Men's Basketball

Notre Dame vs. Villanova - Postgame Quotes

Jan. 30, 2013

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Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey

Opening comments...
"I'm thrilled that we met and maybe exceeded the physicality that was going to be needed. We did a really good job of defending the arc, the three-point line, which is where they had so much success in their two great wins last week. And we got into enough of an offensive rhythm to create a little bit of separation. We certainly had great contributions, [Cameron Biedscheid] coming along. It was a matter of time before that guy gets going, and I love what Zach [Auguste] gave us, the energy Zach gave us off the bench. As we're re-inventing here, we're finding new stuff, and it was a little bit of Cam tonight, and who knows who could be giving us energy Saturday."

On what allowed Cameron Biedscheid to come back from his slump...
"He apologized to me after the Georgetown game, saying, 'I've got to make those for us.' At our program, guys that can shoot - I don't want them ever sheepish about it or looking over their shoulder. I told him just keep taking them if they're good shots. I thought Jerian [Grant] did a fabulous job of breaking down the defense and finding him for some real key ones."

On Jack Cooley...
"What more can you say about Cooley? I have never seen a guy so relentless. He is going after balls. I don't know how he has the energy to do it, but he continually does it. How he set the tone for us physically in the middle is just amazing."

On the team's "re-invention"...
"We're more physical. We fouled tonight. We knocked guys down. I don't care - we've got enough guys, if you foul out I've got another guy to throw in there. The physicality we play with on offense and defense is really helping us. When you have two big guys in there all the time it helps your physicality. Everything is kind of attacking, and I think our guys are really feeling good about that. If we make a mistake and it's something attacking and playing really hard, we'll live with it."

On winning despite a field goal drought...
"You better be playing defense, if that happens. That's a maturity thing. Can a team go back and guard if they haven't scored or their offense isn't going well? I don't think any team is that good that they can do it all the time - it affects guys, and they'll hang their head a little bit. For the most part tonight we got back and guarded. And we're in a dog fight in this league now, so you don't have any room for hanging your head. But I'm proud of our group, because as we've re-invented here physically and bigger, we've really embraced it."

On Tom Knight's new role...
"We're playing two big guys, and those big guys have to screen and play away. The tone that two of them set - Jack has a side-kick now - makes the rest of our team more physical."

On new contributions from Tom Knight and Cameron Biedscheid...
"Cam should be able to do that more often than not for us. And Tom Knight is playing with the utmost confidence - he's earned it. And we want him shooting mid-range stuff if they're good shots. That's one thing he's done and proven he can do. But that we have another shot maker really helps."

On wearing a button-down in place of the turtle-neck...
"Change of karma, baby. Just got to change the karma. My routine coming in here today, I got my iced tea from a different place, thought I'd change it up a little bit. We're going to see if we can ride this for a while."

Notre Dame Player Quotes

Jack Cooley, Senior, Forward

On what went well in the game...
"We were really moving it well and not panicking from their pressure. Jerian [Grant] was handling the ball a lot there at the end and did a great job. If it wasn't there at first look, we kept reversing it, kept screening, and getting open. We went to our second and third options, and it was very well how our guards handled pressure at the end of the game."

On recording 16 rebounds...
"I just wanted to capitalize on what I did last game with the 14 and try to beat it. The coaches challenged me and said this is one of the most physical [teams] in the league and I wanted to take that as a challenge and show I can rebound with the best of them."

On the importance of getting back to winning...
"It's really good to keep winning, but we've got to keep doing it. We can't look at it that we're on a streak or that we've won any games. We just have got to keep thinking we've only got five wins and we're in the mix. We're not in the lead, so we need to keep fighting and scrapping to make our way in this league."

On finding more offensive consistency...
"We had about a five-minute drought in the first half, but we got a little impatient there. We were flowing really well and thought we could get some easy looks. We just need to keep remembering that we have to grind to get our points."

Eric Atkins, Junior, Guard

On Cam Biedscheid boucing back...
"I think first and foremost the coaches need to keep encouraging you and that's what they did for Cam. And then the veterans on the team, Jerian [Grant] and I, we always keep telling him just keep shooting. You're going to go through slumps sometimes, but he is a shooter so we want him to stay aggressive and keep shooting the ball."

On solving recent offensive problems...
"I don't think we solved anything. This is another really good BIG EAST win. We're still working things out and just trying to get better."

On returning to the win column...
"It's very important, especially protecting our home court is huge. Villanova was the hottest team in this conference, so to get a win against them is big for us. It starts on defense. We have to get stops and get out and run a little bit. That's when we're at our best."

Tom Knight, Senior, Forward

On playing with four fouls...
"I definitely was playing physical after the third, but I thought I was playing much smarter. I moved my feet more and didn't use my upper body as much on wall ups in the post."

On the importance of this win...
"This was a tough, big win for us. They're a good team and this is something we can build off of. We were getting good shots all game. We knew if we kept shooting, eventually they would fall. We came in with the mentality and stayed confident with our shots."

Cameron Biedscheid, Freshman, Forward

On staying positive amidst a slump...
"It really starts with my teammates; they encourage me so much, as well as our coaching staff. They feel that I'm a scorer and that I can make my shots so they want me to take them whenever I have them. Even when I miss they tell me to have the confidence to make the next one. It's really all due to my teammates and coaches."

On maintaining his confidence through struggles ...
"You can never lose confidence in yourself. One bad game doesn't make you a bad player and one good game doesn't make you a great player. I just keep my confidence and keep shooting the next one."

On the transition from high school...
"I don't think it has been that hard. I've been soaking it in as a learning process. I'm new to college basketball and I'm just really learning every game. Coach Brey tells me I learn something new every game in the BIG EAST because of how physical and how competitive the conference is. If I have a bad game or great game, I'm with the coaches watching film trying to see what I can do better."

