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Clemson vs. East Tennessee State Postgame Quotes

Jan. 1, 2012

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Clemson vs. East Tennessee State, January 1, 2012 Postgame Coaches’ Quotes

Clemson Head Coach Brad Brownell

Overall Thoughts: “I’m proud of our guys. It was a back-and-forth type of game. We were executing well early, but we had a little spell where we had some unforced turnovers and they took advantage. We missed some shots around the basket early in the second half, and I thought it could get away from us a little bit. Our defense kept us in it until we made a run. We got ourselves together and finished the game the right way.”

On gratification of a win coming off Hawaii trip: “We’ve been in hard-fought games throughout the season. We’ve lost some games where we weren’t quite good enough to knock some people out. I challenged our older players and told them the second half was going to be their time. They responded well and found ways to score in the second half.”

On getting bench contributions going forward: “We’re going to need the second group of guys to step up. I didn’t think they had a great week of practice after the holidays. We didn’t get to enough 50-50 balls with our backups, and as a result, I told them I wasn’t going to play them in the second half. It wasn’t fair to the six guys we had busting their humps and that had great practices.”

On the performance of T.J. Sapp: “He was good. Those shots were big. We needed an extra guy to be able to make a shot, especially with Andre (Young) struggling. He’s had some tough nights, but T.J. made a bunch of threes early to get us going. Andre was able to hit a couple of big shots late, though. That’s what our team needs – someone that can get us some buckets.”

On his team’s inside presence: “We thought Devin (Booker) could get inside of their zone. Our guys did a great job of finding Devin and giving him opportunities. We did turn the ball over some trying to get the ball to him. I was okay with some of that because we needed to get him the ball.”

East Tennessee State Head Coach Murray Bartow

Overall Thoughts: “We didn’t make enough plays to win. I thought we really fought hard, though. I’m exhausted, the players are exhausted. We fought really hard just like we did at Tennessee the other night. These were two money games back-to-back with an SEC opponent and an ACC opponent. I thought we did great things in the first half and we got off to a great start in the second half. I thought Adam Sollazzo played his heart out, but he had eight turnovers. As a point guard, you can’t have that many turnovers, but he really competes. Tommy Hubbard has now put two good games back-to-back, which is good to see. We just didn’t have enough other guys step up and produce. We got some good minutes out of John Walton, which we needed. We competed hard and fought hard, but you have to give Clemson credit. They made some great plays down the stretch.”

On difficulty of playing on the road in an ACC environment: “To win a game in this environment, you have to win those 50/50 balls, where we have our hand on the ball and they have their hand on the ball. If you’re going to win this type of game, you have to make those plays. Clemson has really good players. Tanner Smith, Andre Young, and the two big guys inside (Devin Booker and Milton Jennings) are great players. We competed hard. We really did. We didn’t execute well at times in the second half and we turned the ball over 20 times, which is way too many. Adam Sollazzo and Tommy Hubbard were phenomenal. We have to have other guys that contribute. We have to produce. You have to make some plays to win in this kind of environment.”