Atlantic Coast Conference Operation Basketball

Wednesday October 25, 2017

Bonzie Colson

Matt Farrell

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Q. Just what you can say about the decision in returning to Notre Dame and being a part of the team this year and just what you can say about secondly the weapons that you have on the team this year.
BONZIE COLSON: Yeah, after a lot of discussion with Coach and my family, it was just the right decision for me to come back for my senior year. I knew I had a lot of development on both sides of the floor that I needed to work on. But obviously getting the degree from Notre Dame is what I went to Notre Dame for, and I knew I was a four-year guy. Speaking on the team, I think we're hungry and we're motivated to do a lot of damage this year, and I think we have a lot of guys ready to step into new roles and to show their talents on the floor.

Q. Where do you get your fire from?
BONZIE COLSON: I think that's just something my parents raised me, playing every game like it's your last, going out there, playing hard, and just playing with that edge and that swagger. We have a great coaching staff and a great coach like Mike Brey who gives you a lot of confidence. I think it's just easy for you to play out there.

Q. Obviously you're a senior, you're a team leader. You've played with a bunch of great student-athletes. Is there one particular teammate that you uphold the qualities from leadership from that you will try to model this year?
BONZIE COLSON: I wouldn't say there's one teammate. I think my freshman year Jerrion Grant and Pat Carlton did a great job of leading, and they taught me a lot of things, just how to trust your teammates, and they told me when I wasn't playing, take my practices as my games, and I did that, and then everything just kind of worked out from there.

But yeah, leaders that give you a lot of confidence, and you have a great relationship on and off the court, I think it makes it easy to play.

Q. What is it about Mike Brey that makes him such a special coach in your opinion to command the best out of you guys?
BONZIE COLSON: Yeah, I think he's just a smooth, cool, confident guy who just gives a lot of his players the confidence in the world, and I think when you have a guy like that who comes into practice and jokes around and laughs with you and just wants to learn about you more than just basketball, I think it's easy to play, and he's one of those guys you can talk to about anything. He's always there for you, and he's one of the loosest coaches in America.

Q. Preseason ranking of No. 14 coming into the season; what does that mean to you, and what are your expectations for the season?
BONZIE COLSON: I think that's a blessing for us as a team. You know, something that we're staying humble, we're staying hungry in practice, every day we're battling, and it's something for us to build on. It's great thing to be acknowledged like that. You can talk about it, but you've got to be able to go out there and play and show the country who we are on both sides of the floor.

Q. Tell us about Matt Farrell.
BONZIE COLSON: Yeah, Matt Farrell, that's one of my best friends. We've roomed together since freshman year, and he has -- he plays with that fire, that edge every game. He's really coming into his own. He had a great opportunity, and when coach Brey called his name, he stepped in and played his tail off. We have a guy who can do both. He's playing first point guard but also can score. It's a lot of opportunities for him. I'm excited to play with him my last senior year, and go Irish.

Q. Having the third most assists in the ACC last season, just what you can say about the weapons you have this year to dish the ball out to on the team.
MATT FARRELL: Yeah, I think Rex Pflueger and T.J. Gibbs are going to step into new roles, and I think they're excited about it. But that gives me an opportunity to be off the ball a little bit, gives a chance for those guys to get in the lane and make plays. So I'm just excited to play with them. Like I said, they've got new roles, and I'm really excited for them.

Q. We've all watched the emotional career that you've had, obviously family in the military, and you coming off the bench and bringing your lunch pail with you just about every game, what's the experience been like for you?
MATT FARRELL: It's been a blessing for me. Since freshman year, if you were to tell me I would be here right now, I don't know if I would have believed it. But it's just about the culture we have at Notre Dame, the environment that we have, the coaching staff, the players. That all makes a difference, and I think that really helped me to just keep my confidence up and to just keep doing what I do and just keep believing in the system, and that's what you've got to do day by day.

Q. What you can say about Bonzie and the weapon that he has been; some consider him one of the best if not the best forward out there. What does he do for this team and how is it playing with him?
MATT FARRELL: Yeah, people ask me about Bonzie all the time, and I never really have an answer. He just does what he does. He's a really special player, even better person. But like you said, he has that fire, and he gets us going. He's a workhorse on the boards, and he just plays to win. He wants to win, and that gets our whole team going.

Q. Do you have to win a trophy this year in order to call the season a success?
MATT FARRELL: You know, we'd like to, obviously, but our main goal is to get better every day. We're fortunate enough to have a couple good runs the last couple years, but like I said, we're going to take it day by day and just try to win as many games as we can.

Q. We know coach Brey is a game coach because we see it all the time. What type of practice coach is he?
MATT FARRELL: Like Bonzie mentioned, he's joking around. He's like one of the boys. He's just a great person to be around. He's always having fun, and like Bonzie said, he's always cool, he's always calm, and I think that instills a lot of confidence in us. He's just a great coach and even better person to be around.

Q. You talk about taking it day-to-day, but it's a grind. Talk about pacing yourself throughout the year and just kind of taking it from game to game.
MATT FARRELL: Yeah, absolutely. We're not perfect, we're going to take some hits throughout the year. We have a really tough non-conference schedule, and then we've got a tough ACC schedule. It is a grind. It's something that we embrace, something our program has embraced since I've been here. Like I said, we're going to take punches, but we're going to take it day by day. We've got to get better every day, and we've got to make strides every day.

Q. You obviously learned about the grind as a freshman; what now as a senior can you teach the younger kids about pace and keeping your head about you throughout a long season?
MATT FARRELL: Just to trust the process and trust the culture that we have here. You've got to believe in the coaching staff. You've got to believe in

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #1 by #166 at 2017-10-25 13:12:00 GMT

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