Dec. 19, 2006
Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey Quotes
On overcoming a slow start and finding a rhythm ...
"I think you have to give some credit to Portland. I thought they came in here and really played well and defended us physically. They have bodies like a BIG EAST team and they kind of took some things away from us and that was a good thing. We had to deal with maybe not a great flow offensively and we had to dig it out and rely on our defense. I thought in the second half we did a better job and spread the floor a little bit better offensively and got into a pretty good rhythm. It wasn't a great offensive efficiency night, but you look and there are still 86 points on the board. Certainly getting to the foul line was a weapon for us tonight."
On the balance of the team ...
"We dug in really well defensively. They have good big guys and they are good around the basket. I thought for the most part we kept them from really getting into a good rhythm. I thought Kyle (McAlarney) and Tory (Jackson), in the second half, did a good job once we got a couple possession lead of pushing it and not forcing anything in transition. They made sure that if we didn't have anything good off the break, that we'd run our offense. Our efficiency on offense was excellent in the second half."
On Russell Carter...
"He was making some tough shots tonight and he can make some tough shots so you have to let him take a bunch of tough shots. I think he's being very selective with those than he had been in the past. The scoring is great but the thing that's been a key is that he's been a rock as a senior for us out there as far as talking to our young guys in the huddle and not letting anybody panic. He's been really a solid guy and he's got so much respect for the younger guys and he talks to them and pumps them up and really gives them a lot of confidence."
Notre Dame Player Quotes
Senior Guard Russell Carter
On the better offensive production in the second half ...
"The first half we were a little more stagnant. Not only me, a lot of people didn't get open looks, but when we got open shots, we didn't hit them. Second half we hit our shots and continued to play good defense. With our team, everybody takes control a little bit, because we all know what we have to do. We knew we had to keep on shooting and lock up defensively."
Junior Forward Rob Kurz
On the hard-fought victory ...
"Some game pressure was good for us. It made us work. We aren't going to beat everybody by 30 points. It was good for us to have to battle through not making a lot of shots and find a way to win the game."
Sophomore Guard Kyle McAlarney
On the importance of the defense ...
"Usually we 'play fun' and are fun to watch, but this game was a dog-fight. We really had to defend. It let us get a couple baskets off turnovers and a couple put-backs. It wasn't pretty, but we'll take the win. We know in the BIG EAST season, we won't shoot lights-out every game, so we'll have to rely on our defense to keep us in games."
Portland Head Coach Eric Reveno
Our performance tonight ...
"I felt our performance tonight, in comparison to some of our earlier performances this season, was better. Our focus is to attempt to be as sound and competitive a team as we can be every night out. We focus on defending and rebounding every game. There are two things that you can control based on your attitude and effort: defense and rebounding. And based on those two things Notre Dame proved they are a better basketball team tonight, as hard as it is for me to concede that. Notre Dame did a nice job and they are a good basketball team. We are just going to keep battling and try to get better. We appreciate the opportunity to compete against a team that in my opinion is a very good basketball team with the potential to be great. Notre Dame has a lot of balance and skills at many positions."
On what need to be done for his team to be successful ...
" We need to focus a little more on execution. The last few days we have been focusing on defending and rebounding, so it's ironic that tonight it was execution that ended up hurting us. I was pleased that we shot the ball better than we have been lately. We are still trying to find what's best for our team."