Men's Basketball

Notre Dame vs. Bryant - Postgame Quotes

Dec. 9, 2013

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Notre Dame Men's Basketball
Notre Dame vs. Bryant
December 9, 2013
Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center - Notre Dame, Ind.

Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey

Opening Statement...
"We got a good game from a good team that can win their league and I think it's a great experience for us. We could never really get flowing really good offensively, so we really had to defend to get out of there tonight. Keeping them in the 50s and keeping their shooting percentage down is why we won the game because we never really go into a great offensive flow. I thought Jerian Grant, the game that he had, guarding [Dyami] Starks and doing what he did offensively, is fabulous. That takes a lot of energy and a lot of concentration and he never let that guy get going. I thought our different guys that guarded Francis kept him from going off. I thought Sherm [Garrick Sherman] did a good job. Tom Knight--great night for Tom Knight. He's coming back; he's on his way back. His energy, I thought his offensive rebound on the free-throw kick out kind of gave us some breathing room and kind of got us jump-started. Pat Connaughton with his second double-double, and a heck of a night for Garrick Sherman to have his his first double-double and score some big buckets for us. We'll take it, it was kind of a grinding, ugly one but a good experience and we have another similar team coming in here Wednesday."

On the run to end the first half, led by Jerian Grant...
"It was similar to the first half against Delaware where we really locked down and they get a little lead and we locked in and defended. Again I just think our team defense was really good. You know, we have sharp guys and, when we go through a scouting report and we go through their sets, our guys can really digest that and then they can get a feel and adjust. Our help defense was good, but, really, Jerian not letting Starks ever get comfortable was really, probably, the biggest key to the game. Then, of course, on the other end, he stuffs the stat sheet doing all kinds of stuff. That was a big shot that he hit in front of our bench at the end of the clock just like he did Saturday to kind of make us feel like we can get out of here with a win tonight."

On the second half and deciding to go with a bigger lineup...
"Sherm becoming that low post scorer for us, and even Tom Knight gave us some stuff, but there was no question that low-post touches were going to be good. I think he had some big baskets for us. We're going to have to rely on a low-post scorer. Right now it happens to be Sherm. Tom Knight is coming on a little bit, and, you know what, before it's over, Zach Auguste will be back through the flow. Its just kind of who we are right now."

Notre Dame Player Quotes

Jerian Grant - Senior - Guard On his late three-pointer to push the lead to seven...
"I knew I was going to have to make a shot eventually. They were going under a lot of screens. Guys were all getting open looks, so eventually one of them was going to go in."

On playing tight games...
"We're not going to blow out teams all the time, so it's good for us to be in close games and to learn to execute down the stretch."

On worries about the defense...
"We're definitely struggling with getting that one big stop, but we're growing, we're working on it. Eventually we'll be able to get that one we need."

On playing multiple games in a short span...
"It's great for us. We're all ready to play basketball. When you can play games, it's exciting and guys get energized. We'll get our rest when we need to, but when we're out there in the game, we're giving it everything we got."

Garrick Sherman - Senior - Center

On pulling out the win...
"We were focused on trying to play harder than them and out-scrapping them. We did the best we could, but they're an extremely scrappy team, so it was a good game."

On Notre Dame's rebounding advantage...
"The height probably helped us a little bit, but we were still pretty scrappy fighting with them."

On getting a double-double...
"It's cool. It's one of those stats things, so it doesn't really matter. My team needed me to rebound, and that's one of the things I'm focusing on."

On the team's strong first half...
"We just kind of find our runs every now and then. It's one of those things where when we get stops and we can get on a run, we can score in bunches. So that was one of those things, and at the end of the first half it was good to finish strong. We did that the other day too, and that's what we'll look to continue to do going forward."

Pat Connaughton - Junior - Guard/Forward

On getting into early foul trouble...
"It doesn't necessarily change my game. Coach did a good job of keeping me out of situations where I could have gotten a third one, but it can't change your mentality or your play because then you get it in your head and you're not out there playing your game. I couldn't let it affect me, and I'm going to have to play with fouls, so this is a good test to get some practice under my belt. It's really a mentality, and it all starts with rebounding and stuff that you can control in that situation. That is something that I tried to do, and that is something that helps us win."

On sustaining their lead...
"I think we have been coming out to good starts, we just need to sustain them. These teams are good teams, and they are going to hit some tough shots, so it is a matter of weathering that storm, and basketball is a game of runs. It's just a matter of who has more."

On frustration over early fouls...
"Yes [it's frustrating], but it can't change the mentality of the player. If you do that you aren't being competitive, and you're not playing instinctually. You just have to play when coach puts you in, and that is something that I had to practice, playing with fouls or three fouls, because that can happen this season."

On losing momentum in the second half...
"We just didn't shoot well. We didn't do well on offensive, and that is something that we are going to have to work on, but it was good to win a game like that. There are going to be sloppy games where both teams are struggling to find their groove on offense, but those are the games that we need to beat them out on the defensive end."

Bryant Head Coach Tim O'Shea

Opening Statement...
"We're in our second year of transitioning into the Division I level, and I said to the guys in the locker room, the idea that we can come into the University of Notre Dame, one of the most iconic intercollegiate athletic programs in the nation, and play a competitive game demonstrates how far we've come in a short period of time. We were competitive. We weren't overmatched athletically. We had a series of shots around the rim that we couldn't get to go down, if those go down, we might be sitting here with a great upset. Their winning percentage on this home court is one of the best in the country. I'm never happy with a loss, but I think we demonstrated our competitiveness against Notre Dame. Bounce here, bounce there, who knows, it may turn out differently. But it was a great experience for our kids, and now we move on to Ohio State."

On the program's turnaround in the last few seasons...
"To be honest, it's pretty simple: better players. We picked up two transfers, my nephew Joe O'Shea, who I thought played very well tonight, and Dyami Starks transferred in from Columbia. These seniors stayed loyal. I always say I'll be eternally grateful to Alex Francis and Corey Maynard. These kids went through a one-win season and then a two-win season, which, if you follow the history of teams that transition from two to one, it's pretty ugly. In the case of Alex Francis, he was rookie of the year, those types of guys transfer, they don't stick around and show loyalty like he has. I'm really grateful to him. Corey is the same thing. He could have gone back to Australia and played in the professional league. It's because of their loyalty and the infusion of a couple other kids that we've been able to become very competitive at the Division I level. I always say it's the right strategy, but there's a certain amount of luck involved. I'm very lucky to have recruited these guys, and the fact that they have great character. They were loyal to me and to the University."

Visiting Player Quotes

Alex Francis - Senior - Forward

On Garrick Sherman...
"He's aggressive, he just played good basketball and he just did what he had to do on the court."

Corey Maynard - Senior - Guard

On going up against the toughness of the Notre Dame team...
"In Australia we come from a Australian football background and it's a pretty tough game. A lot of kids playing basketball now played Australian football, and that's a tough game it's just like the NFL except with no pads, so we are bred in a family of toughness, you could say. I have no problem being out there guarding them. Toughness really doesn't faze me."

On being a leader of a quickly growing team...
"My freshman year we played a Division III school in an exhibition game and I looked out in the crowd and there were about 22 people out there. I could count the crowd on my two hands, almost. Now we are coming out and we are playing harder games, we got North Dakota State, a powerhouse. and winning 25 games. We get out on that floor with chances to win and we are packing the gym now with the students, athletic department and University all behind us--it's just been amazing to be a part of. It's something we had in mind all along and had envisioned. It's great to see it come to fruition."



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