Head Coach Leonard Hamilton:
Thoughts on the game:
"Our game plan was to try to not have very many turnovers and in the first half we had nine turnovers. I thought we gave them a lot of extra possessions. They shot 59 percent the first half and it seems as though we couldn't stop each other. The second half I thought we played a lot sounder on defense. We were a little more sound with our fundamentals. From that standpoint, it was really who was going to make the big play at the end. We got some rebounds. We got some big stops there towards the end. Al knocked down the free throw and there lies a typical ACC game. It seems every game that you watch of late has been these types of games. We are very fortunate to come out on the winning end this time."
On the final play:
"We made the decision we wanted to get the ball into Al's hands where he had the opportunity to catch it (and) shoot it or drive to the basket. They did a very good job of closing up the driving lane and he pump faked and he was able to draw the foul and got to the foul line. We had two perimeter guys spotted up on the weakside but they converged so fast. Al made a good decision by keeping the ball in his hands and drawing the foul."
On responding to the press this game:
"We did have a rash of turnovers in the first half, they just didn't lead to as many easy opportunities as the turnovers we had made in the past. I thought we had a pretty good gameplan the time before we just didn't execute. We had a gameplan tonight and I thought we did a much better job of executing."
On getting into the tournament:
"After going through the experience that we endured last year, the plan now is to worry about the things I can control. As we enjoy this victory for a few moments, we have to start preparing to win as many games as we can. I thought we earned the right to go last year but unfortunately my vote didn't count. What I want to do now is worry about the things we can control. We need to prepare for a very good North Carolina team."
On Al Thornton deserving a trip to the NCAA Tournament:
"I think it would be a wonderful finish to an outstanding career. Al deserves the opportunity to go play but we have to go earn that right."
Assistant Coach Stan Jones:
Thoughts on the game:
"There is no question you could see our kids really wanted the game. We almost got in panic mode and took some ill-advised shots, some quick shots. But we settled down and ran that last sideline out-of-bounds play and created the overload situation we wanted and he did what an All-American is supposed to do and got to the line. He was so tight on
the first one – he normally makes that first one."
On the last play:
"Triple screen, and if they trail you drive it and that's what he did. Jason was the inbounder and he set the last screen. K.C. Rivers was the last defender, and he wasn't going to switch to guard him. Uche's man came up and fouled him from the other side."
"It's a big challenge tomorrow."
On how important the game against Clemson was:
"Today was all about how we have not played well against Clemson. It was about us not letting Clemson sweep us three games in one season and getting that off our backs in case there were NCAA implications. It was about beating Clemson and getting that off our back. We've been on this kick since the N.C. State game. This is your last opportunity,
and you have to take advantage of this opportunity or you are going to be playing in the three-letter tournament instead of the four-letter tournament."
On how the Seminoles pulled it out:
"Today, they just grinded it. It's like Al McGuire always said – survive and advance."
On late turnovers by Clemson:
"Those were two pretty big plays. I think the biggest problem is they picked their dribble up and maybe they panicked a little bit because of the dead dribble. We did a good job of pressuring them a little bit and forcing them to throw it a little farther than they wanted. The game is about inches sometimes. Inches and angles."
Senior Forward Al Thornton:
Thoughts on the game:
"I feel like it was a hard fought game. During the regular season, Clemson beat us pretty good (and) decisevly in the regular season. The coaching staff, they did a great job preparing us for this game. We had about a week to prepare and I think we made the necessary adjustments and took care of the ball. We didn't give them easy turnovers that let them get out in transition and get easy buckets."
On his free throws at the end of the game:
"I missed the first one. I was kind of nervous there. I have never been in that type (of) situation before. The pressure was on and I was able to shoot the second free throw very relaxed and shot it with confidence."
On taking his head band off early in the game and his play after that:
"Usually when I take my head band off, there's a lot of physical play going on. I thought I got fouled and I kind of got aggravated. When I get aggravated the head band just comes off."
On the final play that drew the foul:
"I cam off a triple screen and I was going to come off and shoot the ball. But I saw a gap. I pump faked and I tried to draw the foul. Luckily I was able to get to the line."
On the final free throw shot after missing the first:
"I knew it was a shot I had to make so I had to calm down and relax and take a deep breath. The game was on the line."
Sophomore Guard Toney Douglas
Thoughts on the game:
"We had a good gameplan coming in. We didn't want to turn the ball over. I think we adjusted real well and we responded to the pressure when they kept getting the lead and stuff. So, our main was goal to play hard. Whoever was going to be the toughest team was going to win the game and we came out with a victory."
Quote book: FSU 67 Clemson 66
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