Oliver Purnell: "A whale of a college game"

Coach Oliver Purnell described Tuesday night's game with Georgia Tech as "a whale of a college game." Purnell also felt it was a shame that Clemson didn't win. Coach Purnell talked about how the game unfolded and the closing minutes of the game.

When did you know that Demontez Stitt would be able to play?

"We had a shoot around at 11am and I thought he could go. I still wasn't sure because we didn't do anything live. He said it was still sore. I asked the trainer and he said once he loosened up he'd be able to go."

Did he aggravate the injury?

"I don't think so. I just think he's sore. He played a lot of minutes. There was no real chance of him doing further damage but it would be sore. That's one of the reasons we didn't practice him yesterday or the day before."

Did you feel you got the look you wanted on the next to last time you had the ball?

"Yeah, we got the ball down in the lane and he was going up for a shot. We wanted Demontez on the penetration or dump off to Book (Trevor Booker) to really put the pressure on them."

What was supposed to happen on the last in-bounds play?

"We wanted to get Demontez on the fly over the top. I thought we had a chance to get it in there. The pass was just a little bit off and there was a loose ball scramble. If we come up with it, we had a guy open at the basket. It's tough sledding with three seconds to go. We wanted to Demontez to take it out and then Dre (Andre Young) takes it and throws it over the top as he sprints from out of bounds. He maybe didn't have enough juice to run it down."

What was the difference in your pressure being more effective in the second half?

"I think just playing through the physicality of the game. We decided we were going to do what we do no matter how physical they are."

Derrick Favors has struggled coming into this game. How did he look to you?

"I'm impressed with him as a physical talent. He's got a world of potential. I saw him in high school and AAU basketball. There's no denying his talent and how valuable he is to their team."

Did you think Tech was going to (Zach) Peacock on the final possession?

"We decided that we were just going to guard them."

When Tech looked like they were going to step on the gas you guys battled back in the first half?

"We talked about the way we thought the game would unfold. They were braced for that. We talked about nows the time that we have to hang in there and get into the half. The guys did a good job of that. We came out in the second half and went toe to toe."

Does the ACC look more balanced than ever?

"I guess that three or four years ago when on the last day of the season, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and North Carolina all had a chance to win the league outright. I think they tied and Carolina ended up with the number one seed. That year it was really balanced. The last two or three years to this point it has been really balanced."


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