Men's Basketball

Notre Dame-Kentucky Quotes

March 25, 2009

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2009 National Invitation Tournament - Quarterfinals
Kentucky vs. Notre Dame
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Joyce Center o Notre Dame, Ind.

Notre Dame Postgame Quotes

Head Coach Mike Brey

Opening statement...
"Great atmosphere in there, that's one thing the Kentucky fan base, they travel, and they made our fans compete tonight so it was really a great atmosphere in there. I though we defended really well. [Jodie] Meeks got going a little bit, but overall we defended very, very well. I thought we were poised offensively and made big free throws. I think we're excited to get to New York. To be one of only four teams by next week, still alive, we're very honored."

On defending against [Jodie] Meeks...
"We tried to put a couple of different guys on him and face guard him and chase him. He got going in the second half, made some tough ones, but overall we had a bunch of guys on him; Ryan was on him, Zach was on him, Peoples was on him, Tory Jackson was on him. At the end we had a real awareness of him."

On closing out the JACC in a great way...
"You know I was nervous all day. I know we won the opener against UCLA in 1968 and I sure as heck don't want to be the guy that loses the game that closes this thing. I was anxious today. I wanted for us to get this and certainly to win against that program. That is a program that has, quite frankly owned us, that's why we don't play them anymore. I don't think we've ever beaten Kentucky, Louisville and Indiana in the same season. I'm proud of our group."

Kyle McAlarney - Sr. - G

On going back to New York...
"We're super excited, the energy in the locker room, that's what you play for. This was our goal coming into the NIT. We put all the talk about us getting to the NCAA's way behind us and we focused on getting back to New York and that's been our theme ever since the first game against UAB. We're extremely excited and we're looking to cut down the nets and it's not over."

On the seniors playing their last game in the JACC...
"What a way to go out against Kentucky, probably the most storied program in college basketball. To get a W, it felt like a Big East game out there, our crowd was really into the game and there was a lot of energy. It's very special to go out like that and our fans are great and we can't thank them enough."

On what winning an NIT tournament would mean...
"For us seniors, this is all we got, and the younger guys, they have another shot at this thing next year. For us to get back to New York and now that that's been a theme for two weeks. Let's win a championship and put a banner up in the Joyce, that would mean a heck of a lot for this ball team. All the stuff we went through this year and to come out on top with a championship in a really, really good field, that would mean a lot."

Ryan Ayers - Sr. - G

On [Jodie] Meeks not shooting more...
"I was a little bit [surprised he didn't shoot more]. I think my length kind of distracted him a little bit, try to get my hand up and we talked about trying to make him a two-point scorer, that was my theme going into it."

On the seniors playing their last game in the JACC...
"Definitely special. To go out with a win as a senior and playing with these guys that you love to play with everyday, is really special. And I'm just thankful for everybody coming out and being a part of our four years here."

On what winning an NIT tournament would mean...
"I think it would mean a great deal to our team and to our program to come out and win an NIT championship. We haven't cut down the nets in a while in this program and it could be a great honor to go out that way. We love playing in New York so it's going to be a lot of fun."

Luke Harangody - Jr. - F

On the loud crowd...
"There was a good Kentucky contingent out there and they brought their band and cheerleaders like it was a high school game. It was kind of fun with the fans going back and forth, it was neat. It was a good crowd out there and we were excited to see people here."

On what winning an NIT tournament would mean...
"To go back to New York and play for a championship this year, especially for the seniors, its exciting. It's a great field and its never going to get the prestige the NCAA does but this year I believe this is one of the best NIT groups ever and we're just excited to be going to New York in the final four."

Kentucky Player Quotes

Head Coach Billy Gillespie

On the players' effort...
"It was a tough loss for us, ending our season. We definitely wanted to keep playing, but I'm proud of the way our guys played. We really learned how to compete and really fought hard. Notre Dame was making threes all over the place, but our guys kept on fighting. We finally started to make a few shots, defended better, and got it down to a close game. Our guys are fighters, and I am really proud of their effort, not only tonight but all season long."

On Notre Dame's containment of Jodie Meeks...
"They did a great job of guarding him. You think about what he's been through all year long, with the physical and mental stress, and he's handled it very well. They just did a fantastic job. They didn't foul him much. We kept trying to get him the ball. He definitely made them down the stretch thought to give us a chance to win."

Patrick Patterson - So. - F

On guarding Luke Harangody...
"I pretty much figured I was going to guard him as soon as I learned we were going to play Notre Dame. I was excited; he's a tremendous basketball player. He's a great post player, and he can also take it out on the perimeter and shoot. I was just anxious and looking forward to playing against him."

On Harangody's big night...
"He caught the ball too much and too easily. I wasn't moving my feet enough, and he was getting offensive rebounds. And in transition, I wasn't getting back and he was already down there. Tonight he was pretty much scoring all over the court."

Jodie Meeks - Jr. - G

On his scoring run in the second half...
"I thought they did a really good job of trying to contain me in the first half. In the second half I got open on some picks and started to change speeds a little more. I happened to make some shots and happened to help the team come back. I thought we did a good job of competing in the second half."

On what he will remember about the season...
"I will remember that this was a team that never gave up. We had our ups and downs and didn't make the tournament, which was disappointing, but we played with a lot a pride in the NIT, always fought back, and never gave up."



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