Jan. 21, 2007

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Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey Quotes

On leading at the end of the first half…

“Hillesland, Zeller, and Peoples really defended to end the first half, giving us some breathing room. After the first half, I thought we continued to be unselfish offensively. We tried to take care of our business.”

On Notre Dame’s fouls…

“Kentrell Gransberry got loose on us but you’d rather give up twos than threes, especially when you have a strong lead and it’s hard for them to close that gap on us.”

On Luke Zeller’s performance….

Luke Zeller had a great game. He didn’t get a lot of opportunities the last two basketball games, but I thought he came in and really gave us a lift, making some shots and rebounding the basketball. We obviously need him. That’s something for him to build upon.”

On Notre Dame’s record…

“We came back after losing three games really focused. In league play, you just can’t get too high or low. You’ve just got to stay in the middle ground. Even today we started talking about St. John’s after about 30 seconds of recap of this game.”

On Rob Kurz and Tory Jackson

“I’m happy for Rob. I know he was not happy how he played the last two games. I was really looking for him to break out because he has practiced so well the last two days. Both he and Tory were disappointed with their performance in Philadelphia. Tory continues to improve.”

Notre Dame Player Quotes

Junior F Rob Kurz

On the adjustments made after the Villanova game…
“The emphasis for the last couple days has been on the defensive end of the floor in rebounding and getting loose balls. Today, we had everybody who had the opportunity to get a loose ball on the floor and I think that was a carryover of how we played the last couple days.”

“We knew we had to be more physical than we were; I mean, this is the Big East. We knew we got beat up inside against Villanova and we wanted to make sure that we came out right from the beginning and established the low post game. I think it was a big key for the game.”

Senior G Colin Falls

On Tory Jackson
“He’s getting more confident and more used to his role. He’s getting better each game. We just need him to keep improving and get more use of the guys around him, and we’ll be alright.”

Freshman G Tory Jackson

On the strength of Notre Dame’s bench players…
“If a bench can come through like ours can, it is a big plus. So many people focus on the starters; they don’t take the time to think about the people who come off the bench. It’s a great thing that we have the strong bench that we do.”

Sophomore F Zach Hillesland

On the versatility of the team…
“You hear a lot of people throw around that our team has a lot of interchangeable parts, and that’s exactly what we have. We have a lot of guys who do a lot of things very well-pass, shoot, dribble, and rebound. We are very versatile as a team, not just as individuals, and that helps us a lot in our match-ups.”

South Florida Head Coach Robert McCullum Quotes

On the play of Notre Dame guard Tory Jackson
“There were loose balls, there were long rebounds and Tory Jackson seemingly was involved, directly or indirectly. He was a big spark plug during that stretch where it looked like we had a rebound and he would be there to take it away.”

On South Florida’s gameplan…

“They have a lot of balance, a lot of depth. To some degree you almost pick your poison. We keyed on Carter and Falls, and I thought we did a good job overall on Carter but they have so many pieces that he doesn’t have to come out and have a great game because of their balance.”

“We talked about Carter, we talked about Falls, and we talked about Harangody because he has played well. You talk about those guys, but we can’t forget about Kurz. There are so many weapons there.”

On the play of South Florida center Kentrell Gransberry…

“Kentrell was one of the few bright spots we had. His numbers were impressive but I thought there were times he was impatient inside. We thought he would have been better off if he would kick it back out.”

“Whenever he got the basketball and put Notre Dame at a disadvantage it was obvious it was their game plan to not let him get his shoulders squared, or foul him and put him at the free throw line. You look at his three-for-twelve from the free throw line and it’s obvious he needed work, but he is certainly to be commended for his effort.”

South Florida Player Quotes

Junior C Kentrell Gransberry
On South Florida’s strong start in the first half…
“We knew we needed to get off to a great start falling down 14-4 at West Virginia last weekend. We wanted to come up here and get a great start, and that’s what we did.”

On the change of momentum during the first half…
“I thought they did a great job of picking it up and taking us out of what we wanted to do.”

On his free throw shooting…
“I am very disappointed at the way I shot from the free throw line. I tried to do better for my team. I am going to go back home and work on that and try to do better next time.”

On Notre Dame’s success at home and their struggles away from home…
“I knew that they had won all of their home games. I am very disappointed and just disgusted in the way I played. I could have shot the ball better and done a lot of things better.”

Senior F Melvin Buckley

On losing momentum after coming out strong…
“There were just a lot of breakdowns, I thought. We were turning the ball over, and they were just converting it into points on the other end.”