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Feb. 15, 2014

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Clemson vs. Virginia
Feb. 15, 2014 * Littlejohn Coliseum
Postgame Coaches’ Quotes

Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett

Overall thoughts:
“I thought Clemson came out ready. Coach (Brad) Brownell did a good job. It wasn’t that we weren’t ready, but we weren’t as sharp as we needed to be and they scored 5 or 6 of their first possessions. We caught a break without (Landry) Nnoko playing. He’s a big factor defensively and he’s improving offensively. They did a really good job without him. It came down to us having to make some really good plays down the stretch. You don’t get anything easy against Clemson’s defense. They got stuff early but then I think the game settled down into that hard-fought battle that we all expected it would be.”

On winning on the road:
“Every time you taste success or do something well, that’s a good deposit that you need and I think you can draw on that and not be rattled or flustered. Our radio guy, Tedd Jeffries, said we looked a little frazzled at times and I think we did but in a game like this, with the defense they play, you’re going to have some rough spots. We didn’t turn it over as much in the second half and we controlled the glass.”

On the play of Mike Tobey this afternoon:
“With Nnoko not being there, we thought we had a little bit of a mismatch. They have some defenders inside without him, but not like Nnoko, at least not in this stage of their career, with all due respect. But with Mike, we knew if we could get him in deep position then we’d have a chance to capitalize. He was ready and barring a few miscues defensively, we liked what we saw.”

On Malcom Brogdon’s free throws at the end of the game:
“He was very poised and he has a quietness in his mind when he steps up there. It was significant because they hit a big three to bring it within reach. It was a battle. We knew it would be a tough game and we knew we’d have to bring it and compete like heck to be in this. That was the mindset.”

Clemson Head Coach Brad Brownell

Overall thoughts:
“Disappointing loss, but I’m obviously really proud of our players. I thought our guys fought really hard and played well in a lot of ways. Credit Virginia for the way they played late in the game. Their execution offensively was really good. They finished the game like a team that is 12-1 with 21 wins and played on the road with very good poise. (Malcolm) Brogdon made six free throws down the stretch, any one of which a miss or two here would have given us an opportunity to tie and really get it going. But again, I’m proud of our players for the way they played today, I thought we executed very well, we only had five turnovers and I thought we gave ourselves a chance to win.”

On K.J. McDaniels’ performance in two losses this week:
“It’s frustrating for all of us. We do a lot of things for K.J. to get him the ball, and lucky for us he usually comes through. That’s what you want for a player, he wants that. It’s frustrating and challenging to play like that and lose two games by a possession or two. It’s one or two plays every game. The hard part is to keep fighting, but we will try and regroup and play well Tuesday.”

On missing Landry Nnoko:
“Its obvious Landry would have helped us, but I don’t like talking about that because it takes away from the players that do play. Those guys fought today and did some good things for us, Josh (Smith) and Sidy (Djitte), and competed hard. We were in position to win without Landry, but we just didn’t get it done.”

On UVa starting cold in the second half:
“You know that Virginia is too good of an offensive team with too many good players to shoot that bad. Our defense had something to do with it, but they missed some shots. This is a very talented team we are playing; they have only lost at Duke in the league. They went to Pittsburgh and won. They’re pretty good. You’re playing a team that plays with so much confidence. They can tell they are having a great year, and didn’t once get rattled throughout the game. We couldn’t get the shots down the stretch we needed, to get the lead or tie it.”

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