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Mike Brey Transcript: ACC Teleconference, Jan. 7

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Brey and the Irish will attempt to get their first ACC win versus Boston College at home on Saturday.
BGI/Corey Bodden

The Atlantic Coast Conference held a teleconference with all of the men’s basketball coaches, including Notre Dame’s Mike Brey.

Each coach met with media members for 10 minutes to discuss a variety of topics. Check out all of what Brey had to say below.

Opening statement
MIKE BREY: “We’re in our bye week right now. Maybe that comes at a good time with a younger team where you can get them some more reps since we’re now playing an ACC schedule. We’ve played two old teams in Virginia Tech and Syracuse.

“I thought their older guys made older plays at key times in the second half. Our young guys aren’t quite ready to do that. We’re trying to get a league win. As I always say, a one-game win streak in this league is something to celebrate.”

Q: Looking back to Virginia Tech, they’re not the deepest team and they play an aggressive and physical style. How does that catch up to a team later in the year? Or does it?
BREY: “When you have older guys like they do, and have men, I feel they do after seeing them personally, old guys know how to play that and can withstand that. I’m sure Buzz does a great job with practice as they get further into the season and pacing them.

“When you have men, and they have men, those guys can play physically and play longer. They are built to do it.”

Q: Virginia Tech is efficient offensively. What did you take from the game in terms of why they can hit shots like they do?
BREY: “I think their defense is a notch up from what I remember last year. We had a really hard time getting good looks against them. They’re quick, their pass pressure is up on you, they are physical and can turn you over.

“We’ve all known they can score, shoot it and spread you out, which they did in the second half against us to put the dagger in. Their defense is a level up from before, which makes them a contender to win this league.”

Q: Given all that Rex [Pfluger] is dealing with his mom, does that make the injury even more difficult for him to process?
BREY: “I think he is in a pretty good spot. Obviously, the family is going through some stuff with mom battling brain cancer. He is going to have his surgery on Friday. He’s back here with us. Being back with his teammates and being back as a captain talking to the young guys, which he was doing a great job when he was healthy, I think that is a great place to be.

“I’m thrilled we can get him back next year. Even though we have all of these young perimeter players, I don’t know about the basketball stuff. With what his family is going through, he needs to be back with us. He will come back and get a master’s in business. Being around the team and being a captain helps.”

Q: Does it give his head coach some comfort to think that he will be back in a uniform next year?
BREY: “It does. He really is a heck of a leader. You have a couple of those throughout your career that you go to them and ask about practice and this set. I really value his feedback. We have a special relationship. When he got hurt, I said he is a son to me. I kind of hurt for him.

“To have him back around … I told him I want him to be a little bit of a student assistant, too. … I’m thrilled he will be back. I found myself looking at the team the other night when I talked with Rex about him coming back. … We have the whole team back. That doesn’t happen in college basketball. That can only help us. This is a little bit of a process with this group.”

Q: I was looking at your schedule and you didn’t have a lot of road games … is that something you guys need because you’ve had some neutral site games?
BREY: “You’re in league play now, and I think any league game is hard. Boston College, for our team, is going to be a really hard game. We’d be thrilled if we can find a way to win it. We certainly know what is coming after with a bunch of ranked teams in a row with North Carolina, NC State, Virginia and Duke.

“… It’s the way of the world in league play. I liked how we competed on the road at Virginia Tech against a really good team. Hopefully we can do that when we go back out on the road next Tuesday.”

Q: You have two kids from Maryland in D.J. Harvey and Prentiss Hubb. Can you talk about them?
BREY: “They are both starting for us and coming off injuries. D.J. is really playing well for us and find his rhythm. Prentiss has been starting at guard and his assist-to-turnover is great and his defense. He isn’t shooting it great right now, but he will. Both of those guys are really key for us.

“They are young in their careers. Prentiss is a freshman and DJ is kind of one too because he was hurt 10 or 12 games in last year. Just want to keep growing them and get them confident. They’re our future.”

Q: Just concerning Rex, but with the rest of the team, you’ve played five full games without him. Has it sunk in yet with the guys that you’re going to have play differently without him? What adjustments do they have to make with a loss like that?
BREY: “I think they’ve processed that. I think we’re in a bit of a developmental stage again. We kind of had to hit the reset button after his injury because the game he was hurt in was probably our best win of the year against Purdue. You felt we had find our identity on both ends of the floor, then he goes down. We’re kind of wining it right now. That’s why this bye is beneficial.

“On the defensive end, I don’t know if you’re going to replace him. He does a little bit of everything all over the place. You’re trying to get some of these freshmen to jump and be defenders for us — Prentiss and Dane Goodwin especially. On the offensive end, his assist-to-turnover was fabulous and he was scoring for us. We continue to take care of the ball, which is a key for us and gives us chances.

“The thing you miss, too, is the personality on the court, talking in huddles, talking in timeouts before I even get into the huddle. That’s a void that John Mooney and T.J. Gibbs have to help us with.”

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Talk about it inside Rockne’s Roundtable

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