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    Notre Dame vs. West Virginia - Quotes

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    Feb. 22, 2012

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    Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey

    Opening Statement...
    "We really defended in the second half and I think we got them off the backboard after the first six or seven minutes. I think they had six offensive rebounds in the first six minutes. Once we got that under control we were able to guard them a little better and I thought our offensive efficiency was excellent in the second half. When you have the chance to put somebody away, this group has shown a cruelty to go for the jugular. That's what I really love about us and I think that can help us in March."

    On winning nine straight BIG EAST games...
    "It's very special, it really is. They really wanted that record. It's really special for this group to do it. When they come back to reunions it's something they'll reminisce about and we certainly want to see if we can keep riding it past tonight. "

    "I'm really proud of our group. We really went after it and I still think we're getting better. We always talked about, even in the tough times of November and December, getting better for New York City. Not this time, the second time, the BIG EAST Tournament. We still can get better I believe. So, we'll get a little rest tomorrow, we've got some spacing and then this weekend will be a tough weekend for us."

    On whether his technical was contrived or unconscious...
    "It was a little bit of both. I don't really ever get many. I don't know how many I've had, probably four or five in 12 years. I thought it was a physical game and I thought maybe those were not the greatest calls in a physical game, but I was out of the box and I deserved it. I was close to getting thrown out because he kind of turned his back after I said something after he gave me a technical the first time, like a veteran official, and if he threw me out I wouldn't have had any argument. Did it get our guys going a bit? Maybe, but it got our building going a little I think. So, maybe it was helpful from that standpoint. We were in a little bit of a funk too. I thought the only guy who really started the game digging was Eric Atkins. Thankfully, the other guys worked themselves into it."

    On where there is still room for improvement...
    "We're shooting the ball better. We're trending up as shooters. Our numbers were so bad in early January from the three-point line. Thankfully people weren't shooting very well against us and that has continued, but I think we're more confident now as shooters."

    Notre Dame Player Quotes

    Jerian Grant o Sophomore o Guard

    On the team's second half performance...
    "We just got flowing and obviously our defense held them to 16 points in the second half. When our defense gets into a rhythm and gets stops it helps us be able to run our offense. We definitely rebounded better. I think they had like six offensive rebounds in the first five minutes and I thought throughout the rest of the game we got on the boards."

    On winning nine straight games...
    "It means this team is really special. That's something coming into the game a lot of us knew about, so we definitely wanted to get that record and to get it definitely means a lot for this team. Hopefully we can keep adding on to it and just know this team is going to go down as a special team. We're playing well right now and we want to keep it going throughout the BIG EAST and the tournament. This is how we want to play everyday."

    On setting goals...
    "Yeah, honestly we're still in the hunt for a regular season [championship]. Who knows what Syracuse is going to do but as long as we keep winning we are going to have a chance."

    On when the team started believing anything was possible...
    "It was after we beat the number one team in the country. That just gives the team a lot of confidence, and after that, we just felt like we could beat anybody honestly."

    On having the chance to clinch a double bye in the BIG EAST tournament...
    "Coach already talked to us about playing in Madison Square Garden, and we're going to be back there for the tournament. We just want to go there and play well. It's a historical place and I want to play well and so does the team."

    Scott Martin o Senior o Guard

    On hitting open shots...
    "You know, I think [earlier in the season] I still took those shots but they didn't go in. It's just the way I play and those are the shots I've taken since eighth grade. I'm not going to change now. I'm too old and too stuck in my ways."

    On defending Kevin Jones...
    "I just wanted to do my work early and not let him get in [the paint]. I was giving up 40 points to him so I tried to keep him as far from the lane as I possibly could. I got lucky because they ran some stuff away from him today and he kind of relaxed on the weak side. I got a break every now and then so that helped."

    On winning nine straight games... "It's an honor. There have been a lot of great teams that have [played in the BIG EAST]. I think it speaks to the work ethic of this team and how much we wanted to improve."

    On the team's defense...
    "We were able to force them into a few things they didn't want to do and make them take looks they weren't comfortable taking. I think we did a great job knowing the scouting report and knowing where their shooters were and getting out on them."