Jerian Grant, Junior, Guard

On closing out the game...
"It's what we do. Last year I felt that was the statement of our team. In tight game situations coming down to the end, we found a way to win."

On getting back on track after two wins...
"It's always good to get a win, but we have another big game on Saturday with a road game that we need to win."

On Cam Biedscheid ...
"He's a scorer. No matter how many shots he has missed or how many shots he has taken, he's going to take the next one and today he was knocking them down."

On the team's new identity with Cam Biedscheid, Tom Knight and Zach Auguste...
"Those guys are great screeners, great rebounders, and they like to run the floor. So when we grab a rebound and it gets kicked to an outlet, our guys are in their lanes and Eric [Atkins] and I are getting them the ball."

On playing aggressive...
"The thing for me is being more confident and taking what the defense gives me. Sometimes they would come out and double the ball screen and then Jack [Cooley] is open. Sometimes they went under, so I could shoot behind them. I always try to take what the defense gives and be aggressive to get my guys good shots."

Villanova Head Coach Jay Wright

Opening Statement...
"A good game. You've got to give Notre Dame credit, especially [Cameron] Biedscheid. He was great. He just made big time shots at big times, and really their guards - I thought [Jerian] Grant and [Eric] Atkins controlled the game. They got shots for themselves when they needed to and then they just forced us to help and we helped. They reversed the ball and found Biedscheid, and he drove shots. That's kind of how they play. You try to guard them one-on-one, and you know when you help, they're going to reverse the ball. And if guys make shots, they're going to beat you. We had a period there in the first half where we sped them up - they turned it over a couple times doing that. The second half, Atkins and Grant - Grant especially - just dominated the game. We couldn't press him. We couldn't trap him. I thought he was great."

On Villanova coming off two big wins...
"I wasn't worried as much as interested in seeing - I didn't know how we were going to react because we haven't had that kind of success, so we haven't had to respond to that. We haven't been on the road after that kind of success. I thought we responded pretty well. I thought we played pretty well. It's a chess match. They let us go to Daniel Ochefu inside. And we have to make the decision, do we go to him and let him try to score or not? And if he would have started scoring, they would have adjusted. He had trouble scoring inside, and you've got to give their bigs credit. I love [Jack] Cooley, man. I don't know what he was last year, all-conference or whatever, but I just love him. He's just a great college basketball player."

On having to win a game on the road...
"We knew how important this was coming off those games, meaning, 'O.K., if you're really a good team, you win those home games, and then you go on the road and you beat a real good team.' If you do that, then you've done something. Right now we're an average team. You win your home games, and you go on the road and you don't get it done yet. But I think we're getting better. I like this group. This group never quits. We battled right to the end. We had a chance there at the end. They missed a couple free throws. Once Cooley got there, you're not going to get that many chances. I thought that position where we went inside to Mouph [Mouphtaou Yarou] at the end and he slipped, that was our chance. It was a two-possession game there, and we had time. I think it might have been a minute. That was the killer."

On not making threes...
"That was their game plan. They were out on our shooters, and that was why it was so easy to get the ball in to Daniel [Ochefu] and Mouph and JP [JayVaughn Pinkston]. That's the chess match. If we would have started scoring there, they would have had to help, and we could have got some open threes. But they took the threes away and did a really good job."

On defending Notre Dame from three...
"They probably do as good a job as anybody not taking the first open three and making two guys play one, whether it's in the post or someone driving. And then they just reverse the ball until they find an open shooter. They probably do it better than anybody. So we wanted to try to guard them one-on-one so we wouldn't have to do that. So that's why I say (Cameron) Biedscheid hit the threes, but it was (Jerian) Grant getting in the lane that forced us to play him with two guys that got Biedscheid open shots. That's why I say Grant really controlled the game. He was really good."

Villanova Players Quotes

Darrun Hilliard, Sophomore, Guard

On coming off a big win...
"I don't think we had any overconfidence. We were still in the gym working hard. We just didn't come out and play Villanova basketball like we usually do. The past few games we have been playing very smart and with a lot of pride. Tonight we didn't do all of those things."

On what was missing in tonight's game...
"I don't want to say that there was anything missing. We just didn't play hard enough. We did everything that we were supposed to do, but we were just not doing it hard enough."

On playing on the road in the BIG EAST...
"Playing on the road in the BIG EAST is very tough. Teams are playing on a whole new level. You have to bring your game to another level. Playing at home is easier. You have the crowd on your side, and you are used to your normal routine. There is definitely something different about playing away from home. In the BIG EAST you have to bring it every night. We didn't do that today."

Mouphtaou Yarou, Senior, Center

On his battle tonight with Jack Cooley...
"I was just trying to do what I do. We were trying to rebound the ball. I wasn't doing it by myself. We always do things as a team. It is important for us to play defense and rebound as a team."

On coming off two big wins...
"I think tonight was mostly about defense. We are just trying to be the best that we can be by the end of the year. We try to get better every day. Tomorrow we are going to get back to work and try to get better.

On playing on the road in the BIG EAST...
"I tried to talk to my teammates about what happened my sophomore year here. I told them that playing on the road in the BIG EAST is difficult. There are no small teams. We need to make sure that we are playing harder than the other team."



Event Calendar


February 18
W, 81-72
North Carolina State
Raleigh, N.C. (PNC Arena)

February 26
W, 64-60
Georgia Tech
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

March 1
8:00 PM
Boston College
Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)

ACC Network
March 4
2:00 PM
Louisville, Ky. (KFC Yum! Center)

March 7
ACC Tournament
Brooklyn, N.Y. (Barclays Center)
March 16
NCAA Tournament

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