In Brad Brownell's View...
Overall: "It was a good opening performance by our guys. I was really pleased with the way we played defensively. We’ve done a good job so far in all of our games of guarding and need to continue to do that to be successful. I thought we showed pretty good patience against the zone. We obviously played against a lot of zone tonight and didn’t turn the ball over, which was really good offensively to have big assists and low turnovers. So, I was pleased with our opening performance. We have a lot of work to do moving forward, though.”
On his challenge to his defense: “Not to play the scoreboard, but to play possessions. We want to get this mentality that we want to compete. I think the guys did a pretty good job of that tonight and have done a good job of trying to work hard against teams that have very good scorers, like (Khalid) Mutakabbir for Presbyterian. We made it hard for him to have a good night, which was good for our attention to detail and scouting. I believe our guys played well for our first game.”
On guarding well on the perimeter: “That was a big key coming into the game. We knew their perimeter guys were good three-point shooters. Austin Anderson can make a three when he’s open with some space, so we really tried to work hard. We gave up some one-on-one with (Joshua) Clyburn and that was fine, he did a good job making some plays and tough baskets. We weren’t going to help on him.”
Presbyterian Coach Gregg Nibert...
Overall: “I told our guys, for us, the first four minutes is where we really lost the game. Clemson did a tremendous job defensively on our perimeter. Jordan Downey went 1-for-11,Austin Anderson was 2-for-9, and Khalid (Mutakabbir), our best player, went 1-for-9. They did a tremendous job on our perimeter. Because they do play great defense, we panicked. In the first four minutes, we took three or four quick, awful shots. Then we took three shots that were wide open that we missed. We got off to a terrible start.
"We regrouped. You have to be really patient against Clemson. They can play defense. We regrouped there a little bit, but we were down 17. We knew we were going to have to have a great start to the second half. Then, obviously, (Milton) Jennings hit a shot before the half and they hit some more shots. They have a heck of a defensive team, and that’s why you’d better run your offense and do a good job. Their perimeter defense did a tremendous job on our offense.”
On the benefit of playing tough competition early in the season: “Coming out there and playing an ACC team, we tried to play zone. I thought the zone was good for us in the first half. You’re out there going all out on the perimeter on a guy, and you have to guard him. It makes you better guarding even though you’re playing zone. We try to do it like man-to-man. I thought we did a good job blocking out in the first half. They only had two offensive rebounds in that half. You’re playing against great people. I don’t care what it is, whether it’s tennis or what it is, if you’re playing against a better player, you’d better learn what to do the next time you play.
"We’ve got a young team. We lost four starters off of last year’s team. Khalid’s the only guy. We’ve got some young guys out there that went from an exhibition game at home to playing one of the top ACC defensive teams. It makes you better if you take it the right way.”
- Sophomore K.J. McDaniels played 24 minutes without committing a turnover.
- Rod Hall led the Tigers in assists with five, while Adonis Filer and T.J. Sapp each had two.
- The Tigers had a 13-2 edge in points off turnovers against the Blue Hose, and an 8-0 advantage in fast-break points.
- PC is one of six in-state schools on Clemson's non-conference schedule, along with Furman, South Carolina, Citadel, Coastal Carolina and S.C. State.
- Clemson enters the season with a school-record streak of five consecutive .500 or better seasons in ACC play.