Jan. 14, 2003
NOTRE DAME vs. RUTGERS (January 14, 2002)
Mike Brey Postgame Quotes
On the game . . . .
“I never thought it was going to be easy. Maybe some of our players did, but they put a lot of game pressure on us.”
On the fans . . .
“The atmosphere helps our team….I don’t know if we’d have gotten this one on Sunday. Having our students here was huge.”
On Jordan Cornette …
“Tonight, not only did he block eight shots, what goes unnoticed is his play on the other end. He had two assists; he knows how to move the ball, and he made his free throws.”
On Notre Dame’s free throw shooting …
“Before the season’s over, I wouldn’t be surprised if we led the league [in free throw percentage]. That’s a great weapon. A lot of college big men don’t make their free throws; our big men make free throws.”
On Matt Carroll …
“He’s taking [Jerome] Coleman out of the game, and on the other end, we need 25 out of him. He just did that very methodically. No one in the league is playing better than Matt Carroll.”
NOTRE DAME PLAYER QUOTES
Sophomore Forward Jordan Cornette
On having to pick up the interior defense . . . .
“In the first half, those guys were knocking down everything they took. They were doing it all out there and we didn’t do a good job of keeping them out of the paint and keeping them off the block. We just needed to do a better job of that in the second half.”
On defensive mentality . . .
“I think our defensive mentality is the same game in and game out. It’s get their skilled offensive threats in the post, off the block and create tougher shots for them. We didn’t do a good job of that in the first half. In the second half, we went at them with more intensity and made them take some shots from a little further out and they weren’t very successful with those.”
On his increased minutes tonight…
“I know that for me to stay on the floor, I need to be productive, whether it’s being a defensive spark, getting some loose balls around the basket, rebounding or doing whatever. We have so many talented players coming off our bench; you have to go out there and give your best effort night in and night out.”
Sophomore guard Chris Thomas
On Matt Carroll’s play this year . . . .
“He’s just more confident. He’s knows that this is his last year and he wants to go out on top. With him playing like that, with a free mind and the green light whenever he wants, you have a guy who can get his shot at any time and you have to use that to your advantage.”
On the importance of this win. . .
“It’s very important. We are smiling at the end of the game and we built a lead at the end of the game. We needed that in order to go into our next game with Kentucky with confidence.”
Senior guard Matt Carroll
On Notre Dame’s good ball movement . . . . “(Good ball movement) is important, especially with our team. We have great shooters from the outside, guys who can stroke it from deep and if we move the ball and get the defense moving around, we will get open shots and we’ll knock them down eventually.”
On playing a lot of minutes . . .
“To be honest with you, I feel great. This is my last year and I’d like to play 40 minutes every night. I’m not going to be able to come back and play Rutgers at home ever again, so I was willing to give it everything I had tonight.”
RUTGERS PLAYER QUOTES
Freshman guard Calvin Wooten:
On the game…
“It was disappointing. We didn’t play the whole 40 minutes of basketball. Any time you don’t play the whole game, you’re going to lose.”
On Rutgers’ play in the second half…
“[In] the second half, we didn’t have enough energy. [During] the last five minutes, we didn’t have an answer. We lost our composure a little bit.”
On the play of Notre Dame guards Matt Carroll and Chris Thomas…
“Those guys, with the way they shoot, you have to get up on them. They just shot us out.”
Junior center Kareen Wright:
On second-half production…
“We changed up the way the flow of the game was going. I didn’t get as many touches [in the second half]. I just wanted to keep playing and let the game come to me and not rush it or get upset.”
On the difference in the game…
“The composure that we had down the stretch changed. They went on the first run [of the second half], then we got a little too sporadic. We tried to rush a couple things instead of playing in the flow of the offense like we did in the first half.”
On crowd noise…
“Some of the guys mentally got into what the crowd was doing. We started focusing on the wrong things, and we got a little bit off our mark and kind of sped up the way we play.”
On the play of Notre Dame guard Matt Carroll…
“That’s their go to guy. We have to do a better job of getting around screens and putting a hand in their faces because those type of things killed our run.”
GARY WATERS POST GAME QUOTES
On Notre Dame . . .
“You can’t take anything away from them. They shoot the ball very well at home, especially the three[-point shots].”
On Matt Carroll . .
. “I am impressed with Carroll. He is having a outstanding year and is really doing a great job out there.”
“I admire what he is doing out their for his team. I think he is the reason why they are having so much success.”
On Jordan Cornette . . .
“He did a great job. He blocked some shots and defended pretty hard, and we just didn’t complete the plays”
On the game . . .
“It was one of those games were I thought our kids played well enough to have a chance to win a ball game.”
“They [our team] did not finish it because Notre Dame did what it had to do to finish it and that is why they are in the top 10.”