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Clemson vs. Louisville postgame quotes

Clemson vs. Louisville postgame quotes

Clemson Head Coach Brad Brownell

Opening statement:

“Well, just a really terrific defensive performance by our team today. I thought the first 30 minutes of the game, we guarded about as well as you can guard. We frustrated them a little bit, it helps that (Chinanu) Onuaku was in foul trouble. I thought our guys settled down a little bit, I thought we were a little edgy at the beginning, had a few bad plays and careless turnovers. The longer the game went, the more our guys just believed and got comfortable and played to win. Louisville made it interesting at the end, but you knew they would. Rick’s (Pitino) teams always fight you to the end, and fortunately we were able to make enough free throws to win.”

On attacking the basket and getting to the free throw line 44 times:

“The numbers are a little skewed by the fact that the last three and a half minutes of the game, they were trying to trap us and foul us and make us make a million free throws. It was a little bit of the Jim Valvano philosophy. We had a stretch there where we missed a few that opened the door for them to get back in it. It is always hard to guard the last four minutes of the game when you are up eight or 10 points and the other team is coming downhill on you, where you tell your guys don’t give up threes, don’t give up lay-ups, don’t give up offensive rebounds, don’t give up this or that and the other team is just playing loose because they are behind the eight-ball in the game. Obviously, we struggled a little bit with that, they made a few more plays, but fortunately for us I thought we did handle the ball well against the press the last eight minutes of the game, we were able to get the ball inbounds, didn’t turn it over for points and made enough free throws to win.”

n why the team is playing so much better of late:

“We are playing better, but I don’t know if I really know all the reasons why, I think some of it is just confidence. It is understanding our team a little bit better, managing a little bit of Avry (Holmes) and Jordan (Roper), two smaller guards. We played some teams that we handled so easily early on that I don’t know if we learned as much about our team at times, and never got put into adversity. For whatever reason, this team didn’t handle adversity as well early in the season. A lot of it was offensive rhythm, trusting each other. Some of it was individual confidence, and some of it was trying to do too much on our own one on one instead of trusting in the offense and playing together. Screening together to help a teammate, being patient to find a teammate for a great shot instead of settling for an okay shot. I think we have done a better job of that; it is something we talked about a lot right before we left for the break to go home. I think defensively we have done a little bit better of a job of analyzing things about the teams we face … what we need to take away. And as coaches, we have done a little better of a job at finding things we can exploit, and hopefully put our guys in better position to be successful.”

Louisville Head Coach Rick Pitino

Opening statement:

“Well I congratulate Clemson, they played a very physical, well-played basketball game. They took us out of a lot of things we do well, and certainly played great defense on Damion Lee. They very much deserved the victory tonight.”

On the difficulty from three-point distance:

“Well, we missed some open ones. This (Louisville) basketball team has relied on the offense to win. There are going to be nights that the other team slows down the play and you don’t get easy shots, and you need to start relying on the defense. We try to get 40 deflections per game and we are averaging in the 20s this year. I knew this type of game would happen sooner or later, and I’ve been trying to warn our guys about it and that they have to have their defense every night. We haven’t and we got burned because of it.”

On Clemson getting to the free throw line:

“You have to worry about their three-point shooting, 35 percent of their shots are threes, you have to be up on them. Unfortunately, we gave the righty the right hand and the lefty the left hand. We fouled them, but I thought they fouled us a few times but we didn’t get it. I guess this roaring, raucous crowd kept those referees on guard.”