Dec. 29, 2013

Recap | Box Score | Notes

Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey

Opening statement… They (Canisius) are really good. We beat a heck of a basketball team. They are a solid veteran group, and have a great player (Billy Baron). They will win their league. I am extremely proud of our group. We had some lineups in there that we never had and guys delivered. I think it is very fitting that Eric Atkins given the week we had would say, `I got your back and I am going to carry us.’ All nine guys contributed and it is something for us to build on as we get into ACC basketball.

On Eric Atkins play… I am not surprised because this kid can score. He has had nights like this before when we needed it, and now we really need it. I think he was excited to go back into that roll. I told him I think you can be a first team All-ACC guy because of the way you are going to play for us. I am very proud of him, and that is our senior captain delivering.

On rotating guys… We as a coaching staff watched ourselves evolve on how we are going to play. We still don’t have final answers. We were winging it in a game situation trying to figure out our lineup. Our three freshmen were fabulous. I give Demetrius (Jackson) a lot of credit after sitting for a while and then he came in and made big free throws. For (Steve) Vasturia and (V.J.) Beachem to play long minutes in a big time game against a veteran team that makes me excited. We have nine happy guys. On the final play of regulation… I was trying to get a timeout, but they (referees) didn’t give it to us. I asked them if possession changed hands and they felt it did. That was huge for us to maintain possession.

On the turnovers… I think it was a combination of new faces playing together. Eric (Atkins) had seven because he was trying to make a lot of plays. It was a little heavy for us, but I am not going to dwell on that.

Notre Dame Player Quotes

Eric Atkins – Senior – Guard

On final ball screen from Sherman … “I was looking to make a play and I saw their big man didn’t step up so I had an opening from three. I was shooting it well all game so I stepped up and took it.”

On how it felt to get win after last couple of weeks … “It does feel really good to get this win. I think this group has gone through a lot this past week. To finally get on the court and get a win was great for us mentally.”

On whether emotion after three was culmination of last several days … “I think so. I’m not someone that shows too much emotion, but after that three I got a little hyped. It felt good going in.”

On remembering a time he shot that well … “I don’t. It’s probably the hottest I’ve been in a long time. I’ve been in the gym all week with the coaches and they’ve been getting me ready to shoot the ball more. It showed tonight.”

On all the young guys getting playing time … “It’s great to see those guys in the game. It’s cool to see the different lineups. They all bring something different and they all stepped up tonight.”

Steve Vasturia – Freshman – Guard

On contributions tonight … “When I get in the game I’m going to try and impact it. I’ll play as hard as I can and if the opportunity comes I’ll try and take advantage of it.”

On being one of primary ball handlers down stretch … “They were double-teaming Eric (Atkins). He’s our leader and point guard so I was just trying to help get the ball to half court and get into our offense.”

On what Canisius did that gave ND trouble … “They had a lot of weapons. Their point guard is a great player and they were making a ton of threes. They are a good offensive team and we had to make some stops.”

Garrick Sherman – Senior – Center

On young guys getting playing time … “This game was a huge stepping-stone for them. They got some great game reps tonight so they’ll only get better going for.”

There were a lot of new guys stepping into new roles so today was a good confidence builder for them. Steve (Vasturia) and V.J. (Beachem) hadn’t had game reps like this yet, but it was good to get them in there like this and give them a chance.”

On playing Duke … “It’s going to be exciting. No one will give us a chance so it’s going to be a great opportunity.”

Zach Auguste – Sophomore – Forward

On getting a lot of playing time with other younger guys … “It was great chance for us. We have been playing together in practice and tonight was our opportunity to step up.”

On working to be more consistent … “It starts by taking it day-by-day. We just have to continue working on the little things in practice.”

On role changing … “There are a lot of minutes available now so I look forward to practicing hard to try and earn them.”

Head Coach Jim Baron Quotes

Canisius Head Coach Jim Baron

Opening Statement… “We knew it was going to be a hard-fought game, and we knew that coming in here was going to be a good challenge for us. I thought in regulation, I was really disappointed with the way that it ended, how fast it ended. I wish they would have gone to the videotape just to really clarify what happened. The shot clock went down, I thought Billy (Baron) grabbed it and called a timeout.

“Automatically, it’s our possession when you call a timeout, so how did (Notre Dame) get the ball back? The officials said that he got the ball and went out of bounds, but either the shot clock expired or he had possession and called the timeout. If he has possession of the ball and called timeout, why did they call him out of bounds? You can’t have it both ways, that’s all I was saying. I asked why didn’t we go to the monitor, because that play was a game changer. We played great defense, no foul, we get possession of the ball with the shot clock down and he said we went out of bounds. It was a battle of a game, it was a great game, and I thought that was our best opportunity to win the game. Play good defense, and we still felt we had nine or 10 seconds to go in the game.

“I just wanted more clarity, didn’t want it to be rushed and that was the game changer right there. They’re a good team, and they made great shots. (Eric) Atkins was terrific, that shot he made coming off the ball screen, we didn’t get much help on defense coming off the screen and he made a great shot. They had to make great shots to beat us. It went both ways but we had opportunities, and I thought that was our best opportunity to win that game.”

On the team’s most consistent effort of the season thus far… “We played really hard and I was really proud of our guys for how hard we played. I thought we had a better rebounding game in the first half than the second half, but we played hard. We had a number of guys go down during the game, and it was very physical. I thought we got crushed on a few layups and there was no calls. It was a physical game, and we had an opportunity to win the game.”

On forcing Notre Dame to commit 16 turnovers… “We got them to move the ball a lot. We wanted to put some pressure on them, and I thought that we really did a good job with that to force the tempo, and force the turnovers.”

Canisius Player Quotes

Billy Baron – Senior – Guard

On his offensive output in the second half… “It was really just the flow of the game. My teammates helped me out with screens to set me up. That was basically it.”

On if he felt he could have done more despite equaling a career-high with 33 points… “I am just extremely disappointed. I thought we battled, and (senior guard) Chris Perez was a monster for us on defense. On the road, you are not going to get certain calls. It’s just not going to go your way. There were a few plays where we didn’t get the rebound and they got tip-ins but we battled, and we should be encouraged from that. If we keep coming together like we are, having those spurts on defense with Perez leading us on the defensive end, I think we are going to be tough to beat down the stretch. This is a tough loss but we’re playing for that first week in March, so we have to stay looking forward to that. It is still extremely disappointing to come all this way and just not get those calls.”

Chris Perez – Senior – Guard

On the final defensive possession of regulation… “I knew (Atkins) was going to try to shoot the ball, so I was trying to play good defense on him. He put the ball in front of me and I was able to tap it out of his hand and almost tip it to Billy. Just tried to play solid defense.”