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    FIGHTING IRISH

    FIGHTING IRISH

    Jan. 8, 2005

    Recap |  Box Score

    Head Coach Mike Brey

    On winning at the end ...
    We were running from New Jersey the other night and we're getting a feel for who we are. We were very physical and we were fearless. In game situations where it comes down to the last few minutes, we have good guards. We do find a way to get things done.

    On Chris Thomas ...
    If this is his 75th win, then I'm lucky that I've gotten to coach him, because he's made me look like a good coach for 75 games. The angle on that shot right there, there's only one guy that you would want to take that shot at the end of the clock and that's number one. I know he breaks the record for career starts on Monday, that is, if we start him.

    On the play of the team ...
    Colin Falls did a really good job defensively too, coming up with loose balls. Those were big free throws for Dennis Latimore. He's not been in situations like that before - he did not have situations like that in Arizona.

    On preparing for Monday's game against Syracuse ...
    We'll have enough time to get ready for Monday. We have no other option. It should be a great atmosphere. We're playing a heck of a basketball game here. I think we'll be really ready to play given how we've played the last two games.

    Notre Dame Guard Chris Thomas

    On Villanova ...
    We were really ready to play this game, Villanova came in with a lot of enthusiasm and attitude, I wanted our guys to have that same attitude

    On his shooting late in the game ...
    It was the only shot available, I actually thought that I dribbled it on the sideline, I got the shot up, they played good defense, I think playing a lot of horse kind of helped.

     

     

    On going 19 - of -19 on he free throw line...
    Coach always tells us to shoot for 70% from the line, but going 100% is impressive and really is the way that we beat Villanova, we didn't miss any down the stretch.

    Notre Dame Guard Chris Quinn

    On getting a win at home ...
    The crowd was huge for us tonight, and we need that for every one of our games and can't wait to have the students back here on campus to boost that noise level.

    On Syracuse and Big Monday ...
    We need to just get back in here tomorrow and get back to work and focus on Syracuse and their tough play and just go out with nothing to lose and show them that this is a rivalry and we came ready to play.

    On making shots down the stretch ...
    At the end of the game I think coach wants the ball in either Chris Thomas' hands or mine, Coach Brey called a great play and I found Chris and he hit a huge shot

    Head Coach Jay Wright

    On the game...
    "It was a great college basketball game. I thought both teams really competed. I thought Chris Thomas was just awesome. We tried everything, we tried different guys on him, we tried to double him, we tried to faceguard him."

    On tempo when they went up 67-66...
    "At that point we wanted to get the ball to Randy Foye, he was on a run, I wanted to make sure we got the right match up. I told him if he got the right match up then go ahead and take it. We weren't going to hold it there. We wanted to keep going, we wanted to build on it."

    On adjustments made because Curtis Sumpter was out of the line up...
    "I think we were just a little bit more basic and predictable offensively. We had to rebound better. In the first half [Notre Dame] hurt us on the offensive glass. I think they had six or seven offensive rebound in the first half. We tightened it up a little bit in the second half but we had to pick up some rebounding slack."

    On Notre Dame guards...
    "Well I think they have great guards. I think early, they really moved the ball well and found each other. They hit some 3s on us early. I thought the second half it was a little bit more effect, I thought we did a little bit better job but we were having a tough time scoring and getting into it. When you have three guards that are that good, that shoot the ball that well, and they also do a good job of putting in on the floor and drawing fouls, that hurts you."

    On his team...
    "Our guys played hard. I'm very pleased with the effort. I think we got beat by a good team and I think a great player made a big-time play"

    On Chris Thomas' shot to go up by four (74-70)...
    "It's what great players do in this league. You have to try and not let the great players make the play to win the game. We were trying to keep the ball out of his hands there."

    Junior Guard Randy Foye

    On coming so close to getting the win...
    "It hurts. After playing so well and not getting the win, it doesn't matter."

    On not having the injured Curtis Sumpter in the line up...
    "I didn't put up as many shots as I probably would have if Curtis was in the line up. But it's the same game plan, you play the same, same leadership as if he was still in the line-up. We didn't change the game plan, it happened so quickly. We were good enough to beat them without him."

    On Notre Dame's 19-for-19 performance from the free- throw line...
    "Well, they're a good three-point shooting team and a good free-throw shooting team. They're shooting free-throws at home, so they're going to knock them down."

    Junior Forward Jason Fraser

    On not having the injured Curtis Sumpter in the line-up...
    "We had the same game plan. We are a defensive team. We like to play defense and rebound. If one person's out, the next person's in and you have to play defense and rebound."

    On the magnitude of the loss...
    "I don't think there's any need for alarm. We played a great game. You can't win every single game. We'll bounce back and play Villanova basketball like we did at the beginning of the season."

    On Notre Dame's 19-for-19 performance from the free-throw line...
    "We have a game plan and we can't worry about the other team. Once you start worrying about the other team, you're not worrying about yourself and that's how you end up losing by 20 and 30 points."

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