Below is what Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey said about facing Indiana after a 64-56 Hoosiers win on Saturday afternoon in Indianapolis.
On Trayce Jackson-Davis —
MIKE BREY: He is really gifted. He had his numbers. We were afraid of coming down there and really all-out doubling because, again, if they make too many threes, they’re too far away from you, and overall, I thought we did a pretty good job, Paul and Nate, wrestling him, with a little help.
But he is a physical specimen, and he really plays with a nice demeanor. He has a great demeanor, and then the defensive presence as far as blocking shots. He is a great talent. I remember him as a young player here in the state and to see who he has become. I love his demeanor. He just kind of plays, and he gets banged on a lot. And, you know, we had the hard foul incident, and him and Cormac Ryan are like, I know what — he is — he has a great frame of mind.
On Jackson-Davis as a rim protector for IU —
MIKE BREY: Well, he is just so good. I mean, I think we had two possessions where we got it to Atkinson, right, with a chance to maybe take the lead, and it was one-on-one in the post, and Paul — I think Paul is still in a little bit of an adjustment period coming from the Ivy League playing against Trayce Jackson-Davis kind of bodies that keep coming at him.
And I thought he made an unbelievable play on the reverse layup to block it. It’s just a big-time NBA prospect defensive play. Atkinson looked around like where did he come from?
Again, he has a good demeanor. He has a great tempo. He is long. He is up above the rim. When you have a guy that can take away some stuff at the rim defensively, it does help your defense. It really makes your other guys confident, and they have that with him back there.
On deciding whether or not to trap the post against IU —
MIKE BREY: That was the dilemma really the whole night, and he (Jackson-Davis) is getting some layups and some twos, and we were able to — the other night against Kentucky, they couldn’t make any of them, and we started to help more.
I just felt — I felt like they were all better shooters tonight no matter what their numbers say because the atmosphere sometimes make you feel like you’re a better shooter than your percentages, and so I’m thinking if too many of them go in, we’re not — if we were — we would have been down 15 or 17. We were down ten, and we had it within striking distance, and so that’s a dilemma for us. How do we help our big guys in the post, and how do you not give up so many threes?
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