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    Notre Dame vs. Niagara Postgame Quotes

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    FIGHTING IRISH

    FIGHTING IRISH

    Dec. 21, 2012

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    Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey

    Thoughts on the game ...
    "I really loved how we played tonight. They're (Niagara) kind of BIG EAST-like. I like their team; scoring guys, you're going to have to guard ball screens. I thought offensively for the whole game we were extremely efficient and I thought our defense in the second half was better than the first half. But how we move it, how we share the ball, it's a fun way to play and it's a productive way to play."

    On Jack Cooley being the best offensive rebounder in the country ...
    "His will to go after that thing (the ball). He's very underrated as an athlete, he's quick off his feet, his reach is long, certainly he has great strength and he has great hands, just super hands. When he gets near it, it's usually his. But certainly I thought tonight, this team is smart enough to know if something's going good we ride it. And we kept throwing it in to him and there's no insecurity and there's no selfishness and we just keep doing it. We threw it in to Sherm (Garrick Sherman) too. We thought we could get stuff there, and Jack was fabulous. He's playing so well and so mature. Again, I'm very proud of him."

    On his team's efficiency, and speaking to the end of the non-conference portion of the schedule ...
    "I tried to tell them, you know, they play a little bit like Seton Hall; spread you out, shoot the ball, scoring guys, play some zone, Seton Hall plays the match-up zone ... we weren't smart enough to schedule it that way. I'm not going to take any credit there. But as I'm watching the tape of Niagara I'm going 'This is kind of like our next game.' Let's get into some BIG EAST preparation here and focus, and I thought our guys did a really good job. Our crowd was great tonight. Those stands were full and there was some energy in the building tonight and I thought that helped. Our zone helped us because it changed their gears a little bit in the first half. But when you're efficient like that offensively and you're making free throws, it's kind of hard to beat us. I love that about us."

    On what Niagara did in the first half to stay close ...
    "Their ball screen stuff really distorted us, and when a ball screener like Scott Martin can step out and shoot, it really put us in tough position. They had two guys that could really ball screen and step back and so you had four shooters on the floor. They spread us and then they would slip, their guards are crafty. They've got guys that could make some tough shots around the bucket. Finally we went zone, just to change and not have to deal with the ball screens and we do that in BIG EAST games and that really gave us the cushion of eight or 10 points. In the second half we were pretty much manned, and we switched some stuff. We played smaller, I felt it was a game. I wish we could play our big guys more. We played (Cameron) Biedscheid kind of as our second big, and we could switch things and it really made us potent offensively. With one big guy and those four guards you can really spread people out and you've got shooters in every spot."

    On Jerian Grant's performance after his injury against Kennesaw State ...
    "I'd like to build on that when we get back, and show him some film of that. I hope it's something for him to build on that he doesn't have to rush it. I don't know maybe the injured back slowed him down. I'll tell you he is one tough guy to play after that fall, and then he gets another breakaway - I almost called timeout, you know, he gets a steal, he's going for another breakaway, same spot and I yelled at him I said 'Slow down!' he looked behind him and at least he shot it off, he looked around at least. It's good that we get a little break here. I like that we get more than two or three days, I think our guys always need it but I don't know if it will always present itself when we go to the ACC, but we need that. And we talked about BIG EAST training camp when we get back, some things we can sharpen up and we have a while to practice before we start on the (January) 5th (vs. Seton Hall)."

    Niagara Head Coach Joe Mihalich Quotes

    Opening remarks ...
    "I just told our team this; tonight's a night to learn and I think we're on our way. It's tough to tell tonight, but I think we're on our way. We want to develop and have the qualities that Notre Dame has in their team. That team is selfless, they all share the ball and they don't care who scores. Like tonight it was the big guy's (Jack Cooley) night in the first half and they realized it. They got him the ball. Nobody cared. They're selfless. They're all willing passers. They compete. They don't make mistakes. That's a real good basketball team and now that tonight's over I can go back to rooting for them because Coach Brey is a good friend of mine. That's a real good basketball team. To beat them you are going to have to have some answers for them because they have the answers when you play them."

    Notre Dame Player Quotes

    Jack Cooley • Senior • Forward

    On his first half play ...
    "Just the way we have been playing and the way the guards have been getting me the ball is really helpful. I just wanted to be physical and I got a little upset at the beginning of the game so that helped fuel me to play a little harder. I haven't been feeling good lately and the physicality got to me a little bit so that was it."

    On being called the best offensive rebounder in the nation by coach Brey ...
    "It's foot speed, trying to predict where the ball is going and luck; luck has a big thing to do with it. I have been fortunate so far in just being able to get where the ball is going to go and know my shooters and how the ball is going to come off the rim so it's just been on key."

    On offense ...
    "They weren't really doubling. Coach was running great sets for us to get me the ball, and I was just getting good position on the low block and it was allowing me to score."

    Cameron Biedscheid • Freshman • Forward

    On scoring ...
    "I really owe it all to my teammates. The veteran guys on our squad just do a great job of finding the open man and I knew if I would just be in the right spots at the right time and just let the game come to me that I would get an open shot."

    On preparing for the BIG EAST ...
    "This game really helped us get ready for the BIG EAST a lot because preparing for them coach Brey put emphasis on them being a very good scoring team. They had an attacking mindset and they would just come at us and they were really similar to a BIG EAST team. He really wanted us engage and be focused and really get this win to get set up for the BIG EAST and go into break with a good feeling and a win."

    Jerian Grant • Junior • Guard

    On last game's injury ...
    "I was really sore but once I got going I didn't really think about it and it didn't really come up. When it first happened I ruled myself out and the next day in practice I got some shots up and was feeling good and I figured we had about three weeks until the next game so to be able to get this game out of the way and get some rest is good. For sure (I was scared during the fall). I was just making sure I didn't hit my head. I fell on my back so that's better than me falling on my head, I was fine.

    On tonight's second half play ...
    "As the game was getting closer everyone was locking in more and the guys just started to have more of a sense of urgency. When we do that and everyone is locked in and plays with a sense of urgency we will play like we did in the second half."

     

     

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