Atlantic Coast Conference Operation Basketball

Wednesday October 26, 2016

Steve Vasturia

V.J. Beachem

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

THE MODERATOR: We have Steve Vasturia and V.J. Beachem. First question for Steve?

Q. Steve, just what you can say about the experience of back-to-back Elite Eights? And secondly, what Mike Brey is as a leader to you, and what you've taken away from him over the years?
STEVE VASTURIA: Yeah, so I think we've had a lot of success the past two years and it's been a great ride for us. The most important thing going forward especially as leaders is trying to carry that confidence over from our success the past two years. Obviously it's really difficult to get to the NCAA Tournament and win games in there. So I think leaders like myself, V.J., Bonzie Colson try to take that experience and pass it on to the young guys.

And Coach Brey obviously has been such a great leader and coach in this program for a lot of years, and I think he does an unbelievable job. But getting good guys, and guys who want to be able to play with each other and are unselfish, and we really have a culture that's really second to none. We've had a lot of success in my time here.

Q. Can you describe Coach Brey in one word?
STEVE VASTURIA: Energetic, I would say. He brings energy to practice every single day. He keeps the guys lose, which I think is really a benefit for us, and helps us play loose on the court. That's been evident over the past couple years.

Q. When you talk about the leadership that you and V.J. bring to the floor, what is about your relationship that seems to really exhibit itself out on the floor on game day?
STEVE VASTURIA: We've been part of the program, I think this is our fourth year. We've been able to learn and grow with each other on the court and off the court for four years. And I think that's something that really helps. We've had some great leaders over the past couple of years who have gone on and now playing in the NBA, and they've kind of taught us a lot about what it means to be a player in this program, what it means to lead on and off the court. We've kind of been able to learn and pick up things each year along the way. I know for me, I'm able to kind of grow in that regard and hopefully put it all together as a senior.

Q. Steve, you seem to see the floor very, very well. Uncommonly well it seems at times. What is your ability for that view of the floor for your ability to understand positioning? Have you had that since you were a kid or is that something over your high school and college career?
STEVE VASTURIA: I think I've been fortunate to play for a lot of great coaches and kind of learn to play the right way. Obviously, Coach Brey gets a lot of great guys. It's easy to play with guys who know how to play the game and are unselfish. In high school and AAU I had two great coaches, Speedy Morris, and Tony Sagona, who have been around the game for a long time. I was able to pick their brain for four or five years and kind of learn. So I think I was able to garner a good feel for the game.

Q. VJ, describe your teammate, Steve Vasturia.
V.J. BEACHEM: Steve is a great guy. He's been a great leader for us. Even last year he was the captain, and I think just his steadiness that he brings to us every day as far as how hard he practices and just his demeanor overall is great for our team.

Q. Just what you can say, same as Steve, about back-to-back Elite Eights, what that's meant for this team and kind of Mike Brey as a leader, how he's commanded the best out of you the last few years?
V.J. BEACHEM: Yeah, it's been a great feeling for our team and for our program to have the success that we've had, but we've lost some major pieces from that. So this year, even though of course that's the goal, but we're just trying to take it day by day to do the things that we've done in the past few years to get back there.

As far as playing for Coach Brey, just the free mind that he allows us to play with, especially on the offensive end is huge. He's always laid back, even though he knows when to get into us. But he always understands and he's a great coach.

Q. V.J., how difficult is it to play against the Syracuse 2-3 zone?
V.J. BEACHEM: It's tough because it's really not a 2-3 zone at all. It's really more like a four-around-one. The wings are so far out, it's hard to get open looks. But if you can get in the middle and ball screen it a little bit, that opens it up a little more. But just the way they play it is really unlike any other zone.

Q. You're obviously very prolific beyond the three-point arc, but given defenses like Syracuse that you don't see on a regular basis, how do you see your mentality going into a game like Syracuse, compared to how you prep yourself with other teams?
V.J. BEACHEM: In a game like Syracuse or even Virginia because they really pack up the lane and things like that, I have to know any open look, I've got to rise up and shoot it. I might not have another open look for a few possessions.

So any opportunity that I have is something that the coaches and my teammates have always stressed to me, just to rise up and shoot it, and we'll live with our chances.

Q. So as a follow-up, I'm hearing everybody has given you the green light; is that right?
V.J. BEACHEM: Yeah, everybody's given me the green light, especially Coach Brey. He even gets on me when I turn them down now.

Q. If we were to have Steve describe the type of athlete and student-athlete you are, what do you think he'd say about you?
V.J. BEACHEM: I would hope that he'd say I'm a good guy, first off, and that I'm hard-working, try to put others before myself, especially off the court. I've done a decent job of leading our group so far, along with him. I'm a great friend as far as our relationship off the court because we've had a lot of classes together and things like that.

Q. We know Coach has asked everybody to take it one day at a time. Do you look at the schedule when it comes out to get an idea of what the season might be like?
V.J. BEACHEM: I just skim over it. As far as the ACC schedule, I really didn't look much at that. I kind of looked more at our non-conference schedule. So I tried not to look too far ahead and take it day by day, and worry about who our next opponent is when it's time to watch film on them.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #1 by #170 at 2016-10-26 13:33:00 GMT

ASAP sports

tech 129