Saturday, February 3

Clemson Basketball: OP Represent!

Today, the Tigers look to make positive forward progression as they move into the second half of the ACC schedule. And while the Tigers finished 4-4, instead of the should-have-been 6-2, OP and the Tigers should be given at least some praise for finished at .500 or above for the first half for the first time since 1996-1997.

Concerning the recent heart-wrenching games, OP via Andy Katz
Oliver Purnell isn't panicking over Clemson's 4-4 ACC record after being the last team to lose. Purnell said the Tigers simply haven't closed out the last two games well -- at Duke and against Virginia. "Against Virginia in the last seven minutes, we didn't score a field goal, had eight shots, six good looks and missed two free throws and turned it over twice," Purnell said. "So, we can play better and we know we need to finish strong."
And remember, Clemson was on the other side of two last second (-ish) wins during the first half against FSU and GaTech. So, this means we were involved in four (too) close games. The difference between the wins and the losses points to only one thing: Rebounding, offensive and defensive. The necessity of rebounding should be obvious to anyone. Somewhere our toothy aggression and fight have cowled away. "There has been a little bit of a lull with Trevor as well," Purnell said. "We need him to get back to where he was. He's been in foul trouble in a couple of games, but the bottom line is that at the end of the day we need a solid game from Trevor Booker."

Despite the rebounding concern, "the only negative of late, for Purnell, is the blowout home loss to North Carolina. He said closing out games should be a solvable problem down the stretch."

(God I hope so.)

Because being able to close the deal is exactly what we need back for today's GT game. The game itself is in Atlanta at 1pm. I will not watch it live. I will listen, periodically, via the interweb or XM and check the gametracker. I will wish Julius Powell were not hurt. We need all of the help we can get to continue our OProgress.

I trust OP to get the team back on track, even in Atlanta against a team seemingly backed into a corner. We need to open the second half strong. Yes, it has been difficult these past weeks; hopefully having the long break will be a positive rather than a negative.

Go Tigers!

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