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Clemson vs. Florida State Postgame Coaches’ Quotes

Jan. 7, 2012

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Clemson Head Coach Brad Brownell

Overall thoughts: “It was a great win for our guys. I thought we were really ready to play. I was quietly optimistic. I thought we had a great week of practice. Our players were locked in and really focused, and we competed hard. I thought the second half of East Tennessee State put our guys in good spirits. We made a lot of tough plays today. We made 11 straight stops in the first half and we were able to score off of a bunch of those. Then we did a really good job of just keeping them at bay. It’s really hard, when you have a lead like that, to keep it at a point where you can relax a little bit. Our guys did a good job of hanging in there, finishing plays, and making free throws. We got contributions from a lot of guys.”

On how his team’s early run affected the game: “Games change, and games are different. Certainly, when we jumped out, it changed a little bit of the way Florida State had to play. They had to come out and try to get into us, and it opened the court for us to be able to drive the ball more. That’s one of the reasons why we had so many free throws. We were in a situation where we could attack. I’m certainly unbelievably proud of how hard our guys competed and the way they defended at a very high level today. Florida State is the kind of team that crashes the board so much that you know if you can get a defensive rebound, you have a chance to go attack them. They are hard to keep off the glass. They got a bunch of offensive rebounds, but we also got a few layups.”

On Andre Young’s ability to get to the free throw line: “Part of it is the way the game was played and the way they defended. It shows his improvement as a player, though, to be able to put the ball on the floor and create more. That’s not something that he’s done as much throughout his career. We worked really hard with him this spring, and he did a great job this spring and summer working on his skills. That has helped him attack the basket.”

On the play of Catalin Baciu, particularly in the first half: “He’s a big kid. When he’s comfortable and when he’s locked in, he can be a problem for people, especially when we’ve got them spread out a little bit. I thought our guys did a phenomenal job of leading him to baskets. He’s holding the guy off, but our guys are passing it to him where all he has to do is turn and hook it in quickly. We had a couple of guys make feeds to him where that was all he really had to do. I thought they did a good job of really finding him.”

On how this team compares to last year’s group: “We’re not where we were last year. We played a very good game today, but we’re not where we were last year right now. We’ve got a lot more things that we have to do better. But I do think our team is improving. I thought Hawaii was good for us to get some freshmen some time to play. They didn’t all play very well at times, and I reminded them that we didn’t win very much in Hawaii. So they didn’t play very much against East Tennessee. That was part of a teaching moment for me with those guys. But I also told them that we can’t survive the ACC playing six guys, so they’re going to have to play and earn their time in practice. This week, they practiced much better. We got their focus back, and they were much more competitive in practice. That’s what they have to do. They have to help us. I’ve been talking all year about how we don’t have a home run hitter. We don’t have a guy that we can pencil in 18 points for. But we have a lot of guys that, if they play well, we can do good things. But we’ve had a hard time having multiple players play well, especially offensively, on a given night. Today, we did.”

Florida State Head Coach Leonard Hamilton

Overall Thoughts: “That was one of our worst games. It just wasn’t a well-played game. I didn’t see that coming because we had had a good week of practice. We played with an extreme amount of energy the other night against Auburn, and we didn’t bring that type of energy tonight. We had about seven open looks that we only made one of. That was disappointing. They went on that run in the first half and we just couldn’t dig ourselves out of that hole. This was uncharacteristic focus for our team. We’re usually able to bounce back and go on a run and get back in it, but we just didn’t give that kind energy tonight.”

On scoreless drought in the first half: “That’s been the norm for this team. We’ve been on a lot of runs this year where we haven’t been able to score, even though we’ve gotten good shots up. We evaluate all the film and the guys work hard in practice and are focused, but sometimes we can’t translate that effort onto the court in a game. We need to fix that, fast.”

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