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    Jan. 3, 2008

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    Notre Dame vs. West Virginia
    Thursday, January 3, 2008
    Joyce Center * Notre Dame, Ind.

    Head Coach Mike Brey
    On Saturday's game against Connecticut...
    "We've got to sell this thing out on Saturday. I don't want to look down (at the attendance) and see 9,500. We have got to sell this place out."

    On the effort of the team on defense...
    "I thought our toughness was very evident tonight both mentally and physically. To hold an offensive team like that to 56 points I think shows how we played defensively."

    On the play of Luke Harangody...
    "I think he brings us a lot of toughness. Certainly Harangody set the tone for the game tonight. He's been playing this tough and practice. He's been drooling to get ready for BIG EAST play."

    On play of Kyle McAlarney...
    "Kyle had a lot of fun out there tonight. He had the ball in his hands a lot. He was turning the corner and making decisions. That's the nice thing about having guys who can play multiple positions."

    Sophomore Forward Luke Harangody
    On hitting his first seven field goals...
    "From the start I got some good looks from the other guys, especially Kyle (McAlarney) coming off screens. When you come into BIG EAST play, the first game of conference play is a whole different game than non-conference season. We've been waiting ever since last year for BIG EAST play again. I could feel it in the locker room, the entire team's emotions were high and we were going to come out strong."

    On his career high 16 rebounds...
    "We had to put a body on these guys because they're very physical and athletic. As the game progressed I was able to mix it up with the rebounds. I lost a lot of body fat and I feel a lot better out there. I feel longer, and can play longer. [Getting to loose balls] all comes back to conditioning."

    Sophomore Guard Tory Jackson
    On recovering from early foul trouble... "I attacked the basket and felt like I could get to the rim, but sitting down that long gets frustrating because you want to be out there to help your team. They did a great job picking things up and kept it up through the end of the first half. I knew at the beginning of the second half I was going to have to come out and do my part. Knocking down big shots, getting it inside, and going after loose balls was my part. It was an up-and-down game, but doing that is what the BIG EAST is all about."

    West Virginia Head Coach Bob Huggins
    On poor shooting and the difference in the game...
    "We haven't shot very well all week. We had a bunch of guys making shots so we could spread the defense. We have starters that are shooting lower than ten percent. I thought we had a pretty good chance actually. The difference was Harangody. He dominated the game. He gets 16 rebounds. Every game they've out-rebounded they've won. He's the reason. He totally dominated our inside game. They did what they could, they shot the ball in. Ayers made two big threes to kind of get some distance, and that was it."

    On whether it was more poor shooting or poor defense by West Virginia...
    "I'm sure it was a combination of both. We haven't shot well all week. I'm sure the defense had anything to do with us missing four lay-ups. They (Notre Dame) were more physical than us. "

    On Joe Mazzulla...
    "Joe hasn't been able to practice. That's not an excuse, it's just that Joe gives us toughness. Joe gives us energy. He hasn't been able to practice, so consequently his play doesn't match. Because of Joe's toughness, we have to get him back out."

    On Tory Jackson...
    "He was a point guard a year ago. I love the guy. He does what he has to do to win. Those are the kind of guys you want to have. They guys that do what they have to do to win."

    Senior Guard Darris Nichols
    On playing in the Joyce Center...
    "It's not the building. We just can't let bad shooting beat us and take us out of the game."

    On a WVU offense that hinges on shooting...
    "I don't know. If a team is shooting better, usually they're going to win the game. But there are things we could have done different. We could have rebounded better. We could have played certain players like we were supposed to have played them."

    Junior Forward Alex Ruoff
    On West Virginia playing against Notre Dame in the Joyce Center...
    "I don't think it has anything to do with the building. It has something to do with us. We didn't play hard enough or smart enough. We didn't show up to play."

    On the team's loss to start conference play...
    "It's beyond me. We're in the BIG EAST (Conference). We're playing Notre Dame on national television. If you can't get up and play hard for that, there's no answer. We've got guys not hustling, and that's crazy to me."

    On a poor shooting night for the Mountaineers...
    "That's an aspect of the game you can't control. Your defense - that can be a constant, something you can control. We got out-rebounded by double digits, and our defense was not near where it should be. So we can't always rely on our shots to win games."

    On the team's near future...
    "I hope it's a wake-up call. I hope you can call it that. Otherwise, it'll be a long season. I'm anxious to get back to practice and get back to work. We need to do something."

     

     

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