‘He wasn’t about to back down’
Syracuse, N.Y. — The rare appearance of a visiting player on the podium, Clemson coach Brad Brownell describing why he recruited Joe Girard so hard out of the gate, Justin Taylor unhappy with Girard getting booed and why Adrian Autry left Kyle Cuffe on the podium the last two games.
Those were just some of the things I heard in the locker room after Syracuse Basketball’s 77-68 loss to Clemson.
On how he feels about returning to Syracuse:
“It was great. I saw a lot of people that I’ve built a relationship with for four years. Just seeing them and the smile on their faces before and after the game, it was great. I loved my time here and I loved the people here.”
On scoring the 2,000th point of his Syracuse career:
“God works in mysterious ways. I’ve always said. He really came through tonight. It was so much fun. To have him here, I’m at a loss for words. I don’t really know what to say. It’s crazy how the whole thing is going.”
On his teammates cheering him on while the Dome crowd booed during the players’ introduction:
“These guys have been great. They’ve taken me on ever since I got here. Usually the best teams off the field are the best on the field. That’s what we have here. We have a great locker room and a lot of guys that love playing together. Being a team.” “
Clemson coach Brad Brownell
On what Gerard means to his team:
“Joe was great. We recruited him very hard in the transfer portal. We knew there was something about him. He’s a winner. A mature guy. Balanced. I wanted another guy in environments like this, North Carolina, Duke. He didn’t want to flinch.” “
On an emotional week for Gerrard:
“Today was not easy for him. Very emotional. We spoke several times during the week. I think he handled it very well. People need to know that he loves this place immensely. He never said anything else in our house. This place will be his Always a special place in his heart.”
On Syracuse’s failure to capitalize in the final minutes:
“I think in the last four minutes when we struggled so hard to get back into the game, our discipline on both sides of the ball just wasn’t there. The most frustrating thing is that this game was ours. In the last four minutes we did what we had to do to get back into the game. Then in the last four minutes we did what we had to do to get back into the game. The last one we didn’t do the things we need to do to win.
About the return of Joe Girard:
“I thought Joe played a really good game. He stepped up when they needed him. He took some big shots. He definitely improved. He had a really good game. Powerful game. He made some big shots.”
On why Kyle Coffey hasn’t played in Syracuse’s last two games
“Just my feeling. I thought the players who played had a good rhythm. It was the coach’s decision.”
On the Syracuse crowd booing Gerrard:
“Honestly, I don’t know why you’re booing a guy who gave everything to this school and university for four years. He played here for four years and did everything they asked of him. You’re going to boo a guy who didn’t do anything wrong. He did a great job. Obviously… “That’s my man, but that’s the way it is.”
On fighting through his shooting struggles:
“I try not to listen to the outside noise. A lot of people will talk and criticize me for my offensive struggles. It is what it is. It comes with it. My job is to stay balanced like I always do and trust it every time I shoot.
On why Syracuse lost to Clemson:
“We let the game get away from us. We tied it up at one point. There were certain things offensively that we didn’t do. They’re a good team. It led to baskets. We slowed down our scoring. They kept the run going.”
On Gerard’s return and the atmosphere in the Dome:
‘The atmosphere was amazing. It was fun. Especially when we started getting back into it and got hooked on the game. “We just hoped we would win.”
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