Brownell, Tigers put Saturday's pain behind them, move on to whatever's next

'We met and talked about it and had a good day together on Sunday. Then we celebrated a very successful season'

Men's Basketball - Clemson head coach Brad Brownell

Photo by Mark Crammer

Men's Basketball - Clemson head coach Brad Brownell

Brad Brownell and his Tigers spent Saturday night wallowing in their misery, second-guessing, endlessly replaying the bitter closing seconds of their loss to Pittsburgh.

On Sunday, they celebrated.

And so, with a simple, intentionally positive act, Brownell believes the Tigers have turned the page as they go into ACC tournament week and preparations their game Thursday night against either Georgia Tech or Boston College.

'14 season 'gratifying'

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"We met and talked about it and had a good day together on Sunday," Brownell said. "Then we celebrated a very successful season. When you look back on what this team has accomplished, we've been able to do a lot more than several teams in this league. We weren't picked to do that.

"Just to look at the last 15 seconds of one game, rather than the totality of what we did in the conference season would be a mistake. We chose to celebrate what we did during the regular season, and we got together and had a very nice meal, and now we hope to move on and play well for the start of the second season in the conference tournament."

Looking back to Saturday, Brownell said the emotional blow of losing a five-point lead in the final three seconds was just too much for the Tigers to overcome.

“I didn’t like the look in our eyes - our eyes in the huddle weren’t good," Brownell said of the break between regulation and overtime. "I actually hit my hand into the dry erase board to try and wake our guys up. I could tell we were not in a good place. It was different than Maryland.

"I wasn't good enough to figure out a way to bring my guys back. That's something I've thought about since the game. You could definitely feel the momentum with Pittsburgh. It looks like they're beat, and all of a sudden they get a second life; and for us, it's like we won the game and now we have to go win it again. Against a good team, that's a challenge, and we couldn't snap out of it."

Brownell explained his thinking as the Tigers, up by two, attempted to inbound the ball with 2.4 seconds remaining.

"We talked about throwing it deep, but there's still enough time in my mind, with two seconds left, if the ball is intercepted that the other team has a chance to dribble it down and take a three to beat you," he said. "If it was under two seconds, we were probably going to look to throw it long at some point.

"I just thought we could get the ball inbounds, but I guess we couldn’t. The ball hit off K.J.’s shin and had a lucky bounce, went right to their guy and he made it."

Brownell said Monday that he doesn't expect there to be a hangover when the Tigers play on Thursday.

"I think there will be enough time," he said. "These young kids have so much going on that they're not going to be thinking about that. They're going to be thinking about who we play and what we're trying to do that day."

Follow Kerry Capps on Twitter @oandwkc

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