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ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament March 9, 2006 #8 Miami 66, # 9 Clemson 63
CLEMSON POST-GAME NOTES:
CLEMSON HEAD COACH Oliver Purnell
PURNELL: The story of the game was our inability to make shots and we didn’t defend at the end of the game very well when we were up 11 or 12 with seven or eight minutes to play. Even though we hadn’t made many shots, we were still in position to win if we defended at that time.
PURNELL: We gave up far too many baskets in transition throughout the course of the game, particularly in the second half. They had 27 fast break points. They had eight steals and I venture to say that all eight led to baskets that we couldn’t defend. We missed an awful lot of bunnies and layups, open looks down the stretch. Obviously we missed a lot during the second half, and for game. We shot 25 percent in the second half and 29 for the game.
PURNELL: We got good looks. We got the ball inside. We got 25 offensive rebounds; that’s a lot of point blank opportunities. We just couldn’t get it to go down. I didn’t have the sense that whether they went man or zone, we weren’t getting the shots. Again, if you get 25 offensive rebounds that’s a lot of shots that were in the lane.
PURNELL: We were getting three or four opportunities there sometimes on the offensive glass and just didn’t get them to go in. A couple were in and out. I have to watch the tape. I didn’t get the feeling that we were out of our rhythm offensively. We just couldn’t get it to go in. I just felt like it was going to be one of those games like we’ve had this year where we had to defend to win. I still feel that way. Not giving them easy baskets in transition off of our misses, hanging our heads a little bit, not getting back and allowing them to go down and shoot layups. I think it might have been a different outcome.
On the possibility of playing in the NIT
PURNELL: I think we will probably be in the NIT. It’s disappointing we didn’t make a run at winning the tournament. I felt like if we could advance, anything could happen. That is disappointing. We have to find a way like we have all year long to go back, regroup, point toward the goal, which would be to win a first round game in the NIT and start preparing for that like we have all year long. We learned a painful lesson here today. If you lose focus at all on the defensive end of the floor, teams can catch you, particularly a team that was as cold shooting as we were. Hopefully we can carry that over to the next game and maybe make a run in that tournament.
CLEMSON JUNIOR Vernon Hamilton
On taking the final shot
HAMILTON: It’s very disappointing. I felt like off of Shawan’s (Robinson) pass I had a pretty good look because I got the first guy in the air. As I released it I thought like it was on line and was a good shot. Unfortunately it didn’t drop. It was pretty heartbreaking because we led for pretty much the entire game and it shouldn’t have come down to that.
On possibility of receiving an NIT bid
HAMILTON: We will get ready for the NIT and hopefully get that win in the first round. It’s a disappointing loss today because we feel that we are an NCAA Tournament team.
MIAMI POST-GAME NOTES:
MIAMI HEAD COACH FRANK HAITH
HAITH: I’m really proud of my ball club, because we very easily could have folded. I thought we showed tremendous resiliency and just kept after it. It wasn’t like a big run to win the game, we just kept chipping away, kept chipping away. We missed four free throws in a row, we kicked the ball out of bounds, but we just stayed with it. That’s why I’m so proud of our kids and how we came back and fought through it.
On switching to man defense midway through the second half
HAITH: I thought the activity in our man was much better than our zone. They were finding some holes in our zone and I felt like our guys were able to make some plays out of our man defense that enabled us to knock some balls loose. We were able to run out of that and got some easy buckets in transition.
Defense really was the key. We were able to stop them, and when we went man we did a nice job of containing them and not letting them get to the rim.
On Guillermo Diaz down the stretch
HAITH: He had missed two free throws, he had kicked the ball out of bounds on that transition play, but he just stayed with it. We called timeout and ran a play for him and he executed. He’s a gamer.
On starting Lee Butler
HAITH: We started Lee Butler because we didn’t get Lee’s name in the book at home on senior day. We didn’t have a chance to put him in the book and so he didn’t start and it really bothered me. I really wanted to make sure he had a chance to start, so he got the start today.
On Denis Clemente’s shot
HAITH: Denny has been a streaky shooter this year, but the one thing about Denny is he has a lot of toughness. He believes he can make plays. That’s good and bad. I knew he was going to shoot it. I know that’s how Denny plays and that he was going to take that shot.
MIAMI SENIOR ROBERT HITE
On stepping up today (15 points, 12 rebounds)
HITE: I didn’t want it to end. I didn’t want to go out today. I want to keep playing. I just wanted to come out here, give a good effort, and help my team come away with a win.
On facing Duke again, in the quarterfinals on Friday
HITE: I’m not really worried about the last game. We’ve just got to focus on tomorrow, get ready for Duke and J.J. Redick and Shelden Williams and give our best effort.
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