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Notre Dame Hoops Notebook: Mike Brey Talks Rotation, Improvement, Maui Takeaways

A frustrated Mike Brey spoke with the media last night after a deflating Maui Invitational finish for Notre Dame

A frustrated Mike Brey spoke with the media last night after a deflating Maui Invitational finish for Notre Dame.

On his team’s struggles in the second half

“Just disappointing. We knew that Buzz's teams are going to come after you and when they really heated it up on us defensively in the second half we just didn't handle the pressure and got frazzled. That's what's disappointing. We kind of pride ourselves in being good with the ball, but they took us a little bit out of everything, and I think you got to credit their ball pressure. We had four guards on the floor a bunch of times and we still couldn't get to spots. They were tougher, especially the second 20 minutes, and they deserved it.”

On if any thought has gone into expanding the rotation more than seven guys

“Yeah, I think you're always trying to look for another guy. Those seven have kind of earned it at this point. But I think we're trying to get Elijah Taylor ready to go, another big body for Monday. He was trending the right way, then he had the flu and he was out and we're trying to get him in shape. But really as far as the group that's going to either do it or not is, that group's going to have to do it, and the rest of the group there is really young. So again, an Elijah Taylor, we have to get ready for this level of frontline guys. We need another big body and now that he's healthy we gotta get him ready to be our eighth guy.”

On how the team improves from here

“I kind of like where we are defensively and really how we're rebounding the ball. We are rebounding the ball pretty good. We just got to figure out -- and I think we're still trying to figure out how to play off of Paul [Atkinson]. He's given us an inside presence and what do we do around him and how do we use him. And so I think we've got to stay with these defensive principles and try and figure out how to help us offensively a little bit more, especially when the pressure's ratcheted up. And I know our older guards want to play better. Prentiss [Hubb] wants to play better, he's not playing as well, we need Prentiss, he's been pretty good for us and I got to figure out a way to help him over the next couple days to get him ready for Monday.”

On positives to take away from this game

“This was the first, this was the first experience with Power Five bodies, which these veteran guys who have played. Now, now here they come. And the athletic ability, it didn't hurt us on the backboard, which I'm always worried about. And it hurt us on some drives, but not enough that it should have beat us. It hurt us offensively because we couldn't maneuver in the second half. Had some beautiful possessions for 25 minutes and then when they really ratcheted it up, they got us. I'm thrilled with how Blake Wesley's coming along. This was the first Power Five game for him and he had 22-year-old guards after him. And I think overall he was pretty darn good and it was our older guards who struggled.” 

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