Nov. 13, 2015

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Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey

On the game
. “It’s certainly a special night in the history of our program, to see that banner drop. I told our guys before the game, I said, ‘The Golden State Warriors dropped a banner and then just played their backsides off to start the next season. Can we be men enough and focused enough to be a little bit like them?’ I thought we were.”

On Demetrius Jackson’s performance
“As you can see, it is his team. He’s calling stuff ââ’¬” you know I didn’t call much. He was calling sets, entries, out of bounds situations. He actually called for a sub. I wasn’t going to tell him he needed a little but of a blow, we stole him a blow, but he’s got that ability to score and make plays and then he’s defending. He’s really explosive, he’s really confident, and he’s got a group around him that are easy to play with for him.”

On the team’s defensive performance
“It’s easy to contest when you have a guy pressuring the ball like Jackson. You’re more confident contesting and getting passing lanes. We had them pushed out, but I think we really value guarding, and you know for three quarters of the first half, we weren’t in a great out. We missed a few shots and we were a little excited, but we guarded. We kept coming back and defending, and I’m happy to see that.”

On the team’s offensive rebounding
“I’ve gotten on our frontline guys to really go to the board. I thought Zach took that to heart, but Bonzie never got into a rhythm, but he can do that and I thought our other guys did that, too. To get to the offensive board if you’re one of our frontline guys, we have emphasized that more and we have done that more.”

Notre Dame Player Quotes Zach Auguste ââ’¬” Center- Senior

On success rebounding
“I think it helps the flow of the game. It doesn’t just help me. I think we do a very good job once we get rolling on the defensive end too.”

On [Demetrius] Jackson success
“It all starts with his mentality and confidence. We have confidence in him as he does in us. The coaches told him to go out there and play and do what he has to do and he definitely did that tonight.”

On the dropping of the ACC banner
“It was an honor. It was truly an honor. It was very cool to see that, but we have to put that behind us. It was cool to celebrate and remember, but now we have to go back out and get another one.”

Demetrius Jackson ââ’¬” Guard ââ’¬” Junior

On success scoring the basketball
“I think just keeping it simple worked best for me tonight. It all starts with our spacing. The guys do a great job spreading the floor, and they made it easy on me tonight by spacing the floor and giving me open looks. It’s just up to me to make the shots.”

On keeping the balance between taking good and bad shots
“I think being confident in my decision making is key. I think one thing, instead of trying to fit a pass in small corners, just pulling up for a mid-range jumper and having the confidence to make that shot is important and if I miss, those big guys are there to clean it up.”

Steve Vasturia ââ’¬” Guard ââ’¬” Junior

On strong defensive performance
“I think we were aggressive tonight. We got in front of passing lanes and I think the best thing we did on the defensive side of the ball was limiting them [Saint Francis] to one shot. We did a good job of getting that first miss rebound and getting out in transition which is really going to help us moving forward.”

On [Zach] Auguste getting rebounds early
“It was huge. We need that. He is going to need to be on the glass every single night like he was today. The key for us is to get the first miss rebound and get out in transition. I think this is something we did well tonight and need to carry over into the future.”

On the effort early and increasing intensity in the second half
“I think that is the flow of the game. Teams are going to throw in some shots early and I think we did a good job guarding even in those first ten minutes. They made some tough shots and you just have to stick with it and I think we did for two halves.”

On the team’s potential
“I think we’ve got a lot of potential. We saw tonight that a lot of people are going to be able to come in and knock down shots. I think the sky is the limit for this team. We just have to keep getting better every single day.”

On biggest area of improvement in off season
“I think fine-tuning my game offensively, working on getting to the basket, and getting stronger pretty much in any way to help the team get what we want.”

On watching the ACC Champs banner go up before the game
“It was a very cool feeling to see the hard work we put in last year up on a banner. It was a great way to kick-start tonight. We saw it, we realized it, and it’s on to a new season. We are excited about what we’ve got ahead.”

On each team having a different style every game
“It’s different. Every team we play is going to present different challenges. We’re going to have to defend differently, and we’re going to have to bring our A-game every single night. I think it’s a great way for us to start.”

On being a veteran
“You know what to expect. A lot of people probably come in with first game jitters. I think that’s normal, but if that was tonight, we shook them off pretty quickly. It was just good to be back out there.”

V.J. Beachem ââ’¬” Forwardââ’¬” Junior

On the first game
“I think we played well. We were very good defensively, except I think we fouled too much. Overall for half-court defense, I think we did a good job. We were really good on the glass, and we were able to find our offensive rhythm in the second half.”

On seeing DJ get on a roll
“It was good to see him like that. He came back right away on Monday and told us he was ‘back.’ I guess he felt like he was in a low slump, but he told us he was back. He showed it tonight.”

On the main thing to work on before second game
“Just continuing some of the things we started tonight: that half-court execution and defensively being as good as we were.

St. Francis Head Coach Rob Krimmell

On the game
. “First of all I’d like to congratulate Coach Brey and his team for the banner that they hung tonight. Anytime you’re at a program and you can hang a banner, that’s a fantastic thing. The team that we faced tonight certainly I expect them to go on to do big things. That’s a talented group. They present a lot of challenges defensively because of their versatility.

On Demetrius Jackson
After the game, I asked him if he missed a shot and I see he missed four, but it felt like he made all his shots. He’s a talented kid and presents challenges, not only because of his ability to shoot, but his ability to attack the basket and create for others. He’s a good challenge for our guards. He’s a good challenge for our kids to go up against one of the premier guards in college basketball.

On Notre Dame’s defense
Their length, their size [bothered us]. Some of the shots we did get were challenged. I can’t remember too many uncontested shots. A team like that, we were trying to spread the floor a little bit and I thought they did a good job of closing the floor down and not allowing our guards to get in and create some open looks out of penetrate and pitch. Their length and size corralling the ball really challenged us.

St. Francis Player Quotes
Malik Harmon ââ’¬” Guard ââ’¬” Junior

On playing at Notre Dame
We play big schools every year, but this was the first time I’ve ever played at Notre Dame. It was a great atmosphere-playing Texas and Cincinnati last year were similar big schools-but it was definitely a great atmosphere tonight.

On being a veteran leader for a young team
I have to focus on being more vocal. I have to make sure they get to their spots, and they are learning right now. I’m learning as well but I know more than them, being a Junior, so I just have to be more vocal and help them out through plays and getting their minds right.

On the team’s offensive strategy in the first half
We just tried to get in the paint more. We are mostly known for shooting threes, but we know their bigger players are used to going up against other big players and not as many guards, so we wanted to attack them early and try to get them into foul trouble.

Ronnie Drinnon ââ’¬” Forward ââ’¬” Senior

On the team’s offensive strategy against Notre Dame’s forwards
We knew coming in that they were going to be big, athletic, and that we would be undersized. We knew that we were going to have to compete and play hard, box out, and limit them to one shot. That is also where we struggled, because they got multiple shots and it is easy to get into a flow when you get two or three shots in a string of offensive possessions. We knew we had to compete and we did not do that the way we wanted to. Thankfully we are back at it Sunday, and I’m looking forward to getting back to work.

On being a veteran leader for a young team
A big challenge for us is trying to keep this team together. We are young, but we have a lot of guys who can do a lot of things. As a leader we have to let them know that we are going to be the most together team out there, and that will help against the teams that are more talented than us and bigger than us like tonight. Playing together, being together, and being unselfish will all help out in the long run.