Home Press Conference: Boston College coach Jim Christian at ACC Tournament

Press Conference: Boston College coach Jim Christian at ACC Tournament


boston collegeBoston College coach Jim Christian and senior forward Dennis Clifford talk with reporters after the Eagles’ 88-66 loss to Florida State on Tuesday in the opening round of the 2016 ACC Tournament.


THE MODERATOR: We’ll have coach make an opening statement and then take questions.

COACH CHRISTIAN: For us tonight, obviously the first half we got into a bad rhythm defensively. Really fundamental stuff. Bad closeouts, bad rotations.

They did a good job of attacking us in the second half. With Dennis in foul trouble, it was tough for us. It’s hard for us to run what we want to run with those teams.

When we cut it to nine, I thought our kids were competing pretty hard. I give credit to them.


Q. Jim, you’re tied with six minutes to go in the first half. They ended up with a nine-point lead at halftime. What happened then to let them get rolling a little bit?
COACH CHRISTIAN: Again, at that point was some individual defensive mistakes. They drove us one-on-one a little bit. It was turnovers. We really had a lot of ball-handling, passing, catching turnovers. You can’t do that with them. Live-ball turnovers for them, they’re so good and they’re so athletic on the break, that really hurt.

Q. Coach, Florida State’s defense seemed intense. Talk about the depth they have that you don’t have currently.
COACH CHRISTIAN: That’s a big thing. They have a lot of quality depth up front. It’s really quality depth. They have a lot of different guys that come in and impact the game. Bookert comes in and impacts the game in a different way. They have big guys that put different pressures on you.

They did a good job of making Eli work full court, Jerome work full court, just kind of wearing them down, like football as a runningback. Just kind of wore them down as the game went down.

Q. What is the mood like in that locker room, specifically for you as a fifth-year guy? Is it a matter of relief it’s over or disappointment that you weren’t able to get a win or a combination of all of that?
DENNIS CLIFFORD: It’s very emotional in there. Guys don’t want to see it end, especially like this. I think that’s all I can say about that.

Q. What are you going to take away as your best memory from playing basketball at Boston College?
DENNIS CLIFFORD: Probably just like… (tearing up).

Q. Obviously you played a lot of freshmen. Sort of talk about the future of the program, with a lot of freshmen, and next year.
COACH CHRISTIAN: Well, I mean, again, I think there will be a lot of things, at the end of the every year, irregardless of how you go, there’s a ton of things you have to evaluate from personnel to some of the things that we do.

Obviously now it’s a matter of, Okay, we played a lot of games, these guys got to play a lot of minutes, now they have to assess what they need to do to be successful at this level. Otherwise it wasn’t a very good learning experience.

The beauty of it is there’s a lot of good ways to learn. Each one of them had moments when they were successful, something to build off of.

Really there’s a lot of things you get exposed to when you play that many minutes.

Again, I have to talk about him because, listen, you know, I don’t care if we lost a thousand games, you watch the reaction of Dennis Clifford. Like I said a million times, I don’t know if he’s going down as one of the best players to ever play at Boston College. But if you line him up with all the great players, look at what he’s done, look at the way he’s represented himself and this school, I couldn’t be prouder of a human being than I am of him.

If you don’t think that these kids cared whether we lost, won, fought, this is not easy to do now. These are kids. They cared and played hard every single night. I take my hat off to them.

That’s where the beginning of the next stage is. You have to show character. You have to show a caring for what you do. It starts with him.

Q. Coach, you talked about the evaluation process starting. What goes into that over the next two weeks? You and the staff sitting down evaluating the roster? Do you individually sit down with each player after that and talk with them?
COACH CHRISTIAN: Yeah, I think everybody kind of does the same thing. They’re going on spring break now. We’ll let them get back. The main focus when they get back is their academics. Then we’ll have individual meetings with each kid, talk about his strengths, non-strengths, what he needs to do moving forward.

Those are all going to be conversations that are going to happen over the next couple weeks. That’s no different than any other program in the country.




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