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    Notre Dame Men's Basketball Postgame Quotes

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    Feb. 26, 2014

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    Notre Dame Men's Basketball
    Notre Dame vs. Georgia Tech
    February 26, 2014
    Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center • Notre Dame, Ind.

    Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey

    Opening statement...
    "Well, that's a great win for us. And our seniors, I think, they set the tone - Eric [Atkins], Sherm [Garrick Sherman], and Tom Knight gave us good stuff too. I thought we really defended well for most of the game. They shoot 37 percent from the floor. But I thought we executed offensively - we executed stuff, we got Sherm touches, we were pretty good with game pressure on us down the stretch, so it's good to win. It's good to win. We had won two, we lost two, we won one again, got a chance to win two in a row again this Saturday."

    On the team's inside production...
    "It really helps us. We didn't get much of that at all since Boston College, and we need it. And it was so good to see Sherm (Garrick Sherman) back in a rhythm. Maybe he's getting the feel of playing with the brace on and not distracted by it anymore. He's really a key for us, and I thought we did a good job getting him touches, and I thought he did a really good job of when to spin and make a play and when to kick it out. Tom Knight was active, Zach [Auguste] was active inside the paint for us. It's really important for them to give us a presence."

    On changing up after getting down 11 in the first half...
    "What helped us was we changed defenses and played some zone, and that got us some transition stuff. We always run a little better out of zone, and so we got some transition opportunities. It got them out of the rhythm they were in, and we were able to get out and run. You get some easy buckets in transition, all of a sudden you believe a little bit. Because we were flat-out a mess there for a while. But we finished the half with great momentum, and then we started the second half with really good energy and good momentum."

    On getting win No. 300...
    "It means a lot, to be able to be at a place as long as I've been and have the support that I've had, coaching the kind of kids that I get here, a fan base that's been amazingly supportive. Of course, we've been pretty darn good, too. It means a lot. When I took the job here, I remember Toni Ginnetti from Chicago asking me because Matt [Doherty] left after a year. I didn't know Toni at the time, but I tease her about it when I see her. She said, `How long are you going to be here? Is this like a stepping stone?' Are you kidding me? I tried to get the job last time. Here I am again, I've got a job I feel I'm an unbelievable fit for. I hope I do a good enough job that I can retire here. And that's never changed. It's really never changed. To have your name on a program - it takes a lot to get it to that, it's your program. I'm really proud of that and proud of what we've done."

    Notre Dame Player Quotes

    Garrick Sherman • Senior • Center

    On playing in the low post against Georgia Tech ...
    "I didn't have a double [team], which was nice, so I actually had some space. When I got it, I was ready for it. It helped me get in the rhythm and feel a little better out there. It was nice to be able to go one-on-one."

    On moving forward...
    "I needed this for sure. It was good to get out of my little mini-slump. I had three games where I was trying to figure out the (injured) finger thing, and I've been getting double-teamed a lot. It was nice to break out tonight. I shot pretty poorly when we played them in Atlanta. Today I shot a little bit better, and we got the win."

    On playing close games at home...
    "I think that is something that our team does. Every time we play, and it is close at home, we feel like we are going to come out and win. That is something that Coach Brey has instilled in us, and he lets us play so freely that we don't feel all of the tension that most teams feel, especially at home."

    On playing with a hurt finger...
    "It has been more of an adjustment than I would like to admit, but it is something that I have been learning to play with, and I did a little bit better job playing with it today."

    Pat Connaughton • Junior • Guard/Forward

    On shooting free-throws under pressure at the end of the game...
    "I like that. I have been doing that since freshman year. Plus I had Digger (Phelps) over on the sidelines, and he would have killed me if I had missed two free throws. I heard someone yelling, and I smiled a little bit. It doesn't bother me."

    On playing close games at home...
    "We have been playing close games everywhere, that is just how the season has been. This one was good because I think that we were down 22-11, so this was good to play out of that hole. We came back, and for the most part had pretty decent control of the game throughout. We had a pretty decent lead that they cut into down at the end, but those game situations are going to benefit us at some point in time."

    On Notre Dame's offense...
    "They played good defense, so it was just a matter of making them collapse and getting open shots. We always have someone who can knock down shots, and if someone is not hitting one night, then we have another guy who will step up and do it. Tonight it was (Garrick) Sherman."

    Eric Atkins • Senior • Guard

    On Notre Dame remedying a slow first-half start...
    "We just got more aggressive and started attacking them. I think we started the game a little tentative. That came up during the under eight-minute timeout that we really need to start attacking and put the pressure on them."

