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Clemson - 90, Boston College - 82: Jim Christian and BC Player Postgame Quotes

Thoughts from Coach Christian and Jerome Robinson following today’s loss

NCAA Basketball: ACC Conference Tournament-Clemson vs Boston College Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

JIM CHRISTIAN: You know, I give a lot of credit to Clemson. I thought they played extremely, extremely well. They guard very well. They have three guards that put a lot of foul pressure on you because they drive the ball so well, and they made threes today from a lot of different guys. Oliver came off the bench, and eight minutes hit three threes. That’s not really -- I think he’s hit four on the season. So again, this is that time of the year when guys have to step up, and if they do, they become more difficult to guard. But proud of our effort. I thought we fought to the very end. Every time they got away from us a little bit, we fought back and cut it.

A lot for us to build off. I don’t think we’re done playing, so we’re excited to continue to play.

Q. What did they do defensively to try to keep you from getting really any clean looks for most of the night?
JEROME ROBINSON: I mean, they just guard really well. Great on-ball pressure, and they iced a lot of the ball screens, and are just trying to take us out of our offense I think is what they did.

Q. Jerome, how are the legs today, and what sparked that late run? You guys seemed to run out of gas then just kind of flipped the switch and got within two. What got that going?
JEROME ROBINSON: Yeah, I mean, the legs, it’s tough playing three games in three days, but that’s what you want to do. That’s what we wanted, and I think we did well today, and the spark of that run was just our intensity. We knew we needed to pick it up on defense and get a couple stops and get a couple easy baskets, and then we got to cut it down, but we ended up coming up short.
Q. Jerome, why weren’t you able to go all the way back after you made that run in the middle of the half?
JEROME ROBINSON: They just kept getting -- they just kept scoring. We ended up not getting a couple stops late in the stretch. They got a couple tough baskets, and we ended up missing a couple open threes that I thought we could have hit, and it’s just the way the game goes sometimes.

Q. Jim, we talk a lot about how much Ky and Jerome drive this team, but this was one of those nights where it was hard to get either one of them -- how much of a challenge is it when those two guys can’t get off --
JIM CHRISTIAN: I mean, they were going. You had one guy with 20, the other guy with 23. I mean, we scored 82 points on an unbelievably good defensive team. They give up about 70 points a game, so we had our moments. We did miss some shots. We missed some free throws. We missed some shots on top of the rim. But you’re not shooting 58 percent every night. It was tough, but we still made some shots. Jordan Chatman got some looks because of it. The first time we played them chatty didn’t score, so they did a great job of any time these guys were driving the ball, they would stay really, really long and other guys had to make some plays for us. Again, we get 11 from Steff, 15 from Chatty. Again, scored 82 points. We had to guard a little better.
Q. Jerome, you and Ky always talk about getting this program back to where it was in the early 2000s, mid 2000s. Even with the loss today, do you feel like you did that in season?
JEROME ROBINSON: Yeah, I feel like it’s just the first step for us. We know we want to get it back to where it was, and I think we’ve earned a little bit of respect. Our program has earned respect as a whole. I mean, that’s just a vision, and that’s what we wanted.

Q. Coach, you mentioned being excited about continuing to play. Can you just sum up the run you made here in the three days and what it can be for you going forward assuming you’re in the NIT?
JIM CHRISTIAN: Again, these are all steps. I just think the last two weeks of the season, we really improved, just mentally improved, just watching the guys prepare for the game, the way we were in film, the way we were preparing in the game, the way we attacked the game. Just watching them before they hit the court, the enthusiasm they came with. You don’t know where -- a winning culture you don’t really know where it’s going to start and where it’s going to grow from, but in the last two weeks, and we lost some of those games, the culture has completely changed. The mentality completely changed. The attitude with which we played completely changed. And it was really fun to be around.

And like I said, I think these guys -- I told them after the game that when we first got here, there was a lot of guys that didn’t want to wear Boston College basketball shirts. I thought they brought a lot of pride with how they played here and how they played all year to Boston College.

Q. In your third year here now, this is the first time you’ve had a deep run into March. How does it feel for you and some of the other guys who have been here for a few years now to be able to play some extra games that you haven’t in years before?
JEROME ROBINSON: Yeah, it feels good. We know -- it sucks sitting at home and watching it on TV and being on spring break. You don’t want to be on spring break, you want to be playing in March and be part of March Madness and all that stuff. I mean, it’s the college basketball dream is to be able to play in March, and we know that we’ve worked hard enough to make it here now.

Q. Can you talk about the possibility -- the case you made for playing in the postseason and the value of being able to do it?
JIM CHRISTIAN: The case we made? The value is it’s a reward for hard work and for dedication and for staying resilient. The case we made, I think we -- we won 19 games. We won nine games in this league, the best league in the country. We beat nationally ranked teams. Again, I’m not on the committee that picks teams for postseason events, but I’m not going to sit here and make a case. We played 34 games, I think we made a pretty good case for a team that’s worthy of playing in the postseason, and we’ll do well.

JEROME ROBINSON: Yeah, I agree with Coach. I think our belief in ourselves and in each other is what’s got us this far, and I think that we also believe that we deserve to be in the postseason, and I think we worked hard enough to, and as Coach said, our culture has definitely changed since these last two weeks.

Q. Brad Brownell was in here, and he said as coaches they’ve known all along what you bring to the table, but your record didn’t reflect it until now, and the rest of the world is kind of figuring it out. Can you already see that on the recruiting trail and otherwise on campus because perception does matter even if you know what you’re doing?
JIM CHRISTIAN: You know, I think people -- I think people respect teams that they know are going to give everything they’ve got, and I think anybody who steps on the court against these guys know that they were going to play unbelievably hard. We needed to learn the process along the way to get ourselves in this position, that’s winning close games, that’s executing down the stretch, and that’s making big plays. And I think those things, they just kind of come with -- as you mature, and I think that’s what happened this year is we had a good nucleus of guys, and we matured as the year went on, and I think that’s what everybody is starting to see now.

And it was -- I’ll be honest with you, it was not easy because we had to regroup in the first week of December when we lost Deontae Hawkins. That was a huge loss for us because he was our most experienced, most winning player, and he was our most vocal guy. So I really give these guys a lot of credit for reinventing themselves and still chasing the dream to the levels they chased it because I don’t think -- again, I don’t think anybody walked off the court today from Clemson looking at these guys and didn’t have some respect for the effort they put in.

Transcript provided by ASAP Sports