Irish matchup at Delaware serves as homecoming for Mike Brey

NOW: Irish matchup at Delaware serves as homecoming for Mike Brey

Notre Dame men's hoops will hit the road this weekend, searching for a much-needed victory, but the meaning of Saturday's game against Delaware extends to the sidelines.

Head coach Mike Brey has strong ties to the opponents, as he coached at Delaware before coming to Notre Dame in 2000.

This will be the first time Brey has returned to Newark since taking the job here with the Irish, making it a homecoming and reunion of sorts.

"Man I was fortunate," he said of his time at UD. "I had really good players. If I didn't have good players, I don't get this job. A bunch of those guys will be around. Those are the guys that will be neat to see. The guys who played for me there. We won two [conference] championships, and if it wasn't for those guys, I wouldn't be coaching here."

Beyond that, a former member of Brey's staff now holds his old position. Former Notre Dame assistant Martin Ingelsby is in his second season coaching the Blue Hens after spending 13 in South Bend.

"I'll see a lot of faces when I walk out there," he said. "Practice tomorrow night, I think I'll do a lot of reminiscing. You know, to play against Martin [brings] weird feelings. You almost don't want to compete against your former guys, but business is business."

That business is first and foremost for the Irish, who have lost two of their last three games since earning a top-five ranking early this season.

A win would go a long way towards forgetting Tuesday's final-second upset by Ball State. That loss came less than two weeks after a championship run in the Maui Invitational, serving as a tough fall from grace for Notre Dame. However, they say the ups and downs are expected in a long season.

"Having this mood change after that loss, you just have to be steady," said senior guard Matt Farrell. "We're in Maui ... and everybody's loving us. Then we lose to Ball State and everybody hates us. It's the way it is. That's college basketball, but we're not worried about that and never have been."

Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Saturday.

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