March 10, 2011
Notre Dame – 89
Cincinnati - 51
An Interview With:
COACH BREY: Obviously we were ready to play. We got out of the gate great. Our offensive efficiency was excellent. I thought we did a good enough job on the backboard of not letting them get second shots early, that's what you're worried about with them.
I thought we made a good job of making decisions when they pressed us to get open looks when we had numbers advantages and it's good to play well on that floor because we would like to keep playing here for a while.
Q. Mike, when did you get an indication during shootaround today where you knew these guys were ready to play and play this well?
COACH BREY: Tom, I think in our practices, in our flight out, these guys came out with focus. We made some comparisons to the Old Spice where we won three in a row and won a championship and the same format coming. Our captains, these three guys especially have done a great job talking about getting our program to Saturday night here so they were good all week.
Q. Mike, there has been a lot of talk about the double bye and how it's more of a be hindrance than a help but you guys handled it well. Did you do anything differently?
COACH BREY: To stay loose starting with the Villanova game we play knock out at the end of our shootaround and I'm involved I knocked Carleton Scott out before the Connecticut game and when I got behind him in line today he was nervous, Tom Knight knocked me out, and we were loose here.
We've attacked and played the win during the regular season, my biggest concern was with the dynamic change and we're a high seed and the double bye and all that, but these guys have been in a good frame of mind after tacking and going for it.
We take one more step.
CARLETON SCOTT: Just for the record, Coach was shooting free throws and we were shooting 3 pointers. That's why he beat us.
Q. Ben, talk about the extra rest?
BEN HANSBROUGH: I think it's a matter of how you prepare and I think this group has prepared tremendously all year. You can look at it either one or two ways, a bunch of young guys would look at it that maybe we don't prepare the best but we prepared ourselves mentally and take our mental preparation to the next level and we did that through practice. Coach Mike Brey did a great job of pushing us. I thought the blue team brought it at us the past practices and that's been good for us, to compete and to see each other in practice.
Q. Carleton, how aware were you guys of the result earlier today with Pittsburgh losing opening the door here a little bit and maybe the No. 1 seed tournament conversation if you guys took care of business?
CARLETON SCOTT: We were focusing on what we had to do. We can't control anything else but what we can control.
We came in and had a good mental focus and said hey, we'll take care of business, and let the rest come out on Sunday.
Q. Mike, I know you don't care about No. 1 seeds and offensively that but it's in the conversation. Do you feel like your team belongs in that conversation?
COACH BREY: Absolutely, we do. I haven't talked to them about that much because we talked about coming here and getting our program to Saturday night. Somewhere we've never been and I feel it's the next step after we've been so consistent, we've been to the semis, but strong resume for it, absolutely.
Q. With all of the conversation going on how do you guard your guys against them and do you try and embrace it? Do you insulate them from it?
COACH BREY: NCAA Tournament conversation? They've been good. I told them when we got back from Connecticut I said I don't want anybody quoted talking about the NCAA Tournament and these guys are men. They've been around. They talk about it but let's talk about New York. We put a highlight together, tape, centered on playing in New York, didn't talk about the NCAA or No. 1 seed, certainly that could take care of itself but I'm not worried about focus with the maturity of the group.
Q. Mike, you were up 13 5 when Ty got his second foul and you out scored them the rest of the half. Did you anticipate that they would try to go to Gates early?
COACH BREY: Yeah, and it wasn't a great foul by him, but Jack comes in and has given us good stuff and Eric gives us good stuff. We played differently and to Nash's credit I told him in the locker room I said you're playing all 20 minutes in the second half. He smiled, he gets a bucket early and it gets him going, I've said sometimes we have six starters, sometimes we have seven starters and every one of these guys has sat out when our other nucleus has made a run, Ben sat out of some games in Orlando, Carleton in the Gonzaga game didn't play everybody has been odd man out and the guy sitting out is secure enough to know "I'm going to get my chance."
Q. Mike, coming into this tournament you'd won 11 12, and then you had the performance like you had tonight. What does that say about this crazy conference that you guys are getting better and better?
COACH BREY: I was talking to Jack Swarbrick coming over here and when you have a performance like that on this stage it's something you're proud of and hopefully our guys are. I hope it can give us momentum to play in New York, everybody is watching our tournament. Kansas City is watching our tournament, Greensboro is watching our tournament, they're watching, we threw a fan out tonight, was that my dad they threw out tonight? Only in the Big East they got a fan thrown out. That will be on ESPN later.
So to do it on Broadway, I took these guys to Jersey Boys on Tuesday not so much for the entertainment or the culture, I wanted them to see the best actors and chemistry and how a group plays off of each other because I believe that's what they've done this year. So we were like Jersey Boys tonight we were all doin' our thing.
You want to sing the songs let's get out of here! (Chuckles.)
THE MODERATOR: Thanks very much.