Monday, January 22

Clemson Tiger Basketball: Clemson-Duke Notes

OP updated his blog, though the date is wrong on the top. He says Cameron Indoor Stadium is "arguably the toughest venue in college basketball." However, OP remains optimistic for the upcoming games against both Duke and Virginia and sees them "as a great opportunity to close out the first half of our ACC schedule on a strong note."

Duke Pre-game facts:
  • "Arguably the toughest venue in college basketball" according to Coach Oliver Purnell
  • Duke is ranked 1oth in both polls.
  • Duke has won 87.7% of its games in Cameron since 1940.
  • Clemson is 27-97 all-time against Duke and 4-54 in Cameron.
  • Clemson is ranked AP 19 and ESPN/USA 17.
  • Duke is coming off of a 23 pt win in Raleigh vs. NCSU.
  • Clemson is returning from a two-game slump and a 20 pt win at home against a roster-depleted BC team.
  • Clemson is, as of 1/22, 4th in the ACC standings at 4-2.
  • Duke is currently 5th in the ACC table at 3-2
  • Duke is starting to play like Duke.
Given these facts, Thursday's game looks to be tilted wholly in Duke's favor. To be sure, Duke is Duke. However, they are not shooting incredibly well from 3pt range and still have several underclassmen. Clemson is definitely the toughest team in the ACC they will have faced this season. The opening losses to VT and GT, respectively, show how Duke can be defeated- especially the GT game. Everything was going VT's way, so that helped a bit. Yes, I know, Duke is coming off three 20+ pt wins and they are ranked 10th. But, those wins are over: 9-11 Miami, 9-9 Wake, and 11-7 NCSU, and Duke's two losses are to 14-5 VT and 13-5 GT. To put this in perspective, Clemson's ACC wins have come over: 13-5 BC, 13-5 GT, 14-5 FSU, and 11-7 NCSU, while their two losses have been to 17-2 UNC and 15-5 MD.

What does this mean, not much. Thus far, Clemson has lost one home and one road ACC game, as has Duke. With only two common opponents, it is difficult to even find any threads with which to compare the teams. Essentially, Duke looks good in their most recent three games, bad in the first two. Clemson looked good in the first three games, bad in the next two, and good again in the last one.

For Clemson to win the game, they will have wear Duke down and play pressure defense. Again, shots have to fall. It may be close for a while, especially since Duke knows how to pressure and break that pressure as well. I am looking for a middle-scoring game with a few standout performances from each team.

More Analysis to come. Until then,

Go Tigers!

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