Clemson Head Coach Brad BrownellOverall thoughts:“This was a great win for our team today. I am very happy for several of our players, especially Milton (Jennings). He played outstanding and hit a lot of clutch free throws. He rebounded the ball and was terrific down the stretch. Obviously K.J.’s (McDaniels) first three outside shots at the beginning of the game got us off to a great start. He got in a little foul trouble, but played solid. Damarcus Harrison played like the guy I saw when I was recruiting him a couple of years ago. He was outstanding and played with so much more confidence. Harrison has had a great year for us defensively; he just hasn’t played as well offensively as we thought he would. He has been working at it, and a lot of it is confidence.
“I was happy to see those guys play as well as they did when (Devin) Booker was feeling under the weather and not himself. It was a good way for our team to win this one.”
On different players stepping up:“Damarcus has shot the ball very well in practice, in fact, just yesterday he made three three-pointers. When he first got here, he was so out of shape and consequently, he was not shooting well. I left him alone, but it wasn’t improving. We decided to work with him on his shooting, and it’s very good to see his hard work pay off. Confidence in games is the most important thing. Positive playing experiences make you grow as a player. For Harrison to play well throughout the course of the game and during crunch time was very good to see.
“I am really happy for Milton because he has worked very hard. I have said many times I think he is criticized probably more than he should be. In games like today, he was the difference-maker. If he misses a couple of those free throws, then the game turns. I was really pleased for him.”
On Virginia Tech playing so much zone:“I knew they would play us in a lot of zone, definitely more than we have seen this year. When they pack it in as much as they do, then shots from the outside are going to open up. Obviously that will also take away some of Booker’s looks, but I was happy to see that we made those rhythm shots that you have to make against a zone.”
Virginia Tech Head Coach James JohnsonOn Clemson’s outside shooting:“Nothing went wrong. They made shots. If we’re in man and they make threes, what went wrong in man? If we’re in zone and they make 10 threes, what went wrong in zone? They’re coming in last in the league (in three-point shooting). We’re not in a position where I thought we could guard their post guys inside. We’ve got to try to play some statistics, we’ve got to try to play some zone and take them out and make them do something that they can’t do or they haven’t done, and they made shots tonight.”
On if his team has a problem defending the three:“I just think that guys are knocking shots down. They’re playing with confidence and knocking shots down. When you’re watching tape, they’ve got the same looks against other teams and they haven’t knocked the shots down. It seems like teams get better against the Hokies.”
On his team’s resolve to come back in the game:“All year long, this team has fought. They’ve worked hard, they’ve never quit, and they’ve never given up. I was proud of that. They got down 12-0 and came back and took the lead on the road. Under four minutes, we’re on the free throw line with an opportunity to take another lead, and we miss the free throw. When things are going the way they’re going for this team, and we’ve got a young group on the road, you’ve got to make that free throw and take the lead. Maybe that puts it back on them and they get a little tight at home.”
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