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Clemson vs. North Carolina Postgame Coaches’ Quotes

Clemson vs. North Carolina Postgame Coaches’ Quotes

Clemson Head Coach Brad BrownellOverall thoughts:“First off, North Carolina played very well tonight. I think they played about as well as anyone has played coming into our building, maybe Purdue played better. They got off to a great start. They shot the ball very well and played with a lot of confidence. They played at an extremely high level and we got beat by a better basketball team, clearly, tonight. “I did not think our overall intensity was terrific in the first half. I thought it was average. We were not grinding defensively like we needed to. We were content with trading baskets. That is not the way we’re going to win games. The drought in the first half was crucial and that’s when North Carolina pulled away. “I thought we played much harder in the second half. Devin (Booker) played extremely well. Milton (Jennings) also contributed, but our guard play was pretty poor. We had terrible turnovers that cost us. We had a couple chances to get the game in a winnable place, and our young guards did not play well.”On a lack of intensity and focus during pregame:“No, not at all. We had practice for three days and our guys played well and our intensity was very good. We got in the habit in the first half of playing this game like a pick up game. We were trading baskets and not guarding very well. Clearly, I was not happy at halftime with that style of play.”On keeping the crowd out of it early:“Offensive execution is the main contributor to that. They scored early and that kept our crowd quiet. Also, their ability to play with two guards who are decision-makers is a factor in their success. Marcus Paige, a point guard, and Dexter Strickland, a combo guard, are very good at making decisions. North Carolina’s assist to turnover ratio is outstanding. Even Reggie Bullock, tonight he had six assists and no turnovers. Those are difference-makers because they are getting a shot on every possession. With a team that can score, that is dangerous for you defensively. Their ability to pass and catch and make decisions, is what in my mind, is the reason they are playing so well right now.”

North Carolina Head Coach Roy WilliamsOverall thoughts:“Well, we’re happy to get an ACC win on the road. There’s no question about that. But boy, we finished the game about as ugly as you can finish it. We missed some free throws. They outrebounded us by 14 in the second half, and they ended up outrebounding us by nine for the game. You can’t have that and be very good. We got sloppy. We did about everything you could do. “In the second half, we played about the way I feel, which is not good. I’ll let you put any adjective you want to put in there. Reggie (Bullock), if you look at his line, had six assists, no turnovers, nine rebounds, 12 points, and if you take away the missed free throws down there at the end, you’d think that was a pretty good night. We had good balance with five guys in double figures. In the first half, I thought we did some really good things. We just took a little bit too quick three-point shots a couple of times in the first half. Early in the second half, we got away and scored some points on the break, and I think that was huge for us to get it to 15, 16, 17, or whatever it was. Then we just sort of screwed around with it and about messed it up.”On the rebounding in the second half:“They were going after the ball. We were acting like a bunch of pansies. Some of those were long rebounds that bounced out, and we’re standing there watching it. There was a long rebound right there in front of our bench, and P.J. tried to catch it with one hand and make a pass instead of securing the ball with two hands. That was just one example. When you go small, you’ve got to have guys that are willing to compete on the boards and chase the long rebounds and box out. Devin (Booker) was a load for us in the second half. He and Milton (Jennings) both had double figures in rebounds.”On if Clemson contributed to the team’s sloppy finish:“To me, that would be a big-time excuse. The way somebody else plays doesn’t mean you should turn the ball over and doesn’t mean you should miss free throws. James Michael (McAdoo), I told him, ‘You’ve got to finish the ball around the basket. You’ve got to finish plays. You’ve got to go in there. You’re big, strong, and can jump like crazy. Finish plays.’ Marcus (Paige) had zero turnovers in the first half and made two of the worst turnovers in the second half he’s ever made in his life. His mother was screaming at him on TV. I could hear her down here. I don’t think that has anything to do with it. We just played as sloppy as you can play.”