Quotes, Notes & Numbers: McDaniel's 30-pointer Clemson's first under Brownell

Coaches agree that Clemson's 1-3-1 was a difference-maker in Tigers' comeback to force OT

Clemson forward K.J. McDaniels, right, drives the lane past Notre Dame guard Pat Connaughton  in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)

Clemson forward K.J. McDaniels, right, drives the lane past Notre Dame guard Pat Connaughton in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)

Clemson's Brad Brownell

"First off I would like to congratulate Mike (Brey) and his kids on a hard fought win. I thought they outplayed us for 30 minutes. We switched to the 1-3-1 zone late, confused them a little bit and gave our guys a little juice and we played better down the stretch. We had free throws, two free throws, made one. We went to overtime, had a good shot on a side out-of-bounds play and missed it. We did not play well defensively early and give Notre Dame credit for some of that, they passed very well and had us on our heels a little bit. The longer the game wore on, our offense struggled even more and we couldn't capitalize on our zone."

On guarding Notre Dame's Eric Atkins: "He's a great player. I have a lot of respect for him. He's one of those guys who has really improved throughout the course of his career and he is just a really talented player. He does what you need him to do, he makes shots when you need him to, and he gets inside the defense when you aren't guarding him well. He makes good decisions and gets other people involved. He's good shooting out on the perimeter and plays well in the paint."

On the switch to a 1-3-1 zone in overtime: "We have had that in our pocket for a while. We haven't worked on it in a while, we worked on it a lot in the middle of the year and earlier in the year. We have only used it a couple of times this year and very little. I can't imagine Notre Dame knew much about it and worked against it in practice. But when you are playing with a lead, you get a little conservative, it happens. The other team has nothing to lose, and when you just throw it on someone it can work for a while. Our guys executed it well and adjusted to a couple things they did."

Notre Dame coach Mike Bray

"I'm proud of our group. We had it won a couple times, we handed it back a couple times, and found a way to win it. We looked like we were going to escape a couple times and we couldn't. They're very good. We saw one of the best players in the league in (K.J.) McDaniels. He is very good. We needed a league win and I'm proud that we were able to get a league win."

On Demetrius Jackson's absence: "It's really simple. Academic habits. He had such a great fall semester and summer, and he's just behind. He needs to improve his academic habits. I put on my high school coach and teacher hat, which I'm never too far from. That's how I've handled many guys when I was a high school coach and teacher and certainly here, especially in the offseason. You get to go back to basketball when those habits are more consistent. We'll give him some time to get caught up, and if he is, the end of the week we'll get him back to practice and go from there. He has to get back to those habits that I saw in the fall."

On contributions in late game moments: Steve Vasturia wanted to take big shots. He's a pretty fearless guy. He's made some big ones for us this season, certainly the Duke game. He's starting to look like an upperclassman. He's driving and probing and not playing it safe. He's getting to the basket, getting fouled, and making plays. We know he can shoot but I like him going off the dribble. It gives us another ball handler, which we've been missing at times. Zach (Auguste) was flying all over the place, Eric Atkins was rock solid again. The 1-3-1 was hard on us. Eventually, against that, you have to make a big shot and we were able to do that in transition before they got set up."

On the team staying together: "I think tonight is a great example. You can say they've had a number of distractions this season, but I don't think that has ever affected them. They've come back and played and other guys have known they are going to get an opportunity. Teammates love each other, but they don't mind playing more minutes. I don't think they've ever been distracted, and they're almost prepared for it on a daily basis. I give a lot of credit to (Eric) Atkins, (Pat) Connaughton, (Garrick) Sherman and (Tom) Knight. They've seen a lot and they keep us steady."

On the significance of the win: "It's huge. We played really well. We are up a couple of possessions and they came back at us. We were much better with the ball after we had some key turnovers that could have cost us the game. We rebounded from it. We needed to win this game. We would've been really struggling if we didn't win."

Team Notes

· It was Clemson’s first double overtime game since 2008 at North Carolina.

