July 11, 2000
Notre Dame junior All-American forward Troy Murphy (Morristown, N.J.)
On Matt Doherty's leaving:
"It's really tough right now. There was a lot of speculation but, until it actually happens, it's not something that you have to live with. But we have to live with it now. And I know we will be able to pick a good coach and we will be all right."
On Matt Doherty's decision to leave Notre Dame:
"We do understand. When you make a decision, people are going to be upset. People and going to agree with you and people are going to disagree with you. The people that are close to coach Doherty and understand what went on with the decision and things that pulled him to North Carolina, we understand why he made the decision. And people that don't ... are going to be upset. Everyone has opinions. But he made his decision and coach Doherty is going to have to live with that."
On how Matt Doherty's departure will impact the team:
"Is it going to hurt the team? It's going to be tough to replace a great coach like coach Doherty but I think we'll be OK."
On the challenge of playing for a third coach in three years:
"It's tough. David (Graves), Harold (Swanagan) and I have been through some stuff in our three years here. Never thought we would play for three coaches. It's hard adjusting but we've done it before and we're going to have to do it again. We have to adjust and we have to adapt. It's not good that we've been through it before but we've been through it before. We know what it's like to not really have a coach and that's the situation we are in right now and it makes us stronger."
On his decision to return to Notre Dame next season:
"Coach Doherty was a big reason that I came back, along with a couple of other reasons. That's (a decision) that might not come up this year. It might. But when I get to that, we'll see what happens."
On the future:
"Everything, I think, happens for a reason. There's a reason behind something like this happening and there was a reason behind coach Doherty coming here and us having the opportunity to play for him for a year. In the end, we'll be stronger and coach Doherty is going to go down to North Carolina and do a great job and we're going to get a great coach in here again and play for him."
Notre Dame sophomore guard Matt Carroll (Horsham, Pa.)
On his personal reaction to Coach Matt Doherty leaving Notre Dame:
"It was something I didn't want to hear and wasn't looking forward to hearing. Yeah, it was kind of upsetting, but there is nothing we can do about it now. I hope this can be a positive and I honestly believe that there is a reason for everything. Right now I don't know what kind of message there is in this, but things do happen for a reason. Hopefully we get a good coach in here and we all stay together."
On the entire team's reaction to Coach Matt Doherty:
"I think we understand this. Of course from a fan's perspective they are going to be bitter because they don't want to see coach leave and want to see us win. He did a great job while he was here. As long as we regroup and stay together we'll be just as successful next season as we were this year."
On the hiring of a new coach:
"We definitely care about who our next coach is going to be. Dr. White (Notre Dame athletic director) is going to keep us informed. We know we're not going to be making the final decision, but he is going to be asking for our input and I think that's good.
"We want a coach who is a players' coach and can relate to us. We're looking forward to getting a coach in here and getting started.
"Dr. White didn't ask for any suggestions from us, but I think when he gets serious about a candidate he is going to come to us and ask us about what we think. We're going to give him all the information we can to get the best coach possible. I can't imagine Mr. White is going to bring a coach we don't want to play for. I respect the decision he is going to make. Right now I really can't tell you who they are looking at to replace Coach Doherty."
Notre Dame junior forward David Graves (Lexington, Ky.)
On his feelings after hearing the announcement that Coach Doherty was leaving Notre Dame:
"There are a number of things running through your head at a time like this. It is going to be our third coach in three years, which is difficult. When you come to a school, you hope you have the same coach for four years. It's tough for us to swallow, but we will move on."
On the coaching replacement rumors:
"I never listen to the rumor mills because I don't trust them. We never thought Coach Doherty was going to get the job until he did."
On the emotion in the room when Coach Doherty announced his decision to leave Notre Dame:
"It was pretty emotional. He must have ran through the speech a thousand times and, like he said, it is something you never plan for. We listened to what he said and respected his decision. He obviously did well in his first year here and he obviously sees North Carolina as a place he can succeed. It is obviously what he wants to do and we wish him, Kelly and his family the best."
On what effect it has on the preparation for next season:
"It is disappointing. We understand the decision Coach made. It is kind of like turning down the NBA. The North Carolina job is a tough job to reject. We are just going to have to find a new system, a new coach, and trust the new person as much as we trusted Coach Doherty."
On the status of the recruits and the players in the program, will any leave or change their mind?
"I don't know. We will have to see what Dr. White decides on who will be the new coach and move from there. We all want to come back but each has to make his decision individually. I feel bad for people like Mike Monserez, who left before all this started to happen. I hope the new recruits will trust us as a team. We are still a family. I hope they will continue their commitment to Notre Dame and the team. We went through the same thing last year, nobody left, and I think we became closer as a team."
On the difficulty of adjusting to a new system:
"This is the third system I will have to learn in three years - that is something you don't want to do. You come to a school and you want to stick with that system for four years. We are going to have to adjust and I think we have the team that can succeed at that."
Notre Dame junior forward Ryan Humphrey (Tulsa, Okla.)
About leaving Oklahoma to play for Matt Doherty:
"Yes, it is very interesting but God works in mysterious ways. I just wish coach Doherty the best. I think that next year we will be a good team and we'll pull closer together."
"When I got here I didn't know too much about Notre Dame but the community has taken me in. My basketball family and everyone around has been great. I'm Irish right. I love everything about Notre Dame. It's sad to see coach Doherty leave."
About the next coach:
"I'd like to see a coach who understands the game, who knows how to put the players in certain positions and is a fun coach to play for."
On the coaching change bringing the team closer:
"I think that from the beginning we were a close-knit group, and now this has brought us even closer. We have dealt with adversity before this. We are all still pulling for each other. I also think that next year we have a point to prove and we are going to go out there and have fun."
On the likelihood of anyone transferring:
"We see the potential that we have on this team. It's a great possibility that we could start four juniors and a senior next year. That is Final Four quality right there. So I think we have a good chance on being good."
Notre Dame junior center Harold Swanagan (Hopkinsville, Ky.)
On Matt Doherty accepting the head coaching position at North Carolina:
"I understand his decision to go coach at his alma mater and I think the players understand that we will have to come back next year and do what we did last year."
"A lot of fans will be disappointed, but being basketball players we know how this process works. We don't blame him, because it's a dream come true for him. We are taught since we are little to go for our dreams and try to achieve them and this was his."
On what is next for the Notre Dame men's basketball program:
"We still have the same players and the same attitude that we had last year, which was to come out and play as a team. We will still have the same step, the same style of play and are going to come out and win some games."
About what Coach Doherty said to the team about his decision:
"Basically, that he came here to build this program, but he had never dreamed that this opportunity would come this soon. He had always wanted an opportunity to go and coach at his alma mater, but it just happened a little sooner than he had expected."