Dec. 4, 2011
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Clemson Head Coach Brad Brownell
Overall thoughts: “It’s a disappointing loss, certainly. I thought we played really well in the first half. We executed and made shots, and we had a working margin. In the second half, both teams were just grinding it out. Baskets were hard to come by. That was really the difference–we had some open threes that my shooters that normally make, and we had some plays in the paint that got blocked, or we missed or we hurried. I thought both teams competed extremely hard and went after each other. We defended really well, but you have to find a way to scrape together a few more points. We just didn’t get it done.”
On the defensive philosophy down the stretch of the game: “You’re just trying to make it hard for them to get the ball in. We certainly were trying to make it hard for (Bruce) Ellington. With that little time, you don’t have a lot of choices. You’re just trying to pressure and make sure you have time to get something coming back.”
On the inability to convert easy baskets: “Those are back-breaking plays, when you get it to a point in your offense when you get it where you want to get it and you don’t get anything out of it. It’s frustrating, but that’s really the game. At the end of the day, your guys have to find a way to get the ball in the basket. I thought we did a pretty good job. We were pretty patient. We got a lot of paint touches, and we got some kick-out threes against the zone. There are going to be some nights–and there have been two right now–where Andre (Young) goes 2-for-9. Those nights, we’ve lost both games. But that wasn’t the overriding factor. The factor was that we had it around the rim several times in the paint and didn’t come away with any points. You have to get fouled. You have to do something. They even blocked one that hit the backboard first.”
On trying to get his team to improve: “We need to be playing better in February. That’s when you want to play your best basketball. At the beginning of the season, you’re still trying to figure things out a little bit. It would be great if this game was like the football rivalry, if it was the last game of the season, in some ways. Our job is to try to make our guys as good as they can be throughout the long race, and we’ll get back to work on Monday.”
South Carolina Head Coach Darrin Horn
Overall thoughts: “I think we all got what you’d expect from a rivalry game today. We played extremely hard, both teams made a lot of big shots down the stretch. I’ve been saying all year that once everyone started doing what they were supposed to do, this was going to be a different team. I think we showed today that we have some bite in us. When everybody does what they’re capable of, we have the ability to be a good team. We made a lot of good plays in the last 10 minutes alone. I’m really proud of these guys’ effort tonight and the way that we fought. It was a total team effort.
On what to take from this win: “There are a lot of positives we can take from this game. We’re going to have to win games like this on the road to be a good basketball team. We need to be able to fight and scrap like we did today to get a win. We thought we were playing well at halftime, defensively and offensively. We weren’t rebounding the ball well in the first half, but we did our job in the second half.
On three-point basket with 1:19 to go: “We wanted Anthony [Gill] to take that shot. If you noticed, we called his number a lot tonight. He showed a lot more assertiveness today, which is what we wanted. We talked to all our guys about what they needed to do to make our team better, and Anthony’s was to be assertive and aggressive. He’s a matchup problem, and he really stepped up tonight, especially when it mattered most.”
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