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"I just coached a poor game tonight. They had a tremendous sense of urgency and tremendous passion. We went down 7-0 and I almost called a timeout and I have never done that in my life. We turned the ball over 15 times, had two veterans that couldn't pass and catch. There is no reason but to say that the head coach did a poor job.
"We need to have a better sense of urgency and poise. It was the veterans tonight that had trouble. I want to congratulate Clemson and Oliver Purnell. We came in and wanted to do a good job on Booker and Stitt tonight and they both had 11 in the first half. It all just goes back to the head coach."
On the effect of Clemson's press:
"I have run the same press offense for 22 years and I love for teams to press because we run right through it, but tonight we had guys going the wrong way. I think they have had teams that press better, and that is nothing against them. We just turned the ball over too much."
On the ACC right now:
"The league is very good right now. You have to protect your turf at home and get wins on the road. We have to play with more poise and I have to coach better."
On what the team learned tonight:
"Clemson showed what aggressive means. They had a great sense of urgency and poise and we need to play with that type of aggression and poise. I know that I keep saying the same thing, but I just don't have a lot to say."
Listen to Audio (3:28)
On the loss:
"I've never felt like this before. You've just got to play with poise; be calm under pressure, be even more focused. And all those places we needed to elevate our game tonight, we went the opposite. And that obviously made it that much worse."
What do you take away from this game?
“You can’t play like that. You can’t expect to win against anybody.”
Listen to Audio (3:35)
On Clemson speeding UNC up to create turnovers:
“I could never imagine. We normally speed people up. The teams that I’ve always been on ran past everybody and Coach Williams’ style is normally faster than everybody and outscore you, but with this team we ‘re going to have to change something to find a different way,”
On UNC losing five road games thus far:
"This is something in my four years that I'm not really used to, but this is a different team. We've got to find the right way to put it all together."
Listen to Audio (1:16)
Was it overwhelming with the way Clemson built the early lead?
“Yes, it was tough. Their crowd was definitely into it and they got a lot of shots off our turnovers. We just made mental mistakes.”
Has it been tough to keep your head up with the team’s struggles?
“It’s tough. It’s a challenge, but I’m getting through it. We haven’t won yet on the road. On a level like this – the ACC – it’s tough, but we’ve just got to go out there and try to stay focused and try to win.”
Listen to Audio (1:55)
Coach Purnell talked his team defending the perimeter passes well. Did that pose problems for you?
“Yeah, I noticed they were taking away the wing and the low-post entry passes. We still could have done a better job with post-feeding and moving around on the perimeter so that we could be open more.”
Listen to Audio (8:14)
"This game was a great team effort, both on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Both teams love to push the pace, but we felt like we were the quicker and faster team. This helped us stay on top of them and keep them on their toes. We were able to keep Trevor (Booker) moving throughout the offense, which is tougher for them to defend. We did not shoot well from three, but we did shoot better from the free throw line. It was a trade off. We have to continue the climb and get better."
On pressure defense:
"Pressure defense is Clemson basketball. We thought we would be able to keep the pressure on them and force turnovers; we ended up forcing 26. We got quite a few points off of turnovers which helped us keep the pace up."
On sharing the load against the big men:
"Jerai (Grant) stayed on Deon Thompson and Trevor stayed on Ed Davis and they did a great job of keeping them from doing a lot of damage."
On this being a satisfying win:
"It's always satisfying when you beat a Duke or a North Carolina or any team like that with a storied program, but I don't look at it that way. This is an early ACC win, which is good for our team, but you don't see me smiling yet."
On learning from the loss earlier this season to Illinois:
"You always want to take lessons from pre-conference and early season games, but the Illinois loss is one this team definitely will not forget. I think the guys learned from that and knew that we couldn't take our foot off the gas pedal."