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    FIGHTING IRISH

    Dec. 19, 2012

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    Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey

    Thoughts on the game...
    "Well that was a tricky game because they were kind of burning on us. Long possessions, so you're playing defense a lot and you have to be really efficient offensively. It was kind of hard to get away from them but overall we were pretty solid defensively. We were better on the backboard than we were on Monday (against IPFW), and we had a couple spurts where we were able to get out and get some things in transition. You know 21 assists we were moving them around a little bit. Loved how some guys off the bench helped us, I thought it was neat that Zach (Auguste) got in and got some minutes and gave us some energy. We have two more days here to get some stuff done before we Christmas break it."

    On Jerian Grant after his hit on the floor in the second half...
    "I think he's going to be very questionable for Friday. Bruised back; no fractures thank God, that was a heck of a spill. He does not have any concussion symptoms, he bit his tongue and has a few cuts, but a really bruised back. I just think he is going to be too sore to do anything until we get back from Christmas. It opens up some opportunities for other guys."

    On changing his starting lineup for tonight's game...
    "It puts you into weird rotations because, your two bigs come out it was different stuff, not stuff I really like to do regularly, but it was interesting to evaluate. It did get us Zach (Auguste) in there more; so that was a benefit from it. But I think we're going to be back into not having Jerian (Grant) at all (for Friday's game) so we got to plan for that, so that opens up opportunity again for somebody."

    On being ready for the BIG EAST season to start ...
    "I wouldn't say that yet, I think when we get back after a couple days of practice - and the thing is we have more than a couple days of practice, that's my biggest concern - keeping us engaged for a long period of time of practice after we get back. That we get to play again on Friday I think is a good thing."

    On Eric Atkins bouncing back from his Monday night performance...
    "He was great. He's his own worst critic, nobody had to say anything to him he was so down on how he played. He's got a bit of a low back that's sore, and what we need to do is get to this break and get healthy. We played a lot of games in this segment and we're worn down a little bit. He wouldn't tell anybody but that back was locking up on him a little bit. We got him loose, we won't practice him tomorrow and just let him play on Friday."

    On how valuable tonight's game experience can be for Zach Auguste ...
    "I think that's a big step for him. I really was high on trying to get him included when we started this thing as you guys heard me say. But we weren't getting much to work with there from him, he didn't help us much even with practice reps. But lately in practice he's been better and tonight I thought that was something to build on. He is an active guy. You love guys coming off the bench that bring you some energy he is an energy guy. We want to keep looking at that. "

    Jack Cooley, Senior, Forward

    On playing better in the second half...
    "They didn't score as easily in the second half. The second half is the way we play and that just shows how we separate ourselves".

    On looking sluggish at times...
    "This team (Kennesaw State) is pretty good and No. 2 (Markeith Cummings) is a heck of a scorer and they were hitting a lot of shots. Sometimes we just have to get that fire lit under us and it was good to see that in the second half."

    On closing out the non-conference schedule on Friday...
    "We just have to handle our business and not get distracted by thinking about going home (for Christmas break). We need to play the way we play and everything will be fine."

    Zach Auguste, Freshman, Forward

    On his second half performance...
    "I have just been working hard in practice and we all have been competing and helping each other get better. When I got in I just do the most I can."

    On playing time...
    "We all had a chance to play tonight. We all fight for spots and I was just fighting for mine."

    On playing not to make a mistake...
    "I just want to play hard and bring energy to the team that is my role."

    >Eric Atkins, Junior, Guard

    On bouncing back after Monday...
    "I think for me it is to play more focused and to be more aggressive at all times. Today when I got the ball, I tried to attack and get into the lane and look for my shot and other people's shot."

    On playing better tonight...
    "I just tried to get some sleep and brush off the Monday game (against IPFW). I know everybody has bad games and basically that was it for me. I knew I had to forget about it because we had a game tonight and that is what's good about this week."

    Kennesaw State Head Coach Lewis Preston Quotes

    Opening remarks...
    "First of all, I'll start off by saying it's good to be back in familiar territory. I just didn't like being on the opposing side especially in the second half. I don't condone the play involving Jerian (Grant). I hope he is okay, I'm going to make sure that I go check on him as soon as I am done here. Notre Dame is Notre Dame. They don't do anything too fast and they don't do anything too slow, they just play at their speed. We liked to call it when I worked here that you have to pick your poison. You try to take away the inside and they kick it back out. They shoot 44 percent from three and 61 percent from the field. In the second half I think we got out of character a little bit and we started to settle for some shots instead of continue to attack them and then they were able to get out in transition. That's the reason they are a top-20 team in the nation and I just think they are going to get better and better."

    On seeing Notre Dame on film and in person...
    "They might be one of the few teams in the country where I think tape doesn't do them justice because you forget about their length. Each guy I think has gotten individually better. I think that is one of the calling cards for Coach Brey, Coach Solomon, Coach Balanis, and Coach Ingelsby. I think those guys do a great job of getting their guys in the gym. That's something I'm looking to build on. Their length, their athleticism, their depth... Zach Auguste comes in and gets 12 points, seven rebounds in 12 minutes. I don't even think I got that in Bookstore Basketball. They are a very good basketball team. They got a chance to do some things during the course of this year. I'll go back and dissect the tape and break it down but I think the most important thing moving forward for us is I thought the first half was the best 20 minutes we have played since Tennessee.

    "Moving forward I will look at that a lot more to see what we can do to clean up the second half. We are kind of like Charles Dickens' The Tale of Two Cities, but we are the tale of two halves. We will play a great first half, bad second half, or a bad first half, and a pretty good second half. So I am trying to find that level of consistency. It's hard to do that with freshmen. When you are playing three or four freshmen double-digit minutes you are going to take some lumps here and there.

    "I thought Aaron Anderson and Markeith Cummings, especially Markeith Cummings, may be the best game that he has played since I've been the head coach at Kennesaw State. I don't think he forced anything. I think he kept the game very simple. He had 15 points, four rebounds, four assists, three steals in 32 minutes. If he can do that consistently, I know I'm going to get this from Aaron pretty much every night, I think once we get to league play we will have a chance to amass some W's."

     

     

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