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Clemson vs. Furman Postgame Quotes

Nov. 12, 2007

Clemson Head Coach Oliver Purnell

“I thought we had a pretty good opening, it was definitely an improvement from the exhibition game. It is taking a step in the right direction at least. We set a good tone and tempo from the beginning. I also was impressed with our second half defense, as well as the unselfish offense. That is something that we really want to do and did a great job of it tonight. If we can continue to build on this mental focus and keep it throughout the second half then it will help us through the season.”

On Turnovers: “Creating turnovers is a large part of our defensive style, and it helps take the pressure off of the offense. I thought we outmanned Furman physically, and was very pleased with how we can out in the beginning. We stuck with the game plan for the most part with the exception of a few threes that we allowed in the beginning, and we were able to keep them off of the free throw line.”

On Demontez Stitt: “He did a good job, it was a little better than the exhibition game. These games are all learning experiences for him and we are working to get him a little tougher to cut down on any turnovers.”

On the upcoming Mississippi State Game “It is going to be a big game, they are picked to be the top in their league and are returning most of their starting rotation. It is going to be a challenge, but we are looking forward to a good game.”

On the rotation “We are trying to play a ten man deep team, so we substitute people in and out. As long as people can stay healthy we will be able to do that. Fatigue plays a big part in leaving people in for long periods of time, we press a lot and it is important that we can keep that up in these games.”

Furman Head Coach Jeff Jackson

General thoughts on the game: “I thought we didn’t handle the pressure very well tonight. We got rattled and had a hard time fighting back, but that is the nature of a young team. Everything that happens to us is new. We have a lot of freshmen trying to figure out major Division I basketball. It takes a while to get comfortable.”

On what to take away from the game: “We will try and take some positive things away from the game and learn from them and move forward. We give a lot of credit to Clemson University.”

On simulating Clemson pressure in practice: “It’s impossible to simulate that type of pressure in practice. We don’t have guys like James Mays and KC Rivers, and we can’t simulate their physicality. You can’t simulate the mental part of it and you can’t simulate Littlejohn Coliseum.”

On the Tigers’ team: They have a pro in the front line (Mays) and depth and experience in the backcourt. They have a ton of depth and are very physical, and they have some good outside shooters. They’ve also learned not to let up when you get a team down.”

On the pace of the game: “We’re not a pressure team. We would like to play in the half-court a little more, but still at a faster pace. We aren’t trying to be a pressure team like Clemson is.”

On if Clemson is the best team they will face all season: “There’s a chance. But there are still some tough teams on our schedule and we’ve got an impressive team in our own league (Davidson). I can’t tell now but I’ll let you know at the end of the season.”

On only have 11 home games: “We want our schedule to be challenging and to play tough teams if we want to build the program to be a premier mid-major. I am excited about the guys we have brought in and I don’t think I’ve ever coached a team that has had this much youth.”