Notre Dame vs. Gonzaga quotes

Dec. 11, 2010

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Gonzaga Men's Basketball
Gonzaga vs. Notre Dame
December 11, 2010
Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center o Notre Dame, Ind.

Notre Dame Head Coach Mike Brey


On the play of Carleton Scott...
"I thought he was great. He really jumpstarted the team and gave us confidence offensively. In the second half, I thought his defense was key against their big guy in the middle, Robert Sacre. He gave us great energy all night long."

On the defensive adjustments made to seven-foot center Robert Sacre...
"I thought Jack Cooley gave us great minutes and really lifted the team. He was able to get some loose balls and be a real presence in the paint. In the second half, we rotated Tyrone Nash and Carleton Scott to defend him. We didn't necessarily want to double him and risk giving up a three-point basket."

On Notre Dame's late game free throw opportunities...
"We were faced with almost any imaginable late game situation, including ones we've gone over in practice. I thought when we really needed to hit free throws or it got down to one possession we made enough to keep it a two score game. We handled the pressure well and took care of the ball. We adjusted well to the zone and man-to-man defenses."

On the atmosphere at Purcell Pavilion...
"The crowd was awesome. Our sixth man was a key and the energy in the building helped us defend and believe when we were down."

Gonzaga Head Coach Mark Few

On Notre Dame...
"They have a very nice game. They were very talented at all five spots and were very difficult to stop."

On the improved performance from their last game vs. Washington State...
"Obviously, we played a lot harder, and we competed far, far better than we did the other night, and that's all we're asking of our guys. It was a tough environment, just like the other night. We stepped up, and especially competed on the offensive end. We did a nice job on the glass, but just couldn't put Notre Dame away on defense."

Notre Dame Players

Tim Abromaitis - Senior - Forward

On the change to zone defense...
"It threw us off for a couple possessions, and then we settled down. We got inside a couple times and that helped us spread it off. We got some easy lifts, and then they had to get out of it."

On going inside...
"I think we were able to attack their big guys a little bit. We were able to switch it in and out, and it was to our advantage. I think Ty Nash did well, and Carleton [Scott] played tremendous when he was in there. I think it was everybody fighting against their big guys, and it helped us in the end."

On coming out of dead spot in second half...
"I think it was just us attacking. They were in the zone for a few possessions and were able to get a few looks. We eventually extended it to a 14-point lead."

On different role players...
"It just shows how it comes from so many people on our team. It shows how hard it must be to prepare against us. On any given night, it can really be anybody's night."

On getting back into a rhythm...
"It was basically just taking what came to me. I was able to find myself open a couple of times, and we have great passers on this team so I knew if I was open I would get the looks."

Eric Atkins- Freshman- Guard

On shooting the ball as a freshman...
"I'm not sure I have the green, green light right now. I just play off of however I'm feeling and how the game's going. Today, I just had a couple opportunities to shoot, and I did."

On handling the ball during crunch time...
"This is very valuable. This can only help me out later in my career. I'm just getting use to it now, especially in a big game like this. I'm just learning game by game."

On what you learned the past couple of months...
"Definitely have to be strong-minded, with the lead swings and everything. Just with the ups and downs of the season, you have to be strong-minded. We bounced back tonight from Kentucky, and I think our older guys helped us out with that."

Ben Hansbrough - Senior - Guard

On shooting free throws at the end of the game...
"Being a senior, when you see the lead fading away you kind of talk to yourself. You say, `This is my fifth year in college, and I'm not going to let us lose. I'm going to go get the ball and sink them.' I work on those pressure free throws at the end of my routine every day. I knew I wasn't going to let the team lose like that."

On the effort that Gonzaga gave...
"Gonzaga has five losses, and four of the teams are all ranked. I think three of them are in the top fifteen. They're a quality program, and I think that they are going to win their conference. They're a very talented squad."

On building a lead during the game...
"We got a good little lead there. They tied it up at fifty. Abromaitis had a little three spurt there and then the backdoor dunk. We kind of ran away with it. They started hitting shots at the end of the game, but we just came through and won the game."

On not being able to find open shots early...
"That's just a part of the game. I was actually happy to see that some other people were stepping up and hitting some shots. Carleton [Scott] was on fire in the first half. I was glad to see that the other guys got going. It doesn't put any pressure on me when everyone else is making shots. We made a lot more shots than we did against Kentucky."

Carleton Scott - Senior - Forward

On seeing the lead slip away at the end of the game...
"It kind of makes you nervous, but we trust each other. That's what is key. We work on those late game situations in practice, so they are almost second nature to us."

On all of the different role players on the team...
"It makes us hard to scout. It makes us really hard to scout because we have one guy filling in at one moment and then the next moment it is someone else. This year we are really moving the ball around, and when someone is feeling it they're feeling it. It's good for us."

On scoring a career high in the first half...
"I was just filling space. I was feeling it. The jumper felt good, so I let it fly. As long as I keep getting good looks I am going to take them."

Gonzaga Players

Robert Sacre - Junior - Center

On playing at Notre Dame and how big of a factor the crowd was...
"It was a really nice atmosphere. I really love this gym. This gym is a nice place to play at. The crowd was good. It was a good environment and what I expected."

On the improvements that need to be made before conference play...
"Defense. We have to work on our defense. Cutting down on threes against the teams and rebounding (better); basically everything defensive oriented."

On what needs to be changed from tonight...
"(We need to) take easier shots; don't force shots that don't need to be forced. We just need to play with emotion."

Steven Gray - Senior - Guard

On playing at Notre Dame and how big of a factor the crowd was...
"I really do like this arena. I was kind of surprised by the crowd and it seemed that the fans came in late; that was interesting. They were loud and some of the better ones we have seen."

On the improvements that need to be made before conference play...
"Play hard. That will solve a lot of things and a lot of issues."

On what needs to be changed from tonight...
"We need to not foul as much. That was a big issue today."

 

 

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