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    Notre Dame vs. Indiana State - Postgame Quotes

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    FIGHTING IRISH

    Nov. 17, 2013

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    Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey

    Opening Statement...
    "We got beat by one heck of a basketball team today. They played great. They're really good. I thought their veteran poise was better than our veteran poise. We couldn't guard them enough and we couldn't get efficient enough offensively. And you're going to have to score to beat them. So, disappointing for us, but it wasn't anything [like] us not playing well, it was Indiana State imposing their will on us on both ends of the floor. And it kind of gets you back to evaluating who you are as you move into the next game. But they played great, and they deserve a lot of credit."

    On the play of the veterans...
    "I needed it. I think they're disappointed about it. Those guys have been in those situations before. And then you've got a team that gets really confident, and it's hard to deal with them. We played a lot of different guys tonight. I think at times we're still searching for the right combinations, especially on the front line. And in the midst of a tough loss, I think Austin Burgett gave us great stuff. And we need to keep developing him. And I thought Zach Auguste gave us great energy. Those two guys were really good. Our veteran big guys had a tough night, but everybody's going to get a chance again on Friday. But, again, Indiana State was really good."

    On losing poise after falling behind...
    "Offensively, then you're pressing a bit, you're driving after two passes, you're taking a couple quick shots. It was unusual for us. I think even our old guys got rattled with it. You can chip away - I love the fact that we made a run, and we actually took the lead. Then somebody said we didn't score for seven minutes. Probably the shot selection in that seven minutes would be really interesting to watch tomorrow before practice. I don't think our shot selection was great after that."

    On how Indiana State went on an 18-3 run...
    "The game is nothing but runs. I think sometimes you can fall into a trap when you come back to the take the lead at home, especially in this building. For us, it's been like, `OK, we found a way to get out of here,' and I think because they were so poised, and they're veterans, they kept doing what they were doing. And we were scattered and they were attention-to-details and doing their thing. And again, they shot it so well. Big threes at key times are crippling psychologically, and I think they had about six of them that were just when you think maybe [ND would make a run], one of those goes down. And they had a lot of different guys shoot them and make them. They're not larks. These guys can shoot the ball. And they were really loose today shooting in here."

    Notre Dame Player Quotes

    Eric Atkins • Senior • Guard

    On the team's response to Indiana State...
    "It hurts, but now we have a chance to respond. They were a really good team, and now we are going to have to bounce back. We have a week before we play again, so hopefully we can practice and get better."

    On the week before the game...
    "It was a lot [of time off], but I am not going to say that is the reason that we lost. It was a long time to wait."

    On being surprised by how Indiana State responded...
    "I was not really surprised. We knew that they were going to respond. It's a game of runs. We made our run, and they made their runs and took the lead right back. We didn't respond after that, and that is what hurt us."

    On why Indiana State won...
    "I'm not really 100 percent sure because they weren't beating us off the dribble that much, that I remember, on layups or anything. They were just hitting tough shots and knocking down their open shots. "

    On when Notre Dame was in the lead...
    "I don't think we got the necessary stops. We got a little too excited coming back when we were making our push before the half and then making it again. I just tend to think that we didn't get that next stop after we took the lead, and they just ran away with it."

    Pat Connaughton • Junior • Guard/Forward

    On how he felt regarding the loss...
    "It's a tough one. We've got to get better. I think that showed today. They're a very good team. They beat us straight up and won both halves. This is something we've got to go back to and take with us for the rest of the season. "

    On Indiana State's run after Notre Dame took the 45-44 lead...
    "We lacked defensive focus. To give up 83 points, it's going to be tough to win that way. We've just got to get better defensively and focus on getting the first rebound."

    On losing an early non-conference home game in November...
    "You never really try to have an expectation to lose. I think it's definitely a credit to Indiana State. They're a very good team and just came in today and played better than we did."

    On difficulty of coming back from double-digit deficit...
    "It's very difficult. They came out and had more intensity than we did at the start of the game. We only had seven points through 10 minutes, and that's a credit to them. They played great defense and we didn't. We got ourselves in a hole, which was tough to dig out of."

