Men's Basketball

Notre Dame vs. DePaul - Postgame Quotes

Feb. 13, 2013

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Notre Dame vs. DePaul
February 13, 2013
Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center o Notre Dame, Ind.

Notre Dame Player Quotes

Jack Cooley o Senior o Forward

On what was going through his head entering overtime...
"You have to expect something like this when you're playing DePaul. We did not play poorly today. They are just such a great scoring team. It kind of felt like, 'Here we go again,' but we knew we were going to put it away."

On how difficult it was to put Saturday's game behind him...
"It was a little tough. They showed a montage of the game before we started, which kind of reminded us all of Saturday. We just had to put it behind us and really play as a team. DePaul is a great team. Their record is not indicative of how they play, so we had to make sure we were playing hard tonight."

On what the team has learned by playing in overtime so much...
"We have learned that we are in great shape and that we can play through being tired. We know all of our situations because we go through them a hundred times in practice. We just have to go out there and play well."

Eric Atkins o Junior o Guard

On what Coach Brey means to this team...
"I think Coach Brey is doing a great job here. He is very consistent with different teams. He knows how to tweak his style of play to his team. He has done a great job finding ways to get wins in this league."

On the importance of the upcoming stretch...
"This is a huge stretch for us, especially with us starting to move up in the standings. I think that we are mainly focused on just trying to get another league win on Saturday. We will think about Monday when it comes. Providence is a good team, especially when you play them at home."

On how DePaul was able to get back into the game...
"I think we turned the ball over a little bit. They got some easy buckets. They just started hitting their shots. They just really got going offensively. They are a very good offensive team, and they proved that tonight. Down the stretch we finally got a few stops to get the win."

On what allows his team to be so confident in overtime...
"I am not really sure. I think that we are just so calm going into overtime. We always think that we are going to win, especially here. We never get rattled when it does go to overtime. We always make sure that we stick to our plan."

Tom Knight o Senior o Forward

On defending ball screens...
"It's definitely been the focus a lot on ball screens because we've had a few breakdowns where we weren't guarding screen well and people were splitting us. Every day before the game we decide if we're flat, showing, or hard hedging and we just in practice on that. I feel like everyone has been doing much better as of late."

On guarding Cleveland Melvin...
"He definitely hit a lot of shots today. I mean he's a very good player. He hit a few in my face, and I thought I was playing good defense, but that's just the nature of the game. Sometimes they go in when you're guarding them so you just have to keep playing."

On playing overtime yet again...
"I was just like, 'Man, we've probably played more minutes than anyone yet this year.' Some people might have played more games so far, but I think we might have played more minutes so far. They have a lot of good players, a lot of scorers. That pressure defensively definitely messes up your offensive flow sometimes, so it allows them to get back in the game so easily."

Jerian Grant o Junior o Guard

On the outcome of the game...
"It's tough coming off that five overtime game, but a win is a win. DePaul, their record won't say it, but they're a good time and they can score the ball. When they're in transition they're one of the best teams in the BIG EAST."

On overtime...
"We got stops. When we get stops we can get into an offensive rhythm. We're a really efficient offensive team. I think we just kind of got out of our offensive rhythm, and they got into transition and hit some three's. They were right back in it and got an and-one, but they just got into transition when they wanted to."

On offensive struggles...
"They got up into us, and we kind of held the ball until the last ten seconds and somebody had to make a play. It's tough when you do that. We worked on that in practice about trying to get shots early in the clock."

On needing to follow up Saturday with a win...
"It was really important. Just coming off that game, we could've been tired and just said we'll let one get away. For this team to come back and go into another overtime and pull it out is definitely mentally tough."

Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey

Opening comments...
"I'm thrilled we escaped that one. But really give DePaul credit. They're hard to guard for us. They were in Chicago, and we had to escape. And they were in the second half tonight also. Their ball pressure defensively really rattled us, and we couldn't get much in the second half - the combination of both. I'm very proud of my team. Given everything they did Saturday night, to be on the ropes again and dig out another one, that's really as big a win as Saturday. When you can turn around and dig one out when it doesn't look good at times. But we certainly have been in that situation a few times. When we came into the huddle, we've been there done that, sitting there getting ready to play another overtime."

On noticing his team's energy go down...
"Certainly we used a lot of guys in the first half. In the second half, we kind of felt that we had to go with our key guys. I think Eric [Atkins] was tired. He needed a rest in the second half at a key time. Usually I haven't had to take him out. And Jerian [Grant], I think, was exhausted. What I think helped us was just like we did the other night against Louisville, we started feeding the post and not ball screening as much because they really were guarding our ball screen. So throwing it into Jack [Cooley] like we were throwing it into Sherm [Garrick Sherman] kind of gave us a different look. We drew some fouls. They helped on Jack; we skipped it over the top for a jump shot to Pat [Connaughton]. That helped us score enough to escape."

