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Clemson vs. Louisville postgame quotes

Clemson vs. Louisville postgame quotes

Louisville Head Coach Rick Pitino

(Opening Statement)

“I think the message I tried to give the team at halftime was, ‘guys, the championship team understood styles, and you don’t.’ For instance, I said, ‘if we’re going to play Wichita State, we have to be better defensively to play for a national championship.’ I said ‘tonight, Syracuse beat Georgia Tech 46-45.’ I think that was the score. And I said, ‘that’s because Georgia Tech plays a certain style.’ I said, ‘Clemson has been one or two in the last five years in holding their opponents to 61-point-something points per game.’ I said, ‘so we’ve got to be a much better defensive team, or they’re going to control the pace of the game.’ Now, we go a bad break with Montrezl Harrell flopping on the foul call, good call. But we didn’t understand it was going to be a dogfight. These guys want to get up and down, they want to play. We’ve been a great zone team the last two years. Luke (Hancock) has been a big part of it, but we’ve gotten the ball inside against the best zone in America, and we’re not getting it inside right now, and then they trapped Montrezl. The number one problem we had is: we’re getting an overload off a pick-and-roll and it was a waste of time, because Terry (Rozier) and Chris (Jones), not one time, rubbed shoulders with the screener to force the guy to play them, and then you get the advantage. They kept going four feet too wide, the guy got over the screen and was just beating the clock down. So that’s something we talked about, but I think our guys have got to understand the ACC, what it’s all about. Whether you’re playing Pittsburgh, whether you’re playing Georgia Tech, whether you’re playing Clemson … now, you want to run? North Carolina will be more than happy to accommodate you, Duke will be more than happy to accommodate you. Certain teams are not going to do that, you’re going to have to win with defense, and that’s what we had to do tonight.”

(On if he was happy with the first half defense)

“The defense was fine, the offense was killing us. The offense was killing us. Defense was fine.”

(On if hunting points still an issue)

“I think that Terry and Chris just said ‘look, we got Mangok (Mathiang) and Chinanu (Onuaku) in there who don’t score a lot of points. Wayne (Blackshear) was having an off night, so we’ve got to score,’ but they never used the screen. I mean I know you guys are going to go home and watch the film, it’ll be amazing to you. Watch. They go four feet, two wide. They never use the screen, we can never get a mismatch. You’ll notice it right away when you go home tonight. “

(Is the Chris and Terry not utilizing the screen a consequence of facing new styles from opponents)

“No. It’s…Like Russ (Smith) and Luke were great at it. Peyton (Siva) was great at it. They rub shoulders with the screen. They come off, they force the other guy, boom, boom, we get it inside. They literally went four feet, two wide on every pick and roll and I don’t quite understand it. But we’re gonna work on it.”

(On how to get shots for the interior guys)

“Well tonight they were doubling Montrezl (Harrell) every time he caught the basketball. To be perfectly honest, I am not sure how much we want to throw the ball inside to Mangok (Mathiang) and Chinanu (Onuaku) against the zone. Against man, especially coming off the left shoulder, we will throw it all night like Mangok in the first move of the game. Against the zone, Mangok struggles a little bit passing the ball so we are going to have to make shots and when Montrezl is in the game, we can throw it in and get some good things. As you know Anas (Mahmoud) had a migrane. Shaqquan (Aaron) had a knot in his forehead from yesterday’s practice. So we have to get our bench to give us some minutes. Quentin (Snider) and Anton (Gill) were right in the game and messed up our defense and they can’t do that, they don’t have to do great things, they just can’t mess up our defense.”

(On whether the poor first half shooting was because of Clemson defense or bad shooting)

“I think it is both, Clemson is an excellent defensive team but just to give you an idea, you come off a naked-side pick and roll, if you don’t use the screen, they are just going to matchup, matchup, matchup and everybody is going to matchup. The clock is winding down and now you have to try it again, the clock is winding down and you take a bad shot. So it all stemmed from not using the screen and it is like you run a down screen against man-to-man, if you don’t take the guy out, the guy is going to get over the screen and he is not going to be open. So we need to get better at our zone offense because teams are going to play zone and Bob Valvano asked me, ‘Were you surprised (that they played zone against you)?’ I said, “Hell I would play zone 40 minutes, why would you play Louisville man?’”

Clemson Head Coach Brad Brownwell

(Opening Statement)

“We played a hard-fought game. I’m proud of the way our kids came into the building and played well early on. I thought our defense was really good I thought we played very well for the first 20 minutes. It also helped that Montrezel (Harrell) was in foul trouble. Certainly they made some adjustments and it really hurt us at the beginning of the second half. We had a hard time and by the time we got our legs back under us, we were in trouble. We fought back and made it a game, had a chance but couldn’t get enough stops down the stretch. So credit Louisville and the adjustments they made down the stretch.”

(On Clemson’s game plan)

“We used some zone to slow the tempo of the game and to just protect for rebounding. The Harrell matchup for us isn’t a great one because (Jaron) Blossomgame is really only 6’7” and 210 or 215 pounds, maybe. It’s really a tough matchup for us and we need to play him. That was part of the philosophy with the zone and, offensively, just do the best we could. We had some motion against their matchup. I thought it was reasonably effective. I thought they made some very good adjustments and made it a little bit harder on us in the second half. At the end of the day when you play Rick’s (Pitino) teams, you’re going to have to make plays. This is a style that he uses that forces your players to make more plays. As a coach, it’s harder for you to have as big of an impact sometimes in games because there’s just so much pressure and so much random trapping and different things that they do. It forces your guys to go make plays. We made some, but we just didn’t make enough.”

(On the addition of Louisville to the ACC?)

“In some ways I am very excited about it and in other ways it makes my job very difficult. It’s a great addition. They are a proud program with an unbelievable history. I am from Southern Indiana so I’ve been following Louisville basketball from pretty close for a long time. Unbelievable facility, as nice as any in our league – instant credibility. I think our league is the best in basketball. People will see that and are seeing that. We have Hall of Fame coaches, we have great venues… Terrific teams, three teams in the top five right now. Certainly Louisville adds a lot to that. Their fans are outstanding, they’re knowledgeable, they’re passionate. They had a nice crowd in football when they came to our place. Death Valley for us is a lot like your place here in basketball. We are doing our best to improve that and make our home court a little bit better. I think it is a great addition to the league.”