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Clemson vs. Purdue Postgame Coaches’ Quotes

Clemson Head Coach Brad BrownellOverall thoughts:“Give credit to Purdue. I thought they played a very good game tonight. Certainly D.J. Byrd making those threes at the beginning of the game was a big part of it. He got them off to a great start, and we did not respond very well. I thought this was really the first game all year where we looked a half step slow to loose balls and rebounds, things of that nature in the first half. I thought those extra possessions seemed to end up in their heads. Obviously, our lack of shooting was extremely problematic. You just can’t shoot 4-of-23. We only had five turnovers. In the second half we pressed, played some zone, and really mixed some things up on defense to give ourselves a chance. To Purdue’s credit they kept running their stuff. When you chase teams around, they’re going to catch up with some layups and runners – and they did. Purdue was just better from start to finish tonight.”On the play of Devin Booker:“I thought Book played well under the circumstances, playing without Milton (Jennings). I thought he competed very hard and played the hardest of anyone on our team tonight.”On the status of Milton Jennings:“I am going to evaluate him this week and come to decision on what I think is best, and what I want to do.” On his message at halftime:“We were getting outplayed. When teams make those kinds of shots it energizes them, especially as a road team. It gave Purdue tremendous amounts of confidence. I told them we were a step slow. We had zero offensive rebounds. We were a little out of whack at times because we played lineups thatwe really have not practiced until today. Because of that, we were jumbled on some things. I also thought we were not as locked in as we normally are.”

Purdue Head Coach Matt PainterOverall thoughts:“I think D.J. Byrd, with the rebounding, was the difference. He did that twice last year, where he was 5-for-5 from three in the first half, at Minnesota and Ohio State. When he does that, we’re going to be in pretty good position going into the second half, especially with space. When he plays that way and shoots that way, it really opens up drives for other people. He may not get a lot of points in the second half, but I think it really helped our spacing.”On dealing with Clemson’s second-half pressure:“We made the decision to play smaller and to have four decision-makers out there in the second half. We still turned it over a couple of times with that group. We knew they were going to come after us, and we knew we were going to have to take care of the ball, and we didn’t do a very good job. They were able to get a little momentum there and get back-to-back baskets. When we took our time and pass-faked and got the ball to the middle of the court, that really helped us against the press.”On the importance of rebounding:“When we went into the game, and I know it’s different because you’re playing a lot of different opponents, but in our conference, we had the most offensive rebounds in our league. But we were second-to-last in defensive rebounds. What I took from that stat is that our guys didn’t have the discipline to go and box out. They can crash the glass offensively, but defensively, we didn’t do a good job of really hitting. So we talked to our guys about how we have to do a better job of hitting, boxing out, and then going to get it. I thought they did a great job of that in the first half.”On what success can mean for his team moving forward:“Any time you have young guys, you don’t know what to think. As a coach, you just try to get them to understand that when you win games, you make mistakes. When you lose games, you do good things-obviously, not as much. You just try to make everything a teaching moment. We had some guys that have played a lot for us that didn’t play because of the way they came back and they pressed us. I’ve said all along that it’s going to be tough for me to play six big guys. Tonight, we stuck with some guys, and they were able to produce for us. But it’s always an adventure with young guys. I thought we should have pushed the game out a little bit if we could have just taken care of the ball, and we didn’t.”