Brad Brownell: "We didn't show up once we got hit in the mouth"
|Monday, February 6, 2017, 12:22 PM- -|
Brad Brownell compared his team’s performance Sunday against Florida St. to a boxer who steps into the ring, takes the first punch to the mouth and fails to put up much of a fight for the remainder of the contest.
A 51-point first half outburst led No. 15 Florida State to a 109-61 victory over the Tigers on Sunday at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee. Clemson fell to 13-9 overall and 3-7 in league play and faces a quick turnaround, returning home to face a Syracuse team that has won four in a row on Tuesday night.
The loss tied for the seventh-worst loss in the history of Clemson basketball, and it was the worst in seven years under Brownell. Throw in the 92-60 beat down at Louisville a few weeks ago, and the worst two losses of the Brownell era have been in the last five games.
Brownell said his team lacks the fight to continue once adversity strikes.
“We didn't show up once we got hit in the mouth,” Brownell told TigerNet Monday morning. “I thought we were fine the first few minutes of the game and then midway to late in the first half I thought we got hit in the mouth with a great flurry from Florida St. That is kind of what happened at Louisville, and I don’t think we’ve been a team that’s handled that very well. We have a quick turnaround against a Syracuse team that is playing extremely well and has won four in a row and is playing very good basketball. It’s a big week for us, especially with the quick turnaround for the Syracuse game.”
He then said his players tend to stray from the game plan once things go awry.
“I think that’s what’s happened to our team. Guys break off and go and do their own thing, to be honest with you, especially offensively,” he said. “We make some extremely poor decisions. We had 14 turnovers in the first half, and there is just no way to play well after that.
“To be honest with you, we had a few things figured out at the beginning of the second half, and then guys went back to doing their own thing, and we didn’t show up in the second half at all, and that was disappointing. I don’t think you worry about it, really, because you have a game or two like this one every year where your team is flat or doesn’t respond to adversity, especially when you are playing a quality team, and they get on a roll and make a tremendous amount of shots."
He said the team won't dwell on the loss and will instead turn its attention to a Syracuse team that is 15-9 overall and 7-4 in league play, good for fifth in the ACC standings. The Orange defeated third-place Virginia last weekend.
“With the next game being a two-day turnaround, there isn’t a lot of time to reflect on it. We met last night a little bit. We have to have a really good practice and meetings today, and we will have a short meeting tomorrow and get ourselves ready to play a talented Syracuse team that is playing really well the last few weeks.”
He was asked if this is a situation where he needs to see more leadership from his players, and he said yes.
“I’ve been a little disappointed with our players in that way. It hasn’t been all the time, but there have been times when we hit adversity, and there hasn’t been that mental toughness on the floor and things have snowballed,” Brownell said. “But it’s not like it’s a major problem on our team or anything like that. It’s a couple of bad losses. It happens when you aren’t ready to play and get hit in the mouth. Those things happen. We had a bad performance, and we have to leave it behind and get ready for the next game.”