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    Nov. 10, 2012

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    Notre Dame Men's Basketball
    Notre Dame vs. Evansville
    November 10, 2012
    Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center • Notre Dame, Ind.


    Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey Quotes

    Thoughts on the game...
    "I'm pleased with our win because I think we beat a really good team. That's a win that can be part of our resume."

    On keys to the game...
    "One of the things we talked about Wednesday in practice was our defensive identity improving and really being able to rely on it. That's the only way we won the game tonight. I thought when we had a little pressure on us and when it got within two possessions, our offensive efficiency was smart. We had to work to win, and I love that first game of the season."

    On the newcomers...
    "I'm really pleased with Garrick Sherman and Cameron Biedscheid at this point understanding and fitting in with us and not detracting when we substitute. They've come a long way. I'm very impressed with Cam. He really wasn't involved defensively ever in his life, and he's become more reliable defensively."

    On the starters...
    "Those guys that start, they've been through a lot together. They're a pretty confident group. It was great to see that body language where, we can't get away from this team, so we've got to keep guarding and keep figuring it out down the stretch. That starting unit never panics and is always poised."

    On Jack Cooley's production...
    "He really got us jump-started. He got us that early lead and we were able to hold on. I'm pleased he took that three point shot. It's something that's going to evolve with him. But he gave us a great presence and really helped us by blocking some shots at key times."

    On what to work on...
    "I think we're going to shoot free throws better. We had to overcome that and I'd like to see us get into a rhythm Monday night. And I think we can shoot it overall better than we did tonight."


    Notre Dame Players Quotes

    Jack Cooley • Senior • Forward

    On the game...
    "It was a very physical game. That was basically a BIG EAST game, how physical it was in there. It was a little unexpected because of their size, but they just came out and they played hard. I was a little disappointed in my free throws, but it was a good game."

    On positives from the game...
    "Just to be able to keep our composure when we're not shooting that well was good. I mean, going four of 17 from three point range and then still going back and playing defense, it's good to see that people aren't letting their offensive game affect their entire game."

    On coming back Monday...
    "It is good. Coach says this is our road of four games where if we win three more, we get to cut down nets in the Barclays Center. So it's good to get right at it and play again. We love playing games."

    On what the team can do better...
    "Obviously we got to try to make shots better and work on our free throws a little bit more, but I thought we played pretty well. We held them to 49 points - that's not bad. I think we played well."

    On being double teamed...
    "We have been working on it in practice, but I've got to work on it a little more individually, and try to find open guys when I get doubled or make a move quicker to try to make a play."

    Pat Connaughton • Sophomore • Guard

    On not getting down on themselves...
    I think just the will to win was key. We all have great chemistry, we all like playing with each other, and at the end of the day, we all only care if we win.

    On defending Colt Ryan...
    "I knew it was going to be a challenge coming in. But I was up for the challenge, and I'm looking forward to probably defending a lot of guys like that this season."

    On the defensive effort...
    "We're happy with where we are defensively and obviously there's still room to grow and room to establish more of an identity for ourselves but we're happy with the way it turned out."

    Scott Martin • Graduate Student • Guard

    Thoughts on the game...
    "Neither team could really make a shot. It's a tribute to both teams' defenses. It was a grind-out game. Rebounding was a key for us, and shot selection. We were just able to get a few more stops."

    On lessons learned from the game...
    "I think we cemented some beliefs that we have about ourselves, and the idea that we're a tough team and just need to stick together. Offensively, not a lot of good things happened as far as putting the ball in the basket. We made some great cuts and had some great looks and didn't get frustrated."

    On playing a difficult opponent in the season opener...
    "That's a good thing for us. Like coach said, they're better than a lot of BIG EAST teams that we're going to play this year. They're a very, very good team. We're happy to get out of it with a win."

    On defending Evansville...
    "It was good for us defensively. We're still working to establish a defensive idea and defensive identity. It was a good win for us and we're happy to beat a very, very good team."

    On being prepared for Evansville...
    "We weren't surprised. We knew they were very good coming in. We saw what they did last year, and we were prepared. We knew they had some All-Conference guys coming back so we were ready to go.


