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March 16, 2012

Mike Brey

Jack Cooley

Jerian Grant


Xavier – 67
Notre Dame – 63

THE MODERATOR:  We'll start with an opening statement from coach and then take questions for the student‑athletes.
COACH BREY:  That's just a tough one for us.  I'm so proud of our group.  We battled and gave ourselves a chance to win.  It was a great basketball game.  They made some more plays.  I thought their veteran guards made some really big plays to escape with a win.  But it's a tough one for us because we felt we were in pretty good position to close it out.
THE MODERATOR:  Take questions for the student‑athletes.

Q.  I suppose this could go to either one of you but, Jerian, you had the ball.  What was the goal and the play with 12 seconds left coming out of the timeout?  What was the plan on that play?
JERIAN GRANT:  It was just use a ball screen, but they were in the zone.  And I seen Tu Holloway just sitting behind it, and it was an open look.  And usually I knock it down, so I took it.

Q.  What was kind of the reaction when you saw the lane violation get called?
JERIAN GRANT:  Just shock and disbelief.  You always hear that you never ‑‑ you can't call that at the end of a game or it's just let the kids play the game out.  And it hurts to lose on a call that ‑‑ I mean, we didn't lose on that call, but it hurts to end the game like that.

Q.  Jack, you ended up 8‑8 with 18 points.  I know it's tough hearing 8‑8 and you still come out with a loss, but what were you able to get going today?  And not very often you shoot a hundred percent from the field.  Where did that come from?
JACK COOLEY:  Really just Jerian and Eric getting me the ball when they saw mismatches and them just making great passes when I'm open.  Their penetration is what got me all open looks.  I was just making dump off layups.  I mean, it just‑‑ they were all just going in for me today.
THE MODERATOR:  Okay.  Thanks, guys.  Take questions for coach.

Q.  Tu Holloway was able to get loose and he played like the preseason All‑American that people expected him to be.  How tough was it to stop him getting into the lane when he was going like that?
COACH BREY:  I almost‑‑ you were waiting for it to happen.  He's so good in end game situations.  I sat here yesterday and talked about I saw him do it to Vanderbilt, come back and beat them there, saw them come back and beat Purdue.  So you know it's coming, you're just hoping you can weather it.  I thought overall we did a pretty good job on him and challenged some stuff and took some charges.  But he is‑‑ he's a great guard.  And he loves those end game moments, and he's done it time and time again.
Our young guards can learn something.  They played against some veteran guys tonight and I thought for the most part they held their own.  But their experience kind of played out at the end of the day.

Q.  Halftime lead by two, the game hadn't really broken either way.  It was small runs, nothing major.  Coming out of halftime, what were you hoping to switch up, slow down, speed up, anything?
COACH BREY:  Well, I think the last eight minutes of the first half, we finally were really burning clock and we played the whole game that way and that's how we had to play to have a chance to win it.  They're just too fast and there weren't as many possessions for Holloway and Lyons to get their hands on the ball which helped us.  But end game, they made some big plays.  We made some mistakes.  We couldn't close it out.  I love the tempo, the tempo was exactly where we needed to have it.  The first 10 minutes, no way, it was just too fast.

Q.  What were your thoughts of the last minute with the lane violation as well as the turnover?
COACH BREY:  We had a few things happen.  We told them to look to drive it, but he had hit some big shots, so I don't mind him taking that behind there with 12 seconds to go because he made some big ones for us and he really felt it.  We had some turnovers that really hurt us.  Before the lane violation that put us in a tough position and that's a tough one.  I mean, Mike Stuart's a big time official.  He refs in the Big East.  And we must have snuck in there a little too early.  It's too bad that happens, but there was a lot of plays, we missed some free throws.  There were a lot of plays that culminated in not being able to escape with a win.  And that's what we were going to have to do tonight.

Q.  Kind of awkward to ask about Scott Martin because there's the slim chance he's back next year, but presuming he's not can you reflect on what he's brought and then how tough it must be today?
COACH BREY:  Well, I hope we can get him back.  We should know something in the next two weeks.  But I don't know if I have had a captain do a better job and have to do it in crisis with his partner going down, Abromaitis, us not being very good, and him not playing well.  It's hard to lead in that situation and he did a great job.  He was great tonight.  At least I hear him talk and how he talks to our guys, he was steady tonight.  And I talked to our team I said, you know, we probably have everybody back in here.  So let's kind of use this as a learning experience and see if we can get back and see if we can advance past the first round.  But he's been fabulous.  He's a coach on the court.  I hope we can have him back.

Q.  I understand with the lane violation that the letter of the law operates a certain way, but in terms of like the spirit of the way it should work in a close NCAA tournament game, do you feel like‑‑ same thing that happened to Asheville, seems like the refs are maybe pulling the trigger a little too quickly on that sort of thing?
COACH BREY:  No.  That was a veteran official who's had a lot of games.  And so I, you know, I rely on his judgment.  I will watch the tape later.  And I guess we must have had‑‑ it's all advantage gained.  And we, I guess we must have had a heck of an advantage there with him running down the lane.  And I would like to look to see if the ball was in the net, but again Mike Stuart's refed a lot of games he's had a lot of Big East games.  I think he's one of the better officials around.  They're worn out from a day of hoops.  They're worn out from a day of hoops.  Thank you.
THE MODERATOR:  Thanks, coach.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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