Jan. 23, 2016

Recap | Box Score | Notes | USATSI Gallery

Notre Dame 76 (14-5, 5-2 ACC), Boston College 49 (7-12, 0-6 ACC)
January 23, 2016
Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center – Notre Dame, Ind.

Mike Brey, Notre Dame head coach
Opening statement…
“Really proud of how we played this afternoon. Demetrius has a hamstring issue, and those are tricky, so we will go day-to-day with him. Luckily we don’t play until Thursday, but I’m very proud of how we didn’t let it be a distraction at all. Steve Vasturia just slid over and handled the ball, and we methodically had a really good league win. I’m really proud of our group.”

On not letting Jackson’s injury be a distractionââ’¬¦
“I think we’ve got some veteran guys and some maturity there. Steve’s demeanor is great. Steve never gets shaken; he’s so poised that he will handle the ball. We play that way in practice when we settle Demetrius, so it’s not completely foreign. We’ve rested him sometimes; we rested him last Monday. He didn’t practice at all because I just wanted him to get some rest. So, Steve handled the ball for an hour and a half in a scrimmage last Monday. We’ve done it before, but I thought we were really good with it today.”

On free throw improvementââ’¬¦
“They were a huge weapon, and do you know why? We don’t work on them in practice. We don’t do it anymore. We haven’t worked on it as a team, and I tell them to go work on them on their own. You can over-coach that and over-emphasize that so the guys get tight. So, we haven’t done any team free-throw shooting and pressure free-throws in two weeks, and we’re not going to start.”

On Rex Pfluegerââ’¬¦
“I’m really excited about him. The job he did on [Eli] Carter, especially in the second half, was fabulous, and now you see him getting comfortable with an offensive role. One of the things that kept him out of the lineup was shot selection and when to shoot and where his place was in our offense. He also was a little loose with the ball when he first got here. He has really improved in those areas. Like today, for example, he can guard Carter, and Vasturia didn’t have to. With all the stuff Vasturia had to do handling the ball, it really helped us. He can score and run the team. I just think Rex continues to get better, and his teammates are confident in him. Tonight he took a step in his place offensively. He took good shots, he can make free-throws. The way he guards is clinic-type stuff.”

On the crowdââ’¬¦
“Our crowd was great today, and our crowd was great on Wednesday. They really energized us, and we have a great home court thing going. The student ticket-holders were great. It was a sell-out, but our students now are coming out and having fun. I just need to keep recruiting them to come out, and we will need them again next Sunday.”

On Zach Augusteââ’¬¦
“Zach didn’t have the big offensive night that he did the other night. We know Rex was good with Carter, but how Z showed and then came back on Clifford to get deflections was fabulous. That was a two-man deal in defending Carter. Don’t get me wrong, Rex was great, but you have to have help. Zach knew when to fake and turn back, he got deflections, and he anchored us back there. I told him that it was the best I have seen him in that area.”

Notre Dame Players
Bonzie Colson, Sophomore Forward
On his play…
“I’m just learning to be more sharp, on the offensive and defensive end and having more confidence, and that’s helping me.”

On coming off the bench relaxedââ’¬¦
“I’ve been doing that since last year, coming off the bench, so it’s not like it’s a new role for me, coming off the bench, bringing the energy, being able to score, rebounding, that helps the team out.”

On playing Boston Collegeââ’¬¦
“Either home or away, BC has been a huge part of my life, you know my dad was a coach there. It was a good team win, and I like playing against BC.”

On bouncing back from Demetrius’ injuryââ’¬¦
“We use that as motivation coming into the locker room, he still had a voice in the locker room, talking, he still had a voice on the bench, he was talking to all of us. We still felt his presence even though he wasn’t on the floor with us, and he still led if he was on the floor, and that’s what helped us.”

On what the team needed to keep doing the sameââ’¬¦
“Stay in attack mode, keep screening for Steve, myself and ‘Z’ (Zach Auguste), keep screening for Z, Rex, and stay within ourselves, There’s been times when we’ve had that lineup in at practice so we know what we have to do.”

On playing without Demetriusââ’¬¦
“It’s a little different having Steve run the show, but we trust Steve with the ball, he’s brought the ball out in practices before, and we just have to continue to do what we do, screen and roll with post-touches, screen away from the ball, staying with our tendencies when he’s out.”

