March 17, 2004

Recap?|? Box Score?|? Notes

Coach Brey Quotes
On the team’s effort vs. Purdue:
“Tonight we showed the identity of our team – we had a lot of guys come up with some big, big shots. Also, our defense was really big for us, especially in the second half when Purdue went on a run. Purdue played great today, and we needed to rely heavily on our defense.”

On Rick Cornett:
“Rick Cornett is a great story – he’s what college basketball is all about. He’s built up a lot of confidence lately, and I think one of the reasons is that his teammates have been helping him out a lot.”

On Colin Falls:
“Colin Falls is certainly not a freshman for us anymore. He’s played a lot of games for us. One thing he’s started to do recently is drive and pass the basketball. He’s really been able to do that. Also, I’m not sure if there’s anyone else in college basketball who hits his first shot when he comes in like Colin does.”

On the Joyce Center atmosphere:
“It was certainly an electric atmosphere tonight. Maybe because since it was an NIT game, different people had a chance to get tickets, but there were a lot of Notre Dame and Purdue fans out there tonight. There was definitely a buzz about this game.”

Sophomore C/F Rick Cornett
On how he felt and Purdue’s play:
“I felt really good out there. It was a little tough to get adjusted at first because they are a physical team. They did a good job guarding us. They are probably one of the best teams that has guarded us. They’re a really good team.”

On ND’s play:
“I think we moved the ball very well. I was able to get looks sometimes at the high post area, and if they doubled on me I just kicked it to the open man, and a lot of the time that was Jordan Cornette.

On Free Throws:
“Free throws are a big part of our game. That is something we need to depend on because we get fouled a lot.”

Sophomore G Chris Quinn
On the importance of the NIT Tournament: “We’re going for a championship here. This is something we can definitely use for experience for next year.”

On Purdue’s defense on him in the second half:
“They concentrated on me more, and became a lot more physical in the second half. They extended their defense to all of our perimeter.”

On his first half surge:
“Coach told me to come out in the opening tip and be aggressive, and that’s just what I tried to do. Luckily I was able to knock down some shots to keep our team in it in the beginning.”

Purdue Quotes

Coach Keady
On the game:
“I think that we had a good chance in the second half, we had some good plays, got people open, and we just couldn’t finish. We tried to fight through the adversity, got down thirteen, got back ahead one and then had some open plays and couldn’t get the ball in the hole.”

On the game atmosphere:
“The crowd was great, they were very polite to me. I thought it was a super atmosphere. I think it would be a great home and home series for Purdue and Notre Dame.”

On game decisions:
“I think Kenny Loew’s elbow never really healed and it really bothered him and he doesn’t want to tell anybody so he’s just trying to keep playing through his injuries. We put Brandon in to get some punch and Austin, I think, wants to win worse than anybody. I thought he added a great flow to the game and got things going, and we didn’t put Melvin Buckley back in because the game was close and we just kept the same people in that we had. There are some good reasons for what we did.”

On describing the season:
“Frustrating. When you start losing one- and two-point games it becomes a mental thing. You lose confidence in yourself and you can’t let that happen. There are too many ‘what ifs’ and those things start to be a negative reaction.”

Senior guard Kenneth Lowe
On the difference in game:
“We just couldn’t make shots when we needed to down the stretch.”

On his senior season:
“It is very disappointing. This was possibly my last game, so of course I wanted to keep playing until we reached the championship. It’s frustrating because I didn’t go out on top my last year, but other than that, I enjoyed playing with those guys and playing for Coach (Gene) Keady.”

Junior guard Brandon McKnight
On return trip to South Bend:
“It was great. It felt like high school games all over again. I saw everybody around and people were calling my name. It felt good; I wouldn’t trade this for anything in the world. I would love to come home and play every year here if I could. South Bend is the best place ever. There is no place like home.”

On difference in the game:
“A lot of times we had stops, but we didn’t convert on the other end. Once we get stops, we have to learn how to make baskets, too. That’s what killed us tonight.”

Sophomore guard David Teague
On the game:
“This is a great atmosphere to play a game. As a basketball fan, you can’t ask for too much more. Both teams had their ups and downs. They had their runs, but unfortunately we just weren’t able to get up over the hump late in the game. We couldn’t get the ball in the hole at the end. When it came down to it, they just made a lot more tough shots.”

On second-half adjustments:
“We gave them too many open looks and easy baskets in the first half. Coach Keady told us at halftime to buckle down on defense and come out ready to compete.”