home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


March 12, 2015

Mike Brey

Pat Connaughton

Demetrius Jackson


Notre Dame – 70
Miami – 63

COACH BREY:  Well, I'm really proud of our group, because they really, we struggled against their zone, and we couldn't get much of a rhythm after playing beautifully in the first half against their man‑to‑man.  But this group all year has been really poised away from our building when there's been a run and the other team takes the lead.
We won it tonight with our defense though.  Our D had to win it for us.  They shot I think 36% from the floor, and I'm really proud of how we dug in and defended even though we weren't flowing offensively.  I think that's where we've matured a lot.

Q.  Coach, you mentioned the zone bothering you in the second half.  What adjustments can you make when they're getting their hands in the passing lanes and everything that was going right in the first half stalls like that?
COACH BREY:  Well, you don't want to overcoach it either because then you more paralyze your guys.  I thought D and Jerian did a better job at key times driving gaps.  We ball screened the zone a little bit more, and we treated it a little bit more like a man to man situation.
Now to open the second half, we had some great looks from three, and we didn't miss a shot in the first half.  You make a couple of those and it loosens up the whole atmosphere.  We miss a couple and now the thing changes and you're in a dog fight.  But driving the gaps and screening and screening probably more for this guy because he's come so far with his decision making with the basketball.

Q.  Coach, you guys lost the lead there for a minute in the second half.  What was the level of concern in the huddle?
COACH BREY:  You know what?  That's where I told them I'm really proud of them.  The Carolina game on the road, we answered charges.  Just last Wednesday, Louisville goes on an 11‑0 run.  This group has always been really poised.  Our leadership is good.  Demetrius' voice is fabulous in those timeouts.  We just kept coming back to, you know what?  We're not in a great rhythm offensively.  We're going to have to defend to win.  So let's just keep guarding.  We eventually got some transition stuff because we got stops, and then that gave us some breathing room.

Q.  How much did Steve's three‑pointer and the drive by Demetrius calm things out?
COACH BREY:  Those were huge plays.  Steve Vasturia was on an IV this afternoon.  He was sick as a dog.  To do what he did, make big shots and make big plays and guarded McClellan most of the night, fabulous.  And I thought this guy gave us confidence.  He started the game for us confidently, driving, kicking, scoring, going to the hole.  I told him after he made that drive I should have gotten it to you more and let you drive it.  I said my mistake.  I'll be better tomorrow night.

Q.  Jerian in the locker room said that their zone was kind of a weird zone and something you haven't seen before.  What made their zone different?
COACH BREY:  I think it's the bodies that are in a zone.  When they're long and their open stance bothers you, it's hard.  They have some length, and then they have the shot blocker at the rim.  When he fouled out, we were able to get to the rim a little bit more.  So, you know, you get it to the middle.  You have the shot blocker back there.  They're in passing lanes.  It's tricky.  It was tricky to play against.
Fortunately, he fouled out and we were able to get to the hole.  His drive was huge, and I think that gave us confidence that we could he is scape.

Q.  Looking ahead, guys, you had two totally crazy different games against the team you're playing tomorrow.  What do you take away from what you remember about those games as you think about that match‑up?
DEMETRIUS JACKSON:  You know, it was a great team.  We're going to have to play and be on our A‑game.  But we just want to be aggressive, keep doing the things we're doing.  We did a great job tonight defensively.  We did a great job tonight offensively.  We just need to do it more consistently.
PAT CONNAUGHTON:  I think the most important thing for us is stay in attack mode.  On our way over here Demetrius made a great point that we missed a few open shots and we got a little passive against the zone.  When you play against a team as athletic as Miami, you're going to have some turnovers.  The goal is to limit those and we've just got to stay in attack mode because we could see some zone tomorrow night against Duke.

Q.  Mike, you've been a part of the ACC for a long time.  What's it mean to you to have your team in the semifinals?
COACH BREY:  You know, I told Seth Greenberg coming off the court, I really feel we're in the ACC now.  To come out tomorrow night in the semifinals.  Three long‑standing founding members of the ACC and us, I feel like we're in it.  I'm really proud to come out with my team tomorrow night in this atmosphere, and playing against a great program.
You're right, we had two very different games.  That had to be the best they played when we saw them in Durham.  But they're playing really well now.  They're confident now.  We're going to have to attack a zone.  I think they'll pick up and that's something that they've evolved into and we're going to have to be good against that.  Can we guard?  They're really skilled offensively.  Can we guard them?  That is the next level challenge defensively for us.

