Clemson vs VT: Post-game press conference and notes


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Overall Thoughts:

“Certainly it was a great win for our guys. I’m happy for our seniors.
Those guys are always special, but it’s challenging sometimes to battle
your emotions and play well, especially with the added significance of it
being for fourth place in the league and a chance to keep our NCAA hopes
alive. I thought we played pretty well. Defensively, I thought we were
outstanding. Offensively, we had some turnovers that bother you, but we
did execute.”



On Demontez Stitt playing with a chip on his shoulder:

“That’s why he’s good. He’s competitive. When I got the job, I watched
film on him and got to know him. It took me about a week to realize that
he’s a foxhole kind of guy. He’s one of those guys that you want in your
foxhole.”



On his team’s NCAA Tournament chances:

“I certainly think we’ve played pretty doggone well here. I know that all
the games in November and December count too, and those are some of the
ones that are hurting us. We’re completely different now than we were. All
those games where you evaluate yourself against other teams in other
leagues, all that has been over for six or eight weeks, so it’s hard for
your leagues to move or change. But we’re playing pretty well and we have
a pretty competitive group.”



On the energy starting the game:

“Some games you knock a ball or two loose and you get an easy play and the
floodgates open. Now you’ve made a basket or two, so everybody feels good
and the momentum happens. We’ve had a bunch of games where I thought we
played well and just couldn’t make a shot. It wasn’t like our guys weren’t
ready to play; we just didn’t make a shot. It helped today that we didn’t
have to think about what we were playing for.”




Overall Thoughts:


“I can’t fault our effort at all. I thought we really played hard and
played a full 40 minutes. Obviously, our start was less than stellar, but
they made shots and you have to give them credit. Once we settled into the
game, I thought we defended very hard, but we didn’t defend at the end of
the shot clock very well. Defensive transition in to the zone was awful,
and that really hurt us. For us to win, it’s very simple: we need more
guys to contribute. We didn’t shoot the ball well and a lot of that has to
do with their defense. We had some open looks, we just didn’t finish. They
did a good job protecting the front of the rim. In the second half, I
thought we ran good offense, but we just weren’t able to get a stop at
that point. We had possessions where we would play great defense, but as
the shot clock expired, Demontez (Stitt) made a three in the corner. We
also had a lot of looks we didn’t finish. You have to give Clemson a lot
of credit.


“With everything our team has gone through this year, if someone would
have told me in the beginning of the season that we would have won nine
games, I’d be proud of that accomplishment. I’m still proud of our
accomplishments. It’s hard to have a winning record in this conference. To
be tied for fourth, that’s something these kids should be proud of. These
kids have persevered pretty well. It’s easy for people to be cynical, but
in the big picture, these kids have done some pretty special things.


“Everyone wants to know where we stand with the NCAA Tournament and we
just have to win games. We’re no different than any other team. If we
don’t win in the first round of the ACC Tournament, we’re in the NIT. If
we win in the first round of the ACC Tournament, we’re still in the
discussion. No one has really separated themselves in this conference.”




Audio


AUDIO: Brad Brownell postgame press conference


AUDIO: Jerai grant postgame


AUDIO: Demontez Stitt postgame


Clemson vs. Virgnia Tech Postgame Notes



•With the victory today, Brad Brownell tied the Clemson coaching record for victories in a season by a first-year coach. Brownell is now 20-10 this year and ties the record of 20 wins by Larry Shyatt, who was 20-15 in his first year, 1998-99. Shyatt had four of those wins in the NIT, so Brownell has the record for regular season play.

•Brownell became just the fourth ACC coach in history to win at least nine league games in his first year. Matt Doherty and Bill Guthridge had 13-3 records in their first years at North Carolina, and Skip Prosser had nine in his first year at Wake Forest.

•Today was the 88th victory for this senior class. The group is now 88-40 for a .688 winning percentage. The 88 wins are the third most in school history for a class. However, it was the 37th ACC regular season win, the most in a four-year period in Clemson history in regular season play.

•Clemson and Duke are the only ACC teams to have four consecutive winning regular seasons in league play.

•Today clinched a fourth straight winning regular season in ACC play, a first in school history.

•Jerai Grant played in his 86th career Clemson victory today, fourth best in school history. Only Trevor Booker and David Potter (93 apiece) and K.C. Rivers (91) have played in more Clemson wins.

•Today was Clemson’s seventh straight Senior Day victory. The Tigers are 5-0 on Senior Day against Virginia Tech since the Hokies came into the ACC in 2004-05. That is a 3-0 record in Clemson Senior Days and 2-0 in Virginia Tech Senior Days.

•Clemson clinched a top four seed in the ACC Tournament with its victory today. It is just the third time since 1990 that Clemson has had a top four seed in the event. The others since 1990 are 1997 (4th) and 2008 (3rd).

•Jerai Grant scored 17 points, had nine rebounds and four blocked shots on his Senior Day. It was the first time in his career that he has had at least 17 points, nine rebounds and four blocks in the same ACC game. His father Harvey and brother, Jerian, a red-shirt freshman at Notre Dame this year, were among his family members in attendance today.

•Devin Booker scored 14 points in today’s game, his high scoring game since he had 14 in a win over Seton Hall on November 22. He had nine of his 14 points in the first eight minutes of today’s game.

•Clemson held Virginia Tech to .305 field goal percentage today, the low field goal percentage of the year for Virginia Tech.

•Demontez Stitt had 15 points, five rebounds and five assists in another typical all-round performance by the Clemson senior. It was the third time this year he had at least 15 points, five rebounds and five assists in the same game. He last did it in a win at Georgia Tech on Feb. 5.

•Andre Young had six assists without a turnover today, tying his career best game for most assists without a turnover. He last did it his freshman year in a game against Savannah State when he had six assists and no turnovers.

•Zavier Anderson drew two charges today and now has 14 this year in just 258 minutes.

•Clemson is now 13-1 when holding the opposition to 60 points or less. The only loss was a 49-47 loss at Virginia.

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