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Listen to Audio (6:38)
"We're fortunate to come away with a win today. Kendall (Marshall) really stepped up for us at the end and made some big free throws. Clemson kept coming. They made three of their last four threes, and some of those were deep. We just kept coming up with big possessions. The score was tied (in the second half) and then Harrison (Barnes) comes out of a timeout and makes a dunk. We have a one-point lead and then Kendall (Marshall) steals the ball. We kept going to the free throw line and killing ourselves by only making one shot, but Kendall went 10-for-11.That was huge for us. Needless to say, we feel very fortunate to get the heck out of here with a win. John (Henson) was big for us. He's so long inside it's hard for guys to get any inside easy baskets on us. But they just kept coming after us. It was an ugly game, but a hard fought game."
On Barnes's dunk:
"We drew up a play during the timeout before that. John (Henson) was an option that Clemson did a nice job defending and Harrison (Barnes) was the other option. That dunk, for me, was just two points. I wanted us to get our butts back and guard somebody. There's no question that play fired Harrison (Barnes) up, and also the rest of our team. But to me, it's still just two points. I still dream of dunking the ball; I'm the only 60-year old in America that does that."
On the play of Kendall Marshall:
"He's been big. He didn't play very well in the first half today, with three turnovers in the first half. That's good against a defensive team like Clemson. They wore him out a little with all the guys running at him. We didn't do a very good job of attacking that pressure. Their defense had our guys standing still and looking around. We have to do a heck of a better job against a pressure defense team."
On Clemson's defense:
"Clemson is one of the best defensive clubs in our league. Some of it for us is our immaturity or inexperience. But, give Clemson's defense credit. They hold people down. You don't score a lot against Clemson, and there's a reason. If they have an advantage, they try to run the ball. If they don't have an advantage, they run some plays and that slows you down and holds you down some. They really do a nice job of guarding."
Listen to Audio (2:09)
Did you know you were going to dunk that ball over Milton Jennings?
“No, that came as a complete surprise. I can’t really elaborate too much on what happened in the air.”
So you weren’t planning on dunking it?
“Yeah, I was just trying to get it up and I was high enough that I could and just dunked it.”
Was there any concern about a letdown after the Duke game?
“No, I think everyone came out fired up tonight. We felt that there was so much more to be desired in the second half of that game. We came out and executed in the first half like we wanted to and in the second half had such a letdown, so we knew coming in the locker room today that we had to execute in the second half.”
Listen to Audio (2:28)
It looked as though on your steal and transition lay-up that you were going to the basket regardless –
“Definitely. Easy baskets were hard to come by tonight. They’re a great defensive team, especially at home, so we wanted to take advantage if we could get out on the break. If we have those 1-on-1’s, we’re confident enough that we can convert on those.”
On his free throws:
“I know that I’m a big physical guard, so I’m going to try to get to the free throw line a lot more by getting to the basket. In my last two games, I think I was 4-of-8, so I realized I had to get back to the basics. I shot a lot of free throws in pregame just getting ready for it and it paid off.”
Listen to Audio (2:51)
On the ability to win ugly:
“It’s just clamping down and playing defense and playing hard. That’s going to trump over everything at the end of the day and that’s what we did.”
How quickly was this team able to move past the Duke loss?
“Very quickly. We had to, because you can’t let that linger over to the next game. I think this team did a real good job of that with Georgia Tech and Texas, so that’s something we’ve got to keep doing. You can’t dwell on your losses – you have to move on.”
Is that something this team learned from last season?
“Yes, I think it is. Coach gets after us a little more than last year just because we have a different type of team. Even I learned that you just have to keep playing. One loss is not the end of the world.”