March 10, 2012

Recap | Box Score | Notes | Photo Gallery

Notre Dame Quotes

COACH BREY: You know, we turned it over there a couple times, and I don’t think we really ever recovered. Their full court pressure kind of got to us, and we never really did recover. They defended the heck out of us. We had some open looks that you’ve got to knock down to kind of stop the bleeding when they were in the midst of their run, and we never got any of those. So give a lot of credit to Louisville, just kind of making us uncomfortable with their defense.

Q. You alluded to this, but there was that stretch there, almost 13 minutes without a field goal.
COACH BREY: Yeah, yeah. We called a timeout after we turned it over a couple times. It was 15 15, and then we broke pressure and we had a couple open threes that you’ve got to make one or two of those to kind of get you feeling good like you’re kind of getting your momentum back or reestablishing your tempo. Never could really do that. They’re hard to keep out of the lane. Siva is so good getting in there. We had jack established. We were throwing it into him and he was doing stuff, and then when they started coming down on him we had some looks, but you’ve got to make a couple more of those to have a chance tonight.

Q. There were times, back to January down there, where it got a little hectic, and you were able to regain control. Was it a matter of not being able to make shots that you got the tempo back where you wanted it?
COACH BREY: I think so. When I called a timeout, I said this is exactly what happened at Louisville, and we got back under control. Now, they went back and played more zone down there. They fell back to more zone. They stayed on us with ball pressure in the half court. They kind of matched up, and that I think had us a little frenzied at times. Even when we got looks, we were kind of rushed.

Q. Talk about coming up short again?
Jack Cooley: We had another chance tonight to do something we haven’t done in our program before. There was that one stretch that’s really hard to overcome if you go 13 minutes without a field goal. That’s a pretty big amount of decline to put yourself down that much. It’s a pretty big disappointment but we’ve just got to move on to the next tournament. The next one next week is the biggest one in the whole season, so that’s what we’ve got to focus on now.
Eric Atkins: We are disappointed we didn’t make it to Saturday, but they’re a tough team. I give them all the credit. They really got after us. But I think now we have to set new goals in the NCAA Tournament and move on from there.

Q. You talked yesterday about Jack’s struggle a little bit yesterday, and today he bounced back and you were able to establish him a little bit inside today.
COACH BREY: Yeah, I think that was a key for us, and I feel good going into the NCAA Tournament the way he got off and we were throwing it into him and him defensive rebounding. He has been such a key factor for us being 13 and 5 in the regular season and getting securing an NCAA bid. So we need his presence, and I think him playing well even though it was a loss, him in a rhythm tonight helps I feel good about that moving to a game on Thursday or Friday.

Q. You guys had 19 offensive rebounds tonight, shot a decent percentage on the arc, but talk about how the zone gets into you on the perimeter.
COACH BREY: It rushes you a little bit. Even when we got those clean looks, you are a little frenzied. The guy that is shooting it, his feet are not quite as set as they would be in other situations. And they do really a great job of it. I mean, again, the ball pressure that they kept on us and kept on our guards, it kind of takes its toll, and it did on us tonight. We didn’t make enough we had some free throw situations, too, that would have stopped the bleeding a little bit and maybe give you some hope, but we couldn’t make a free throw, either.

Q. What did you go through after last night’s performance, between then and now?
Jack Cooley: Again, I was really disappointed. My team really helped me last night picking me up. I let everyone down last night. I had a decent game today and I wanted to make sure I came back and got a little bit more in the rhythm of thing and tried to play more for my team, and I wanted to play my hardest.

Q. Eric, how much of a concern, two of the last three games, this one and South Florida, Georgetown, three of the last four, it seems like points are such a struggle for you guys to get to?
Eric Atkins: You know, they have been a struggle for us lately. You know, I just think that we need to play our game and play at our pace. In all those games, I don’t think we really got the ball where we wanted to, and we have to shoot the ball better. It really comes down to that. We had some open looks, and we’re going to have to knock them down to beat some good teams.

Q. You talked in the past about almost exhausting yourself to get through regular season, get through this tournament. How do you get everything refreshed so you can make more progress in the next one?
COACH BREY: Yeah, I think the benefit, you have tomorrow to kind of get your legs under you and travel, and then Sunday we’ll get back into a practice segment. It’s kind of a fresh start. I talked to them about giving that we leave here with a bad taste in our mouth, can we be really hung rear and a little edge year as we move into the NCAA Tournament. I’m really proud of what they’ve done up to this point. They’ve had a heck of a run, and I love the fact that they’re stinging. I hope that helps us in our preparation moving into the next one.