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Brownell previews Sunday's trip to Florida State


  by - Staff Writer - Friday, March 2, 2012 3:36 PM
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Opening statement:

Brownell: “This is going to be a very difficult matchup. Florida State is having a great year. They are having an exceptional year. I think we caught them a little off guard when we beat them at home earlier this season. That win will have no bearing on the game on Sunday. This is a great opportunity for our team to keep rolling.”

Question: Just talk about the first game with Florida State.

Brownell: “That was probably as well as we’ve played all season. Or at least pretty close to it. It was a little bit of a perfect storm. We were aggressive defensively. They [Florida State] were still trying to find themselves. They weren’t in a great place as a team and they had some ups and downs in their out-of-conference schedule. Our guys played well. We were locked in and executed.”

Question: Talk about the challenges that Florida State presents.

Brownell: “The have an older group that is trying to prepare for the ACC tournament and the NCAA tournament. They had some success in the NCAA tournament last year. They got off to a slow start but they have showed maturity and they are very talented. They have had some incredible performances. They had a great comeback win last night at Virginia. They won even without Bernard James. They are a very mature team that hits shots to win games. They can beat you inside and outside. [Head coach] Leonard Hamilton has done a really good job. It will be tough because it’s senior day and they have a bunch of seniors.”

Question: Talk about the emergence of Florida State’s guards as the season has progressed.

Brownell: “I think [Michael] Snaer and [Ian] Miller are just more comfortable and confident than they were earlier in the season. Miller didn’t play during the first semester. When we played them the first time he [Miller] had just been back for a couple of games. He has a full ACC season under his belt now. He is dynamic. Snaer is a very good defender. He is aggressive and takes it to the basket. He hits shots to win the game.”

Question: Did you say anything to Milton [Jennings] last night so that he doesn’t lose the confidence he has played with over the last couple of games?

Brownell: “I told him that I was proud of his energy. I thought that he rebound really well. He played with great energy and great spirit. There was just so much going on last night. I told him that he is going to have nights where he doesn’t shoot the ball well, but he can’t let that effect what he does on the other end. I thought he played well defensively last night.”

Question: Talk about what this game means in terms of the ACC tournament seeding.

Brownell: “None of it matters is we don’t win. We just have to get prepared and re-energized. We have had two very emotional games with highs and lows. We had the 100 year anniversary game with all of the former players here. Our guys were very involved with that. Then we had senior day and senior night and all that goes into that. The most important thing is for us to get re-energized and ready to play a difficult game in a difficult setting.”

Question: At one point in the season you were 3-6 in conference play. Now you have the chance to be above .500 in ACC play. What does that say about this team?

Brownell: “It speaks a lot to the character of our team and coaches. We could have given up. We didn’t give into human nature and into the pressure. We have lot of seniors and juniors on this team and that helped. A lot of teams wouldn’t have responded and turned the season around to give us a chance to have a winning ACC record.”

Question: Has the fact that last year’s team had a similar turnaround helped this team?

Brownell: “I think it probably does. This team has gotten better. It was the same as last year’s team. We really improved from January to February. Guys don’t always want to hear about that all of the time, but I did point it out once or twice. It just shows that we can improve and we will improve as long as we take the necessary steps. Having guys that were on last year’s team that had the turnaround really helped them and me to an extent.”

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