Q.  Demetrius and Pat, what impact did that loss in Cameron have on you guys because it was so overwhelming?
PAT CONNAUGHTON:  Yeah, that loss was something that came out and they beat us.  It was something that from the jump they had a little bit more energy than we did.  But to be honest, I think it's something that's going to help motivate us moving into tomorrow.  Obviously we had a great game the rest of them at our home, but when we went down there they killed us.
They really made a statement where most people think that the win we had may have been more of a fluke than anything.  So I think we'll use that as motivation, and we couldn't be happier to get a rematch against them.  And we're going to have to come out and play our best.
DEMETRIUS JACKSON:  Like I said before, just a great team.  We're going to have to bring our A‑game.  Like coach said, that is the next step for us defensively is being able to guard a team like that, and being able to do it together as five and continuing to rebound the way we have been.
COACH BREY:  I got Matt in the starting lineup, didn't I?  He went off to Cameron and he's been starting ever since.
You know what was great to follow up on your question.  I was really proud of this group because we bounced back and won at Clemson right after that.  I tore the stat sheet up at practice the next day.  That's one we didn't dwell on very much.

Q.  Demetrius, as Coach Brey said, you came out very aggressively.  What got you in that frame of mind?  Your body language indicated that you were ready to attack at the start of the game.
DEMETRIUS JACKSON:  Just trying to set the tone for my team.  I knew we needed to get out to a great start.  So I wanted to help motivate our team and play as hard as I can for these seniors and this group of guys.  That's what we did tonight.  The great first half gave us a little bit of a cushion in the second half.

Q.  Mike, when you were at Duke as an assistant, do you remember Mike ever playing any zone, and have you said anything to him about backing off his man‑to‑man?
COACH BREY:  No, I haven't teased him.  I will on the road when I see him in April.  No, they play that 12, which is that kind of 1‑2‑2 match‑up.  They were in it a bunch tonight.  They're extending it a little bit, but that was something Mike had in the arsenal while I was there.
I think one year maybe played it a little more than usual.  But that 1‑2‑2 match‑up, and of course they've shown 2‑3 as well.  But it's helped them.  It keeps their offensive guys fresh.  Keeps Okafor around the basket, and he doesn't have to mess around with ball screens, so it's been effective for them.

Q.  Pat, just to follow up, you came out really smoking in the first half, shooting, obviously, very confident.  Second half Coach Brey had to sit you down there for a second.  What was your mindset at that moment?
PAT CONNAUGHTON:  Just trying to do the best I can to help the team win.  I think obviously I know the second half wasn't my best performance, but the first half helped get us that cushion.  I think it's not something I can think too much about.  I think maybe it's something that I can stop being on my heels just because I missed a shot here and there.  But for the most part, you've got to give credit to my teammates for picking me up in the second half.
I think they did a fabulous job of not only picking me up on the court, but also getting on me a little bit to let me know there are other ways that I can affect the game besides shooting.
I think Demetrius especially has really grown in that category, and got on me when I came out of the game and I was back in the game trying to do whatever I could to help us maintain the lead and recover it when we dropped it.

Q.  There is a fun piece of trivia that says you're the only former Coach "K" assistant qualified to write how to beat Coach "K".  Is that trivial?  Is there anything meaningful in that?
COACH BREY:  I think that's something they just talk about in Gene Devine's bar in downtown Durham over a couple of beers.  You know, I've said this when we've had success against Duke, you know, it was like when I got to Notre Dame.  When we could beat Syracuse and we could beat Georgetown, those were program‑endorsing wins as we were trying to build a program.
The same thing this year, for us to beat Duke and to beat NorthCarolina, that makes us look like we belong in this league.  But I had a great eight years there.  Mike and I get together when we're on the road recruiting and talk about it a lot.
But, again, it's a thrill for me to come out in the semifinals tomorrow night with our program and these other three programs and certainly to play Duke.  We're really, it's a proud moment for us.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297