Quotes, Notes & Numbers: Tigers notch fifth ACC win by five points or less

Clemson's Adonis Filer shoots around Miami defenders during the second half at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson.

Photo by Ken Ruinard

Clemson's Adonis Filer shoots around Miami defenders during the second half at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson.

Clemson's Brad Brownell

“Great win by our team. Miami obviously gave us some problems early, we had trouble stopping them. They have great size on the perimeter and we had a hard time handling them. We had to go zone at the end of the half. I thought that slowed them and got us to halftime, where we made some defensive adjustments and then did a better job guarding them in the second half.

"I thought Rod (Hall) was great again, K.J. (McDaniels) was really good. Adonis (Filer) came in with some good plays in the second half. We were pretty good offensively, we faced everything you can see in a half and shot a good percentage and found a way to win a close game.”

On getting to 10 ACC wins: “It helps having a couple extra games. I would pat us on the back, but when they played 14-16 it was a little harder. Having said that, I’m really proud of our team for what they have accomplished. We have won two tough games this week and that says something about the character of our team. We have had a very good year so far, and hope to keep going and make it special.”

On winning close games this season: “It feels good, mostly for our players. You see how hard players work and then you go play your tail off and lose by a couple baskets and that’s hard. There’s really not a big difference between 6-10 and 10-6. Momentum that you have from winning close games helps you. When you lose a close one it’s hard to rally and bring yourself up. So, it feels good and I’m happy for our players.”

On the final minutes of Tuesday’s game: “I think there’s more of a belief that you’re going to win the game instead of having hope that you’re going to win. When things seem to be going against you like last year it’s tough to change your mindset.

'One of the things I said earlier this season, even in the fall, it’s going to be nice to have experienced guards. Rod Hall is much better with the ball in his hands than he was last year. K.J. makes more plays now at the end of games. It was much more difficult getting the ball in the hands of Devin Booker and Milton Jennings at the end of games. When your older players are perimeter players, it really hopes you in close games. Last year we played with a lot of young guys that have learned those lessons and it has helped us this year.”

Miami's Jim Larranaga

“I thought Clemson played a very solid game, and I thought our guys did a good job for the most part, but when there was a rebound that both teams needed, they (Clemson) were the ones that got it. They beat us on those 50/50 balls all night long and it gave them second shots, second chance points, and we were not able to corral the most important rebounds in the game. I thought that was the biggest difference.”

On the physicality of the game: “Both teams are two of the best at not fouling in the country, and I thought they played good defense. The game was pretty physical, but I didn’t think they were fouls. I thought our guys did a good job; they shot a lot more free throws than us because we fell behind and we had to foul in the last three minutes. I thought it was one of those games that both teams really concentrated on not putting other people on the foul line, and they executed well.”

Team Notes

• Clemson earned its 10th ACC win - only the fourth time in school history the Tiger program has reached the 10-win plateau in 61 seasons as a member of the conference. The other teams to achieve it at Clemson were 1986-87, 1989-90 and 2007-08.

• Clemson has now doubled its ACC win total from 2012-13, tied for the second-best conference win improvement in school history. The biggest jump was seven spots from 1985-86 to 1986-87.

• The Tigers tied the highest overall win total (19) coming off of a season with a losing record. In 1988-89, Clemson won 19 games after posting a 14-15 record the previous season. Clemson was 13-18 last season.

• The Tigers won by a four-point margin, the fifth ACC win for Clemson this season decided by five or less. That is the most ACC wins in a season decided by five or less since the 1986-87 team went 6-1 in that scenario.

• Clemson broke a three-game Miami win streak in the series with the victory, and improved to 12-9 all-time against the Hurricanes.

• The Tigers won the rebound margin +8 and are now 14-4 this season when out-rebounding the opposition.

• The Tigers are now 9-3 versus ACC teams below them in the standings.

• Clemson entered the game leading the ACC with a .279 three-point percentage defense, and yielded just 2-of-12 (.176) behind the arc to the Hurricanes.

• Brad Brownell is the only coach in Clemson history to lead the Tigers to nine or more ACC wins in two of his first four seasons.

Player Notes

• K.J. McDaniels posted double figure scoring for the 26th time in 29 games this season. The Tiger junior finished with 12 points on 6-of-12 field goals.

• McDaniels blocked one shot, extending his streak to 11 games with at least one.

• McDaniels is now nine points shy of reaching 500 for the season, where he would become only the 14th player in school history to achieve the feat.

• Damarcus Harrison reached double figures in the scoring column for the fifth straight game. He registered 12 points.

• Harrison came into this stretch with only four double-figure scoring games all season.

• Harrison has now made at least one three-pointer in eight straight games. He finished with 2-for-5 clip Tuesday night.

• Adonis Filer made his first three-point goal since the NC State game on Feb. 18. Filer scored eight points, but left the game after suffering a hamstring strain with 3:48 to play.

• Rod Hall led the Tigers with 14 points, just the third time he has led or tied for the team scoring lead this season.

• Hall posted his 16th double figure scoring effort of the 2013-14 season after entering the year with only four in 62 career games.

• Hall had six assists, the sixth time in ACC play he has had at least five in a game this season.

• Ibrahim Djambo made a three-pointer for a second consecutive game, the first time he has accomplished that back to back since the South Carolina and Temple games in November.

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