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March 11, 2020

Brad Brownell

Aamir Simms

Hunter Tyson

Greensboro, North Carolina

Clemson - 69, Miami - 64

BRAD BROWNELL: Great win for our guys. I thought we played very well defensively throughout. Certainly Chris Lykes was outstanding, especially in the second half. He's a difficult cover. I thought these two guys really gave us a lot of energy, and Amir played with tremendous poise in the second half. Hunter made some big shots. And I thought offensively we just were really good. The longer the game went, I thought we got into a better rhythm, I thought our pace was better, and certainly the ability to make free throws down the stretch by Al was big, as well.

Q. Amir, what was kind of the main difference there that last 15 minutes offensively for you guys? It just seems like not only do you find your shots but you were maybe more aggressive. Was it kind of a go-for-broke style in some ways because you knew there was no tomorrow if you didn't make something happen?
AMIR SIMMS: I think the key for us, I think in the first half we got sped up a little bit and that kind of gave them the opportunity to come back a little bit and make their run because when you speed up and play fast on offense, it creates offer for transition and stuff, and I think in the second half once we slowed down, we showed poise and just played together and kind of controlled the pace of it, we just got -- we were able to make more shots than they were.

Q. Amir, where is the confidence level with this team? You guys have beaten some of the best teams in this league, a little bit inconsistent but you guys got to be feeling good right now?
AAMIR SIMMS: Most definitely. That's a good win for us. We had to get pay back from them for the first time anyway, but even going into tomorrow we're not looking back on the first two times we played Florida State think like it's going to go like that again. We've got to refocus, watch film, learn from our mistakes and see if we can apply. We don't question our confidence because we know we can do it, we have the evidence, coach told us we have the evidence that we can compete with the best of the best and going into tomorrow we're just going to try to play our game and not let their game affect us.

Q. Hunter, what was it like for you to be in such a crucial stretch in the second half? You had some veteran guys like Mack and Clyde on the bench and then Coach stuck with you out there in a long stretch and obviously with the season on the line.
HUNTER TYSON: Yeah, I think that just goes back to my work. I feel like I work really hard, so when we get in positions like that that are really crucial, I just fall back on my fundamentals and my hard work so I know I'm prepared for that moment, and I feel like my teammates trusted me and my coach trusted me, so I think that's why we were able to be successful with me out there on the floor.

Q. I feel like it's fair to say that this team is different than the team that played Miami back in December. What's the difference, and how has this team grown?
BRAD BROWNELL: Probably just a little more consistent in terms of us having our roster the way that we've had it for the last couple months. We were still getting players back and adjusting our roster and trying to play with rhythm, especially on the offensive end. And I think that the longer this group that we've kind of had here for the last six to eight weeks has been together, we've played better. So really I think that's the single greatest factor. I think the first two months of the season, we were still a team trying to really figure out who we were in terms of not just our identity but really who we were in terms of who can play, who's going to be here every day, who can we count on, who's not hurt, who's not injured. And so I think that's helped.

Q. Coach, felt like in the middle of the second half it was mostly a three-point shooting contest, but then Hunter scored on a drive, I think Newman scored on the drive. Was that a conscious effort to start taking the ball to the hole, get to the line?
BRAD BROWNELL: Yeah, we made a little bit of an adjustment to try to create a few more gaps on the perimeter so we'd have more space to make some plays. You know, I think both teams tried to protect the paint, and so it's hard to get it inside. I know everybody sometimes challenges teams that shoot a lot of threes, but sometimes the defense kind of dictates that, and I think a lot of the game both teams dictated that with each other, that there just wasn't a lot of ways to get in there. We made a couple adjustments that helped us on a few possessions and then they adjusted back, and then we just kind of went back to our base offense and ran that pretty well for a good portion of the second half.

Q. Just your thoughts on, again, allowing Tyson to kind of ride out that hot streak for a while, and then obviously you have to be thrilled in a win or go home game, 18 of 19, all in the second half from the free-throw line from a team that's been a little inconsistent obviously from the line this year?
BRAD BROWNELL: Yeah, the free throws were big. You're trying to close out games and really we were aggressive in executing our offense, and so we made a lot of drives and made some cuts. I think Al made a great back cut off a post feed, and so we made aggressive offensive plays that resulted in drawing fouls. So pleased because that's really -- for our team, our team is about executing. We have to execute. We're not physically as dominating as most of the teams we play in this league, and so it's a little bit more of a challenge for us to score at the rim, to score in the paint without executing.

Just in regards to Hunter, we've got a lot of confidence in Hunter. He's grown tremendously as a player from his freshman year to his sophomore year. He's a confident player. He's a confident person. So it doesn't surprise me in the least that he's going to raise up and shoot a three with a minute and a half or two minutes to go in a game. That's what he does. It's one of the reasons why we recruited him. We felt like he was a confident player.

He's still developing physically to be able to sustain and to play long-term minutes at this level, but certainly he was playing with confidence. He was giving our team energy on the defensive end, and I wanted to reward that because the group that was out there was playing very well together.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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