Jan. 3, 2007

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Louisville vs. Notre Dame
Joyce Center – Notre Dame, Ind.

Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey Quotes

On the crowd:
“The crowd was great and was a key to that spurt in the first half that gave us a 17-point lead. “

On the team’s preparation:
“I’m not amazed anymore by our ability to focus. We’ve had a lot of potential distractions but this group hitched it up and took care of business.”

On the play of Tory Jackson:
“What can you say about the young point guard who we rushed in there? He is being asked to start his second game, in the BIG EAST versus a ranked team. That’s a lot of pressure on a young man. He’s a warrior and I’m very proud of him. He’s a winner who has won state championships and made big plays. The thing that doesn’t show up in the stat sheet is how he is all over the place defensively. He guards everybody and got some key strips when we were getting the double-digit lead. This is a big maturing process for him.”

On keys to the game:
“It was a great team effort tonight. I though we were great defensively. We were smart defensively and that really paid off. I thought we rebounded well and that was an area where I was concerned coming into this game. To only turn it over nine times versus a team that was pretty much pressing us the whole way says an awful lot about our basketball IQ. It was a great way to start the league schedule.”

On beating the press:
“What helps us is our big guys can handle the ball. Zach [Hillesland] and Rob [Kurz] helped bring it up the court and took some pressure off our point guard. Both of them really attacked and had some big drives against the press. That’s something versatility-wise that helps us, those two guys being able to handle the basketball.”

On the second half:
“To get the double-digit lead, our defense got things going and we ran and made good decisions. Louisville has been a real good second-half team and I was ready for a big run from them but we did a real good job of controlling the tempo and we played smart offensively, without a lot of bad shots.”

On the senior guards:
“Falls and Carter are big-time veterans who have been through the battles and were such a calming influence for us throughout the game, giving us a senior presence. These guys have taken ownership of this group and Russ has played like a captain. He has been such an influence on Tory Jackson’s confidence.”

On the next game:
“Georgetown is supposed to be ranked 17th in the country and is a team with a powerful front line. We have to be smart defensively. If we can carry over our intelligence defensively from there to there, we are going to be all right. We are attacking and our turnovers come from attacking.”

Louisville Head Coach Rick Pitino Quotes

On defending and rebounding …
“They are very tough to defend and we did a very good job on [Colin] Falls but not on their interior people. We didn’t do a good job of rebounding the basketball. We have players that are struggling, so I decided to go with freshmen. I know you can’t win with freshmen. They are talented but not overly fundamental. The only way to get around that is to play them and we have to, because our upperclassmen are struggling. I’m looking certainly not to give up and not paying attention, but I have to give the freshman playing time. That is the only way to improve.”

On Notre Dame’s offense ….
“The thing about Notre Dame is that they make a lot of difficult shots. I think their inside attack stops people from double-teaming their inside people, so they always get one-on-one on the interior. Because we are not a great shooting team, we don’t get one-on-one on the interior. They are very lucky because their spacing is so good and you can’t double-team those interior people.”