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Clemson vs. Duke Postgame Coaches’ Quotes

Jan. 15, 2012

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Clemson Head Coach Brad Brownell

Overall thoughts: “It’s pick your poison. They have so many good players, it’s hard to keep them all down. We had a stretch there in the first half where we got a little too excited because of how well we were playing. We started taking some quick shots, and that allowed them to come back in the game. We didn’t make free throws. I thought we competed hard. We did a good job causing turnovers for them and getting them out of rhythm. I thought we rebounded well and got to the free throw line, which is hard to do.”

On the play of Milton Jennings: “He played pretty well tonight. He did what he was supposed to do. He’s a junior in the program. He’s a guy that has some ability. If we can get he and Devin to play like that on a regular basis, we’re a formidable opponent. When they don’t, we’re very, very average.”

On whether there are moral victories to take away from the loss: “We’re here to win games. I understand that Duke’s a terrific team. They are obviously well-coached and all of that, but we had opportunities to win the game. We’re not having a great year at all, so everybody can say we had a good effort or that it was a good try. You can’t let that fool you. We played better and did some good things. There were some positives that can be taken from this. But at the end of the day, on your home court, you have to try to find a way to win that game, especially when you get off to a good start. We didn’t get it done.”

On the team’s lack of a go-to scorer: “We’re just hurt a little bit because we don’t have that one guy that gives our whole team confidence on offense. We need that guy that when he’s got it, we feel good that he’s going to make a shot, get in the paint and get fouled, draw help and get another guy an easy look. That’s what’s hurting this team. I think that hurts a lot of teams.”

Duke Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski

Overall Thoughts: “I’m really proud of our guys. We played a really good team tonight. Brad [Brownell] is such a good coach and those guys are veterans. They did an outstanding job tonight and the crowd was great. Our guys came off a great win against Virginia and to come on the road and tough it out was a good win for us. Obviously, Andre [Dawkins] played an outstanding game. His three-point shot when we had a four-point lead was huge shot. Miles Plumlee was a force for us with 14 rebounds. Down the stretch, our guys hit free throws and I thought we finished the game very well.”

On substitutions early in the game: “I’ve been coaching for a long time and for the last few days I’ve felt like a huge opponent for us tonight, besides Clemson, was going to be human nature. Coach [Bob] Knight and I have talked a lot about this recently. Human nature is sometimes your biggest opponent. Sunday games are not easy, especially after a big mid-week win. People aren’t used to playing games on Sunday nights, it goes against human nature. They’re used to staying home and watching entertainment on Sunday nights.

“Coming in here, I knew that, besides human nature, our opponent was Clemson. They lost a tough game after playing a great game. They played extremely well tonight and the crowd was really into the game. The substitutions at the beginning of the game were not about sending a message. I’ve been sending a message for two days that if we didn’t have guys playing like they wanted to win at the beginning of the game, we would find guys that wanted to win. After the first eight minutes, everyone decided they wanted to fight and play like they wanted to win. We always get everybody’s best shot. For 25 years we’ve gotten everybody’s best shot so we have to have guys that play like they want to win.”

On beginning of the second half: “Quinn Cook really gave us a spark at the beginning of the second half. I just thought we played well the last 30 minutes of the game. You can’t take away from what Clemson did, but we just played well at the end. Brad [Brownell] played a lot of guys so they were fresh, but Quinn gave us the spark that we needed at the beginning of the second half.”

On Seth Curry as a point guard: “We needed more experience on the floor at the end. We went with more veterans. Again, this is a tough league. Road wins are hard to come by in this league. The veterans have seen an environment like this before, and that’s what we needed to be able to pull out a tough win on the road.”