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Clemson vs. Winthrop Postgame Coaches’ Quotes

Dec. 18, 2011

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Clemson Head Coach Brad Brownell

Overall thoughts: “We’ve had a great week academically with finals. I was pleased with how focused our guys were in terms of taking care of business with school and doing things the right way, showing some maturity. They were also able to compartmentalize when there was basketball and focus on that. I thought we got better over the course of the last ten days or two weeks. This was a good win for us. Winthrop can be a dangerous team. Their guards can really score. I thought we did an unbelievable job defensively. To win a low-possession game by twenty was pretty good play.”

On defending Andre Jones: “Tanner [Smith] started on him and Rod [Hall] moved over to guard him. He’s a guy that’s a shot-maker. He makes off-balance shots and he makes out-of-rhythm shots. I think Tanner’s size was good in this one. We just never let him get into a flow. If he made one, he didn’t make another one right on top of it. He made a couple later after we had the lead.”

On coming out quickly in both halves: “I thought our guys really were good starting the game, and they came out of halftime well. They just played with some good poise. We had a couple too many turnovers in the second half, but we were much better about being aggressive and getting to the free throw line, which has been a real problem for us. Hopefully, that will improve.”

On the increase in minutes for Bernard Sullivan: “Bernard’s health is better. It’s still not 100 percent every day, and he still has some problems. I would have anticipated that he would be doing a little better than he has done to date. Some of that is just that he has a hard time breathing and he wears out. When you wear out, mentally, you can’t think. It has been a long process for him. But he has felt better more often and had better practices, so consequently, I want for him to start getting double digit minutes and see what he can do.”

On giving Catalin Baciu the start today: “Some of it was because Milton [Jennings] had been sick and had missed some practice this week. Having said that, I was debating about starting Bobo. It was a game where they played two bigger posts, and he could have success if he did start. We could put he and Devin [Booker] together to see how it would work. I thought Bobo did a good job. I thought he got us off to a good start. He still needs to rebound better, but defensively, I thought he was fine. He gave us a couple of buckets around the hoop.”

Winthrop Head Coach Randy Peele

Overall thoughts: “I’m very disappointed in what we did today. Before the game, I wrote on the board that one of our defensive goals was to hold Clemson to 59 points because they really grind the game out. I knew we couldn’t win the game if they scored in the 70’s; I thought we could win the game if it was 52-57.

“Defensively, they’re really, really good. I don’t know that the average fan understands how good they really are. They are solid. They force you to be really good offensively against that defense. The bottom line is that they scored 60 points because of our shot selection. I thought it was very poor against that defense. They shot 55% in the second half and 50% for the game and that’s not good enough defensively for us to beat a BCS school. Our inability to execute offensively was the biggest thing.”

On defending Andre Jones: “They game planned for him. I would game plan for him. Tanner [Smith] played really good defense against him. He really did a good job of extending his catches. They also did a good job of getting a body on him a lot. I think Clemson beat him up a lot, which was a good game plan for them. We have to learn to finish a little better with that kind of contact. They were solid defensively. We have been on the road since Wednesday and had a really good win on Thursday and that kept us from being able to execute at a high level. It also kept us from getting quality shots from a defense that’s that good. That defense is outstanding. They’re really good defensively and I wish them nothing but the best.”

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