Dec. 8, 2006

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Alabama vs. Notre Dame
Post-Game Quotes
December 7, 2006 o Joyce Center o Notre Dame, Ind.

Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey Quotes

On the team’s development…
“We did a lot of growing up this week, certainly in [Washington] D.C. and here tonight. They [Alabama] are very, very talented. I think everyone can see that who watched the game. I thought we did a little bit better job defensively and as best we could keeping them off the backboard. We got up a little bit and you think it’s going to be easy, and then here they come right back again with a couple turnovers.”

On Kyle McAlarney’s development…
“We know he’s our floor general, but he’s also stepped it up and shown himself to be a great scorer. I think this was a big week for him, and when we looked at the schedule I thought it would be. He’s come a long way with running our team. This week he found his shot and took more shots. He’s good, steady and just solid. And we need that scoring out of him. He really gives us a threat. He has a little edge about him and I think the rest of the group feeds off that.”

On the balanced scoring tonight…
“We are hard to guard. It’s a nightmare thinking about how to try to guard us because we can spread you out. We scored 49 [in the first half] and then 50 [in the second half.] We have guys that can make shots. We know how to play. We can drive. When you have big guys that can step out and shoot it really distorts the defense. We’ve learned how to space the floor and take what the defense gives us.”

On how Notre Dame defended Ronald Steele…
“I think he’s still coming back a little from an injury. I think the real key for us was getting Russell Carter and Tory Jackson on him. Both of those guys gave us a stronger, quicker matchup. Both of them did an excellent job.”

On protecting the lead…
“That’s something we talked about in the spring and summer was how to protect our leads better, get in there for drives and take charges. In that scenario we’ve gotten better, and we need to keep working on that.”

Alabama vs. Notre Dame
Post-Game Quotes
December 7, 2006 ” Joyce Center ” Notre Dame, Ind.

Notre Dame Player Quotes

Senior G Colin Falls

On the mindset heading into the BIG EAST…
“We have four or five more non-conference games to take care of before the BIG EAST starts, so we have a chance to be even sharper when we play Louisville here January 3rd.”

On how three-point shooting helped to control the momentum of the game…
“They were shooting the ball really well, and we made a bunch of big shots. Both of these teams can score. We’re a little more skilled and I think they’re more athletic, and both teams know how to put the ball in the basket. In the second half, we kind of just locked on in the last 10 minutes defensively, and that was the difference.”

On Alabama’s ability to rebound…
“Those guys are athletic. They’re flying all over the place – Gee and Davidson. They can really attack the backboards. But we made big rebounds down the stretch, and that was the difference.”

Senior G Russell Carter

On his big smile throughout the game…
“It’s always fun playing on national TV, playing big teams, playing against new competition. That’s what everyone comes to big Division I schools to do. We did it, and we had fun doing it.”

On the importance of this win…
“It’s very big. We’ve learned a lot from all of our wins, and we learned a lot from our loss to Butler. We know that when we go out there, we leave everything out there. That’s what we say before every game: if you’re not going out there to put your heart on the court, don’t take off the warm-up. And everyone plays hard from the first minute to the 40th.”

On his three point shooting…
“I really didn’t do anything different. I just took it upon myself just to be more aggressive. There were times when there was an open shot, and I hesitated a little bit. I just said if it’s open, I’m going to take it. Luckily for us, [they] were going down.”

Junior F Rob Kurz

On the importance of this win…
“It was a great experience and a great win, and I couldn’t be more happy for my teammates after how much work we put in throughout the summer and the season so far. It gives us a lot of confidence.”

Alabama vs. Notre Dame
Post-Game Quotes
December 7, 2006 o Joyce Center o Notre Dame, Ind.

Alabama Head Coach Mark Gottfried

On the game in general…
“That was phenomenal. It is one of the best college basketball games I have ever been involved in and you have to give Notre Dame credit, they played very well.”

“I think you were watching two NCAA tournament teams play tonight in an NCAA tournament type of intensity level game. I hope we are one of them. I hope Notre Dame is, too. It was a great test for us.”

On Alabama’s performance…
“We feel like if we score 85 points on the road at Notre Dame, that should be enough points to win. We did not guard them nearly as well as we would have liked to and we turned the ball over too many times.”

“I’m proud of my team. I thought they battled hard. We did not finish well.”

“We had a few lapses. I am not sure if it was fatigue, but there was too many times in the second half when we lost them defensively and turned the ball over.”

“We got some offensive rebounds and couldn’t seem to turn them into baskets. We had 21 offensive rebounds and I don’t know how many of those we turned into points. We rebounded well, we just did not finish.”

“We competed really hard, but just did not finish it well enough to win.”

On the play of Notre Dame’s guards…
“Those guys got 47 points from the foul line and the three-point line and that was the difference for them.”

On Notre Dame’s big men…
“They are big. Around the basket they are physical; they are thick. They are pretty effective.”

Alabama vs. Notre Dame
Post-Game Quotes
December 7, 2006 o Joyce Center o Notre Dame, Ind.

Alabama Player Quotes

Junior G Ronald Steele

On Notre Dame…
“They played well – they made open shots, they executed really well, and they defended really well. They did everything they were supposed to do to win. I think we played hard, but we made a couple of mistakes down the stretch and they capitalized.”

On Notre Dame’s perimeter offense…
“We didn’t guard as well as we needed to and they did a great job running their offense. We couldn’t guard them one-on-one. They made some great plays and made open shots. They did a great job – give them a lot of credit.”

Sophomore F Alonzo Gee

On defending Notre Dame…
“It was very hard to defend them because they had a lot of shooters on their team like Coach (Mark Gottfried) talked about. All of them can shoot the ball really well. It was going to be tough guarding them and at Notre Dame, they have the crowd and they got going.”

On Notre Dame’s defense…
“I thought they played great defense. They just played hard and they out-hustled us.”

On his expectations for the game…
“I knew (Notre Dame) was going to be good from the jump. They were good last year – they beat as at home last year and this year I knew they were going to be good.”