Nov. 26, 2015

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Game 3: Monmouth 70, Notre Dame 68

Monmouth head coach King Rice

“How they came back down 10 that fast has to say ââ’¬¦ a lot of credit to them. I’m very excited that our kids believed in each other, that they felt like they belonged on the court. We play basketball too. We have a lot of kids that believe in each other, and when you believe in each other, anything can happen. And the good thing is we can still play better, and we’ll probably have to in this tournament, to continue to have success.”

“I told these young men I don’t know if I’ve had more talent on a team, and I’ve coached a lot of places. And they pick on me because I’m old school and I say ‘If we stick together like this (clasps hands together) and there’s no splinters’ ââ’¬¦ Our kids, we truly try to do it the right way. They’re from great families. They make my job easy because those guys act the right way. And we all do it together in practice. Every day. Everybody’s role is important.”

“Dr. Marilyn McNeil, our athletic director, I lost 20 games three years in a row when she hired me. And most of the time you get fired when that happens. And she believed in the process, and she believed that I was doing the right things on campus, graduating everybody, and having these young men that I was getting grow up right in front their eyes. And now, because we got those lumps early, we’ve all gotten better, and now I get to be the coach of a team that’s won three games so far this year, beat a ranked team for the first time in our school’s history, I think. We got a win at Pauley Pavilion ââ’¬” that was one of the happiest days for our kids in a long time. So we’re trying to do things the right way.”

On Justin Robinson scoring 22

“Justin can score the ball on anybody. That’s what he does. Sometimes I have to remind him to be him. He wants to get everybody else going. He truly is a very unselfish young man that he doesn’t care. And I have to remind him sometimes: ‘We’re good because of the things you can do, too.’ And I thought in the first half he wasn’t aggressive enough.”

G Justin Robinson, on only 3 points by halftime

“I knew I could get going if my teammates kept giving me the ball, and Coach stayed confident in me. I just had to relax and play my game.” On his total 22 points: “I don’t care about points like that. I care about winning. And if my team needs me to score then that’s what I’ll do. Tonight they needed my contribution by my scoring, so that’s what I did.”

Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey

“We lost to a good team. I think our second-half start really hurt us. We were up 8; missed a couple of things around the bucket. Proud of how we battled back and gave ourselves a chance. They’re really hard to deal with because they’ve got so many drivers. And their transition is so effective. We can’t really dwell on it very long ââ’¬” whoever you play tomorrow night you play a really good team. We’ve got to bounce back and talk about some things we can do better.”

“Our best flow came when we played small. That group has to continue to ââ’¬¦ be more efficient offensively, because that hurt us early in the half. They’re going to play a lot of minutes together. Our efficiency on that end ââ’¬” we could’ve used more because you’re just not going to stop them. They’re really a tough offensive group to deal with.”

“There’s no question our defense gave us a chance. We couldn’t play it probably consistently enough to win the game, but I go back to: When you’re in control of the game at halftime, we just got off to such a tough start. We missed some easy stuff. All of a sudden, they’re feeling good and they’re on a heck of a run.”

“Early, as I’m trying to figure out our group, I like some of the stuff we did. We had some new guys in some new roles. I thought (V.J.) Beachem was really good for us, and we’ve got to continue to develop him. That was encouraging, ’cause he’s kind of the newest of the guys joining the party as a starter.”