Men's Basketball

Post-Game Quotes

Feb. 15, 2009

Recap |  Box Score

Notre Dame vs. USF
Sunday, February 15, 2009 * Joyce Center * Notre Dame, Indiana

Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey

On wining a defensive/grind-it-out BIG EAST game...
"It was a kind of grind it out game, hopefully something we can build on because our offense wasn't getting us too many points. But I thought our defense and rebounds and body position over the last seven or eight minutes won the game for us ... I thought we did a great job against drivers."

On Notre Dame's NCAA Tournament hopes...
"I think you keep hope alive, one of the things I keep telling them is that we have to keep it interesting. That's about as far as we deserve to go and say right now, but certainly with what we did here the last two games and what's left and the strength of schedule, you've got a way. You've got a lot of work to do but you can get there. Coming back with these two, its not unrealistic to hope and work for that [making the NCAA's] still."

Keys to winning the next few games on the road...
"You know, it comes down to, 'Can we defend and rebound on the road?' We did it the last two games here consistently. Can we be poised in a tough atmosphere, that's going to be a tough atmosphere at West Virginia on Wednesday, it's something for us to talk about."

On Ty Nash...
"I think we're building on what we are getting from him. I think you see a young man who's confident. My biggest thing with him is learning to play hard every day. I think the lift he gave us in the first half was flat out fabulous. When a young man's older teammates are confident in him, that can go miles."

On playing mostly man-to-man defense in the last two wins...
"We probably only played two possessions of zone in 80 minutes versus Louisville and USF. My feeling was, coming back from UCLA, if we were going to dig our heels in, you're going to lock up and get a guy. I think we've done that well for two games against athletic perimeters that can drive on you and do some stuff. Now, can we do it in a hostile environment? We had our sixth man, our crowd, here to help us but can we do it in Morgantown is the question."



Notre Dame Player Quotes

Luke Harangody- Jr.- F
On Notre Dame's hopes of earning a spot in the NCAA Tournament...
"We never stopped talking about it. All we have to do is win. We just think about winning the game we're playing. Obviously we have a tough game coming up against West Virginia in a tough atmosphere, but we have momentum now so we will be out there ready to go."

On Notre Dame's defensive performance against USF...
"They set so many screens and curls, so we had to get through that. I thought we did a good job in the first and second halves. We were forcing USF to take bad shots. It was a bit of a different game today, their defense got us into kind of a funk and we never really got into a good rhythm. It was kind of an ugly win today but obviously we'll take it."

Tory Jackson- Jr.- G
On his individual performance this season...
"Individually my season has been going well, besides the losing streak. Things are starting to go back the other way. A lot of things are up for me on my stats. My teammates are amazing. It's fun, hopefully I can get back (home) to Michigan for the Final Four."

On USF's scoring stint that briefly tied the game...
"It wasn't that we were playing bad defense. They hit some tough shots. Our offense just wasn't clicking at that time. Kyle [McAlarney] made some huge plays. Our defense was amazing, 37%. We're always happy when we play well defensively."

On the team's outlook for the upcoming week...
"This was a huge win for us. It means we'll finish out the week just the way we wanted to, with two wins. We're looking towards Wednesday and trying to get better."

Kyle McAlarney - Sr.- G
On getting past long stretch without a basket...
"We refocused in the timeout. Coach Brey got on us a little, because we obviously weren't focused enough in that starch, and they went on a little bit of a run. We just refocused in the huddle."

On not being afraid to shoot...
"One time Coach Brey called a play and I just shot it. I thought he was going to get on me, but he didn't. That's the kind of player I am. I am not good if I'm not like that. I've got to keep shooting because my teammates have a lot of confidence in me. They're counting on me."

Ryan Ayers - Sr. - G
On upcoming games...
"It's our chance to make a move. Two road games headed up against two teams playing really well in the BIG EAST. We're really excited about the opportunity, the challenge, especially after how we've been playing these past two games, with a lot of confidence. We established our identity."

On where he gets his energy...
"It feeds off of my teammates, and just being focused, and just letting everything go. We have nothing to lose now, and that is the mindset I am going into it as. I only have 7 more games left in my senior year."

On his dad being at the game...
"I am going to play hard regardless, but I like having in him here. It's more motivation."

USF Head Coach Stan Heath

On the game...
"I give Notre Dame a lot of credit. After a big win like against Louisville some teams fall into the trap of a let down game after that but they came out and played well. They jumped on us early and made it tough for us, playing in a hole. I give them a lot of credit."

On the drought in the second half...
"I thought they forced us into tough situations, especially (Dominique) Jones, when we tried to drive the ball, which led to us taking some tough shots, and tough passes. We also had a few good looks that did not go down. Defensively I thought they made a great effort to make sure we did not have easy looks or easy lanes to create. "

On getting back in the game in the second half...
"I thought we created a lot of our offense in that stretch with our defense. We had some guys get into the open floor and create easy points in transition and at the foul line. We were also able to knock down some shots in our half court offense, which help out a lot as well."

On Notre Dame's Luke Harangody down the stretch...
"He is a great offensive player and we tried to throw a guard down on him and throw a few double teams at him in an effort to keep him off balance, but he is a great offensive player and it is tough to throw him off. "

USF Player Quotes

Dominique Jones - So. - G
On the rallying to start the second half...
"We knew that we had to come out and be aggressive and be smart, and that's what we did, but we just weren't able to pull it off."

On the team's scoring drought at the end of the game...
"We had a couple bad decisions. We had a few good looks, but we didn't knock them down. We had a good chance at winning this game."

On losing another close game...
"We have to get the positives out of this. We came out and played hard. The negative thing about it is that we've been in a lot of close games, so there comes a time when we need to push past and win a few. Our team is still getting better, and we are still young. We are planning on being ready for the BIG EAST Tournament and getting as many wins as we can."

Jesus Verdejo - Sr. - G
On going through tough scoring stretches...
"It seems to happen in every game, that we go through a long scoring drought. That's something that we have to get better at; maybe get the ball to Dominique (Jones) more because he knows how to drive better than anybody else, or maybe throw the ball inside more, draw fouls, and get to the free throw line. That's what (Notre Dame) did, and they drew a lot of fouls and went to the free throw line a lot."

On guarding Notre Dame's Kyle McAlarney...
"(Kyle) McAlarney is a tough guy to guard because he just keeps moving. He made two key three-pointers on me at the end and that was the difference."

On improving despite the loss...
"We have improved so much from last year to this year. We know we can play with teams now. When we get to the last five minutes, that's when we need to man up and turn the corner. We're right there at the end; we just haven't finished. Other teams have, and that's why they are so great."

On taking positives from the game...
"There were a lot of positives today. We did a lot of things to almost win this game. But the last thing that we didn't do was make shots. (Notre Dame) made shots when they needed to."

Event Calendar


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

February 26
6:30 PM
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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