March 1, 2000

Recap?|? Box Score

Notre Dame head coach Matt Doherty

On his team’s play:
“We had a great second half. We were very tentative in the first half. I was mad. I challenged their manhood at halftime. I felt we came out to play in the second half. We played man (defense) and we were aggressive. We were in position to win a basketball game.”

“I thought we showed a lot of character. We just can’t dig ourselves into that kind of hole. As good as Syracuse is, we can’t be down 14 points at halftime and come out and expect to win, but I was proud of the way we battled back.”

“I’m just frustrated.”

On Macura’s big game:
“Jere (Macura) did some nice things going to the basket.”

On the crowd support:
“The crowd’s been great all year. The students were great. They’ve been fantastic all year. They’ve been awesome and I just want to give them a product they can be proud of. I’m sorry for them that we lost.”

Notre Dame Player Quotes

Freshman Matt Carroll on the outcome of the game:
“We have to forget about it. We have to just put it out of our heads. Even though it was the last home game of the season, we can’t let it affect our play for the Georgetown game.”

Carroll on the comeback effort in the second half:
“We came back in the second half and showed a lot of heart. I think we played with a lot more heart in the second half than in the first.”

Carroll on the next Notre Dame game against Georgetown:
“Georgetown is a tough team, they are long and quick. I think if we come out and play the way we did in the second half today, good things can happen and we can get a win.”

Sophomore David Graves on the outcome of the game:
“We played hard, but with a team as good as Syracuse, you can’t let them get a big lead like they were able to build on us. We don’t have any quit in us. It came down to the final few plays, and unfortunatly we didn’t get the best of them.”

Graves on the Irish’s NCAA Tournament prospects:
“We played a heck of a team and they have to keep us in consideration for the tournament. We played a lot of tough teams and they have to keep that in mind as well. Against Georgetown, we just have to come out and play hard. I think we play hard every game. Actually, we just have to execute better. These last four games have been a real bumpy road. We just have to come out and play our game. We still have fight left in us.”

Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim Postgame Quotes

On the finish:
“It was a great finish. I’m sure a lot will be made of the end, but if it hadn’t happened, it would have been a one-point game instead of a two-point game.”

On Ryan Blackwell’s performance:
“Ryan (Blackwell) was incredible in the first five or six minutes of the game. I don’t know what got in to him, but I’d like to see it continue. He just had it going. He made some shots and made some great defensive plays.”

On Notre Dame:
“You’ve got to give them a lot of credit. They were in a big hole and they are a young team, but they just kept coming back by making plays and making shots.”

“They did a tremendous job. Notre Dame made a great comeback. They were playing a good team that was playing well and they still made the plays to get back in to it. So I give them a lot of credit for this.”

“This is a tough place (to play). The crowd’s great. Matt’s done a tremendous job with this team and Murphy’s a hell of a player.”

Syracuse Player Quotes

Ryan Blackwell

On his play:
“I tried to be more aggressive and I was more confident with my shot. In past games, I realized I wasn’t being as aggressive as I should and the team needs me to do that. I need to score and sometimes just get the ball to Etan (Thomas) and Jason (Hart) so they can score.”

On defending Troy Murphy:
“I think I concentrated well in the first half on him, but I was getting help from Etan (Thomas). He was coming over and helping to block shots. I tried to make them (Notre Dame) make tough shots.”

On the end of the game:
“We expected them to come back hard. We said they’re going to come out hard. Everyone is saying this is a game they needed for the NCAA tournament. They always come and play us hard, so we knew they were going to fight back. I was definitely glad I had four free throws. Anything can happen at the end, just like the way Troy Murphy came down and hit a three.”

Syracuse center Etan Thomas
On defending Troy Murphy:

We were just battling and it was a good battle. I think (Ryan) Blackwell really stepped up and played well. He was doing things from every aspect. Jason (Hart) was doing wonderful thing with his assists. It was just a group effort. Everybody played well and we shot the ball well from the outside.”

Thomas on his teammates:
“We have three different go-to guys, for different situations. It just depends who’s hot that day. Of course, you always want the ball more, but we’re not a selfish team so it wasn’t really a concern.”