March 8, 2007
2007 ACC BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
GAME 1: #9 Florida State v. #8 Clemson
That's a very difficult way to lose a basketball game; it was a hard fought game. All game long both teams made runs, both teams played extremely hard. I can't speak for Florida State but I didn't think we played our best game all year long, but our guys battled and I thought they deserved an opportunity to win and we just didn't happen. It's unfortunate...it was one of the toughest loses and I am sorry it came down to that.
On the turnover off of your leg:
We had a play that we had been running all game that we had success on and we got caught on the play and I guess I took my eye off the ball or something and the ball bounced off my knee and went back court.
Scoring threat in the last four minutes:
It was no big deal, the personality of our team will go through some scoring drives every now and then but we scored some big baskets coming down the stretch to get ourselves in a position to win. We came up with some big stops. Again, I am proud of the way out team hung in there and battled in a game like this, Florida State played extremely hard and they were motivated, but we've been answering that question (Scoring threat in the last four minutes) all year long it's happened to us but we're gutty, we defend, and we rebound and give ourselves a chance to win and we certainly did in this situation.
On Chances of an NCAA Tournament Bid:
You fear that (not being invited) and as I said yesterday and I don't change my mind about what I think, we've done enough to be in the NCAA tournament, but your fear that and you want to win as many games as you can, if we would have won today and lost tomorrow that would have been a fear but in my opinion we've done enough to get in.
FLORIDA STATE Quotes
Our game plan was to try to not have too many turnovers and obviously in the first half we had nine turnovers and I thought we gave them extra positions. They shot 59 percent in the first half. We couldn't stop each other, but the second half we played much sounder defense. We were a little more sound with our fundamentals. From that stand point it was who was going to make the big play at the end. We got some rebounds and some big stops there toward the end and Al (Thornton) knocked down the free throw and there lies a typical ACC game. Seems as though every game you watch as of late has been these types of games. We're very fortunate to have come out on the winning end this time.
On options at the end of the game:
We made the decision that we wanted to get the ball in Al's (Thornton) hands where he had the opportunity to catch it and shoot it or drive to the basket. They did a good job of closing up the driving lane and after he pump faked he was able to draw the foul and get to the foul line. We had two perimeter guys spotted up on the week side but they converged so fast that Al made a good decision by keeping the ball in his hands and drawing the foul.
On handling the press:
We did have a rash of turnovers in the first half, they just didn't lead to as many easy opportunities as the turnovers we had made in the past. I thought we had a pretty good game plan the time before, we just didn't execute what we had in the game plan. Tonight we just did a better job of executing.
On NCAA tournament implications:
After going through the experience we went through last year, what I've learned now is to worry about the things I can control. As we enjoy this victory for a few moments, we have to go and start preparing to win as many games as we can. I thought we earned the right to go last year, but unfortunately my vote didn't count. So what I want to do now is just worry about the things we can control. We need to go and be prepared for a very good North Carolina team.
I feel like it was a hard fought game. During the regular season Clemson beat us pretty decisively. I feel like the coaching staff did a great job preparing us for the game. We had about a week to prepare and I think we made the necessary adjustments. Like coach said we took care of the ball and we didn't give them easy turnovers that prevented them from getting out in transition to get easy buckets. I feel we did a great job doing that.
On his late free throws:
I missed the first one, I was kind of nervous there. I've never been in that situation before. I was able to shoot the second one very relaxed and I shot it with confidence.
I feel like we had a good game plan coming in, obviously like coach said we didn't turn the ball over. I think we adjusted well and we responded well under pressure when they kept the lead. Our main focus was to play hard. Who ever was the toughest team was going to win the game and we came out with the victory.