NCAA Tournament Press Conference Quotes :: Clemson Players

Q. First of all, how are you guys enjoying the trip so far? Is it everything you would have imagined being part of the NCAA Tournament?
GABE DeVOE: Yeah, just getting adjusted to the time. Had great dinner with the team yesterday, just exciting and ready to play tomorrow.

Q. I was talking to Tim yesterday and he was talking about the Barcelona trip and how that incident in front of the team hotel with the bombing brought the team together. Can you talk about that moment and what it was like to go through it and do you think that was a turning point in terms of how this team came together as one and how it carried you guys through the season?
MARCQUISE REED: That's a scary incident, you know, but for us to be out there and just all we got out there, I thought that brought us together more as a team. Being stuck in the hotel for 24 hours, couldn't go nowhere. So it just really brought our relationship closer.

Q. When Donte went out midway through the NCAA play there was a lot of talk about whether you guys would continue to be strong. Do you think you have been able to adjust to life after Donte, and how has he been able to influence you guys in a positive way from the bench in terms of applying that leadership he had when he was on the floor?
GABE DeVOE: Things changed a little bit on the court with his versatility, his ability to bring the ball up court and things on the defensive end, being able to switch. But with Aamir stepping in I think he did a great job for us and our guards just continued to step up and make plays. I think we adjusted fine. But his leadership is still there. He's still a voice in the locker room and a big part of our team.

Q. What is your impression of what you've seen on film of New Mexico State, what they do well? And do you guys see them as a threat to you guys?
MARCQUISE REED: Yeah, they're a pretty good team, 28-5. That's hard to do in Division I basketball. So we got a lot of respect for them. They rebound the ball pretty good, get out in transition and play good defense. We've got to be ball strong, go in there confident, shoot the ball well.

Q. Obviously, each and every year that 12-5 game seems to be the upset game, everyone talks about the upset game. Do you guard against that, or do you have to be on the offensive and play your game?
MARCQUISE REED: We've been the underdog all year, so it's nothing new to us. We've been battling through adversity, losing Donte and Shelton for a few games. So it ain't nothing new that we can't handle.

Q. Gabe, knowing that you've worked so hard to get to this moment, the entire team has, to have this opportunity, what does it mean to you and what does it say about this program and where it's going?
GABE DeVOE: This is a special moment for me, just knowing the things that we have done through the first three years, continuing to battle. Going into my senior season I wanted to make this goal. Me and Donte did a great job of rallying the troops and leading our season to get to this point. It was a blessing to be in this situation like knowing you're going to be selected. So just continuing to fight and take it one day at a time and ready to be out there tomorrow.

Q. For both you guys, I know they say take it one game at a time, but did any part of you peek down the bracket and say this could end up as a battle against the College of Charleston, a battle for Palmetto State in the second round. Do you have to look down the bracket and see that could potentially be there?
GABE DeVOE: Looking at our pod, focused on the first two games, also seeing College of Charleston, have a lot of respect for those guys. I know a bunch of them and I've been talking to a few of them about a potential match-up. So that will be exciting to see. But first day is tomorrow night and taking care of business.

Q. Marcquise, you've had a phenomenal season. You've done something that no one has since 1980, 500 points, and 80 rebounds and such. How have you improved where you are so versatile and can do so many things on the floor, and how has your team helped build that up as far as adding to your game?
MARCQUISE REED: Putting in extra hours in the off-season on top of what's mandatory, so improving my game when we get off, going hard in practices, things like that.

Q. How do you think you guys are going to handle the nerves tomorrow when the lights go on? You take the floor and you hear the Anthem and you realize we're a part of the Dance, something we have been waiting for our whole lives?
GABE DeVOE: I think the nerves will be there until tip-off, and then after tip-off, everybody will be fine. I'm excited now, ready to play now. Leading up to the game, a lot of excitement and nerves. But after the ball tip-off I think everybody will be fine.

MARCQUISE REED: I think a lot of guys are going to be excited. First few minutes everybody get those jitters out, some guys might be nervous because they've never played in the NCAA Tournament before. But I think once the first few minutes go past we'll be fine.

Q. I just want to know what Coach Brad Brownell has been like this past month knowing you had this opportunity and you were on your way to the NCAA Tournament, what has he been like? Is the mood light or is he more intense now knowing that you have a chance to compete for a National Championship?
MARCQUISE REED: He's been excited coming to practice every day to coach us. The closer it gets to game day his juice tightens up. It's been a real exciting atmosphere.

GABE DeVOE: I think he's coaching the same as he has in the first game as he has the 30th game. He brings it every day at practice. He challenges us every day. He did a great job of managing us in terms of knowing when to go hard and give us time off and I think we will be ready to go tomorrow.