Men's Basketball

Notre Dame vs. Virginia Tech - Postgame Quotes

Jan. 19, 2014

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Notre Dame Men's Basketball
Notre Dame vs. Virginia Tech
January 19, 2014
Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center • Notre Dame, Ind.

Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey Quotes

Opening statement...
"We certainly needed a league win and I'm proud of our group. I thought that overall defensively we played well, especially on the arc is where they can keep going and to keep them at 4-for-11 at the three-point line was probably the key. We had more different lineups in there than I have ever experienced with and they all really helped us. We needed one and hopefully that gets us a little more confident before we head to Tallahassee."

On Pat Connaughton....
"I was after him to lead better after Maryland and to set the tone for us defensively. One thing about Pat is that he is amazingly coachable. You challenge him; I challenged him, Eric (Atkins), and (Garrick) Sherman, and he wasn't going to let us lose tonight, which is not surprising because he is one guy who is extremely dependable."

On improvement since the Maryland game...
"We were better with the ball since we only turned it over 10 times. We had some really bad turnovers (at Maryland). The other key was that we only got eight offensive rebounds where Maryland got twenty. It was in those two areas that we were better at. We are going to have to be better at that Tuesday because Florida State defends and they are more athletic and powerful than this team. How we keep them off the board is going to be really interesting and I am going to challenge our guys to do it."

On Demetrius Jackson...
"He was key for us. He got on a roll, was feeling good, and finished the (first) half well with some drives and a big jump shot. He's just getting more and more comfortable being a college player and I think what helped him was that he was able to run the team because of Eric's (Atkins) foul trouble, where he was able to be the point guard and keep the ball in his hands."

On Zach Auguste...
"He had some key stretches. He was really good. He got an overplay steal, had some backboard activity, and defended for us. He is an energy guy and that is what we need at the moment. He played 11 minutes tonight, and he could play 24. With the way it is going with trying to figure out who is going to be the group, who knows what the minutes could be on Tuesday. What helped him- and we have talked about this since Maryland - he played angry when he got fouled or maybe subbed for. I told him that when you get off on those emotional tangents, you hurt yourself and us. Tonight I thought his attitude was steady. Even when he made a mistake, he got onto the next play."

On the importance winning the game...
My nickname should be "Must Win Mike," because I have been in so many of these must-win situations. We really needed this and I was channeling every bit of the 1974 team and the guy with the highlighter. I was channeling all of the karma that we needed. It was a special night, and I am glad that we could win it on this night. We have our former players back and I am excited to go over to visit with some of the players. I am honored that Coach Phelps went up (in the Ring of Honor) when I was the head coach. It is very fitting and he is a good friend and he has been a good mentor."

Notre Dame Player Quotes

Eric Atkins • Senior • Guard

His thoughts after letting the lead get down to two points...
"It was just, `We're going to pull this out.' We're pretty good in this building when it's close, so I didn't really waver at all."

On how much the team needed the win...
"We needed it a lot, especially coming off three straight losses. To get this one is huge for us and we're going to have to get back on it Tuesday (at Florida State)."

On getting a win on the road Tuesday against Florida State...
"We'll really have to focus on the defensive side of the ball. That's what we did today all game to some good results."

Pat Connaughton • Junior • Guard/Forward

On fending off Virginia Tech's rally in the second half...
"It was just a matter of getting those stops. Each team in this league can beat anybody. We just had to weather the storm. I think we learned from Maryland. As much as you don't like to learn from a loss, you do learn from losses. Today, we were able to dig down and get the stops we weren't able to get a couple days ago at Maryland. It was nice to see us bounce back."

On the team's overall execution...
"I think it was just a matter of defense. Everybody had each other's back on the defensive end. On offense, it was just a matter of trusting everybody on the team and realizing that everybody's on the team for a reason. There are certain plays that we all need to make."

On the importance of getting a win after losing three in a row, and looking forward to two consecutive games on the road...
"You never like losing, but the fact of the matter is you do learn from losses. We were just focused on getting a league win, and that's what we're going to focus on tomorrow in practice and when we head down to Tallahassee."

Virginia Tech Head Coach James Johnson Quotes

Opening Statement...
"I give Notre Dame a lot of credit. I thought that we had two teams tonight that really wanted to win, had lost a few games in a row, and they played really hard and made the plays down the stretch that they needed to make to win. I thought my team came ready to play, there was a little stretch at the end of the first half where we could not get anything going and another four-minute period in the second half where we struggled, but for the most part I thought we fought, we executed offensively and got the ball where we wanted to get it to. We just turned the ball over a little too much tonight. When you shoot 52 percent from the floor and turn the ball over 17 times, any time you have a shot at the basket it has a good chance of going in, so I really thought we just turned the ball over a little bit too much."

On team's improved field goal percentage...
"We just kept working these guys mentally, telling them to stay with it, keep taking good shots. We shot the ball well the last couple days here and in the shoot-around. We got the ball inside a lot more tonight, attacking the basket and getting good shots. Devin Wilson attacks the basket--dribble-drives or getting it inside--and in general, I thought we got closer shots and took it to the basket a little more."

On Cadarian Raines and Devin Wilson's increased roles...
"Every minute that Devin Wilson plays he keeps getting better and better. He's taking care of the basketball, leading the team, and he and I have talked and I told him that right now, with Jarell Eddie struggling a little bit, we need him to be more of a scoring point guard. He is a pass-first point guard and he wants to get everybody involved and does a great job running and leading our team. But I just told him that at this point we need you to be a little more aggressive and he is a smart player--as a coach, you know that you can tell him that and he's not going to force anything, he is still going to let the game come to him. He did a very good job in our ball-screen action tonight at getting to the basket, they made an adjustment of going under his screens and so he stepped back and made a few three pointers. I really cannot say enough about him and how he is getting better and better. Raines, after not having played the last couple of days, has been practicing hard and his attitude has been great. I just kept telling him that if he keeps working and keeps his head in the game, your opportunity will come and when it does, we are going to need you to come through and sure enough he played great tonight."

Virginia Tech Player Quotes

Cadarian Raines • Senior • Forward

On his performance...
"It felt really good. I kept a positive attitude and I never got cold tonight. I went out there and I played ball. I played confident, slowed down, and watched the game so when I got in there it felt good."

On the offensive struggles...
"I think it was the turnovers and we didn't get into it until the last couple of minutes of the clock. I think they played some good defense and they made some big shots. They can play ball."

On Notre Dame's three-point shooting...
"We were really concerned with their inside play and we did a good job on that. Their point guards and shooting guards did a good job shooting the ball."

Devin Wilson • Freshman • Guard

On his performance...
"I was a little sluggish in the first half so in the second half, after being down 15, I knew that I had to be more aggressive just to get our team back in the game."

On Virginia Tech's better shooting percentage than the previous few games...
"We really tried to punch the ball inside. We thought that we had to get a couple of fouls on [Garrick] Sherman and their other big men so we were really getting the ball into Joey [van Zegeren] and Cadarian [Raines] so they could really go to work."

On whether it has been a struggle to find team chemistry...
"I think a lot of the guys get along and we all know each other's games. I think everyone is still playing their best. I thought we had good minutes from everyone today. The starting lineups don't really matter. Its about who finishes the game."



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