    Evansville Head Coach Marty Simmons Quotes

    On keeping the game close and Evansville's shooting performance tonight...
    "I thought Notre Dame really made it hard for us to score. They are long and very athletic, they close out and they communicate well. They are not easy to score against and I think we got frustrated at times and we kind of gave into that instead of staying with the offense. They had us out of rhythm, and our timing was off. We were not waiting on screens, we were not finishing cuts, and we settled too many times for perimeter jump shots. We got to the free throw line seven times and they got there thirty times. The strength of our team last year was being aggressive and being able to attack and get to the free throw line, and I felt like today we just settled too much for perimeter shots."

    On how the play of Jack Cooley affected the outcome of today's game...
    "I think our guys really battled hard against him, but obviously we fouled him too much. He is one heck of a player and he has got great hands, he is really smart and he really knows how to play and he gets angles in there and moves with the ball. He is patient and he waits for the ball to be reversed and has great footwork inside. But I think we showed a lot of help and they had us scrambling. We take a lot of pride in trying to get set defensively but it just never seemed like we were able to because they are very unselfish. Again, they are tall and long and they played over the top and they were able to skip the basketball from side to side and they penetrated at times. We have just got a lot of work to do defensively on closing out with discipline, but Cooley is a ton in there."

    On playing at Notre Dame and the atmosphere of today's game...
    "They are a very talented team and they are unselfish. If you double-team one player they are going to make the extra pass. They can make perimeter shots and they are very good off of the dribble. But I think more than anything when you play here they have a very long tradition and they are a good basketball team."

    On the style of the game played today...
    "I thought both teams played hard. That is probably the best thing our team can take from it is that we battled. They had us on the ropes there a couple of times and I felt like we kind of hung in there, but we could never get over the hump. That is partly us not being able to execute well enough to get over that hump, but then you have to give them credit because I felt like at times they were able to raise their intensity and prevent us from doing it."


    Evansville Players Quotes

    Ryan Sawvell • Sophomore • Forward

    On playing against Jack Cooley...
    "I played against him in high school a few times so I know what kind of player he is. He is a great player and he will do very well in the BIG EAST."

    On the style of the game...
    "It was a very physical game. Both teams were getting into it with one another but that's just the nature of competition. Both teams played pretty good defense and we both rebounded the ball pretty well. I thought we did a pretty good job. We didn't hit too many shots tonight from the perimeter. We also took some bad shots that I thought we could have worked the ball inside on. When we are open we just have to hit the shots. That's how it works."

    On what he learned about his team...
    "We're not that far from beating a team like that, and that is definitely an NCAA tournament team. I think anything is possible with this season, especially in our conference."

    Colt Ryan • Senior • Guard

    Initial thoughts on the game...
    "It was a physical game. We felt like we got a lot of open shots but we didn't convert. To Notre Dame's credit they were physical and kind of threw us off of our game a bit. We hung in there, but we're still looking for any little thing down the stretch to give us a spark that could have changed the game. We didn't come to play as well as we should have today but Notre Dame played really well. They did a lot of things to take us out of our game. They get all the credit. They did a great job today. We feel like we can play with these teams. Hopefully down the stretch we will be able to find ways to win these games."

    On what he learned about his team today...
    "We have to be a lot tougher both mentally and physically. We know rebounding is going to be one of our flaws and we have to get better at that as a team. Mentally, we have to execute details. We were missing shots from outside and we have to be able to get to the rim at certain times and get to the foul line. We only shot seven foul shots tonight."

    On turnovers...
    "If you turn the ball over you are not going to have a chance against any team. If you don't turn it over you will have a chance to beat any team. If we don't turn the ball over, we have good enough offensive and defensive players that we will be in games to win."

    On Notre Dame's defense...
    "They are a long team, so they can contest some shots but there were some shots where we were wide open and we weren't making them and that's how it goes sometimes. You have to be able to adapt if you want to be a great team and win games against great opponents like Notre Dame."

     

     

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