"The first thing I would say is give credit to North Carolina, I thought those kids played real hard tonight. It was a pretty competitive basketball game, very physical; both teams [were] really laying it on the line. I'm proud of our guys. I thought we maybe didn't handle some things as well in the first half as we would have liked to defensively. We weren't very good, but we just battled and hung in there. We lost a very good player in Tanner Smith, a guy that's played 31 minutes for us a game. We kind of had to dig a little deeper. We don't have a lot of guys at that size that play for us, so [we] had to call on our bench to help us out. And I thought we got great play from guys like Milton [Jennings], Cory [Stanton] and Bryan [Narcisse]. You know, we battled and hung in there and had it at 63-all with a chance to win in the last six minutes, but [we just] weren't quite good enough to finish it."
"That was a big time game. You've got to give Clemson credit. It's an eight point lead and early we weren't doing very much offensively the second half. Score got tied 63-63. I think that was a big three Harrison (Barnes) made right in front of our bench. And (Demontez) Stitt I think goes down, think me and Steve (Kirschner) just talked about this, my memory is pretty good but I screw it up sometimes. But Stitt goes down and scores and we come down and Kendall (Marshall) makes two and we get stopped and then that tip-in that John Henson's was a big basket for us as well because that made it more than a one possession game. Uh for us, Dexter (Strickland) and Larry (Drew II) really did a nice job defensively. It was a little bit lean out there.
"We wanted Leslie, (McDonald). In fact yesterday the staring lineup in practice was Kendall, Leslie, Harrison, John and Justin Knox. I was changing three guys and then when we found out that Leslie couldn't play we put Dexter back in the line up and without Leslie's firepower I wanted to go more offense and keep Z (Tyler Zeller) in there. Z's played really good basketball for us all year long. I'm trying to push him to do even more. He responded tonight, stepped up, made big free throws there. Got some big rebound for us down the stretch. Take away the silly turnovers in fact we were 0 for our first seven from three in the second half it was a hard ball to win and we are as happy as we could possibly be with it."
On Defensive Play:
"I thought we were much more intense to say the least. We didn't get back and get picked up as cleanly as I would've liked but we had so much more emotion, so much more enthusiasm, so much more want to. You know you got to play the game of basketball with a sense of urgency and I didn't feel like we played the game of basketball really the last three games with a sense of urgency except perhaps the last part of the Virginia game and definitely the last five or six minutes of the Virginia Tech game. But I think we had that emotional feeling out there today and I told them, I think yesterday's practice, you can change your way of thinking, you can change your way of acting by changing your attitude. You can alter everything by changing your attitude. You've got to be more aggressive. You got to be more into it on the defensive end of the floor.
"I really thought that our defensive intensity in the first half set the tone for the whole game."