Quotes, Notes & Numbers: Brownell says Coleman earned start, playing time

Tigers better their national top-three defensive averages in 65-49 win over Bulldogs

Clemson's Devin Coleman, center, is fouled by S.C. State's Devin Joint, right, as he attempts a shot in the first half of their NCAA college basketball game in Clemson, S.C., on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Anderson Independent-Mail, Mark Crammer)

Photo by Mark Crammer

Clemson's Devin Coleman, center, is fouled by S.C. State's Devin Joint, right, as he attempts a shot in the first half of their NCAA college basketball game in Clemson, S.C., on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Anderson Independent-Mail, Mark Crammer)

Clemson's Brad Brownell

“It was a hard fought win. I thought SC State played well, especially in the first half. To be honest we showed a little immaturity tonight and made a ton of errors defensively. We haven’t done much of that; they capitalized on our mistakes.

"When we helped off a shooter they made it and when we didn’t guard a screen inside right, they got it and scored. Devin Coleman shot the ball well in the first half and we went to a smaller lineup and that seemed to help out a little bit.

"In the second half we played more like we need to play. We defended better and we followed our game plan much better. We caused them some problems and we just struggled our way throughout on offense.

"Some days aren’t going to be pretty and you aren’t going to make shots and you just have to tough through it. It was a solid second half because we only turned the ball over twice, but the first 20 minutes was not very good.”

On his decision to start Devin Coleman: “He has played well and has practiced well. Damarcus (Harrison) hasn’t played very well of late and hasn’t practiced as well. We just wanted to give him an opportunity.

"Jordan Roper has been out and Devin has been practicing a lot and playing well. He is coming off a couple of good games and is rolling right now, so he is probably taking minutes that Jordan had.

"It’s a good thing for us, because we have depth and we have competition for positions. If you don’t play well and don’t practice well, you’re going to lose minutes.”

S.C. State's Murray Garvin

"I like what I saw from our team tonight and we competed for 40 minutes. "A shot goes in here or there and the second-half and we have a different outcome. Our team is getting better and we played well against an ACC foe Clemson tonight."

Team Notes

• The Tigers are 5-0 at home after the win, the first time that has been achieved since the 2008-09 won its first nine in Littlejohn Coliseum.

• Clemson improved to 23-2 all-time under Brad Brownell when holding an opponent to 50 points or less. It was the third such occurrence in eight games this season.

• SC State’s 18 second-half points were the second-fewest by a Tiger opponent this season. Only Delaware State had less with 14.

• Clemson improved to 30-1 all-time versus teams currently in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, including 12-1 against SC State.

• The Tigers entered the game ranked among the nation’s top three in scoring defense, field goal percentage defense and three-point percentage defense. All three figures for SC State were below Clemson’s average entering the game.

Player Notes

• Devin Coleman earned his first career start Tuesday. It was his 29th appearance in a Clemson uniform.

• Coleman registered double figures for a third straight game, a career-long streak. He finished with 16 points, a career-high for the red-shirt sophomore. His previous high was 15 in the 2012 ACC Tournament against Virginia Tech.

• Coleman made 3-of-7 from three-point distance Tuesday, his career-high in terms of makes from behind the arc.

• Coleman played a career-high 31 minutes against SC State.

• Landry Nnoko notched his second double-double of the season Tuesday. He posted 13 points and 13 rebounds.

• Nnoko’s 13 points were a career-high, topping 10 against Temple earlier this season. Nnoko missed just one field goal attempt Tuesday.

• Nnoko grabbed a career-high six offensive rebounds, the most by any Tiger since Devin Booker had six against North Carolina on Feb. 28, 2013.

• Nnoko blocked four shots in Tuesday’s game, a career-high for the sophomore.

• Josh Smith posted a career-high six points and tied his career-high on the boards with seven.

• Jordan Roper returned to action after missing the Coastal Carolina game due to a concussion suffered in the Charleston Classic. He finished with four assists in 16 minutes.

• Rod Hall played 37 minutes without committing a turnover and has just seven this season in 243 minutes of play.

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