    Jack Cooley o Junior o Forward

    On the difference between the first and second half...
    "In the first half, our shots weren't going in. They were getting a lot of offensive rebounds. In the second half, we tightened everything up. Our shots were falling. They weren't scoring. We just became a train wreck for them. It was a good game."

    On the team's slow start...
    "We need to work on that. We were down by a little bit, but we woke up earlier than we did the last time. We have to work on that for the rest of our games and keep playing well. It's a little disconcerting [to be down early], but we know that some teams get off to a hotter start. We know in the long run we're going to be more consistent."

    On going against Deniz Kilicli's aggressive play...
    "He is a big dude. He's a really big guy, but he's a surprisingly nice guy out there. He has good character. If he hits you, you can't get mad at him because he apologizes. He's definitely up there as one of the strongest guys in the league."

    On having nine wins in the BIG EAST...
    "It's great to have nine wins, let alone nine of them in a row both home and away. It's never been done here before. For this team to do it, it's unreal."

    On the team being 8-for-11 with three-pointers...
    "It was great because I didn't have to do anything. They were hitting all the threes. I was just sitting back and watching them."

    West Virginia Head Coach Bob Huggins

    On the difference between the two halves...
    "They shot it great. We didn't. They played really well. They made some hard shots. They got lucky and made some hard shots. They got us on transition and we panicked. We shot some bad shots. Good shots and bad shots, that's the recipe for what happened."

    On Jerian Grant...
    "He is fast. His athleticism is what makes him such a tough match up. That is what happens when you take good shots and you are athletic. That is what happens when you take the right shots and good shots. We are probably the most non-athletic team in the league."

    >On their guards...
    "To be honest with you, we have two guys playing point guard that have never played point guard in their life. I don't know what the school record for misses is, but I think if I would have left Jabarie Hinds in tonight he would have had it. He had a chance, but he just doesn't know. He knows, but he can't ignore his instincts."

    West Virginia Players Quotes

    Kevin Jones o Senior o Forward

    On Notre Dame's performance in the second half...
    "They came out harder than us. They made shots. They made all the necessary plays to win. At the end of the day we did not make shots. We took quick shots. We were not able to rebound the way we wanted to or expected to, and that is why we lost."

    On West Virginia leaving shooters open...
    "When we left them open, they made shots. That is what good shooting teams are supposed to do. When they left us open, we were not able to make shots. Coach has been stressing to us that the teams that win in March are the teams that make open shots, and we just did not."

    On Notre Dame's high shooting percentage...
    "It was definitely frustrating. They just had it going. It's frustrating, but we have to learn how to play through it. We did not. We kind of gave up at a certain point. That is not acceptable no matter how bad we are losing and no matter how many shots they are making. We can never give up, and we did."

    On West Virginia's fast start and what happened after that...
    "I don't know. We came out on them early, jumped on them. They were kind of surprised, a little taken back. I guess their coach got them together and made them settle down. They started taking better shots. They started making open shots and tough shots. The better shooting team won. The better playing team won."

    On West Virginia's next step...
    "We have three games. The next step is winning. We have to win. I cannot say anything simpler than that. It sounds simple, but it is hard. It's going to be hard to do. We have to find a way to get this game out of our system somehow. We have a game on Friday against another ranked team, who is probably better in transition than they are, so we definitely cannot throw the ball away. We definitely have to make open shots from here on out."

    Deniz Kilicli o Junior o Forward

    On what the message in the locker room was after the game...
    "There is no message. The message is this game. We did not do our job. I think overall we did not do our job the whole season ... as well as we can do. It is hard right now to achieve what we want to achieve. We have to just respond to these kind of times. That is when you have to respond. We still have three more games to go. If we win those we will be in good shape.

    On whether it will be hard to put this game behind them...
    "We are not in the beginning of the season. We cannot worry about what we did tonight. We can learn from our experience. But we cannot think about this game. It's the end of the season. It's done. We have to play like it's the tournament. It's done. Let's move on."

     

     

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