“Well playing with that sense of urgency that we had today certainly makes you feel better in the locker room. I told them when I got in there that doesn’t it feel a heck of a lot better when you invest me. I think in the first half—early in the game—they killed us the first few minutes on the offensive rebounds. We knew they were hurting us there. The second part of the first half, we did a great job on the boards. What hurt us in the second part of the first half was we put them on the free throw line too much.
"I really liked what we did. We did have a much greater sense of urgency. J.P. (Tokoto) dove on the floor and got us an extra possession, James Michael (McAdoo) dove on the floor and got us an extra possession and we did a much better job getting offensive rebounds ourselves. I think that was the key for us because they had us 8-0 or 6-0 at one time on second chance points. At the end of the half it was 10-8. The first half they had some shots that they would normally make that they just missed. You feel very fortunate and lucky but I thought James Michael was really active and really effective. I thought he had more than seven rebounds, but I’ll take 9-for-13 out of him anytime. His free throws are going to start going in. I really believe that but he’s not shooting them very well right now.
"I thought Marcus (Paige) gave us a big lift in the second half. I think Marcus had two at halftime and was 1-for-6 or something like that. He had 13 in the second half. It was a good basketball game for us and we need to have that sense of urgency every time we play. If we do have it then we do have a better chance, if we don’t have that sense of urgency it’s really difficult for us.”
Did you stress something during the second media timeout to halt the offensive rebounding success of Clemson after that point?
“I screamed at them but I don’t know if that does anything, I do that several times in every game probably. I told them we were killing ourselves because we weren’t doing a good job of boxing out. You’ve got to go get somebody. You’ve got to go put a body on somebody and then you’ve go to rebound like you really want it. It was really the story of the first eight or ten minutes of the game and then I thought the story of the next eight or ten minutes was our offensive rebounding.”
What was the biggest difference to produce such a successful shooting display tonight?
“Except for one that Brice (Johnson) shot in the second half where he just barely let the ball go and it looked like it might have been a pass to some people, that was probably the only shot that I didn’t like. We got sloppy there—Nate (Britt) turned it over, Kennedy (Meeks) turned it over and Brice took that bad shot. I think that was three out of four possessions but other than that I was pleased with what we did offensively and they are good defensively but shots were going in for us tonight.”
Comments on James Michael McAdoo’s active play and how it benefitted the entire team:
“Well that’s the majority of what we’ve talked about for the past four days in practice and I think James Michael did set the tone with how active he was. He was the first one to dive on the floor for the loose ball and you should play like that. I almost don’t feel like I should congratulate him because that’s the way you should play the game. Our teams have typically done that but we haven’t done it nearly as much this year. It’s probably a little bit of both. I think they fed off him, there’s no question how hard he was working on the boards, but I think also, he saw his teammates were doing the same thing.”
Is there anything the staff can do to ensure that the sense of urgency sticks with the team moving forward?
“Most of the time it’s up to them. I’m not trying to blame our kids but you’ve heard me say and every coach say we shouldn’t have to coach effort but it’s the more you invest. It’s like the stock market, you can’t make money if you don’t invest. It’s basketball, you can’t get success unless you’re really invested. I think if you go in there every one of them will tell you that this was our best game in a long time of how hard we played. I really said something quickly to Brad (Frederick) that’s the hardest we’ve played in several weeks. I want to keep trying emphasizing it, screaming, stomping or whatever it takes kind of thing but they’ve got to bring it. When they do that we’ve got a chance to be a good team.”
Is Kennedy Meeks starting to become a fixture in the starting lineup with his improved play?
“I don’t know. It’s strange, I let four guys vote—I think I said this to the TV people before the game—I let Hubert (Davis), C.B. (McGrath), Steve (Robinson) and Brad vote for the starting lineup tonight and I didn’t start the lineup that any of them put out there. It just depends what kind of mood I’m in but he’s really done some better things, yes.
"I tell you another guy that only played very few minutes but really gave us a lift was Desmond (Hubert). He played four minutes and really gave us a big lift. He was great defensively, I think he had a blocked shot and he’s been out with a concussion but in the first half I thought we started to get some separation when Desmond was in there.
"Joel (James), Kennedy—they should be each others' biggest fans and if they do that then we’ve got that chemistry that we need to have. I don’t care if it’s the whole season or whatever but somebody’s got to step up every game. It’s been Kennedy the last couple of times.”