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    FIGHTING IRISH

    FIGHTING IRISH

    Jan. 9, 2007

    Recap |  Final Stats

    Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey Quotes

    General thoughts...
    "We really defended them well. They can close a gap quick because of the three-point shot. I never felt we were going to have breathing room on them. I thought we did a good job at the end, getting the ball inbounds and being smart at times and getting loose balls. A league win is a league win, you scratch them out anyway you can. I'm proud of how we bounced back after a tough afternoon at Georgetown.

    On West Virginia's perimeter shooting...
    "At halftime, only eight of their field goals were three-point shots so I though we did a good job defending the line. In the second half, they got going again and they are good from there, it's a big staple for them and they can close the gap quick. So you've got to weather it and shots are going to go in. It's a little bit like guarding us and we guard that every day in practice."

    On the aggressive Irish offense...
    "We did a good job for the most part attacking them and getting into the paint and driving it. Even though we turned it over a little bit, at least we were attacking and going after it."

    On the play of Russell Carter and Zach Hillesland...
    "We did a good job finding [Russell] and got him on the baseline to cut a little bit more and just not settle for jumpshots. Zach did a great job, he handled the ball for us, he drove, defended, rebounded, helped if they had another ballhandler. And our two freshman point guards did a great job, Peoples and Jackson. We are asking a lot of those young men and they did a great job. Colin Falls was due after the past few games to bang a few down and we needed that."

    On the relentless pursuit of loose balls...
    "When there were flurries around there, Tory was coming up with it and Rob and Zach were scraping around. We were resilient and in this league you can't get too high after a good win and can't get too low after a tough loss. You have to try to stay steady in league play. Three games in six days was draining for us, physically and mentally, and we need to get a little bit of rest."

     

     

    On adding another win over a top-25 opponent...
    "We've got a great resume but you still have to qualify for the BIG EAST Tournament first and we aren't going to get ahead of ourselves. But we have some quality wins and this was one tonight, this was a very good team."

    On the crowd...
    "Our crowd was fabulous, especially in the second half when we needed to get stops. They energized us."

    WEST VIRGINIA HEAD COACH JOHN BEILEIN

    Opening statement
    "Our first half should be characteristic of a young team, but it was just uncharacteristic of this team so far. At halftime, I didn't really know what to say because there were so many things. It's like you went back to Oct. 14 and said 'all right, here's how we play.' I loved that they really adjusted and did a great job in the second half. Scoring 37 points in the second half was terrific. And just giving up 30, our defense was fairly consistent against a team that scores much more than this."

    On Notre Dame's ability to keep Frank Young in check ...
    "Well, they put a great defender on him. As a result, we had trouble getting it to him. Frank's foot speed is above average, but not terrific, and it was tough to get him open. At the same time, I don't think we're the type of team that has to get (one player) so many shots. If they're guarding him, I think we have other ways that we can score."

    On the difference in WVU's offensive efficiency between the first and second halves ...
    "We didn't drive it, or we didn't go back door when there was an opportunity. We didn't go to what we call our 'automatics,' where if they're playing you a certain way, the heck with the play, here's the new play. We would try to make something work that wasn't going to work because they were overplaying it. You have to see it, you have to feel it."

    On Notre Dame's effectiveness in the first half against WVU's 1-3-1 defense ...
    "Actually, the numbers in the first half were 10 possessions, 13 points. We just had a couple of breakdowns, but they had a good plan where they spaced out on the perimeter. When you have (Russell) Carter and (Colin) Falls out there, it's very hard for those guys not to get a three. But Falls was the only one to make one during that time, and I think Ayers may have made one, too. In our man-to-man defense, I think the point-possession was pretty good."

    On Frank Young's attempt to get off a last-second three-point shot ...
    "With 2.9 seconds left, it's a three-dribble play and he's just got to let it go. But he hasn't been in many of those situations. He probably could have pitched it. We had no timeouts left at that time, so hopefully he can get it off before then. He just misjudged the clock."

    Notre Dame Player Quotes

    Senior G Colin Falls

    On getting confidence from a close win ...
    "It's huge but I think this team is different because we expect to win these games. There's no hangover from last year. We're expecting to win these games. We were up by 10 most of the second half and then they threw some shots in but we weren't going to let that phase us. We made a good defensive stop at the end to win the game."

    Freshman F Luke Harangody

    On his two free throws late in the game ...
    "I was a little nervous going up to the line but I just cooled myself down and knocked both of them in."

    On not being worried after letting them come back ...
    "I didn't think we were worried and that's great especially with having two freshman guards. We handled the pressure really well."

    On coming back after the loss to Georgetown ...
    "This was a good game for us to bounce back from. I thought we did a great job with that. We weren't even thinking about the Georgetown game. It was great to get back out there and play."

    Senior G Russell Carter

    On if he was surprised how easily he got to the basket on his last drive ...
    "Not really because it just kind of cleared up. I was double-pumping a lot of my jumpers trying to avoid blocks so I just decided to take it all the way and luckily it went in."

    On how he was able to get to the rim so much during the game ...
    "A lot more teams play on my shot and everyone probed and got into the lane, Tory (Jackson), Colin (Falls), Zach (Hillesland), Robby (Kurz). Everyone got into the lane and that opened people up."

    On how the team was able to play well against West Virginia's 1-3-1 zone ...
    "Historically we've always been successful against West Virginia and their 1-3-1 press. I remember two years ago we forced them to play man basically the whole second half and I think we lost by two points. We had them a little flustered because we have so many great shooters. We have at least four good shooters on the court so it puts them in a bind because they are so spread out. If you give a guy like Colin Falls even one second to shoot, you know it's most likely going in."

    West Virginia Player Quotes

    Senior Forward Frank Young

    On His Offensive Performance ...
    "I'm not one to really force my shots. I try to get my shots in the flow of the offense but Russell Carter did a real good job of pressuring me and not letting me get any open looks. It was hard to get shots off because even when I would try to basket they would cut me off."

    On WVU's Offensive Performance ...
    "As a team we didn't handle their pressure defense in first half very well and that is something that we need to work on. We dug ourselves a hole in the first half by turning the ball over and giving up easy baskets and you can't do that on the road. I'm not going to say that any was shell shocked by being on the road in a hostile environment but we just didn't look like ourselves out there."

    Sophomore Guard Alex Ruoff

    On Getting to the Basket on Offense ...
    "Coach said that we were tentative in the first half in driving to the basket and in the second half we really looked to do that."

    Mindset of Playing on the Road ...
    "We came out and we were high and that playing on the road wasn't going to bother us but coach said we were tentative so we have to learn from it and get ready for Marquette."

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