Clemson vs Michigan Postgame Quotes


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COACH OLIVER PURNELL: Ovbiously, we're terribly disappointed that we didn't win the game and here in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. I thought our big problem, of course, was we couldn't get the ball to go in the basket.

I was pleased with our energy level on the defensive end of the floor. I thought defensively for the most part throughout the game we played pretty well. We made some errors against the Harris kid in terms of giving up some 3s but by and large I thought we -- we did a pretty good job defensively.

Certainly was an improvement over last couple of weeks. Offensively just couldn't get a lot of point blank shots to go in.

Late midway to late in the first half and then during the second half, of course, we went through the soap opera right there and were down 14, 15 after that and was all down and settled down, we made a heck of a come back.

Got started to get even more stops and we started to make some shots and gave yourselves an opportunity to get back in it but we dug ourselves too big a hole going into the half in the second half with just not being able to get the ball in the basket and then mainly not getting the ball in the basket.

Obviously we're disappointed with the TO situation because he's a young man that can give us some spark every now and then but if that's the case, if you elbow the kid, then he should be thrown out.

Q. K.C., obviously a disappointing end to your career. What are you thinking right now after that game?

K.C. RIVERS: Right now, I'm just trying to look positive and not the negatives. Just let my mind be free, really, right now. I don't know what to think. It's been up and down ride, you know.

I cherish the fight I have in my teammates throughout the whole year. They helped me become the all time winningest player in Clemson history. Right now my mind is really blank.

I'm just trying to look at more positive than I am negative but right now I'm hurting.

Q. K.C., why don't you just talk about what you were looking for on the last shot and kind of how it set-up for you.

K.C. RIVERS: Well, I came off -- when I was running off it looked like it was going to be a good enough spot for me to catch and release but a little jammed up. I figured if I take it down a little further I could get a shot off and sure enough the little man switched on me but the quicker I had to turn, being a left-handed person, you got to turn and square and it's got to be a fast turn and I didn't turn as well and fortunately time ran out and the ball was short.

That's what happened. I took the last shot of my senior career.

Q. Trevor, can you just talk about your efforts on the boards and how you kind of dominated the boards but couldn't turn it into really anything?

TREVOR BOOKER: Well, we did a good job of attacking the glass, especially the offensive glass but unfortunately we came up short. I think we got down a little bit too much in the second half and we took too long to try to fight back.

Q. K.C., did they do anything particularly on defense to frustrate you guys?

K.C. RIVERS: Nothing we haven't seen, you know. Just, again, we talked about not being tentative and we talked about not being frustrated at what we see and, again, some of the frustration, some of the tentativeness creeped in.

After we got beyond that, the time was kind of ticking short and still making that push but the push was too late.

Q. I guess for Trevor, talk about the overall disappointment of having such a strong start back in February and having it end the way it did the last month or so.

TREVOR BOOKER: Well, I think we accomplished a lot throughout the season. We didn't want it to end like this but I mean we still learned a lot. We came close as a team throughout the season but unfortunately it ended in tragedy.

Q. Coach, how did you try to reset things after the Oglesby situation? What was your approach to them?

COACH OLIVER PURNELL: Well, my approach was to remind them that we talked about both sides of the coin. We talked about being 15 up and as one hanging it together and get the job done and we talked about being 15 down.

I just reminded them not more than 24 hours ago we talked about the situation. And I think that positive thing is they were looking me right in the eye. They believed that.

And you know, obviously, we came close to getting the thing tied. Andre Young had a shot go down that would have tied it. Obviously K.C.'s was a tough look but could have tied it.

But, you know, you got to give Michigan credit. They got up 15 and hung in there. They were tired. They just hung in there. That's why you don't want to be down 15 to a good team because it's kinds of like a hot wire. Maybe you stay up on it and get it done, make a couple shots, get into overtime.

That happens so many times in this tournament. The way we were making shots in this game, probably wasn't going to happen. That was the real key to the game was lose -- us losing the game, couldn't make a layup, couldn't make shots.

When you look Demontez, TO, K.C., Potter, their shooting percentages, we just couldn't make a shot. And K.C., Potter had layups and obviously didn't make them and I think Demontez had four in the lane from about 7 feet.

Got to make some of those or you're going to put yourself behind the 8 ball and then the situation coming out of the half, all of a sudden you're a man down, particularly a good shooter down and by the time we kind of settled back in from that situation, we're down 15.

Our guys made a valiant effort and again when I looked at them in the eye and said we can do this, I think they believed me.

Q. Coach, you're down 15 with under 6 to go and you bring it within 9 with a timeout. What did you tell your team in that timeout after they hit two 3-pointers and how proud of you of your team with that 14-0 run?

COACH OLIVER PURNELL: I told them it was a situation that we envisioned and talked about, that we could be 15 up, 15 down. It's the tournament. But because of our ability to kind of hang in there as one, coming closer together we could get it done and I thought they believed it.

I thought that's one of the reasons why we gave ourselves a chance. So, yeah, I'm sure. I'm proud of the fact they fought hard, proud. Fact they came out here, ready to go defensively.

We hadn't played well defensively in the last couple of weeks. But, at the same time, you got to kind of put together a complete game. You got to finish strong inside. We didn't do that.

Q. Same thing to ask the players, your thoughts now about finishing the season the way you did after the way you guys started the season on such a strong run?

COACH OLIVER PURNELL: I would kind of agree with both our guys. K.C. basically was saying he's kind of numb and that's how I am right now but Book said we've accomplished a lot of things this year and I told the guys, you've had a

solid year but it's not good enough for me. I don't think that's good enough for the program. I don't think that's good enough for you.

And told the seniors I hope they learned a lot in terms of team and consistency and those kinds of things as they go off to play for somebody else or they go off into business. But from a program standpoint, we can't be satisfied. Got a lot of guys coming back, got some guys coming in and we're just not satisfied with having a solid year. We want to have a great year.

Q. The way it played out, you guys spent so much time talking and working on defense and getting your energy back on defense and the press and all whole thing. I mean did you ever envision just missing -- it's one thing you don't worry about, missing a layup?

COACH OLIVER PURNELL: Might miss some jump shots. We weren't concerned about that against the zone. You don't think you're going to miss a lot of layups. And if you remember, we talked about attacking Michigan or any other zone. Make sure that we have balance and we get the ball inside.

We don't want to get in a horse contest from the outside. Sure enough we got it in there and just didn't finish it. Really not a lot to say about the execution. We just didn't finish.

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