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AUDIO - Part I (5:56)
AUDIO - Part II (5:53)
That was a weird basketball game to say the least. To shoot 39 percent and win the game, I think it had a lot to do with the will of this team and the will of these two guys up here (Raymond Felton and Jawad Williams).
When it was a 10- or 11-point game I made that crazy substitution just so that I could talk to the guys a minute. Jawad was the one guy I left in because I had talked to him before so I left in there with some guys that hadn’t played. I told him I just need to get the rest of the guys together and talk to them for a minute and then I would put them back in with him.
He comes up with a big steal at the center line, goes down, gets fouled and makes the free throw. Next possession we score and all of a sudden it’s a five-point game, so I think it was at that time our guys realized that there was still enough time left in the game and what we needed to do was keep playing every single possession. I didn’t think we had done that up until that time.”
On Felton taking over:
”Raymond didn’t just take over the game by himself at the end of the game. He played like we practice a lot of times. Clemson played a great game, but they have respect for the other weapons so they’re not going to rush in to stop Raymond’s penetration and allow him to pitch it out to Rashad, Marvin or Jawad, who can make the outside shot, so that’s part of our offense - Raymond’s penetration.
I think he really did force it two or three times in a row after we made those two big plays. I would like to tell you that I had some big plan when I made that crazy substitution, but I was searching. I don’t mind saying that. Whatever we were doing wasn’t working. I just wanted to tell those guys that were in the game that there was still plenty of time left and to just be ready to compete.”
On his first ACC Tourrnament win:
”I told the guys before the game that there wasn’t a single one of them that had ever won an ACC Tournament game. I told them that it should be extremely important to them and I didn’t think it was much, early on in the game because Clemson was the aggressor and we weren’t.
Our defense has been slipping the last few games, but I loved our toughness and competitiveness there at the end. Our defense has to get better.”
”I think we did a great job of keeping our poise. [Clemson] played a great game today. Guys like Raymond Felton and Rashad McCants stepped up big for us down the stretch and that really made the difference for us.”
On the return of Rashad McCants:
He played great. He hit some big threes for us and he gives us another scoring weapon out there. The defense has to focus on Rashad when he’s on the floor, so that frees other people up. It freed me up.”
“Tough game ... I think that sums it up. Clemson has been playing their best ball towards the end of the season, so my hat’s off to them. They made us play a great game. We just decided at the end of that game that we were going to play harder and get that win.”
On experience in big games helping today:
“That definitely helped us. We knew that we were down nine points with two minutes left against Duke and came back to win that game. So we knew that no matter what we could still be in it. We were down nine or 12 points, but there were 10 minutes left so we knew we had enough time and continued to play hard.”
On the toughest part of being out:
”Watching the games. Watching things that I felt like I could be doing on the court, like contributing and helping the team. But, I think the team did a great job without me. They were able to get key wins, especially against Duke.”
On his second half offensive struggles:
”I just wasn’t putting the ball in the hole. It wasn’t anything I was doing different. It was a tough battle in there and I had a tough time finishing plays.”
On the second half comeback:
”When we were coming back, coach said not to look at the score, just look at the time. Just make plays and get stops. There was a six-minute span where we didn’t even look at the score. We didn’t know what the score was, and the next thing you know we’re up two.
“Raymond led us back. His will and his play tonight were incredible.”