WATCH: Brownell, Blossomgame on loss to Notre Dame


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Clemson head coach Brad Brownell

Opening statement:

“Congratulations to Notre Dame on their play tonight, they played extremely well, they just kind of fed off their performance from Saturday night against North Carolina. I knew they would come in here with a ton of confidence, when you play the way they did Saturday night, executing and making shots, you are going to come into the next game with a lot of confidence. It is disappointing, we just didn’t quite have it tonight, we got into a shootout tonight with a team with a bigger gun and more bullets, and that is just not how we are going to beat them. I thought our defense played reasonably well in the first half, but in the second half it just fell apart. I’ll have to go back and look at what exactly happened. They made the run and we had a couple of chances, but to Notre Dame’s credit, every time we made a little run and got within a possession or four points, they would make a big three or Zach Auguste really hurt us in the second half. That is what is good about Notre Dame, they have older guys who play with poise and they always have five on the floor who can score. Tonight, they really got something from everybody. V.J. Beachem made four threes, (Matt) Ryan made two threes off the bench, (Steve) Vasturia played a great floor game, (Demetrius) Jackson was very opportunistic but efficient. They were just too good offensively for the way we played tonight.”

On this being the first time Clemson has lost back to back games since December:

“That kind of thing happens, obviously we aren’t going to try and let it happen. But we need a few days off, we are beat up, tired and sick. We just don’t feel great and probably shouldn’t feel great. We haven’t played as well the last several weeks that we played for about a month, that is part of basketball at this level, it is such a long season that you are going to play through some tough times. The Virginia Tech game was a tough game, it was a rock fight, it was physical, it was 60-57, grinding-type basketball. Tonight was more like a pick-up game. That is the way Notre Dame likes to play, and it feels like you are playing a pick-up game where you are just moving around. That is how they want it, they are so efficient and it is an easy game for them to get comfortable in. They are better at it than we are. We need to take a couple of days and rest and try to get a couple of guys healthy. We have a couple of guys that aren’t feeling great with some sickness and Avry’s (Holmes) groin is bothering him. We just need to get our minds right.”

On if Landry (Nnoko’s) struggles had to do with the way the game was called or style of play:

“No, Landry just had a bad night. Our centers didn’t play well, which surprised me. We tried to go inside to them early in the game. We wanted to attack Zach Auguste a little bit and make him play defense, and Landry (Nnoko) for whatever reason just didn’t have a good game, probably got in his own way a little bit. He missed a couple of shots that he normally makes, and passed the ball out a couple of times when he probably should have taken the shot. He fumbled a couple and just never got into a rhythm, and when you are playing a team that scores as well as Notre Dame, we are going to need four guys that can really play well. It can’t all be three-point shots, so we tried to do that and it didn’t work. But he will bounce back and we will go onto the next one.”

Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey

Opening statement:

“I’m really proud of my team for exerting the effort we did against North Carolina, and then to come down here and get this one against a very good team, an NCAA Tournament team, who hadn’t lost in this building in league play — I couldn’t be prouder of our group. We need some rest.”

On the Irish’s opening run:

“Any time you can get off to a good start on the road, that really helps you, and (V.J.) Beachem getting those two threes early gave us some confidence. I thought our defense was fabulous in the first half. They’re a really talented offensive team, with a lot of different guys that can score. We had a harder time guarding them in the second half, but our first half defense gave us a cushion for the second half.”

On Zach Auguste’s performance:

“That was huge — to be able to play without him. I’m really proud of him because he wasn’t distracted by that. He just came back and played 20 minutes, and he was a man with what he gave us in the second half. He’s been playing like that. I’m so proud of him. He wasn’t distracted with the foul trouble, came out and gave us a great physical effort, and set the tone.”

On Jaron Blossomgame and Clemson’s team overall:

“He’s a great player. He was a hard matchup for us. I thought Vasturia did the best job of slowing him down a little bit, and that’s a heck of a workout for Steve, because we want him to make shots and drive, and now you’ve got to guard (Blossomgame), and he’s posting you up. He is a great talent. I love their group; I love their team. Again, I think this is an NCAA Tournament team. Brad’s done a fabulous job with this group, and he’d be my vote for Coach of the Year right now with what he’s done with this program.”

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