Photo by Rick Kimball/ISD
Notre Dame Basketball

Mike Brey Notebook | Georgia Tech Win

March 12, 2019

Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey spoke following Tuesday’s 78-71 win over Georgia Tech in the opening round of the ACC Tournament. 

On the win: 
“I am really thrilled for my group. We have had a tough regular season ACC, to say the least, and for us to mentally prepare and come down here and understood we had a clean slate, I just thought we got out of the gate with such a free mind. We were flowing offensively. A little bit of the old days offensively. We've been in search of that.

“(Nate) Laszewski goes down, hopefully, we can get him back tomorrow. Now you've got to hold them off in the second half. We actually made some plays that we haven't made all year to kind of hold people off, especially his big bucket to put us up five.”

On scoring 52 points in the first half:
“We're a good passing team. What's crazy is, again, we shot a crazy percentage today, but our percentage hasn't been very good. But our assist to turnover, even with a poor shooting percentage through 18 league games, is good. We're good with the ball. We don't throw the ball away. We usually get a shot. We just haven't made the first shot much.

I thought tonight, we did. I thought Laszewski on the floor to start the game, you know, having another shooter against the zone stretched it and helped us. He was fabulous in the high post, making decisions, and our guards are really good with the ball. TJ and Prentiss just know where the ball -- we've got transition stuff which helped us. We got some easy buckets in transition.” 

On if he saw the offensive explosion coming:
“We haven't played a half like that all year. It was just really neat to watch us move and cut and handle the ball and score it. We've not had a half like that. Of course, I told the halftime interviewer, I said, we wait until Charlotte to find ourselves offensively? Come on now, fellas. But we are a good passing team. Like we are good with the ball. We just haven't made enough of those first ones, and we got confident.

“We had a good practice yesterday. We played 4-on-4 because I can't play 5-on-5. I don't have enough guys. We actually played 4-on-4. And we made a lot of shots in our little scrimmage, and that always helps you. Kids felt good. We're starting three freshmen. Durham is a new guy, too. For them to come out of the gate in an ACC Tournament game the way they did, I'm really proud of them because we've been searching for confidence at times the last three months.”

On Nate Laszewski’s injury:
“It's a bad bruise. The X-rays were negative, thank God. They took him up and X-rayed him X-rayed him. We'll try and get him loose for tomorrow, but the group that played pretty much the whole second half may be the group that whole game. Chris Doherty gave us some good minutes, I think he made a shot off his forehead at the end of the shot clock, it's a thing we work on with our big guys, but Liam Nelligan, our walk-on is probably going to have to play a little bit, too.

“I hope we can get Nate loose because the Pittsburgh game and today, we've been kind of waiting on that from Nate and I was so frustrated when he went down because I think he's kind of found his game, as has Dane Goodwin, the two of them have kind of found themselves late in the year.”

On if ACC experience is coming to fruition now:
“I was so hoping that we could find a little bit of a rhythm down here, after a really tough 18 games in the regular season. We knew we were going to be in a youth movement. We knew that. But for our young guys to play confident down here, this guy has been fabulous. I don't know how he has any energy left. We have rode him so hard, and he just goes double-double against unbelievable athletic front lines every single night.

“I'm happy for the kids because they have invested. They've been coachable, and they've hung in there even though it hadn't been as fun a January or February.”

On confidence in John Mooney when Georgia Tech made a run:
“Today was a big day for us in the second half because we've been in search of that play. We have played people close in this league, but we have not been able to get over the hump with a big offensive possession. Even making key free throws, a key defensive stop. For Johnny, first of all, we got it to the right spot, and for Johnny to rise up and do it, that's kind of new for us. I was proud because we've been in search of that.

“The guy that should be shooting it at that time should be this guy.” 

On lack of turnovers:
“(Prentiss) Hubb and (TJ) Gibbs are fabulous with the ball. They're in the top ten of the ACC. They've been there all year, even though we only won three league games. They've been in the top ten assist-to-turnover. They're great with the ball. Goodwin has really improved with the ball. What's helped is our big guys are good with the ball. Johnny is good with the ball, Juwan (Durham) is good with the ball, Nate better with the ball but our guards were fabulous dealing with that press the whole second half and just being poised.”

On Wednesday’s game with Louisville:
“They're really good. Chris (Mack) has done an unbelievable job in year one there. The frustrating thing about our game in Louisville two weeks ago or a week ago was I felt it would have been game situations, but we missed all kinds of free throws in the second half, and we've been a good free-throw shooting team for the year.

“We're going to have to rebound, and we're going to have to score, and you know, tonight we -- I told our guys a couple of the time-outs in the first half, we're going to score 85, we're going to score 95, and you've got to score against these guys. They're very good.” 

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