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    FIGHTING IRISH

    Dec. 17, 2012

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    Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey

    Thoughts on the game...
    "You know that team (IPFW) really defends. They're athletic, they bothered us especially in the first half. We turned it over nine times which is disappointing but they guard you and they got second-shots and it was kind of hard to get away from them. I love what Pat Connaughton did. For him to guard that guy the way he did and do what he did on the offensive end he was such a man and I think our front line was that. Our guards weren't as good tonight. They weren't as good as they've been, and when they aren't, we labor. They get a chance to bounce back in practice and another game Wednesday."

    On Pat Connaughton attacking the rim more often...
    "I think that's really helped us. He was doing that in practice, and he started doing that more against Purdue. We tried to keep motivating him to do that and it just gives us a whole other element. He can finish, he can always finish around there, he just needed to do it more. The thing he's doing is getting in there with two dribbles and making passes. He didn't do that at all last year. And that's where he's made a big improvement. And we ask him to guard the best guy and he says 'ok thank you very much I'll take that' and he's just very mature."

    On Pat Connaughton learning to penetrate between last year and this year...
    "He could always go to the hole (last year], I think it was with our team 'this is how I play, I spot up and shoot, I'll rebound a little bit' and so on. We had the one-dribble rule with him last year. And sometimes ... well, we had that because if he went more than one dribble it was usually a turnover last year that's why we had a one-dribble rule. If he had one dribble I'd start sweating. Now, he's gotten much better with two, and oh my gosh three sometimes, because he's better with the ball. That's where he's made improvement."

    On Pat Connaughton dribbling two to three times ...
    "I love how he curls and cuts and he's so deceptive when he extends the finish he's so athletic. He's finishing up there like big guys and over the top of guys so we want him to do that. If he gets fouled he's going to make free throws. I think that's something in the last week that's evolved with us offensively."

    On Patrick Crowley's presence in the first half affecting the game...
    "I was just disappointed with the concentration of our guards. They have been so good and so focused on selection that we were out of sorts because they both weren't in a good rhythm. A little better in the second half but they were disappointed so that's why I said 'I can't watch it anymore we'll talk about it at halftime.'"

    On the turnaround of the schedule for the guards ...
    "Turn around and have a good practice tomorrow. We can't go for two hours but we'll have a good 60 minutes of competing and taking care of the ball and running and defending. It is good to turn around and play."

    On Jack Nolan's comparison of Jack Cooley to Tim Abromaitis ...
    "It's a good comparison. One of the assistant coaches said that in the last two minutes, I don't know if it was [Martin] Ingelsby or Coach Solomon it was very similar in how he was cutting and moving and finishing. "

    On the two-week practice gaps throughout the season, and how Jack Cooley uses them ...
    "We do a lot of five-on-five in practice, and for him I think he was attacking. We scrimmaged a bunch so he was able to practice that while playing in game situations. And he's getting the endorsement from us, and now his teammates, to 'go do that' and 'drive that thing'. Again it wasn't something last year because, he wasn't good enough with the ball to do that as aggressively. But he's really gotten better with the ball off the dribble."

    On playing former assistant coach Lewis Preston on Wednesday night ...
    "I have never faced that. He did a great job for us for six years. He did a fabulous job coaching our big guys. I think he was the best assistant coach I ever had that played in bookstore - they were recruiting him for bookstore the first week of school - I've never had an assistant recruited that hard even (Harold) Swanagan wasn't recruited that hard for bookstore. But he was great with our guys, really good with the big guys, had deep relationships, like with Harold Swanagan and (Ryan) Humphrey, those were kind of his guys to manage my first couple years. And you know I didn't have deep relationships because I didn't recruit those guys. So he really helped me bridge that gap while he was here, went on to Florida did a good job, Penn State, he's trying to build a program down there and we certainly welcome him back."

    On Lewis Preston, and why he's going to be a good head coach ...
    "He has a great demeanor, positive guy, great attitude and energy. I just thought relationship-wise he was so good with players he knew how to draw the line; he wasn't their buddy but he knew how to communicate with them and they respected him. I think with his stops and his coaching career he learned a lot. He was very ready, he was hungry to be a head coach, on the road he was always grabbing me or the other guys trying to get information 'what are you doing in practice', I still stay in close touch with him and talk to him a lot and I look forward to seeing him tomorrow."

    His thoughts on the team's position before the beginning of BIG EAST play ...
    "I'm happy where we're at right now, I like how we've found out a lot about who we are. I've said to these guys I think defensively we've had a pretty good identity from the first day, which I was really pleased with. I don't think our offensive confidence or identity really showed itself until the Chicago State-Kentucky week. And off of that, we've gotten more confident offensively and more guys are doing it. (Scott) Martin's shooting the ball, and (Pat) Connaughton doing his thing, (Garrick) Sherman and (Cam) Biedscheid coming in and giving us stuff scoring. I still think we're figuring that out but we're further along offensively. These are an important four days, two days of practice two games, we got to get something out of them because we don't play until January 5th. We've got a heck of a gap we have a bye the first week. I wish the BIG EAST would have let me know that earlier I would have scheduled a game after Christmas but you don't know that information. So we've got a lot of practice when we come back on the 26th but I'll take where we're at. I think we all feel we have a little unfinished business where we left one on the table against St. Joe. Up eight and couldn't close, that one sticks with us a little, but I'm pleased where we're at and we have a chance to get to 12-1, and then the real bullets start flying. And I don't mean expansion I mean the league. Tell me when we go I'm in. I'm a BIG EAST guy I've always said that. Just tell me where we're playing next year, I'm ready to go to the Garden, to go to Georgetown, the guy at the RAC (Rutgers Athletic Center) I'm sure will be sitting behind the bench again next year and really be able to get on my backside, the 'Nova fan, the Marquette fan, we'll do it again."

    IPFW Head Coach Tony Jasick

    Opening remarks...
    "I give Notre Dame a lot of credit, they played well. In the second half down the stretch, I felt like we were making a little bit of a run, and I felt like they made a number of shots at the end of the shot clock when we were playing pretty good defense. They hit a three when the shot clock was going off and they hit a couple of baskets late in the shot clock that really kept us from making a deep run. They deserve a lot of credit."

    On Pat Connaughton...
    "The coach does a good job of putting him in positions where his defender is in all the help positions, and everyone know he can really shoot it. You're really between a rock and a hard place defending him. If you don't help, the other guys get to the basket and if you do stay and help they are good at finding him. He makes their offense hard to guard. We didn't do a great job guarding the ball which left our help defender out to dry."

    On Michael Kibiloski...
    "Kibi gave us 25 minutes, and I think Kibi is a hard playing guy. He plays hard, he is a skilled four and he has been a little bit streaky this year for us. He's been hurt and he is still trying to get his rhythm but he is a guy that can stretch the defense. I think the most important thing about Mike is that he's a guy that you can count on. I think that's a value that's taken for granted a lot. You can count on Kibi and he's going to make some shots for us as well and be a big factor in our success."

    On this team compared to last year's...
    "We lost some guys off that team that I think are really great, but I think this team has a touch more fight. We may play a little harder and we might fight you a little more than maybe last year's team did. Not taking anything away from those guys, I think that group might have been a little bit more skilled offensively than this group, but I really like the fight in our team. Notre Dame was up 19 with 13:35 to go, and we have a pretty young team, and a lot of teams pack it in at that point, but our guys have a lot of fight in them. I was proud of the way we did that as the second half wore on."

     

     

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