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Clemson vs. North Carolina Postgame Coaches’ Quotes

Jan. 14, 2010

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Clemson Head Coach Oliver Purnell

Opening statement: “This game was a great team effort, both on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Both teams love to push the pace, but we felt like we were the quicker and faster team. This helped us stay on top of them and keep them on their toes. We were able to keep Trevor (Booker) moving throughout the offense, which is tougher for them to defend. We did not shoot well from three, but we did shoot better from the free throw line. It was a trade off. We have to continue the climb and get better.”

On pressure defense: “Pressure defense is Clemson basketball. We thought we would be able to keep the pressure on them and force turnovers; we ended up forcing 26. We got quite a few points off of turnovers which helped us keep the pace up.”

On sharing the load against the big men: “Jerai (Grant) stayed on Deon Thompson and Trevor stayed on Ed Davis and they did a great job of keeping them from doing a lot of damage.”

On this being a satisfying win: “It’s always satisfying when you beat a Duke or a North Carolina or any team like that with a storied program, but I don’t look at it that way. This is an early ACC win, which is good for our team, but you don’t see me smiling yet.”

On learning from the loss earlier this season to Illinois: “You always want to take lessons from pre-conference and early season games, but the Illinois loss is one this team definitely will not forget. I think the guys learned from that and knew that we couldn’t take our foot off the gas pedal.”

North Carolina Head Coach Roy Williams

Overall Thoughts: “I just coached a poor game tonight. They had a tremendous sense of urgency and tremendous passion. We went down 7-0 and I almost called a timeout and I have never done that in my life. We turned the ball over 15 times, had two veterans that couldn’t pass and catch. There is no reason but to say that the head coach did a poor job. We need to have a better sense of urgency and poise. It was the veterans tonight that had trouble.

“I want to congratulate Clemson and Oliver Purnell. We came in and wanted to do a good job on Booker and Stitt tonight and they both had 11 in the first half. It all just goes back to the head coach.”

On the effect of Clemson’s press: “I have run the same press offense for 22 years and I love for teams to press because we run right through it, but tonight we had guys going the wrong way. I think they have had teams that press better, and that is nothing against them. We just turned the ball over too much.”

On the ACC right now: “The league is very good right now. You have to protect your turf at home and get wins on the road. We have to play with more poise and I have to coach better.”

On what the team learned tonight: “Clemson showed what aggressive means. They had a great sense of urgency and poise and we need to play with that type of aggression and poise. I know that I keep saying the same thing, but I just don’t have a lot to say.”