Men's Basketball

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Mike Brey Media Day Quotes

Oct. 11, 2012

Notre Dame Men's Basketball
2012-13 Media Day
October 11, 2012
Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center • Notre Dame, Ind.

Head Coach Mike Brey

Opening statement...
"It's interesting getting started this year-we've seen our guys a little bit already. With the new rule in the summer we had about six or seven practices and about three or four of them already before tomorrow. We've gotten a better feel for our guys, but certainly the first day we're excited about, and I think our team is looking forward to being coached everyday instead of one day a week. With the experience we have coming back, that is a great place to start in college basketball. I know the staff and I are very excited to work with this group."

On what this team is capable of doing...
"Well, when we came back from the Xavier loss (in the NCAA tournament), we talked about chasing a regular season championship in the BIG EAST. With the draw we have in league play that's going to be a heck of a challenge. We play Louisville twice, Cincinnati twice, St. John's twice along with our other road games. But we've been pretty darn close to that and we've been in the mix before, so it's a realistic thing that we talked about in the spring and summer, and that's where we've ended it. We'll try to do that."

On the veterans coming back...
"Let's compare to two years ago, when we had Ben (Hansbrough) and that group. The big difference is that I thought that team, 30 minutes into the first practice, was a finished product, and it was a really good product. This group, where it's experienced, I really believe they can improve, and they really believe they can improve. We have Garrick Sherman that we're working into the mix. We have two freshmen we feel are going to be a big part of things. We've got young guards who are becoming old guards. We have (Pat) Connaughton whose going from a freshman to a sophomore. So I just wanted to make that difference that although we're experienced, we've still got work to be done, and we can get better, and I think it is important for this group to understand that."

On how this team can handle the expectations...
"You know I talked to them about expectations. A phrase I used on Tuesday, and I'll put up in their lockers tomorrow, is, "Work to deliver." Work to deliver on those expectations, but those expectations are our expectations. We're honored by some of the things people say about us, but we lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament (last season). We didn't get to the BIG EAST championship game. We didn't win a regular season BIG EAST title. I think it's very key for me and our leaders to keep talking about our expectations, and that starts with trying to chase down a regular season (BIG EAST) title."

On what areas need to be improved upon from last year...
"You know, starting with our guards, I think they need to be even more consistent and even more confident. I've said this before-our young guards played older than they were in the regular season, but in the post season they kind of played their age again. I think both of them (Eric Atkins and Jerian Grant) have a little chip on their shoulder to want to get off to good start because they weren't happy with the postseason. Scott Martin is going to be Scott Martin. Does Jack Cooley pick up where he left off? We want him to keep thinking he can get better. Garrick Sherman-how do we work with him and how is he going to be used playing two big men? I think I'm always concerned if we can be solid defensively, which we became last year. And I'm always concerned about our offensive efficiency, which has been excellent."

On Garrick Sherman's role in Jack Cooley's improvement last year...
"Well when you get to play against that big body everyday, there's a challenge everyday in practice. It gave him a big man who sometimes kicked his backside, because Garrick is hard to defend and Garrick can lean on him physically. I think they are really pleased that they are going to be playing together for half of practice tomorrow rather than beating on each other."

On being able to put two big men on the floor...
"Yeah, it's been a while. I pulled out some tape from my first couple years when we played a lot of three around two with two big guys in there. I don't know if we want to be three around two, but I like having two big guys in there, and I think our big guys, whoever they are, whether it's Garrick, Jack, Tom (Knight), or Zach (Auguste), the thing that has helped us with our efficiency is that our big guys are good with the ball. So we may still be four around one even though we have two bigs in the lineup."

On dividing the minutes with such a deep team...
"Well I think it's fair to say we have sixth starter with (Garrick) Sherman, and Tom Knight gives you six-and-a-half. We're really pleased with what he did at the end of last year-heck he got us back in the Xavier game with some of the plays he made. But those guys gotta play. And then it's a matter of who can pick up what's left. I'm very excited because I've seen eight practices with Zach Auguste and Cameron Biedscheid. They will be a part of things. A lot of the teaching these first couple days, I'm going to be focused on them. Those guys gotta play. After that, there's not a whole lot left."



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