Quotable Tigers: Previewing The Miami Game


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Cliff Hammonds, K.C. Rivers and head coach Oliver Purnell preview Wednesday's game with Miami at Littlejohn Coliseum.

Cliff Hammonds

Is the Miami game the most important of the season?

"I would say yes. We have an opportunity to solidify third place at this moment. We're playing a team right behind us in the win/loss column. They're playing great basketball right now. That's what we want to do, be playing our best basketball of the season at this point. We want to try and prove that we deserve to be where we our right now. We're at home, and we have a chance to gain some momentum heading into postseason play. So it's going to be a big game."

Did the rest come at a good time for the team?

"It did. Last week after the Florida State game, five or six of our guys were sick. If we had played last Saturday, we wouldn't have known how many players we would have had available. We got our legs back under us, got some good practices in, then started working on Miami. We're refreshed and hopefully we'll be ready from the jump tomorrow against Miami."


K.C. Rivers

Overall thoughts on the game with Miami?

"Last year we got our seventh ACC win the last game of the regular season. Being at number seven right now is big for us, with the chance to get four more wins. This is the start of a big stretch for us, and this is the biggest game for right now."

Do you expect this game to be as close as the last game with Miami?

"They're an excellent ballclub. They do a lot of things well. You've got to be expecting a fight. They're coming off a win at home over a tough Maryland team. It's going to be a fight, a real close ballgame."

Head Coach Oliver Purnell

Overall thoughts on the game with Miami?

"In the game down at their place, I thought they played well late in the game. In particular Jack McClinton, who hit some big shots to bring them from behind to win at the end. I thought we played well after the first 10 minutes of that game, but we didn't play well enough throughout to win a close game."

Have you talked to your team about getting the ball into Trevor (Booker) more?

"We talk about that all the time. It's a two-part thing. Is Trevor getting himself open, and is Trevor in the ball game? He's been in foul trouble a bunch this year. I personally think he ought to be allowed to play a little more physical. Some of the guys we're playing against are very physical, when you consider teams like North Carolina and Georgia Tech, and of course this Miami club. We need his physical presence. It's been frustrating for him, I'm sure, to not be in there.

When he's not in there consistently, you've got to look other places offensively. When he is in there, you've got to be disciplined enough to get the ball into him. We've got to set a tone out there by getting to the offensive glass, staying out of foul trouble, some of those things. It'd be great, and it's very possible, to have Trevor Booker come up big down the stretch for us."

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