Brad Brownell says losing after playing well is toughest pill to swallow

'We're just not consistently as good as we need to be to finish off some of these games. But we're hanging in there okay'

Clemson Basketball - Brad Brownell

Photo by Mark Crammer

Clemson Basketball - Brad Brownell

All things considered, the morale of the Clemson men's basketball team is "pretty good" as the Tigers head into the final four games of the regular season.

That was coach Brad Brownell assessment when asked about whether frustration is setting in for the Tigers, who dropped to 13-13 overall and 5-9 in league play with their loss at Maryland on Saturday.

The toughest part, Brownell said, is not so much close losses per se, as it is losing despite having played well.

"It's been pretty good, considering what we've been through," said Brownell on Monday during the ACC coaches' teleconference. "We've played well in some games and haven't won, notably Miami and NC State, Florida State on the road.

"If you look at those games, we controlled the game in a way. We were leading late in the last minute, last two minutes, and weren't able to hold those games off."

Brownell said that losing despite knowing that you've played well is "probably the toughest way to lose."

"You follow a plan and execute it pretty doggone good, then just down the stretch, miss free throws or the other team makes a great shot, for whatever reason you don't finish out a game," he said. "That really takes a lot out of you."

The Maryland game was somewhat different, Brownell said, in that the Terps' size and physicality inside were hard for the Tigers to match.

"We were down a little bit against Maryland," Brownell said. "Physically, they're big and strong. That size was hard for us to deal with for 40 minutes.

But I thought we played some stretches of very good basketball.

"I think that's kind of been what we've done this year - we've played very good in stretches, then we've had some things happen to us and not respond very well, and then we'll play good again a lot of times in spurts in games.

"We're just not consistently as good as we need to be to finish off some of these games. But we're hanging in there okay."

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