    On the evolution of the team after losing to Georgia Tech early in the season...
    "We really wanted to get this one. You never want to get swept by a team. We really focused in on this game and got the win."

    On carrying Notre Dame's strong finish to the first half into second half...
    "We wanted to keep the same energy that we finished the half with. Starting with a stop in the second half was huge for us, and then we can get out and get going."

    Tom Knight • Graduate Student • Forward

    On Notre Dame's 42-16 edge on points in the paint...
    "We got low post position. (Garrick) Sherman had one heck of a game. He got position inside, he was taking time on his moves, and really going at his man down low. I think a lot of times our four [position] guy was outside the screen, so they couldn't be a help man and help defend the guy guarding Sherman, so I think that's what helped us a lot."

    On finding the right combination of players at the end of the first half...
    "With that lineup, we trust each other, and we have played a lot of minutes together. Steve [Vasturia's] young, but the four of us last year played a lot of minutes. Steve's a worker, and we all decided that we wanted to work hard to cut into this lead, since we didn't want to lose at home right now."

    On providing a spark off the bench in first half...
    "When I go in there, I'm not really trying to get shots up. I'm just to try and help the team in whatever way possible through making a hustle play, getting a rebound, trying and blocking a shot, or maybe taking a hard foul."

    Georgia Tech Head Coach Brian Gregory Quotes

    Opening Statement ...
    "Similar to the game in Atlanta, I thought it was a pretty good college basketball game. Two teams that have been hit with some challenging situations due to injuries or just trying to figure out who's going to be available to play at times. I thought it was a pretty well played game, only 11 turnovers in the game, we had 16 assists on 22 baskets, and they had 14 on 27. The difference in the game was a six-minute stretch near the end of the first half, where we didn't execute well on offense, that's going to happen sometimes, and our defense wasn't able to hold the fort a little bit during that stretch. During crunch time you got to get a couple of stops and we weren't able to do that."

    On Garrick Sherman ...
    "Give credit to Sherman, Daniel Miller is as good a post defender in the country at times. We didn't give him a lot of help and Notre Dame did a good job of isolating him in the post. Anytime you give a post man three or four dribbles, it's hard to guard him, especially a guy as good as him and as big as him and as experienced as him with who he has played in the last five years."

    On the last shot...
    "We got a pretty good look there, we got three pretty good looks for Robert (Carter, Jr.) and then our guys executed well. We made some winning plays, we just didn't make enough. I thought there were two possessions on offense where maybe, we took a quicker shot than we needed, but they were two good looks. The drive by (Pat) Connaughton and the offensive rebound on that last play, now you got to foul them and you are down by three and not one. If you make those two plays it's different, you just got make those and learn to finish those off."

    On his expectations of Notre Dame in the paint...
    "Well (Tom) Knight scored one point in the paint and (Zach) Auguste had two baskets. Points in the paint don't necessarily mean post-ups, you know they are curling off the screens and getting the ball and driving it to the basket. (Pat) Connaughton made every shot inside the three (point arc) tonight, except for one and he got fouled. (Garrick) Sherman is a high-quality player and they got the ball inside, 42 points in the paint. I didn't think our offensive glass was as good in the first half but was great in the second."

    Georgia Tech Player Quotes

    Robert Carter, Jr. • Sophomore • Forward

    On the loss...
    "We had the chance. I had the chance to tie it, with a couple good looks. And I know if I want to be a big time player, I have to make those big shots. I missed two."

    On the shots he did make as the game was ending...
    "Coach drew some stuff up [for me]. Marcus (Georges-Hunt) was open, he drove, but he saw that I was open. I had it, and I hit it."

    On the two shots he missed at the end...
    "At the end, I had a good look, it just hit the front of the rim and bounced off. I had another good look, but that also hit the front of the rim and bounced off again. Those are the plays I've got to make to help this team win."

    On his emotions after the game...
    "This just makes me work harder. I went into this game working on my jump shot because I missed some big shots in the last game. I felt good, I just feel like I needed to get my legs into the last couple shots. I fell short twice. I'm going to get back to the gym, get some shots, and work on it. So hopefully next time I get that opportunity, those shots go in."

    On Notre Dame's run at the end of the first half...
    "It's a game of runs. Both teams made some good runs. We went into the half down two, which is good position. It's like starting a new game. We played pretty even the whole second half."

     

     

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