-19. We tried some zone, some different zones and they were knocking them down. We were too. I just liked we were scoring. We did get our defense together, but we finished the half with such bad momentum.”

On message to the team after the Wake Forest loss:
“Sometimes when you’re leading in stuff like this, you have to fake the energy and enthusiasm. I’ve had to dig down deep to rally it and find a silver lining. The one thing we’ve talked about the last couple days is doubling down on the playing time of (Nate) Laszewski, (Dane) Goodwin and (Juwan) Durham because of the future they present for us. 

“Juwan had the really bad decision and bad luck foul, I thought he was moving more like before the injury. It’s important that we get him in there more and get him flying around at the end of this season.

“The other two guys had a tough night. I told them this morning they are really good players and they are going to play even more. We’re here to develop them.” 

On forward John Mooney:
“He’s been good. There’s some fatigue there. The day after a game, we’ve been able to get him back a little bit. We’re not practicing long now and we’re picking spots with him. You steal him a rest in the first half and have a grand plan of stealing a rest in the second half, then the game is fragile. 

“There’s no question he has some miles on him, but he plays through stuff. He’s been a warrior for us.” 

On Virginia Tech:
“They didn’t make a shot against Virginia on Monday and they are a good shooting team. What I remember about New Year’s Day was their 22-year-old senior squaring up on our young guys in iso situations. Maybe we’re better to handle that six weeks later.” 

On young guys hitting the wall:
“There’s some fatigue. This is probably practice 100. We did stuff in the summer, so I think you’re trying to keep them engaged. It’s the longest they’ve ever played. I’m thrilled with Prentiss Hubb. We couldn’t ask more of this young man. He’s pretty much taken over the point guard spot before our eyes. He’s talking and running our team. 

“The three guys I mentioned, I want to get them in a better rhythm before this season ends.” 

On Prentiss Hubb:
“He’s fearless. He wants to make plays for us and somebody has to. I can’t fault him for wanting to play downhill and have the ball to make the play to win it like he did against Boston College. Somebody has to have the courage to make the play. He’s never been afraid and I don’t want him apprehensive even though he had a couple mistakes the other night.”

On the progress of Rex Pflueger and Robby Carmody.
“He’s ahead of schedule and he’s a machine workout wise. The great thing about Robby is it’s not a leg. He can do stuff on the bike and run. They are joined at the hip. Robby will be cleared to go when summer school starts on June 15th. 

“We were talking about Adrian Peterson coming back and blowing the minds of the medical people. Don’t be surprised if Rex does the same thing. His body has responded well. It’s amazing how you come back from that now. They kind of brush it off and you come back. You look around and a lot of our athletes have that zipper on the knee. 

“Rex will be around in the summer and he’ll probably be jogging. October or November, I bet he’s playing basketball. We miss him.” 

On losing Pflueger’s leadership:
“There was an edge. He was shooting it better, but Rex is one of those guys who may not make a three the whole game, but with two minutes to go, he’ll make a three to give you the lead or a free throw. We know he’s around to tip stuff in to win games.” 

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