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Clemson vs. Georgia Tech Postgame Coaches’ Quotes

Jan. 21, 2012

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Clemson Head Coach Brad Brownell

Overall thoughts: “I’m really happy for our guys. We’ve had a couple days of tough practice after not playing as well as we wanted to in Miami. I thought we played really well for 35, 36 minutes and certainly missed a few free throws and we had a few things go against us; they had some shots go in at the end to make it scary, but I thought our guys played really well. I thought we handled the power outage, halftime, and all the strangeness of the game very well.”

On Andre Young’s performance: “To be honest, I thought [Andre] would have had a more games like this; maybe not with 29 points, but today when he shot it well from three. He’s been fighting it a little bit, but as you can see we needed it, and with only 64 points, he had 29 of them. Other guys played well in spurts offensively and had some baskets. Milt [Jennings] had some late and I thought Bernard [Sullivan] and Rod [Hall] played well early. Tanner [Smith] was pretty solid and Devin [Booker] was good off the bench, but we didn’t have another `go-to guy’ and [Andre] carried us.”

On last few minutes of the game: “We tried everything. If you play soft and try and defend the three, you don’t want to foul. They were making shots over the top of us. We also had a few calls go against us, and I will be watching the film on those. The last few minutes we tried to play zone to slow them down because we thought that would work, but they were still able to throw tough shots in. You can look at like it was a remarkable run by [GT], and it was, or you can say we played tremendous defense for 35 minutes and were able to minimize their power for the majority of the game. I choose to look at it that way.”

On starting Bobo Baciu over Devin Booker: “Devin didn’t have a great game in Miami and Bobo has played better, not only in games but in practice. [Bobo’s] confidence still comes and goes way too quickly but I felt like he had earned an opportunity to start. I don’t know if he will next game, but that will depend on how he practices this week. To be honest, some people have been down on Devin and have been upset with him a little bit but when I asked him at half time if he wanted to start or come off the bench he said, `Let Bobo start.’ That’s a pretty mature response from a young man, so I thought that was pretty good on his part.”

Georgia Tech Head Coach Brian Gregory

Overall Thoughts: “I feel better about our performance today. It’s always unfortunate when you lose a game and I didn’t think we played well in the beginning. We played with a much higher intensity level than we did the other night. Neither team had been playing well and we knew it was going to be a tough game. You have to give them credit. They made a couple of huge shots in the second half when we were making our comeback. Their seniors, Andre Young and Tanner Smith, really stepped up. The only shot Smith made was that big three, but that’s what seniors are supposed to do. Tanner also did a good job in the first half creating shots for other guys. His five assists came on a lot of Young’s threes. We just have to keep working and keep getting better.

On comeback: “It was 13-10 at the light out situation and then Clemson scored 24 points in the last six minutes. I was not proud of my team at that moment. We talked about what we needed to do on defense and what offensive adjustments we needed to make after having 17 turnovers in the first half. Again, our guys have to learn to keep fighting and playing with good effort. If you do that it’s going to make up from some mistakes you’ve made early on. We have to start taking care of the ball. We’ve also got to shoot better from the free throw line. That makes a huge difference. Even though we had those two major issues, we still gave ourselves a chance to win the game.”

On plan for last two minutes: “We wanted the ball in Glen Rice’s hands in those last two minutes. We wanted him to either shoot the ball or kick the ball to the open guy. Their pressure was so good on our point guards, we put the ball in Glen’s hands more in the second half and it helped us out quite a bit.

On Clemson’s defense: We didn’t handle their pressure well. We weren’t missing shots; we just weren’t getting shots off. They forced 17 turnovers in the first half. Brad Brownell is a good coach. We shot 43%, which he’s probably mad about right now. They pressure the ball hard. That bothered us and we weren’t able to get the ball inside. Both teams are pretty good defensively, but Brad’s a great coach.