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March 18, 2016

V.J. Beachem

Mike Brey

Matt Farrell

Brooklyn, New York

Notre Dame - 70, Michigan - 63

MIKE BREY: That was a fabulous college basketball game. It was an honor to be part of it. Two teams going at it, throwing big punches. I'm certainly very proud of our group and the second half that we played, especially defensively.

Q. V.J., a question for you. Was there a moment when you knew that this was going to be that kind of a shooting night for you? And if you could take me through what that feels like to go through this entire game without missing a shot.
V.J. BEACHEM: It was really no moment that stood out for me, but I just tried to step up and knock down the shots. My teammates were really finding me. Matt Farrell told me before the game he was going to find me all night, and he really did. So I was just stepping up, trying to knock down the shots, and I was fortunate that all of them dropped tonight.

Q. For the players, I wanted to know what the atmosphere was like for you guys? It seemed electric out there.
MATT FARRELL: We were actually just talking about that right before this. It was unbelievable. I don't know how it was before our games, but it was awesome to play in that atmosphere. I wasn't sure how many fans we had out there, but it was loud no matter what, and we were just enjoying it. And we just played our game.

MIKE BREY: It was a great atmosphere. Both teams really had great crowds. Even the fans that weren't really cheering for a team were loud all night too. So it was just a great atmosphere to play in.

Q. For the players, I mean, you all are returning next year, next season. How excited are you all that the ACC Tournament is going to be here at the Barclays Center?
MATT FARRELL: We're excited about that, but we're focused on the right now. We've got a lot of things to fix rafter this game, so we're not really thinking about that right now. Obviously, it's awesome it will be back here in Brooklyn. As we said, it's a great atmosphere. We're not thinking about that. We're focused on the next game. This one's over. But it will be exciting.

MATT FARRELL: It's just a great place to play basketball. Even though we are not worried about it right now, we still have one game in Brooklyn. But as far as next year, we're not worried about it right now.

Q. This is for both you guys as players. Early in the first five minutes of the second half, there were a lot of emotional, changing plays for you guys. Matt hits his first three-pointer, takes the charge. Steve has a little five-point outburst there, diving for a loose ball and everything. That first five-minute swing to get you guys emotionally back in it at the end of the first half wasn't very good. How did those emotional plays impact you guys?
MATT FARRELL: When I saw Steve get on the floor and him showing emotional, I knew we were going to go on a little run. You never see that guy smile or anything. It was awesome to see that. We got a little challenge in the locker room, so we wanted to come out with the edge we always play with. We went on a little run, made some big plays. Once everybody got involved, it was fun. It was fun to play that way.

V.J. BEACHEM: Like Matt said, Coach really getting into us at halftime, and Steve, the way he came out. He had a voice, and he was talking to us. Any time it's great like that, it's good for us.

Q. For both players, Demetrious didn't have necessarily the best scoring night, four guys in double figures, five guys nine or more points. Exactly how deep is this team and how deep can you guys go even without arguably your best player really chipping offensively? How long can you guys go in this tournament?
MATT FARRELL: Yeah, we've got a lot of great players on this team. We believe in ourselves, and we believe in each other. If V.J. isn't having a great night. He helped us in so many ways, the special player he is, and you just try to pick up the slack. No matter who is in there, they'll are going to play 100 percent, and all the teammates got their back. I think we're a very great team.

V.J. BEACHEM: As far as Demetrius, he had a great shot tonight even though his shot wasn't really falling. Looking at the numbers, I think he was great in the second half on Walton defensively. Any time he's playing downhill for us, that's what really helps our offense getting going. Even if he's not scoring, just getting that movement from him.

Q. No matter how much or how little Matt's playing there is a certain trust level that you can throw him in there for a spot start and you guys really don't miss a beat?
MIKE BREY: He gives us another ball handler on the floor. I think it helps Demetrius. He had four assists. He made some plays. I thought he was really good defensively. You know, it's interesting, he helped us win a bunch of games early, and then we got away from him, and we were winning. I give him a lot of credit because he kept the great attitude because it's hard, playing early, then not playing. Then we throw him to in there to start and he really delivered. But his teammates are confident in him, and I'm very confident in him.

Q. I'm curious, defense has been sort of an intermittent presence for your team this year. You held Michigan to below 30%. Terrific shooting team in the second half. I wonder what you saw, whether it was effort or schematically or whether this was a break through for the team?
MIKE BREY: This was like some of our really good wins, North Carolina, Louisville, where we almost have to have our life flashing before our very eyes, as we were at halftime, to dig in and defend. A lot of our great wins, we were down, and it was like, we've got to dig in, and we did. Again, to hold them to 22 or 23, we can play it when we need to. I'd like to see us play it a little longer, quite frank willy, and maybe I'll mention that tomorrow.

Q. At the other end of the courts, you guys really couldn't miss a shot the whole game, it seemed like. I know you threw the ball around a bit in the first half. How much of it was stuff you guys were doing? How much is breakdowns from Michigan?
MIKE BREY: This is two out of three games where we've had 15, 16, 17 turnovers. We led the nation in most amount of turnovers at 9. I asked them, can we safe it down to maybe 10 on Sunday and not throw it all over the place. We were big in the second half. We only played one big guy. It helped us defensively and it helped open the floor for some driving area and some screen roll stuff. I have a feeling we'll be in that on Sunday.

Q. You've always had a wing on the outside that can really stretch the floor and hit perimeter shots. V.J. gave you that tonight. He had a big game too against Duke in the ACC Tournament with Tim, with Ryan Ayers before that. How much has he evolved into that role, especially this season?
MIKE BREY: I'm really proud of him. A year ago, he didn't have a very good postseason. He didn't even play in the NCAA Tournament. He really struggled. For him to deliver like he did in D.C. and to deliver tonight when we really need him. It's a great kid who's a junior and has grown and matures, and he's a terrific guy.

Q. Coach, any thoughts on Stephen F. Austin? Are you familiar with them?
MIKE BREY: Yeah, and I know Coach Underwood. We're both Under Armour guys so we spent time together at a couple of Under Armour events, and he was trying to get me to play him and I said no way, but now I've got to play him no matter what. He did a terrific job. All I know is West Virginia had 22 turnovers, and we've been hitting the concession stand the last two weeks. So we'd better be great with the ball. They're a tough bunch. I was impressed. I watched before the game. They have a great toughness about them. This is an ACC game.

Tonight was an ACC game. We've got another ACC level game on Sunday.

Q. Go back to Matt for just one second. He came from a small high school. The level of competition was not great, then he steps up to Notre Dame, steps up to major college basketball. How much of a struggle was it for him early, and how much was he come along here the last two years?
MIKE BREY: I think he's really learned a lot. You think about what he has to deal with. He guards Demetrius Jackson every day in practice. What a great challenge. And he more than holds his own. He's really improved defensively, and even though he had a couple of turnovers tonight, overall, he's understood how to be better with the basketball. He's always been able to score it and take shots and make shots. When he played for us, though, he gets our shooter's shots. It's not just Demetrius breaking people down and making the extra pass, and he did that in the last regular season game against NC State and I felt we could come back to it. You ask him to start, and he delivered. I'm so proud of him.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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