Press Conference: Miami coach Jim Larranaga on ACC Tournament

miamiMiami coach Jim Larranaga and guard Sheldon McClellan talk with reporters after the ‘Canes lost to Virginia, 73-68, in the ACC Tournament on Friday.

 

Q. We’ll start with an opening comment from coach.
COACH LARRANAGA: I want to congratulate Virginia on moving into the finals. They earned it. I thought they did what they planned on doing, executed their game plan very well. Malcolm Brogdon is just a sensational college player. Had another great game, 24 points, like 10-11 from the foul line.

We were really anxious to start the game. We didn’t do the things we planned on doing. We dug ourselves a quick hole. We were down, like, 10 early. Fought our way back. I thought we were in good shape at halftime. The second half, we got it within three several times.

But uncharacteristically we turned the ball over. We had 16 turnovers for the game. That’s just not like us. Normally 9, 10, 11, but not 16. That was really the difference in the game.

Both teams shot well from the field. Both teams shot well from the foul line. We shot pretty well from three. But the turnovers were the difference.

THE MODERATOR: Questions.

Q. Early in the game there were points when the team tried pushing the ball. You were telling them to slow down. Was that an emphasis like you wanted the team to have a slower pace tonight?
COACH LARRANAGA: Well, I told the players it’s the John Wooden expression: Be quick, but don’t hurry. You don’t hurry a pass to a guy that you think is open because the pass is not as accurate.

I really believe we threw some passes that were about 100 miles an hour. It’s hard to catch those. The guy is open, it flies through his hands. We had a couple diagonal passes out of the post. We had an outlet pass that flew over a guy’s head. Those are not plays that we’ve made all season long.

I just think we could have executed better. If we did, it could have been a different result.

Q. Coach, yesterday you specifically mentioned fouls. Is it worrying you about Angel picking up two quick fouls in yesterday and today’s game?
COACH LARRANAGA: I said it yesterday. We’re top 20 in the country in not fouling. We don’t put people on the foul line. Yesterday and today, I don’t know, maybe it will be called this way in the NCAA tournament, too, we’ll have to put in a new defense to figure out how to guard people like we’ve been for 30 games.

But we gave up 31 free throws last night and we gave up 25 tonight. Just not like us.

Q. Sheldon, the turnover issue tonight, from your on-court perspective, what was going on there? Did you get a little too sped up?
SHELDON McCLELLAN: Like coach said, we was too anxious to start the game, dug ourselves a hole. Trying to make passes that really wasn’t there to guys. Against a team like Virginia, you got to work the ball, body movement, move the ball quicker than you do against most other teams.

We just tried to make plays that wasn’t there tonight.

Q. In the first half both Angel, Sheldon and Davon, none of them attempted a three in the first half. Something they were doing to you that didn’t allow open shooters?
COACH LARRANAGA: Not really sure why we didn’t shoot some threes. But, you know, the game plan was to spread them out and try to take advantage once we got some space of going to the basket. Normally when we do that, the driver will often draw help and kick it out for a three.

As you see, we only had seven assists, which again is probably five or six or seven below our average. We didn’t just make the best decisions throughout the game. We had good runs at the end of the first half. We had some good plays, but not consistently. We made some bad choices.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you.


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