|Roper makes most of second start|
|by Nikki Steele - Staff Writer - Monday, February 11, 2013 9:26 PM||
Roper was one of the few bright spots during Clemson’s 58-57 loss to N.C. State Sunday afternoon in Littlejohn Coliseum, scoring a game-high 17 points and three steals in 32 minutes of action.
Roper said that every time he touches the ball, his mindset is to put points on the board by either hitting a basket or making shots from the charity stripe.
“Most of the time they are either going to foul you or let you lay it in and that’s my mindset,” Roper said after Sunday’s game. “You can’t be afraid to fail. I’m going try and go score a basket. I’m just out there trying to make plays to help us win whether that’s taking a shot or making a play for someone else, that’s what I try to do.”
The 5-11 freshman guard from Columbia didn’t realize he was getting the start until the team’s final preparations Saturday evening.
“I really didn’t know. He [Brad BrownellBrad Brownell
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Roper said that he just wants to find a way to help his team win, but he is also becoming a smarter basketball player along the way.
“Any way I can come in and contribute to the team and help us win, I’ll do it whether it’s starting or coming in off the bench,” he said “To start, it really shows that I’m moving forward in my career- that I’m making plays and playing smarter out there.”
Brownell preaches defense and that’s exactly where Roper thinks he has improved the most.
“I think I’m a better defensive player,” he said. “At the beginning of the year, I couldn’t keep anyone in front of me. I still have trouble doing that, but I think I’m getting a lot better being an on-ball defender and guarding off the ball.”
As much as Roper has improved his individual game, he said that the entire team needs to continue to improve in order to send the seniors out on a winning note.
“We just have to get better as a unit,” he said. “We have to cut down on the little mistakes and learn from our own mistakes. We’re a young team so we just have to keep learning and we have to keep playing because we want to send out these seniors- Milt and Book with a great year.”
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