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Opening Remarks -
Great win for us. At halftime we talked about how we've got to get out to the shooters on the perimeter - particularly Oglesby -- and had to do a better job rebounding. I think we did a much better job rebounding, they had some flurries where it didn't look like that but we were down five at half and ended up outrebounding them. They didn't shoot the ball particularly well in the second half and I'd like to think our defense was part of it or the pace of the game or something, but they also missed some open shots because we weren't there to guard them ...
It was good to have a little more spring in Deon's step. Wayne for the second game in a row got it going again, but the thing that impressed me the most about Wayne was - other than the foul on Oglesby's three-point attempt - I thought he did a nice job defensively and rebounding the basketball and had seven assists also.
Those things were all good -- it was good for us. We played pretty doggone well basically the whole game except for the backboards and giving them too many open looks in both halves - it was just fortunate for us that they missed a bunch in the second half.
Why do you think Wayne has consistently had such big games against Clemson?
Maybe he doesn't like the color orange? Some styles of game fit certain players and it's up and down and we have a point guard and other people who can find Wayne. Wayne's a shooter who can stand there, but if you come flying out at him he can take it to the basket ... Some styles and paces fit people. This game didn't really fit Tyler - he had 20 points and 10 rebounds, but it wasn't a game where we throw it into Tyler and expect him to do some good things ...
After the tough games against Clemson last year, when Oglesby and Rivers got it going, did you think 'Here goes another tough one'?
No, I told our guys that maybe if we played defense better maybe they'd miss some of those shots. I told our guys that what happened in the past has absolutely nothing to do with today's game. I asked Ed yesterday in practice, 'How'd you play last year when we played Clemson?' He said, 'Coach, I didn't play.' It's a new game, new team, new season, so what's happened in the past ... I didn't mention the streak at all until after the game. I wanted them to be focused on playing the game and not something they have no control over.
How much easier does it make it for you when you've got a teammate like Ty breaking their press?
It's so easy. And that's part of the reason I play pretty well again Clemson, because Ty's able to break the press and I just run the floor and get open looks all night long. ... Once I get one or two open looks, I'm rolling from there.
What was it in the second half that enabled you guys to pull away?
I think we came out with some fire and some intensity. We wanted to put our foot down. We wanted to get some stops and bring some energy to it ... We just finally made a decision to put our foot down and get stops - we wanted to do it on the defensive end of the floor, we knew our offense would come. We just wanted to get into passing lanes and force them to do something they don't normally do.
And for you, what has been working so well these last two games?
I've just been comfortable, got into a groove and am just playing basketball.
Wayne said he was more emotional tonight, did you see that?
Maybe, but I think everybody was. We knew it was a big game. Every game now that we play we know teams will come with their best shot and that we've got to be up for it, because if we're not going to be up for it, it'll be a long day for us. So every game from now we're making it a point to where we get up for every game, get each other a little emotional, a little excited, a little hyped -- whether it's getting a little physical with each other in the locker room, a little wrestling or whatever. I know he's ready for every game, especially against Clemson ...
Do you think the team has recovered from the rocky stretch of a couple weeks ago?
Definitely, I think so. We still learn from it, we're still taking strides forward, we still have a lot more work to do. But it's in the past - nothing we can do about it now but change. So we're trying to change and we're looking ahead, looking forward, and looking to the next game ...
How much closer were you guys tonight to where you were in Detroit?
We're almost there. Even in Detroit we still had some mistakes, but we were playing really good basketball. And tonight I thought we played some really good basketball.
How much pride do you take in keeping the winning streak against Clemson going?
Me, personally, I take a lot of pride - I want it to keep going. Even when I do leave here, I still want the streak going. I don't want them to win here ever ...
What's changed for Wayne lately?
He just goes in streaks - I think every year he goes in stretches. When he's on, he's on. Hopefully he stays like that.
How has the team recovered and improved from a couple weeks ago?
We fixed the little things we weren't going through, the defensive energy also - we just worked on the little things we weren't doing and that's helped us out right now.