March 4, 2015

Recap | Box Score | Notes | USATSI Gallery

Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey

(Opening statement)
“I’m really proud of my team to come in this atmosphere and beat an NCAA tournament team in here. I was a little concerned about how sharp we would be- we haven’t played in eight days. I thought we responded great. I thought we were really good against their pressure which is the first thing you have to deal with. I thought we got stuff in transition that got us confident. I thought overall, between zone and man, we really defended well. I thought Steve Vasturia’s job on Rozier was really key tonight because he is the guy that has to jump start them out on the perimeter. We’re already in the double-bye, they’re fighting for one. For us, we talked about it being another resume win for our NCAA tournament resume. I’m glad our guys responded to that.”

(On what it says about this team when (Jerian) Grant and (Pat) Connaughton only get two points in a tight second half on the road)
“I thought Demetrius Jackson is kind back in gear. He’s struggled a little bit lately – he did against Syracuse. I thought he responded well and Bonzie Colson just keeps climbing the ladder and getting more confident and being such a key guy for us. We played a big a little bit tonight, played the two big guys, which I think is something we have to look at. Everybody really contributed, we’ve got a heck of a group. I’m glad we’re still hungry even though we have the double-bye locked up. I was a little worried about that. Certainly we will be hungry Saturday because we want to send the seniors out the right way.”

(On the defensive pressure in the first half and the three-quarter court trap)
“We call it `23-extended,’it’s just our zone extended. We got to zone pretty quick; I watched the Duke game and zone bothered them a little bit. We got to it before I think the first media timeout and then we started to extend it. Then all a sudden you’re attacking our zone after you break it with maybe 23 seconds left on the clock. So I think that’s something that can help us. I thought we did a good job playing both. I told them with seven and a half minutes to go to win the game, we would have to play man-to-man, dig it out, block out and rebound. And I thought they really responded well to that.”

(On Demetrius Jackson struggling at home and playing well on the road recently)

“I could care less, because we only have one more at home, and I told them in there, we have nine wins away from our building, and certainly after Saturday, everything that counts is away from the good old Purcell Pavilion. So right now, I’m going to ride that road thing and not overanalyze the home thing.”

(Is he getting to the point where he hesitates to take Bonzie Colson off the floor)

“Yeah, I think the only time I take him out is he’s fatigued a little bit, he plays so hard. But it’s a beautiful story, it’s a kid who was really confident. You’ve heard me say he’s been able to deliver like this because his attitude was so good the first half of the season when he wasn’t playing. He wasn’t whining, he wasn’t complaining. He cheered for (Austin) Torres and Zach Auguste more than anybody. So then when you call on him, I think you’re pure, your mind is clear, and you can deliver. The one thing he’s done, he’s energized the rest of our players. Our guys love having him in there.”

Louisville Head Coach Rick Pitino

(Opening Statement)

“Well you are always disappointed when you lose but Notre Dame was the better basketball team. Even including Kentucky, I think out of all the teams we scouted this year, we thought this would be our most difficult game especially when Chris Jones went out, defensively. They play four guards and they do things offensively that can really hurt you. Although we played very poor defense, we kept getting into, well we take the lead, get it to two and then we totally breakdown with a bad shot on offense and a bad play defensively. So it is just a matter of, you know, our philosophy tonight was not to show them that we are a great shooting team. Our offensively philosophy tonight was do what we did in the beginning of the game, get the ball high and look low, reverse the ball on the break and get dribble penetration, touch the paint, and we shot quick. We shot threes on the break, it was as if we thought we were Notre Dame the way we were running our offense. So it was very disappointing in terms of us quick shooting, taking ill-advised shots, and our breakdowns defensively. We cannot play defense like that and expect to win, but we knew going in that this was going to be a very difficult game for us.”

(On containing the dribblers being a problem this season)

“Well it’s one of the problems and defending the pick and roll with running into screens was another problem. Look, it’s very obvious to see that Quentin Snider doesn’t play defense, but he wasn’t supposed to be in the situation. Because Peyton Siva was no good on defense as a freshman and neither was Russ Smith. He was supposed to learn, back it up, and get better. So he’s thrown into a situation where it’s not his fault. So he’s out there right now and you can see he’s making defensive mistakes, but he was supposed to have a year to learn that. So it’s not his fault.”

(On whether Terry Rozier is pressing or not)

“I think Terry is taking bad shots. He was 0 for 5 on challenged shots. So if you call a press… I don’t know why he’s pressing because if he thinks scoring 20 points is going to impress the pros, he’s wrong. So I don’t know the motive behind pressing. So it looks like he is, but he’s taking bad shots. If you take bad shots, you’re going to go 0 for 5 like he did on challenged shots tonight.”

(On Montrezl Harrell limping in the second half)

“He’s okay. The other thing, when you’re in a close game, you’ve got to make free throws guys. You can’t go down, let them make two, and then you miss the front end of a one-and-one. You got to make free throws. And you know, it comes down to being very simple at times. You know, tonight it’s very simple. You’ve got to guard a pick-and-roll right. You’ve got to contain – not matter what you know they’re going to run – you’ve got to contain the dribbler from getting to the rim. And then if he does get to the rim your 7-footer has got to block the shot.”

(On the expectations of his team after the win at Florida State)

“We can choreograph our defense against Florida State, to know exactly what we’re going to do and take away certain people. This team — there’s nothing you can take away you know. So, I knew going into it we were going to have a difficult time and I knew we we’re going to struggle. What I was hoping for was that we can score against them by reversing the ball, moving the ball, working high-low, going inside, and we quick shot. So, that was disappointing. It’s going to come down to, when we get in the tournament, matchups. We get the wrong match-up, we’re going to have an exit. We get the right match-ups, we’re going to have a chance of winning. Matchups are going to be crucial for us.”