Notre Dame Basketball

Mike Brey Notebook | 3.1

March 1, 2019

Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey spoke on Friday afternoon as his team prepares for a road trip to Louisville on Sunday. 

On Chris Doherty:
“He’s made progress. There are times in our practices where he’s in the top two or three in efficiency points. Mostly in the rebounding front. I like the fact he’s really comfortable at Notre Dame. He had a tough summer adjusting and I see no signs of any of those things that had him go home homesick and confused. 

“He’s into the culture. He likes it, he has friends and loves his teammates. He sees a future in our program. 

“He’s hard to do deal with. For (John) Mooney, Juwan (Durham) and Nate (Laszewksi), he’s a load to handle physically.” 

On redshirt for Doherty:
“It’s one of those where you can really over analyze it. You can always come back to redshirt him if we feel we need to. I didn’t know how long Juwan was going to be ineffective and down. My feeling was we needed eight guys. 

“I may get him in there on Sunday.”

On Nik Djogo’s shoulder injury: 
We’re going to see how Nik’s shoulder is today. He’s touch and go. He has an MRI on the shoulder on Tuesday. We could be dealing with the same thing with Nik as Robby (Carmody).” 

On the final week of the season:
“We’re trying to play faster. I thought it carried over a little on Monday. It was almost a state of mind where our guys weren’t overthinking things on the offensive end. You have an opportunity to win some games before we go to Charlotte. 

“Looking at the Louisville situation, I love how we competed in Chapel Hill. I love how we competed in Charlottesville. I love how we competed in Tallahassee. I’d like to see us do it again and see if we can finish it. We haven't’ been mentally tough enough to finish it. We’re putting ourselves in position.” 

On better effort from the team:
“When you think about the big picture of this group coming back, there are some silver linings in how we’re sticking our nose in there and putting ourselves in position. The Virginia and Duke days were really spirit breaking for us. It knocked us back on our heels. We were better against Duke than we were against Virginia.

“I think we’ve been pretty good defensively. We’re keeping people in the 60s. We just can’t get that thing to the 70s enough to do it. The playing faster thing was more of a frame of mind. I don’t want anybody overthinking because we’ve had a lot of guys overthinking offensively.” 

On addressing the postseason with the team:
“Our guys are realistic. You’re not getting in the NCAA Tournament unless you win the whole thing in Charlotte and that’s a tall order for us. Could we play our way into the NIT? That’s an uphill battle for us. I’ve been realistic with them. We’re looking at four basketball games unless we can turn it. 

“If we weren’t to get in the NIT, which again is an uphill climb, we wouldn’t play in anything else.” 

On Louisville:
“We’ve had great games with them. I love their fans because they love basketball. They know basketball. Every time I get in the hotel, they’ll talk about the double-overtime – we’ve had crazy games with them and we’ve won twice in that building. 

“Maybe we can get it to the end and this time get over the hump.”

On Louisville being a rival:
“They could be. We’ve had such exciting games that people look forward to the matchup. Rick Pitino and I would shake hands and kid about it. ‘How many overtimes? Two or three? What do you want to do?’

“Chris Mack and I talked about that this summer. For a program that was Independent, the Big East and the ACC, maybe they are a little bit of rival sometimes.” 

On senior night on Wednesday:
“We won’t do anything for Rex (Pflueger) because he’s coming back next year. Liam (Nelligan) is who we will honor. We’d like to win a home game. We haven’t won one in a while. It’d be nice to win against an NCAA Tournament team. 

“It will be Liam and our senior managers. It will be the quickest senior ceremony in the history of Notre Dame basketball.”

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