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Postgame Quotes
Clemson 82, Virginia 51

Virginia Head Coach Dave Leitao

Opening comments:
“Not only did Clemson execute their game plan both offensively and defensively, as we had seen on film, but they did it with a tremendous amount of confidence. They have been the one team that we’ve seen throughout these past couple of weeks that has played with that much confidence. We’ve got to get back to basics, get back to the gym, and correct. It didn’t look pretty, and this was obviously something that I didn’t expect to happen. That’s why we’re getting back to basics, to make the appropriate physical and emotional corrections, and to make sure games like tonight don’t happen again.”

On how to rebuild his team’s confidence:
“I think you get your confidence from doing the basics. The reason why teams practice 100 some-odd times a year is because repetition brings about confidence. Confidence brings about results; results bring about victory. You can feel good about what you’re doing if you’re doing it in succession. That’s what we need to get back to doing in the gym.”

On Virginia’s performance in the first half:
“We played really good defense until the first TV timeout. They turned it over a few times. We didn’t convert like we needed to, although we had a 6-5 lead. They woke up eventually. We turned it over a few times under pressure, and it affected us mentally. We didn’t stay in the right frame of mind, and it just spread from there.”

On his team succumbing to pressure from Clemson:
“I don’t know if pressure is the right word, but if there is a right word, then I don’t have it. I think that each individual has to search within himself to find a way out of a personal or collective situation and make things better. I’ve been through this before, and you go back to rolling up your sleeves and working. You tap into the pride for which you play basketball, and that’s where it starts.”

Senior Guard Sean Singletary

On if it was a lack of energy by the team:
“It wasn’t our lack of energy that got us down. They came in here and beat us bad, and they were definitely on top of their game, but we just weren’t in the game. We were in it when it was 9-9, but after that, they hit a couple of threes and we were out of the game. It was definitely a tough loss, but I just told the guys that we have to stay together because we have a lot of basketball left.”

On if the team needs just one win to get their confidence back:
“I think we will give each other confidence and then that will turn into a win. When we are playing defense and getting stops and talking and energetic and playing with confidence, then that will lead to wins.”

On if missing early shots sets the tone for the game:
“You can say we missed shots, but this is all about us being a cohesive unit, and we weren’t that tonight. Down the stretch of games, we aren’t together and on the same page, so that is the big part, the big factor that is causing us to lose these games.”

Senior Forward Adrian Joseph

On the team’s struggles:
“I think in the situation we are in right now, we are playing with a lack of confidence. It’s not one person; I think it is throughout the team, and that is affecting the way we play as far as being aggressive on both ends of the floor.”

On what the team can do to get back to winning:
“It has to come from within the team. We have to come back to practice, be together, and play with confidence. There isn’t anything else you can do. You can’t just go in the gym and work harder on anything. You just have to go out and play aggressively.”

On if the team at all expected a game like tonight:
“Definitely not, especially at home game. You always want to win your home games, but I definitely didn’t expect this. I expected us to go out there and turn things around, especially because of how we have been doing lately. Unfortunately, we didn’t.”

Clemson Head Coach Oliver Purnell

On the game overall:
“I thought that we were really good defensively tonight. You always have to focus on Sean [Singletary] and try to make things difficult for him. But at the same time, when Virginia has played their best, sometimes it has been other guys who have been scoring and getting their thing going with [Adrian] Joseph and [Mamadi] Diane and the like, and Sean will kind of take a back seat until you get into the game, and then he hurts you. I thought we did a good job on them all night long. Our press was good early, and I thought our man-to-man was very good.”

On their offensive game:
“We shot the ball well, but one of the reasons for that was because we had so many assists, particularly in the first half. Then we continued to execute our game plan in the second half, which, believe it or not, was to go inside and take our threes off of that. Overall, it was just a pretty good basketball game for us. We played pretty well the other night at Boston College, so hopefully this is a sign of things to come.”

On K.C. Rivers’ performance:
“Anytime you make shots, it’s impressive. Obviously he had a couple of very impressive shots at the end of the shot clock. That’s a sign that he had it going. Again, we had a bunch of assists and guys were looking for the guy with the hot hand.”

On getting a big lead:
“We know that they’re (Virginia) not going to quit. We learned not to let off the throttle because if you do that in this league, anything can happen.”

Clemson Junior Guard K.C. Rivers

On his shooting performance:
“I was just feeling it tonight. My teammates found me and I got it going. Everyone was pushing me and trying to find me and I was finding them as well when I didn’t think I had it going.”

On last year’s game against Virginia:
“It affected us badly, because that game determined what was going to happen as far as the NCAA Tournament coming along. This year I think we did a good job coming in here and holding our own and not giving up a big lead like we did last year.”

On Virginia’s performance tonight:
“They came out with a lot of intensity at first and I thought it was going to continue throughout the game, but I guess it dropped off towards the end of the first half.”

On his offensive strategy tonight:
“[Purnell] talks about if you screen you get open, if you do things you get open. Basically that was what I was trying to do. I was trying to move without the ball, screen and get my teammates open and get myself open.”

Clemson Senior Guard Cliff Hammonds

On his performance and the team’s defensive efforts:
“I am just playing my role. I am just trying to limit my turnovers and control the game as much as I can. Tonight we got some fast break opportunities so I was making the easy pass and giving K.C. [Rivers] the ball when he was open. He had hot hands so I knew that everything I passed to him was going in, and it did most of the night. Everybody on the team ran the floor pretty well. We got in transition pretty good tonight. Hopefully, the way we played tonight can keep on carrying over. Hopefully our defensive effort will carry over. Hopefully the way we played in transition and the way we got out there on defense will carry over to another game.”

On Virginia’s performance:
“I don’t think Virginia laid it down for us with ten minutes to go, I just think they ran out of gas a little bit. We got them pretty good. We’re just going to have to keep fighting and fighting to get better. I think going into another hostile environment on Sunday [against UNC] is going to be a big test for us.”

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