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What Louisville HC Kenny Payne Said After 70-64 Loss at Clemson

Read what the head coach of the Cardinals said after their loss to the Tigers.

CLEMSON, S.C. - The Louisville men's basketball program was nearly able to pull off a second half comeback against Clemson, but those efforts wound up falling short, resulting in a 70-64 decision for their sixth-straight loss.

Here's what head coach Kenny Payne had to say following the loss:

Head Coach Kenny Payne

(Opening Statement)

First of all, we're playing a team that's got a real legitimate chance to make an NCAA tournament. I like their team. I like their toughness. We knew it'd be a physical battle. We know that they have great shooting. Even though they haven't shot it great lately, they're a very good shooting team. They're a complete team. To come in here and battle the way we battled, I'm proud of my guys. I know people want us to be down because we lost, but at the end of the day, I saw five guys on the court -  whichever five - fighting with everything they had to win the game. I am proud of my guys. We didn't shoot it well from three, we were 2-for-20. Don't care, they fought. We are rebounded them by 19. One of the most physical teams in this conference, and we fought. So I can't sit here and be negative when my guys, without two point guards, go out and battle the way they did.

(On not having an assist until late in the second half)

I just felt like we were stagnant. We didn't make quick decisive decisions. When a guy was open, we hesitated a second. But again, overall, they fought.

(On out-rebounding Clemson by 19)

I just thought that our back was against the wall. We've been through so much, and they finally got tired of it. They competed. They fought their balls off. I hate to say like that, excuse me, but I can't ask guys to play any harder at attacking them. They're maybe the most physical team in this conference, and they battled.

(On if he was surprised that they were able to battle as much as they did)

It doesn't surprise me. Again, young people, when we've been doing this as long as I have, you can't count them out on anything. I wish we had a little better effort from certain guys, and it may have been a different result. But I believe in my guys. I like my team. I just want to see them play like that second half every time they step on the floor. I thought Tre White showed why we wanted him here, and I just hold him in the locker room: "I just saw the guy that I wanted out of the transfer portal." If you don't give me that, how should I respond to you if I don't get that type of player?

(Photo of Kenny Payne: Jamie Rhodes - USA TODAY Sports)

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