Clemson 65 G-W 44 Quoteboard

CLEMSON - In Clemson's season opening win over Gardner-Webb, Tanner Smith finished with a Dennis Rodman-like stat line.

The senior recorded six points, 14 rebounds, five steals and two blocked shots. He also handed out eight assists.

Smith had the game-highs in rebounds, steals and assists.

"He knows how to be involved in plays. That's maturity. That's experience, I.Q. Those are things that are under-valued sometimes. That's why that guy plays 33 minutes," head coach Brad Brownell said.

For all the good on his stat line, Smith harped on the bad.

"I filled up the turnovers as well," he said, referring to the five turnovers he committed.

All in all, it wasn't a bad night.

"I was able to do what I needed to do for our team to win. That's kind of what it's all about this year," he said. "Whatever this team needs me to do from game to game, I'm going to do it."

Tied at the half...
"We let our guard down there, up 26-13. They got some confidence, made a couple of plays. We had some bad turnovers that led to a couple of baskets. We go into halftime and they've got all the momentum. We needed to face a little adversity. We got some." - Brownell

"We had a good stretch there in the first half. We got up 26-13. With their shooting ability, they were able to get back into the game quick." - Smith

Better in the second...
"As a leader, and one of the main contributors, I really wanted to come out and try to spark the team. We weren't playing really well at the time. Coach challenged us." - Andre Young

"I don't know that we necessarily weren't playing hard, we just needed to compete a little bit better, a little bit smarter. I told them it was critical for us to re-establish the flow of the game, the attitude in the game and the confidence in the game, right away. Fortunately, for us, we did a good job in that first four minutes." - Brownell

"I think we were a little shaky. We've got a young team. When you see a team like that come back real quick, it seemed like we were up 13, in two minutes it felt like they were back in the game. So [Brownell] just kind of settled us down, got us used to talking amongst each other and finishing a good game against a really good team." - Smith

"Defensively, obviously, we were tremendous in the second half. Our guys really bared down -- held them to 15 points, took them a long time to score, especially to make a field goal." - Brownell

"You saw in the second half, we go inside-out, we're a lot more difficult to guard than if we stay out on the perimeter and shoot jump shots." - Smith

Sapp's sure of himself...
"Growing up, in high school, I always had coaches that told me play with confidence and everything will do its part. You can't be scared to make mistakes, because you're always going to make mistakes. When you make them, you just learn from them. As long as you have confidence and play as if you're doing good, everything's going to keep going well." - Sapp

"You need the confidence coming here, into the ACC. There are a lot of great players here. It's good to see him build confidence and knockdown shots." - Young

"He's a really good shooter. We're going to need him to do that this year to stretch out the defense. It's good when the shots are going in. It gives a lot of guys confidence." - Smith Top Stories