Feb. 2, 2000
Notre Dame Head Coach Matt Doherty
General thoughts on the game:
“They were shooting the ball extremely well and we weren’t. I liked our effort. We didn’t have a lot of turnovers, but we had a couple key ones that led to some direct baskets. They were swinging the ball to the weak wing and we weren’t adjusting. We addressed that at halftime. We covered up the weak wing well. (Josh) Yeager got three threes in the first half, in six minutes. The second half, they didn’t get those looks from the wing. Those kids, they don’t flinch. We were playing well, it just wasn’t going our way. They kept their nose to the grindstone and worked through it. We outscored them by 20 in the second half, that’s pretty neat to see.”
On the game plan:
“Our zone was very active. They are a good basketball team, on a five game winning streak. And watching their zone offense on film really concerned me. We did a real good job of adjusting at halftime. Our kids were active. We got key steals late in the first half. Just getting deflections and being quick to the ball. The guys were giving us (coaches) a hard time because we gave them basically the day off on Monday, just some film and weights and shoot around. Tuesday, we went kind of light, for about an hour and 45 minutes. They reminded me that they had their legs in the second half. I guess they don’t want any demanding practices before games. I think they earned it.”
On West Virginia’s shooting:
“Its tough to shoot contested shots. I felt they couldn’t shoot like that the entire game. They hit some contested jump shots. (Lionel) Armstead had some tough threes. You hope they don’t hit those the whole game. They were getting some open ones, but we made some adjustments.”
On the play of Matt Carroll:
“Matt’s a great shooter. If he’s open, I want him to shoot the ball every time. The key is for him to get open. If he’s open, he’s going to hit it.”
On West Virgina’s offensive rebounding:
“They scared me on the offensive boards. (Marcus) Goree was averaging over four a game and we held him to one. That was excellent. For him to have nine points, we were very fortunate.”
On Troy Murphy:
“Troy draws a lot of attention. They were very conscious of him in their zone and that opened up the perimeter for our guys to shoot the ball. He just wants to win. He doesn’t care about statistics. He just wants to win basketball games. He’s as happy as anyone in that locker room right now.”
Notre Dame Player Quotes
Matt Carroll on his shooting in the second half:
“Being an outside shooter – you have to feel it. The only way to get back on track is to keep shooting. That is the mentality that Coach Doherty wants me to have and my teammates want me to have. It is frustrating to miss, because you go to practice and shoot all the time. I came into halftime a little frustrated. Troy (Murphy) and David (Graves) just picked me up and told me to keep shooting and luckily some went in.”
David Graves on getting back in the scoring column:
“I just hit shots. They were guarding me well early but there is more to the game then just shooting. If they are guarding me well, I am not going to force it. I haven’t been shooting well, but the last four of five games I think I have been playing well.
Graves on the deficit the Irish faced coming into the second half:
“I felt great tonight. I got a lot out of the crowd and their energy helped a lot. We were down 17 and it was a ‘gut-check’. That fact that we protected our home court, showed our team’s character.”
Troy Murphy on the effectiveness of the Irish zone in the second half:
“We were more active and trying to stop them from shooting the three. We extended and had a lot more energy down (on the defensive end). With the student section down at that end we had more energy and were able to bounce around in the zone.”
West Virginia Head Coach Gale Catlett Quotes
On the game:
Generally speaking, they just made a bunch of shots on us in the second half. We didn’t adjust to where people were shooting the ball from. We did a poor job of getting the ball inside in the second and took too many threes. They did a nice job of jamming the middle on us.
On the second half:
They had some guys step up in the second half. I thought, at halftime, we should have been farther ahead than we were, but we made a couple mental lapses on defense. They had a couple guys stand open and shoot the ball and it continued in the second half. We walked through things as far as covering the shooters and just seemed to not have a chance to get to them. I thought the key was when they started making some shots. They were missing shots, then they just started making some shots in the second half.
On Notre Dame:
They made some big plays and knocked some shots down and did a great job.
On Notre Dame’s defense:
They just played a tight zone and wouldn’t let us catch the ball in the middle, and we didn’t try to get it inside. We took the first shot that came open. We were too anxious.
On his team’s 13-35 shooting from three-point range:
First of all, it’s way too many three-point shots. Secondly, we didn’t make very good attempts to get the ball where we’re supposed to get it to — inside to kick it back out. We didn’t have any transition baskets and you have to get some transition baskets. That’s one of the poorest offensive nights we’ve had this year.
On Josh Yeager’s performance:
He’s a great shooter and they played zone the whole game. People don’t generally do that to us.
West Viginia Player Quotes
West Virginia Guard Josh Yeager
On his offensive outburst tonight “It felt real good to come out and help the team. Notre Dame played a lot of zone so I knew that I had to be ready. I knew I had to come out and make my shots and play good defense to help the team.”
On his mindset going into tonight’s game “In my mindset I knew that I would play tonight. You always have to be prepared to play. “
On West Virginia’s offense tonight “We had open shots and hit them in the first half, but tried to force it a little in the second half and we couldn’t get the ball into Marcus (Goree) inside. We tried to force it in to him and we turned the ball over a couple times.”
West Virginia Forward Marcus Goree
On not getting the ball as much as usual tonight “With the great defense that they played it was hard for guys to find me. In the past they played more man-to-man. Today they played good zone defense.”
On what West Virginia needs to work on “We must work on our transition defense. They got out and ran and hit some big three’s in transition and pulled ahead.”
On Notre Dame’s supporting players stepping up to help Murphy “We played zone just like they did. I didn’t get as many looks as I wanted and I’m sure that he didn’t get as many looks as he wanted. Other guys stepped up for them tonight and that was the difference.”