Rex Pflueger, Freshman Guard
On Demetrius’ injuryââ’¬¦
“I bet everyone in the stadium’s heart dropped for a second when they saw that. It’s a physical game, we just have to play through it and play with what we got.”

On his changing role without DJââ’¬¦
“I believe I have to become a little more aggressive, which I try to be. It doesn’t necessarily mean shooting more, it just means attacking the basket, looking for areas to get my teammates open.”

On Steve stepping inââ’¬¦
“We’ve been actually practicing without DJ in the lineup, whether it’s me, or Matt Ryan, or Matt Farrell taking over, but we’ve had Steve playing that point guard stuff in practice, so when that came in, we were confident that we were going to be good.”

On how previous games’ experience helped his play todayââ’¬¦
Stay confident, and the past games have given me more confidence of my ability on the floor, and hopefully that carries over to the next game and the next game.”

On added confidence in ball-handlingââ’¬¦
“That happened a lot during the summer and the whole process coming up to right now. Coach has always put me into that point guard position, whether it’s on the second team, the blue team, or the white team. He wants me to get ready to handle the ball in situations that happen like today.”

On what he’s improved upon in terms of decision-makingââ’¬¦
“Definitely slowing down. Coach has always told me that I’ve been playing a little bit too fast, and to just slow down with my offense and I’ll be fine.”

On defensive playââ’¬¦
“I just knew Coach wanted me to go in there and play hard defense. He knows that’s one of my best attributes. I saw it as a challenge to myself to lock him (Eli Carter) down so he couldn’t score.”

Steve Vasturia, Junior Guard
On making adjustments without Demetriusââ’¬¦
“It’s definitely different, but I think we’ve done a good job all year with someone coming off the bench. As you saw today, Rex, Matt Farrell, people were coming in. We just have to pick up and play the way we play. I think we did a good job of that today.”

On his free throws todayââ’¬¦
“Coach always says that it’s a great weapon for us and it really is. When you can knock down free throws and get to the foul line you’re really going to help yourself. So we’re going to continue to keep shooting the ball like that.”

On his role when Demetrius is not in the gameââ’¬¦
“It’s a little different. I just get to handle the ball more. I think I have kind of been attacking all year, so I stay with that and have a little more of a voice. But Demetrius did a good job of talking from the bench to everybody too. It’s a little different but we’ll see what happens.”

Zach Auguste, Senior Forward
On staying in the game mentally late in the second half only having scored two points ââ’¬¦
“It wasn’t that bad actually, I’m excited. My other brothers are doing great. Rex comes in and has a great game, a career night for him. Bonzie is playing well, V.J., and Steve as well. A lot of guys come in and do their thing, so I’m excited for that. It’s not just about me, it’s about the team. I ended up with a double-double so it was fun.”

On Demetrius leaving the courtââ’¬¦
“We were worried. It was a little bit scary. I prayed for him. I hoped it wouldn’t be anything too serious, and thank God it’s not. But you know that’s how the game works. One guy goes down, the next guy can step up. I think we did a great job. Rex and a couple guys stepped up.”

Jim Christian, Boston College head coach
On the game…
“It was a game of two halves for us. First and foremost I hope [Demetrius] Jackson is healthy. He’s such a great player and one of my favorite guys to watch in the league, the way he affects his teammates. So I hope he’s fine. The second half for us we went 6-30 from the field. This is my fourteenth year in college basketball being a head coach, and of the thirty shots I would sign up for all thirty shots again. We just couldn’t make a shot, couldn’t make a layup and it’s tough to win, especially against a really good offensive team like them.”

On how the game changed after Jackson’s injuryââ’¬¦
“They run the same stuff. It’s just a different guy coming off the ball, so he’s not as aggressive, and probably not as good in transition. He [Jackson] is a one-man rack attack. I thought we played really good defense in the first half. We didn’t do anything different. We turned them over a little bit, but not a ton.”

On his team’s offensive strugglesââ’¬¦
“That orange ball has to go through the orange basket. We had four turnovers in the half. We were getting layups and open jump shots, and were 4-24 from inside the arc. We just have to make shots. They didn’t do anything different, they didn’t play zone, they just played man. We were getting the ball where we wanted to get it. I thought we played unselfishly. Like I said, I’d have signed up for all thirty shots again.”