"Needless to say, Saturday's game was a big game for us. We felt like we played pretty well, and we hit North Carolina State in a game where they missed some shots around the basket that they've been making a lot. It was a good day for us because of the final outcome, but also because we felt we did some things. So we realize we have two weeks left and we've got to keep playing."
Hope you can indulge another question about your lineup configuration. What do you like about the group you've gone with after the past few games, and what is it doing for you to kind of reenergize the guys?
"Well, it's gotten a lot of attention. But when we had Desmond Hubert in there, we thought we were stronger defensively and stronger rebounding, but we were not getting any scoring out of that spot.
"If we struggled at any other position on the courts scoringwise, that meant that we only had three scorers. So if two of those guys have a bad night, then you're really down. So we decided to go with five guys who could score more and with P.J. in there, and hope he could fight like crazy and front the guy in the post, and that we could emphasize the rebounding part with our other perimeter guys more, we wouldn't be killed on the boards. Bottom line, we thought it was a much more effective offensive lineup for us, and hopefully wouldn't kill us on the defensive end."
James Michael McAdoo at the five is technically out of position. Has it mattered the way you guys were playing? Does it matter? Can you put a number on it? Is it pretty easy for him to be effective in that spot?
"Well, it's not easy. But there are not five guys on every other team who is a low-post scorer. They'll generally have one or two. So if you can front the low post a little bit and get some help from your perimeter people. If you do get caught behind, you don't get killed.
"James Michael is a very good defender. He's not 6'11 or 7 feet as you'd like to have in your five man on the defensive four, and he's not going to block shots like Tyler Zeller or Henson did. He does a nice job defensively. If we get in one of those games where the post player is killing us because we can't stop them, we'll have to put in one of those other guys."
I was wondering if you could share your thoughts on Joe Harris. I know he's had a good game the last few times out against you guys this year. But what's been the one thing of maybe the few things that stand out to you about him and what he does for you?
"Well, I think Joe is one of the more efficient players in college basketball. He scores, but he does it in taking very few shots. That's why I call him very efficient. He doesn't have to take 20 shots to get 20 points. And I think that efficiency fits very well with the way Tony likes his teams to play.
"He takes good shots, doesn't take bad shots, and he makes most of them at the same time. I think he's better defensively than people give him credit for. But the bottom line, he can score and do it efficiently."
Coach, there are a lot of teams this year that are terrific. Wake Forest and Virginia have been great teams at home, and have struggled a lot on the road. Clemson is one of those teams that have been very, very tough at home. What do you see with some of these teams that they're almost-- they're very difficult to beat at home but don't put up a lot of fight sometimes on the road?
"It is hard to explain. But most of the things you think about Virginia, Wake Forest, Clemson - they're very young teams. Young teams feel more comfortable at home than they do getting out of their environment. They may not be as confident going on the road. But believing you can win on the road is a very important thing for your team to have. I think with young kids, it's hard to get them to handle that adversity. The other team scores two straight baskets and the crowd is going crazy. Young kids have a more difficult time focusing on what you're trying to do and doing what you're doing correctly.
"So it's very difficult. You look at every league in college basketball, the record is always better at home. But the younger your team is, that is the teams that probably struggle more on the road. If they have some success on the road and believe that they can do it, I think it helps them out."
But you have a fairly young team. You've had some success on the road, right?
"I didn't feel like I had a lot of success at Raleigh and Miami and Duke, but some of those other places out there, at Virginia, but we've won a couple of games on the road. I think our teams have always been good on the road.
"But we still have Reggie and James Michael, and the rest of our team is pretty young. We have to make sure our kids believe they can win, which is part of it. But the kids have to step up and do it themselves."
What is it about Clemson's arena in particular that makes it a difficult venue?
"Well, I've never lost a game in the building. We've played some really good teams in ugly buildings, and really good teams in fantastic, modern buildings. But Clemson is a place where fans come in there, they're very enthusiastic and supportive of them. We've been down there...
"Fans are very enthusiastic when North Carolina comes to town. The fans are comfortable at home. They're good players. We haven't lost down there to bad teams. When we've won down are there, we've had to be really, really good. But I think the building is made by the enthusiasm of your fans and the passion that they have, and I think Clemson fans do a great job of that."