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    FIGHTING IRISH

    FIGHTING IRISH

    Nov. 27, 2006

    Recap |  Final Stats

    Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey Quotes

    On Lehigh's effort tonight...
    "You get started looking at the game tonight and your first thing is wanting to say, 'what did we do wrong?' but I think you have to give Lehigh a lot of credit. I thought they came in here and played fearlessly. I know they haven't played well in their last two games and haven't shot well, but they were very ready to play and had us on our heels, and we had to dig it out. I thought we found some things out about our team with our backs against the wall tonight."

    On the importance of fighting back from a deficit early in the season...
    "We haven't been in that situation so you try to use it as a positive, and we did dig it out and get the right lineups in there. I thought we had great energy off the bench with Tory Jackson. Zach Hillesland was fabulous--that's why we started him in the second half. Harangody gave us some good energy as well. Those three guys gave us juice. Kurz and Hillesland playing together as big guys against this team just happened to work out better. We were efficient offensively, and that's how we won the basketball game. They were in a rhythm. The Olivero kid has made himself a heck of a guard. We knew that coming in. I thought Russell [Carter] did a pretty good job at least making him work when we got the double digit lead and pulled away with it."

    On Zach Hillesland's impact on the game...
    "We say when he rebounds the ball, let him bring it up. He's a little bit of point forward, we've talked about him like that. He just knows what his strengths are, what his weaknesses are, and he plays to his strengths. He gave us a good defensive body in there. He drives, passes, and gave us second chances that were great plays. The free throw tip-in was a huge play. You look at one or two plays that started to turn it, and that tip-in was a big play. It's just an athletic play that he makes in practice a lot."

     

     

    On Colin Falls and his unselfish contributions to the team as a senior leader...
    "That's the reason he was on the court for 37 minutes tonight. The way the game was going, you needed a veteran guy tonight. Certainly he was scoring the ball, but [we needed him] just to talk in the huddles, because that's the first time this group has had their backs against the wall. I thought Colin's presence as our senior captain had to be out there in the huddles and you couldn't be playing around rotating too many guys. The game was very fragile tonight. One thing about Colin, this may be his first big scoring game he's had. He goes in as our all-league preseason guy, the guy you talk about most. But this team's different. He's not taking as many shots; his role's a little different. Never said a word, he's just playing. He'll guard any guy. He'll take charges. When your senior captain is giving of himself like that it helps the other guys understand that."

    Notre Dame Player Quotes

    Junior F Rob Kurz

    On Notre Dame's lack of energy in the first half...
    "I think it was frustrating for everyone, because that has been our strength this year--playing together with energy. For whatever reason we just didn't have any life in the beginning of the game."

    On Notre Dame's change in energy in the second half...
    "Basically, we made some adjustments, then did a better job of staying with our men and playing team defense."

    On Jose Olivero...
    "He's a really good player. I worked out with him a few times in the Philadelphia area, so I knew he was really good coming into the game. He ended up playing a great game, he's a big time go to."

    Sophomore F Zach Hillesland

    On the play of the Notre Dame big men...
    "We've got a lot of talented big guys. We don't have big slobs in there. We've got guys that got some touch, and are really good passers. That gives our offense a whole different look, compared to other teams who have big guys where you throw it down there and you're never going to get it back. It really works for our team."

    On Rob Kurz...
    "He got to the line a lot and took some good shots. That's what he does in practice. He's the most efficient guy I've ever seen, and definitely the hardest worker on the team."

    On Colin Falls...
    "Sometimes it's hard to get Colin going because teams are always keying on him. It's hard to get him open. So when he's hitting shots, its good for us because we know we're going to be fine offensively."

    Senior F Colin Falls

    On the tough Lehigh defense...

    It makes you concentrate. They were screening hard, making big shots and big plays. I think it says something that our team responded and won this game. We fought back and we got a win."

    Lehigh Head Coach Billy Taylor Quotes

    On returning to his alma mater and the welcome by Coach Brey...
    "First off, I'm so thankful to Coach Brey for allowing me to bring our team back here. This was a very special thing for myself, without any question, to be back here at Notre Dame, a place that's very special to me, and where I spent four years as an undergraduate competing for the Notre Dame basketball program. I have a lot of very special memories here of the University and the people. To see those people come out, and to be recognized by them, was really special. It was difficult not to get emotional, when you're getting ready to go into battle and you're trying to win a ball game. Again, I'm just very thankful to the University and its representatives for having me here and taking care of us and treating us to a first class experience."

    On the game...
    "I thought our guys played their hearts out. I'm certainly proud of their effort, the way that we came out and we fought and we battled. But you have to give credit to Notre Dame. They had players that stepped up. Rob Kurz stepped up, played big for them. He played like a captain is supposed to. I thought they got a lot of great performances all around. Colin Falls made timely shots when they were in the middle of a pretty big run.

    On the leadership of senior guard Jose Olivero...
    "He was first team all-league last year as a junior. He led our league in scoring. I think he's a special player. He's an interesting young man in that he's very similar to what we had when I was here at Notre Dame with Pat Garrity. Pat Garrity was our best player every year, and he was the most improved player every year, and Jose's been like that for us. He's been our best player, and he's our hardest worker. He's our most improved, and the sky's the limit for him."

    On his team's highly effective three-point shooting...
    "We have been a pretty good shooting team through the preseason, and we had guys that could make shots. I love the fact that we're able to make shots. I think it really started with our effort and aggression on the defensive end of the floor."

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