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Mike Brey Transcript: Jan. 10

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Brey and the Irish are preparing for a bi game against Boston College on Saturday.
BGI/Corey Bodden

Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey met with the media this afternoon while his team prepares for a home matchup against Boston College on Saturday.

Check out all of what Brey had to say below.

Q: How has the week been?
BREY: “The week has been good. It gives you a chance to get some reps. With some of the new guys that we have, just being able to play with each other throughout the week and go against each other.

“They need experience, and you’re able to do it and set up game situations. And tweak a few things that you feel may help us moving forward.”

Q: I know you don’t try to look at what’s coming, but how do you not look at what’s coming?BREY: “I’ve glanced ahead. It’s unbelievable really. This is the ultimate challenge. Two teams on Saturday obviously fighting for their life and trying to get one. It’s a situation we’ve been in before … where you just need one. We’re going to have to be good to beat BC.

“They’re working in some new faces too obviously. Hopefully we don’t give up 46 points to someone this year like we did last year. But if we win, I will take that.”

Q: What do they do well?
BREY: “They’re gifted offensively. They run their stuff. Their post player can score, they have a really good guard who is an NBA prospect. What scares you is that they didn’t shoot it well last night.

“So, you feel the law of averages and some guys will shoot it better. We’ve had some dogfights with them. Both teams are kind of searching a little bit and trying to get some confidence.”

Q: Could you talk about Bob Whitmore?
BREY: “In the midst of an important game for us, it’s an honor to be around to see Bob be out here. He will be at practice tomorrow with Coach Wootten. Personally, it’s very special and special for our program.

“When we started looking at candidates for the Ring of Honor, Bob always had the reputation as a class act and great guy. I didn’t know until I looked at his stats of how great of player he was. He had six 20/20 games. Are you kidding me? Tomorrow at the end of practice, I will introduce him to the team and give him a ring. We have a ring for the Ring of Honor. I’m excited about telling our guys about his stats.

“We have all these freshmen playing and expecting to play, and he wasn’t allowed to play as a freshman because of the freshman ineligibility rule. It will be a powerful day.”

Q: Would you have met him as a kid?
BREY: “I remember him as a young kid in the D.C. area. I met him when I was an assistant with Coach Wootten. A lot of those former guys came back through …”

Q: How often does Coach Wootten get to see you play?
BREY: “He probably hasn’t seen us play since a Georgetown game back in the big East days. He’s never seen us play here in my tenure. I’m wondering if he ever saw Dantley … Whitmore play. He was coaching during the winter and probably couldn’t out here. He’s seen us at Georgetown a couple of times.”

Q: Starting lineup…staying the same?
BREY: “I think that’s up for grabs too. I’m not sure we will start the same way. We’re evaluating everything this week. We could come out of the gate a different way. But, there’s only so many options with eight dudes.”

Q: You have Dane Goodwin on the radio show tonight. How has he progressed and what’s the next step for him?
BREY: “Up until the two league games, he was on a heck of a tear. I think the cold, harsh reality of some of the speed and athletic ability in the league maybe knocked him back a bit. I was really happy how he got into the gaps of Syracuse’s zone in his first time playing it. He’s only going to get better. He will play 24 or 25 minutes a game. There’s a lot to work with there and you’ve seen flashes.

“The more he plays the more comfortable he gets. There’s a toughness there. I told him earlier today that one of the biggest things for a young player is getting him to talk. I told him one thing about having him on the radio show is you’re forced to communicate. I’m not going to say much. We’re going to make him talk, so it’s a talk drill tonight.”

Q: You’ve compared him to Steve Vasturia, how does he compare personality wise?
BREY: “He’s a little quieter than Steve. He cuts it up with the guys and the personality comes out. He’s a quiet guy, but he’s a confident guy. He’s unafraid and there’s a mental toughness about him. He’s kind of got a stubbornness about him, which gives him an edge. He has a chance a great college basketball player."

Q: When you say stubborn, in what way?
BREY: “Just a little edge. He gets pissed off quick, which is a good thing.”

Q: What do you have to do to get Prentiss Hubb going again?
BREY: “When we’ve had guys go through not shooting the ball well, I’ve tried not to sit there and over coach that and get them thinking too much. One thing Prentiss does for us is he’s sixth in the league in assist-to-turnover. He’s really taking care of the ball and finding people. He’s a pretty athletic defender and gets his hands on stuff and makes some plays there.

“One of the things I think — he did a better job of it on Saturday — is shot selection. He maybe forced a couple to get himself going at Virginia Tech in previous games. He doesn’t need to do that. That’s maybe the biggest coaching point. If he has an open look, he has to take it because he’s made them for us in the early non-league wins. He had eight or 10 in the first half, and his scoring can help us.”

Q: It’s even been hard for him to get to the free throw line.
BREY: “The two teams we played in the league, it was hard for him to get into the lane. Certainly against Syracuse’s zone, it’s tough. Even Virginia Tech, you know, physically kept him out of the lane. Him in transition driving the ball, him getting to the basket and getting fouled, any of those things, are good.

“He doesn’t need to hunt it and force bad ones to jumpstart himself. Just be good with the ball, which he has been. That assist-to-turnover for a young guy is impressive … The other stuff will come.”

Q: So he’s not letting that impact the rest of his game?
BREY: “I won’t let it. I think enough people talk to him about it and he hears it. These kids are plugged into how they are analyzed. I texted him the other night after Syracuse and told him he was great with the ball in his first time against the zone and he sat down in a stance.

“The other stuff will come, I love coaching him and hang in there.”

Q: On needing a win after 0-2 start.
BREY: “It’s a big one for us. Both teams are dying for a win. We could use one. The league season is a long and winding road. We started 3-0 last year and then we lost seven in a row. We played 21 league games last year when you talk about the ACC Tournament.

“At the end of the day, we were 10-11 and that was good enough to get us in the bracket for a day until the Davidson upset. So, you always have chances here. Yes, Saturday is a huge one with what’s coming the rest of January. We have to keep teaching, keep plugging and swinging. Crazy things happen in this league and last year was a great example of it.”

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