    Jerian Grant • Senior • Guard

    On how he felt regarding the loss...
    "It hurts. Especially losing at home. We know that Indiana State is a really good team. Still, at the end of the day, we usually don't lose here so that's tough."

    On Indiana State's run to take control of the second half...
    "We kind of let up a little bit. We felt like, after we took the lead, this was our game. We had to keep playing, and you saw what happened."

    On the challenge of team bouncing back from this loss...
    "We have veteran leaders. Guys will be ready. At the end of the day, it's just one loss, and we've got a lot of basketball left to play."

    On Notre Dame's lac of intensity early...
    "We've just got to be more poised. They hit a lot of shots and are a really good team. But we just have to focus defensively. When teams go on a run like that, we can't just stop playing."

    Indiana State Head Coach Greg Lansing

    On the difference in team's performance versus last week's loss to Belmont...
    "We defended. It's my fault, because in practice we're slipping. We've let things go a little bit too much, the guys do work hard, but we haven't been on them to do things the right way as a defense, playing as a team, we just had to be tougher down there. In our years there, we've never been above 42 percent field goal percentage defensively, and we were at 56 percent after two games, 66 percent in the second half against Belmont. We just had to commit to the defensive end and we'll do that the rest of the year. We have to be tougher to play against than we were then."

    On responding to adversity during Notre Dame's comeback...
    "It was all about answering a good punch, especially from a good team on the road. It was a difficult thing to do, but we're a veteran team. We've got very good players that play hard together and pull for each other. I thought we came out in the second half `clock-watching' a little too much--I hate to keep talking about Belmont but you have to stay aggressive. We controlled a lot of the game because we were the more aggressive team on both ends of the floor and we weren't doing that to start--we got a little quick, gave up some easy baskets. They're not difficult to prepare for in that they don't do a whole lot, but they are extremely good and they don't have to do a lot because they're so efficient. But we just tried to execute our game plan and they did a great job."

    On Khristian Smith's influence on the team...
    "For one, he's the personality of our team. He's an energetic guy, he's always positive and upbeat and he's a fun kid to be around. I'm on him quite a bit but he knows that I love him and he's a hard-working guy. He's improved tremendously, and he has sparked us--there's no question that having guys like him coming off the bench help lift the team. We've got seven starters, I think, and Khristian is one of them. Especially being effective at both ends, getting important buckets for us, he's a hard guy to guard, but he also plays 100 percent at the defensive end."

    Indiana State Player Quotes

    Khristian Smith • So. • Guard/Forward

    On the spark he has provided off the bench...
    "Coach always tells me just to stay aggressive. Regardless of whether or not my shot is falling, he knows that I can score the ball. He wants me to shoot, he wants me to be aggressive, and that kind of helps me on the defensive end too. Regardless of if my shot's not going in, you still have to play hard on the defensive end. Then when my shot goes in, that helps me keep the whole team energized, it gets me energized as well, and I keep the team talking. When the shot falls for me, it's just a good day."

    On bouncing back from Notre Dame taking the lead...
    "I knew we just had to fight back. It was the same thing as Thursday. Going into practice on Friday and Saturday, Coach kept talking about finishing. When you're on the road like this, you know runs are going to happen, and sometimes things are not going to go our way. It's the tougher team that is going to fight through it, get the lead back, and at the end of the day we did."

    Justin Gant • Jr. • Forward

    On having confidence from beating ranked teams before...
    "Last year, we played in a lot of big games and had some success in them. This was a big game for us today, and we didn't want to get too excited and then when we lost the lead in the second half, we didn't get too down. We just keep competing, keep fighting, and do what we do best--defending, rebounding and taking good shots on offense. We didn't get too down on ourselves and we just kept competing."

    On the offense scoring over 80 points every game this season...
    "We've got a lot of guys on the team that are offensively skilled. In practice we go at each other and make each other better. We like to work on our defense, but working on our defense in practice helps us improve our games offensively. Tough defense in practice makes us change our game, take different shots, and attack the basket in different ways. It's nice to see that it's paying off."

     

     

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