Quotes, Notes & Numbers: Jordan Roper flying high, Adonis Filer expands role

'We really recovered nicely at halftime and dictated the game from then on'

Clemson's Rod Hall defends VMI's Rodney Glasgow in the first half.

Photo by Nathan Gray

Clemson's Rod Hall defends VMI's Rodney Glasgow in the first half.

Clemson's Brad Brownell

“It was a real good win for our guys. We had a very good defensive performance to hold VMI to 50. Their inside guys are very good scorers, and they’ve got QJ Peterson and Rodney Glasgow on the outside that can really shoot and make plays.

"I thought we were a little rusty early and we looked like a team that hadn’t played in 11 days. We really recovered nicely at halftime and dictated the game from then on. I thought we had several guys play well.”

On how players reacted in light of Devin Coleman’s decision to transfer: “Those things happen in college basketball now and it’s just part of it. Everybody wants to play 25 minutes, but it’s impossible as a coach to make everyone happy. Now, other guys are going to get a few more minutes and they need to produce. I think our guys understand that, and we are going to coach the guys that are here really hard.

"I’m really proud of how our guys reacted to the situation and how they played tonight. Tonight, our best player wasn’t at his best and he walked into some crazy fouls. We played very well tonight, but especially in the second half.”

On play of Jordan Roper: “He has had a lot going on health wise. We’ve talked about the scare this off-season (the stroke he suffered last spring), the concussion, and lately the groin. He has had a lot of little things happen to him and when you are a little guy like him, that’s a lot to have on your plate and on your mind. He has started to play a little better recently and just needs a couple more games to get his confidence back.”

VMI coach Duggar Baucom

“With 12 minutes to go, it was a four-point game and we just quit making shots. We couldn’t get them to go in. They got some run-outs and we turned it over a few times that led directly to lay-ups. Their size bothered us.

“We had some uncontested shots, though, a lot of wide open threes. Out of our 28 threes, I would say 15 were wide open. We had four threes on one possession and didn’t make any. I told them if we didn’t make shots they would run right back at us. We didn’t do a good job getting back.

“We had two starters out, and those guys were missed tonight. Our depth was missing. We gave other guys opportunities, but they didn’t take advantage. It’s just tough. Credit Clemson, though. They extend out and we didn’t run the floor hard, especially some times in the second half. I think we just got tired because they had a few extra bodies.”

On D.J. Covington’s play inside: “He played well. My challenge to him, though, was to play that well against Longwood. I said ‘You can play that good against Virginia Tech and Clemson, now be that good against Longwood.' He played really, really well tonight.”

Team Notes

• Clemson won by a score of 80-50 on Monday over VMI to finish the non-conference portion of the schedule with a 9-3 record. It is Clemson’s best non-conference record since the 2010-11 team went 11-3 out of conference during the regular season.

• The Tigers held VMI to a season-low 50 points. . VMI’s previous scoring low was 67 points at William & Mary.

• Clemson held VMI to just 19 points in the second half, its smallest output by 12 points (previous low was 31 on three occasions, including the first half Monday).

• Clemson’s perimeter defense held the Keydets in check from three-point range. VMI entered the game seventh in the NCAA with 10.0 three-pointers per game, but shot just 3-of-28 against Clemson’s defense.

• The Tigers improved to 24-2 all-time under Brad Brownell when holding the opposition to 50 points or less. Clemson is 5-0 at home under that scenario this season.

• Clemson's 80 points marked its second-highest offensive output of the season behind only the 85 scored against Davidson on Nov. 22.

• Clemson’s 48 points in the second half were a season-high for a half. The previous best was 46 in the opening half of the season versus Stetson.

• The Tigers are now 8-1 this season when outrebounding their opponent, and 7-1 when Clemson’s bench outscores the opponent.

Player Notes

• Jordan Roper matched his career-high with 19 points Monday. His previous 19-point effort came last season as a freshman against Miami.

• Roper collected a career-high eight rebounds, three more than his previous best.

• Adonis Filer produced his first double figure scoring effort of the season with 12 points. His previous season-high was eight points on two occasions.

• Filer added six assists, a career-high for the sophomore guard out of Chicago.

• Josh Smith returned to the action for the first time since Dec. 3 (back injury). He posted six points and three rebounds in nine minutes. It was his second straight six-point effort off the bench.

• Damarcus Harrison matched a career-high with eight rebounds. It was the fourth such eight-rebound game for the junior, who most recently achieved the total in last season’s ACC Tournament game against Florida State.

• Landry Nnoko posted his third double figure effort of the season with 11 points. His five field goals matched a season-high (Temple, SC State) as well.

• K.J. McDaniels blocked three shots and passed Glen McCants for ninth place in the Clemson record books with 114 career swats. He needs 13 to pass John “Moose” Campbell for eighth in school history.

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