On Pat Connaughton's health entering the game...
"He was pretty sore the last two days, but I knew he would play when I saw him Monday. There's not a tougher athlete at this school. He's a tough dude, so he will not have to sweat again until layup lines at Providence. We'll just rest him until then, and some other guys. We're back to needing some rest here almost for two days."

On gaining confidence from this game...
"We talked about being able to flush it, and I thought we did really. We were playing well and you looked like you were going to get some breathing room, but just like in Chicago, they can score. And they hit some shots on us. We probably stalled offensively, made some bad decisions with the ball. Fifteen turnovers is a little high, and that was their defense. I don't think it was our bad decisions - that was them athletically guarding us. But it would have been deflating not to get this one tonight. There's no question about it, and I've been worried about it for three days. I guess it's not really ever going to be easy for us in this league."

On being in a mode of surviving and advancing...
"I'm in that mode all the time in the BIG EAST. Survive and advance. Somebody said, 'Well, are you going to rest Connaughton Wednesday and save him for the weekend?' I said, 'What?' I said, 'I need all my guys in this league.' Our margin for error, as you've seen, it's like this [holds up fingers close together]. We need all hands on deck, so everything is survive and advance. That's why we were burning one time. We'll do everything we need to do to get a league win. I don't care if it's against a team that's 8-2 or 2-8. Just do what you've got to do to get a league win."

On staying focused after giving up a lead...
"I think they were really frustrated, and there was more frustration than Saturday night. And I just kind of said, 'We can't dwell on it in game situations now, all right? So let's just flush it and relax, man. Yeah, you threw the ball away, you made a mistake, that's a bad shot, you screwed up on defense. Here's where we're at right now. Let's just try to figure out how to escape with a win.' I thought we got composed before the overtime pretty good. And quite frankly, like Saturday, we were probably fortunate we were in overtime again. So we'll take that."

DePaul Player Quotes

Brandon Young o Junior o Guard

On not being able to get the overtime victory...
"This is a big rivalry game with DePaul and Notre Dame, and we always come out to fight and compete. Notre Dame is an experienced team in overtime, they just know how to pull it out. We have to be better fundamentally sound to pull it out in overtime."

On what they did in the second half to eventually take the lead...
"It all starts with defense and we communicated better. We also started to rebound better and play better defense. We felt like the game was there for the taking; we shouldn't have even went to overtime if we had gotten a big time rebound. "

On the rest of the season...
"We are going to pull it out and turn things around. We are going to keep being positive and not talk about the negatives."

Cleveland Melvin o Junior o Forward

On not being able to get the overtime victory...
"It is tough, we were fighting the entire second half, but it is tough to get over that hump in overtime. We just need to focus on what we do best and get the win."

On Notre Dame's experience in overtime coming off the five overtime Louisville game...
"We were confident, we just wanted to come out and get the win. We need to do a better job in overtime of keeping our intensity up, rebounding, and doing a better job of defending in overtime."

On why he was able to be so effective...
"My teammates finding me in the right position and taking my time and being patient. I let the game come to me and help my team out."

On how DePaul was able to take the lead in the second half...
"We were just doing what Coach Purnell was telling us to do: stay patient, move the ball around, and take care of the ball, rebounding and doing what we need to do to win the game."

DePaul Head Coach Oliver Purnell

Opening Statement...
"Obviously, another disappointing loss for our team. I thought we played a really good second half in terms of defending a lot better, defending ball screens a lot better which were giving us problems in the first half. Offensively, we had much more purpose and control. We wanted to get the ball inside, get it in the paint, and I thought we did a good job of attacking inside after some pretty good ball movement, moving their players around. The one area we struggled in all night long was rebounding. There were some critical situations we were up two or three points after coming all the way back, we missed the shot and didn't come up with the rebound. As a result, they either got the ball and scored or got to the free throw and scored. Then we probably came up dry four or five positions, which is fine as long as your getting stops yourself. We were missing shots but were not getting the stops. I thought that bothered us all game long. In the end of regulation, we got the ball exactly where we wanted to get it, with [Cleveland] Melvin in the lane and just didn't get it to go. We did a good job of defending them at the end of regulation. I think [Jerian] Grant took the shot. Overtimes a little like a blur. I thought there was a touch foul in the lane that put [Jack] Cooley to the line. We missed some shots. Jamee Crockett dribbled the ball off his leg going down the middle. I thought we were down two or four at the time that was a big play with 20-30 seconds to go. I'm having trouble remembering because it seems four or five of these games run together."

On another comeback against Notre Dame...
"No, I'm not happy with it. I'm encouraged that our guys continue to fight and get ready. I thought in the second half we knew what to expect, we really kind of knew in the first half. I thought we had much more a sense of urgency and energy in the second half than in the first. I'm encouraged, but not happy."



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