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Clemson vs. Georgia Tech Postgame Coaches’ Quotes

Clemson vs. Georgia Tech Postgame Coaches’ Quotes

Clemson Head Coach Brad Brownell

On Jaron Blossomgame‘s free throws at the end:“(Those were) big ones. He rebounded the ball great tonight. He only had four points, but they were free throws, including the two to win the game. Those were big. He hasn’t shot free throws great yet, but he stepped up with a lot of confidence and knocked them down. You’re always proud of your guys and excited when they do something like that.”

On Jordan Roper‘s late first half surge:“That was huge. I thought we finished the half great. I told our guys not to get frustrated. This was going to be a hard game to play. It’s going to be hard. Winning isn’t easy, and shouldn’t be. Their guys practice really hard. They prepare. They watch tape. They do the walk-throughs. It’s not going to be easy to make baskets tonight and it wasn’t, but you just have to keep grinding and hopefully you get these little mini-spurts, where you get a 7-0 at some point. That’s what we got at the end of first half to take the lead. We obviously had the late spurt at the end of the game, 5-0, to win. In games like these, you’re just looking for a couple of scores back to back. For as much as it was difficult to score, neither team really got much transition offense. Both teams had good defensive balance and did a good job of getting back. Both teams were very disciplined.”

On Roper’s performance tonight:“He had some good looks. I thought he played with great confidence tonight. I thought some other guys were a little rattled. (Marcus) Georges-Hunt, one of their best players, goes 1-for-13, K.J. (McDaniels) goes for 3-for-14. Two of the better players on each team were struggling. Sometimes, it can trickle down, but Jordan was looking to make plays. I thought Rod (Hall) made a huge basket late, and got fouled. You’re just hopeful that guys want to step up and want to do that kind of thing.”

On back to back wins heading to Syracuse:“It’s really good. You’re just trying to keep positive momentum going. You win differently. Some games you play well and it’s offensive minded, sometimes it’s defensive minded. And sometimes it can be games like this, where it feels like a football game. You just grind.”

Georgia Tech Head Coach Brian Gregory

Overall thoughts:“Clemson is a tremendous defensive team, and we showed that we could be at times, too. It was just hard to make baskets, nothing came easy.  There were a lot of active hands, a lot of deflections.  Neither one of us are high-pressure type teams.  You can say it was sloppy offense, but to be honest with you there was great defense on both sides of the floor. We have big guys that are active that can move, so it’s hard to finish. I’m proud of our guys, we are obviously a little depleted and with additional foul trouble, we had to scrap together some lineups. The team cannot be defined by the injuries, but how we respond to the tough times and I think we have done a good job, and we have to do it again the next game.”

On Clemson’s defense the final stretch:“Well, I don’t think they did anything different defensively.  I think it was three straight or two out of three possessions where we had turnovers.  Obviously, their defense had a lot to do with it. We didn’t set up some screens, and if you do not set up screens against them then you may not even be able to throw the ball in. They did a good job. That was a critical time in the game and they banked on their defense, which probably got four or five stops in a row including a layup on the other end. Again, it was the ebbs and flows and in that particular case we got some good looks at the basket, we got the ball to Daniel (Miller); we wanted to try and keep doing that. We rely heavily on two sophomores to make some plays in the situation we’re in, but unfortunately they didn’t shoot the ball well tonight and give Clemson credit for that.”

On the team’s injuries:“It’s funny; it must be the 100th time I’ve been asked that.  It’s not a glib response, but what choice do they have. They’re playing in the best basketball conference in the country, they’re playing at a tradition-rich program, they came here for a reason. They knew it wasn’t going to be easy. They have to rely on their character and resolve during that time, and that’s why those guys were brought here.  It’s tested.  I’m not trying to say that it’s easy. It’s not easy on me either, but you have to have that. When you sign up for rebuilding, you have to have that. If things work out perfect, then obviously things look different. In this life you better fight, because if you’re looking for fairness, you aren’t getting it in this life.”

On Trae Golden’s availability moving forward:“We tried a little bit, and again, my thing with injuries is deferring to the medical staff.  I’m a basketball coach; I got my major in social studies and secondary education. I can tell you about Napoleon, but when it comes to groin injuries I have no idea, so I defer that. We have a great staff and they thought it would be best not to push it today.”