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March 15, 2017

Mike Brey

Buffalo, New York

THE MODERATOR: Before we get started with head coach Mike Brey, I want to note Alan Wasielewski from Notre Dame the sports information staff is here to help you with any other needs you have with Notre Dame student-athletes or coaches. Before we take questions we'll have an opening statement.

MIKE BREY: I love Lake effect. I live in Lake effect in South Bend. This is no different than a January game, January night, in South Bend, Indiana. But it never gets old. Just thrilled to be part of the Tournament. I think we got some rest since playing the night shift in Brooklyn and excited to play a very good Princeton team tomorrow.

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Coach Brey?

Q. Mike, could you just give us a brief recap of where Bonzie is with the -- Bonzie Colson with the injury?
MIKE BREY: Yeah. He's much better, Tim. We had some swelling on Saturday and Sunday -- Sunday and Monday, I should say, and it's come down a lot. He's made great progress, doing a little bit more every day. You know, I think by noon tomorrow, he's one of those guys, he's such a warrior, that you tape him, you give him a couple Advil, and cut him loose.

Q. What's your greatest concern or concerns with Princeton?
MIKE BREY: Well, they're so efficient offensively, I think the three-point line is your major concern, you know? 45 percent of their shots are from the arc, and they're really efficient, can really shoot it from out there. Chasing people off the arc. Now, that's something we've been pretty good at this year, taking away the arc and getting out. I think we're third or fourth in the ACC in three-point field-goal percentage defense. But I think that's a key and then keeping them off the foul line.

Q. Yeah, Coach, two questions on Matt Farrell. People have compared his demeanor to Bobby Hurley's demeanor. Could you speak to that? Secondly, I read where Hurley called you during the recruiting process. What was behind that. Why did he call? Was it a Jersey thing? His dad or what?
MIKE BREY: Well, the demeanor and the edge are the same. It's that I-95, New Jersey edge that both of them have. Actually, obviously, I know Bobby well, recruited him. He tried to recruit him for her at U.B., I believe, at the time and knew him and called me, actually the day I was going down to watch him. He said Coach, I usually don't get involved. He said, I just love him. He kind of made a comment, he remind he's of myself. I said, well this evaluation is now over, I know what to do. I think he's better than Hurley because he shoots it better. He shoots it better than Hurley.

Q. Better overall?

Q. He's not First Team All American?
MIKE BREY: I think he's a better player than Hurley, because he shoots it better.

Q. In some ways, do you feel Bonzie kind of epitomizes your whole program? I was asking, you guys always fly under the radar. You fly under the radar. Bonzie flies under the radar. Are you all one and the same?
MIKE BREY: We must need to hire a new marketing department. Why are we always flying under the radar? We've pretty darn good. Bonz has been that undersized guy that when he was being recruited, no one was sure, is he going to be big enough? Is he productive enough? He probably does epitomize who we've been. Harangody was in that line. You covered him closely when we were in the Big East. We had a lot of guys like that. Bonz, he's a good front cover guy for that.

Q. I know you said you're familiar with Lake-effect snow, but you also have a connection to Buffalo with your son playing football at U.B.?
MIKE BREY: Big time.

Q. How much time did you spend here and what was your are experience like?
MIKE BREY: I still have an open bar tab at the Marriott Amherst. I'm going to have to clear that from 2008. 2008 MAC champs, baby. My son had a fabulous experience at U.B. They won the MAC. As much -- as many big games and exciting games as I've been part of -- and tomorrow will be one -- there's nothing like watching your son play and watching him play a MAC championship in Ford Field back in 2008. He gave us the scouting report on the steakhouse last night, but a lot of great memories here at Buffalo and of U.B.

Q. As a follow-up, he just got a job in a high school in North Carolina. What's that like for you?
MIKE BREY: He's a head coach now. He's saying he's all fired up. They're ready to go. They're moving to Charlotte. He did the college thing; he's going to do the high school thing. I'm kind of his agent. He would be pretty good back at U.B. someday. He'd be pretty good in about six or seven years back at U.B. Let's talk U.B. football, not basketball. Let's talk MAC champs 2008.

Q. I was wondering and watching tape on Princeton, if you see a little bit of yourself?
MIKE BREY: Absolutely. Absolutely. One thing I said to our guys right after the selection show, I said, it's like guarding ourselves every day. You know? They don't turn it over; we don't turn it over. They don't miss free throws; we don't miss free throws. They can shoot it from the arc, and they know how to play and know who they are. It's very, very similar. A coach very familiar with them said to me, they're smart and they're tough, like you. And it really is. And again, they've gotten away from just the pure Princeton offense. They're flowing a little bit more, which is how we played at Notre Dame. They still have Princeton tendencies, but they are a little more -- they are not married to the predictable movement every time down.

Two very similar basketball teams, efficient and smart and know who they are and old. But here's the difference. Now I know why Mitch Henderson looks so dang healthy. He hasn't lost since December 22nd. I mean, that's really good for your blood pressure in this business. He has not lost since December. What is that like? You go through two months and you don't lose? Must be nice.

Q. You talked a little about this Sunday night after the selection, but going back to the Princeton offense, I mean, it used to be like way back in the day, it would be like playing a real unusual team, but now, I mean, it's sort of -- everybody sort of coopted a little bit the spacing and shooting. Could you comment on that, and do they have more back-cuts still than other teams?
MIKE BREY: They still cut. They still really go without it in back-cut. I think the tendencies are all there, that's drilled into you in the Princeton stuff, and these kids ran pure Princeton as young guys. I think it's really interesting and brilliant what Mitch has done to get away from it, just, you know, that structure every possession, and open the floor up a little bit and play. And, you know, that's kind of how we built our program. If you recruit high basketball IQ guys, you can give them some freedom to play and I think Mitch has done a fabulous job. I also think he's one of the bright young coaches in our profession. He's really gifted.

THE MODERATOR: Any other questions for Coach Brey? If not, Coach, good luck tomorrow.

MIKE BREY: Who are we? Remember that cheer?


MIKE BREY: I remember that cheer, baby whoo hoo!

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