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March 11, 2017

Mike Brey

V.J. Beachem

Steve Vasturia

New York, New York

Duke - 75, Notre Dame - 69

COACH BREY: What a great final. It was a great college game. I'm really proud of our group. You've got to give Duke credit. They made some big shots and big plays. Tatum was hard for us to deal with.

When we were up six, we had some really clean looks from three. We needed a couple of those to go down to escape and couldn't do it.

Q. Mike, phenomenal game. That two-minute stretch at the end when Tatum just kind of took over, what happened there? It looked like he had the block and the driving layup. Was it just a matter of his brilliance taking over?
COACH BREY: He's really gifted. The Matt Jones three is on me because I told him run at him. I told Matt Farrell, we've got to run at him. To his credit, he made a great pass, and Jones made a big jumper.

The thing of it was, we weren't helping much because we were giving up twos. And the score -- they couldn't get away from us. Even though they shot a high percentage, they weren't ripping it from three, and we were able to stay in it and hang in there. But we ran at them, and they've delivered. They've done that in the last three games. They've really made big shots to win the thing. I take my hat off to them.

Q. Mike, from the reaction of your bench, it appeared at 32 seconds you thought Matt Jones stepped inbounds. Did you see it?
COACH BREY: I thought he did. I thought he stepped on the in line. That's why I was just trying to -- I don't know if there was a replay. I thought he did. A lot of commotion, though, at that time. We certainly could have used some help right there to get that ball back because then Jones hits the three.

The officiating -- the game was officiated by three pros, and that's why the game was a great college game.

Q. Mike, when you had Zach Auguste, Bonzie was the stretch four. Do we call him the stretch five now? Just talk about his performance tonight, on the glass and really all over the court.
COACH BREY: It's one of the great performances in championship game history. Now, our fans don't know about the history of the ACC Championship game. We've only been in the league four years. But what he did willing us and keeping us in it and making big plays and chasing down loose balls, it's a great performance. And he's so confident. He's a tough matchup now that he can step up and make jump shots.

We need to get him a lot of rest. I hope we don't play until Friday. We could use some rest.

Q. Is his ankle okay?
COACH BREY: Yeah, it was a twist, so I think a couple of days, he'll be fine. Luckily, it wasn't bad. He'll be 100 percent by the time we play again.

Q. V.J., you guys have done so well from three-point land this week and for a while. Tonight just seemed to really not be your night. What was going on with the shooting? Were you guys a little heavy legged with the three games? Was it their defense? What do you think?
V.J. BEACHEM: I think we got the usual great looks we're used to getting. We might have been a little tired, but we just didn't knock them down. We got some rest and some time to get our legs under us and come back ready to play next weekend.

STEVE VASTURIA: I think we got great looks, and we usually step up and knock them down. That's all you can ask for. Matt did a great job of getting guys open and finding them. I think we'll take those shots every day. It's up to us to knock them down.

Q. Mike, a little bit more, you're talking about Jayson and the performance he's had here. He played well against you guys earlier in the year too. I'm wondering how you've seen him develop. He looks NBA-ready these days.
COACH BREY: Yeah, I said in our thing -- I said, if he's not the 1 pick. I've got to see the guy who's the 1 pick. I know there's all those projections.

You know, he plays with the poise and pace now of an older player. I think they've done a great job bringing him along, putting him in situations where he can be really successful. He's an amazingly gifted guy, and he has a great demeanor. He just kind of stays calm and plays.

I think what's shocking is, when you're standing on the floor, how big he is. His size is imposing that he gets up over the top of people.

Q. The shots weren't always falling, but it felt like on offense, especially in the half-court, you were getting really good looks. What is it about your offense, both the personnel and the structure, that makes it run so smoothly?
COACH BREY: It's funny. It's not much structure. We just kind of ball. We just kind of play. But we have high basketball IQ guys. Spacing has always been a key for us, but you need a guy at the controls like Matt Farrell that can break the thing down off a ball screen and then kick to these guys.

Again, we're great with the ball. We already had six turnovers tonight. We're pretty efficient. We know who we are. But we need to make a few more of those open looks to beat a team like that. And to beat Florida State last night, we had to make more of them than we did. We couldn't tonight.

STEVE VASTURIA: I think just having great spacing. We had a bunch of great looks, and I think that's just the way we've been playing all season long. I'm confident that, going forward, people are going to continue to step up and make those shots. Yeah, we were in the right position, so you've just got to step up and knock them down.

V.J. BEACHEM: The same thing as far as the spacing, and then just playing fearless as far as driving the ball and rising up and shooting the open two.

Q. Colson took the loss hard, understandably. How is he doing back there, and how is his ankle now?
COACH BREY: I think his ankle is going to be fine. Luckily, it was just a little bit of a twist and not a sprain. He'll be sore for a couple of days.

Bonzie is bouncing back. You know, it was neat, after I talked to them, he was the one that was telling guys to keep their head up. I think the guy that was hurting the most was Matt Farrell. He really wanted -- we all wanted it, but he's going to have the hardest time getting over it.

Thank God the Selection Show is in, what -- not long. What day is it? When we've been playing the late night, I run into -- there we go. Thank you, Michael.

Q. Question for V.J. and Steve. V.J., you had a resounding dunk to make it 56-48, pretty comfortable lead, I would say, at that time although 11 minutes left. In each of Duke's three comebacks, there's been a basket or two, a play or two that's really gotten them going. I would like your guys' opinion, even before the Jayson Tatum show late, what were the plays they made that got them energized?
V.J. BEACHEM: The play that really sticks out in my mind is Jefferson got an and-one to cut it from eight to five. Then I think we got some more good looks and just didn't knock them down, but I think that play right there kind of kept them in it.

STEVE VASTURIA: There was a corner three from, I think it was Jackson, but I think we've done a really good job of stringing together stops the last two games. Tonight I don't think we -- we obviously didn't get as many as we needed to at the end of the game.

Q. Coach Brey, what did you see in Jayson Tatum, and why is it so hard to play against him? And do you think he's the best freshman in the country right now?
COACH BREY: Yes, I think he's the best freshman. I've seen a bunch of them play. To see his improvement has been really interesting to watch through the league.

First of all, like I said, his size is -- he's got to be 6'9", and I don't know what they list him at. He's really long and big. And then he's got the ability to shoot a jump shot and put it on the floor. Then you can be in great position. Steve was in great position many times, and he gets up over you to get a shot. There's not much you can do about that.

But, again, I think his demeanor is to be complimented. For a young guy, he's got the poise of an older guy.

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