· It was Clemson’s first overtime game of any kind since the 2011-12 season at home vs. NC State.

· It was the first meeting in history between the two schools as well.

· Clemson won points off turnovers by a 16-2 margin, yet lost the game.

· Clemson had 17 offensive rebounds Tuesday, its high since grabbing 19 at Arkansas on Dec. 7.

· The Tigers committed just eight turnovers in 50 minutes, their fewest since posting eight at Virginia Tech on Jan. 15.

· Clemson shot 29 three-point attempts, tying the most in a single game under Brad Brownell.

· Clemson’s 27 points in the first half were its most in the opening half since scoring 31 against Duke on Jan. 11.

Player Notes

· K.J. McDaniels led Clemson with 30 points. It was his ninth 20-point effort of the season and first career 30-point outing.

· McDaniels’ 30-point effort was the first in 119 games under Brad Brownell. The previous single-game high was 29 by Andre Young in 2011-12 against Georgia Tech.

· McDaniels’ 30 points were the most by a Clemson player in a road game since Cliff Hammonds posted 31 at North Carolina in 2008, also a double overtime contest.

· McDaniels also had 14 rebounds, surpassing his previous best of 12 against Wake Forest earlier this season.

· It was his second straight double-double and his sixth of the season.

· McDaniels has now reached double figures in 20 of Clemson’s 23 games this season.

· McDaniels had five blocked shots, the fourth time this season and eighth time in his career he had at least that many in a game.

· McDaniels produced career highs for both field goals made (13) and attempted (24) and tied a personal best with three assists.

· The 13 made field goals tied Devin Booker (at NC State last season) for a single-game high under Brownell.

· McDaniels had eight offensive rebounds, tying the single-game individual high by a player in the Brownell era. Devin Booker had eight on two occasions last season.

· McDaniels played 46 minutes, also a career high for the junior forward.

· Rod Hall scored 12 points Tuesday, his highest output since the ACC opener at Boston College on Jan. 4.

· Damarcus Harrison made multiple three-pointers for the first time since the Davidson game on Nov. 22.

· Harrison finished with eight points, his highest total since scoring 13 at Arkansas on Dec. 7.

· Sidy Djitte, a reserve center, did not play Tuesday for the first time in his career (ankle).

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Comments » 2

michtiger writes:

We owe KJ an apology. What a great talent, that is growing. The only other player to my surprise is showing improvement is Nnoko but he has miles to go. We got very lucky at FSU and GT at home that their best players were out. There were so many crazy things last night. Hard to imagine that Nnoko is one to make steal and 2 FTs to extent to 2 OT. On the other hand with the game for the taking Hall goes 1 for two. do not forget in mid 2nd half Roper gets fouled on 3 pt and only makes 1-3.In 2nd over time we score 4 pts , all KJ, and 6 in first ot. Sorry KJ. you deserve better. This team that was 15-6 (6-3) could easily end season 17-12 ( 8-10 ) with Pitt and Va and improving Md and NCST on schedule. After 23 games these players should be improving.

84tele writes:

in response to michtiger:

We owe KJ an apology. What a great talent, that is growing. The only other player to my surprise is showing improvement is Nnoko but he has miles to go. We got very lucky at FSU and GT at home that their best players were out. There were so many crazy things last night. Hard to imagine that Nnoko is one to make steal and 2 FTs to extent to 2 OT. On the other hand with the game for the taking Hall goes 1 for two. do not forget in mid 2nd half Roper gets fouled on 3 pt and only makes 1-3.In 2nd over time we score 4 pts , all KJ, and 6 in first ot. Sorry KJ. you deserve better. This team that was 15-6 (6-3) could easily end season 17-12 ( 8-10 ) with Pitt and Va and improving Md and NCST on schedule. After 23 games these players should be improving.

"WE" don't owe KJ and apology. Hall, Roper, Filer and the rest of the team owe him an apology for trying to ruin his legs by riding on his back. Would someone PLEASE make a basket. You guys have played this game before, right? You coaches have done more than coach rec ball haven't you? Very frustrating.

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