Thursday, February 25

Clemson collapses in College Park, loses 88-79

The OP Stat of the Game: 11-30 team 3pt shooting

I've thought about it.
I can't say that I am surprised.
Disappointed, yes.
Surprised, no.

Last night's game was a microcosm of Clemson Basketball: start strong, show some resilience, then forget how to play basketball, collapse.

Of the eight losses this season, here are the point differentials for the 1st half:

vs. TXA&M: -13 (neutral)
vs. Illinois: +20 (home)
vs. Duke: -18 (the 12 pt half) (away)
vs. GT: -6 (away)
vs. Duke: tied (home)
vs. BC: -17 (away)
vs. VT: -7 (away)
vs. MD:9 (away)

Of the wins starting with Butler:
vs. Butler: -7 (neutral)
vs.SC: +3 (home)
vs. Furman +17 (home)
vs. ECU +17 (away)
vs. CofC +18 (home)
vs. WCU +11 (home)
vs. SCSU +11 (home)
vs. BC +12 (home)
vs. UNC +18 (home)
vs. NCSU +17 (away)
vs. MD +7 (home)

vs. FSU +13 (home)
vs. UM +5 (home)
vs. UVA +19 (home)

Except for the NCSU game, the Tigers have not been able to keep their momentum going in away games. And the win in Raleigh almost didn't happen. The wolfpack played much better than the Tigers in the second half.

What does this mean? I don't exactly know. But, I think it can be construed in two differing ways.
1. This team can win and can maintain control and momentum throughout a game.
1a. Provided the Tigers are playing at home.
1b. The NCSU win is an anomaly.

2. This team cannot maintain control and momentum throughout a game.
2a. Provided the Tigers are playing an away game
2b. The Illinois game is an anomaly.
2c. Duke is Duke.

About last night's game, what do I need to say?

Here is what OP had to say about the performance:
“Defensively we didn't play well enough to win. Obviously offensively we had a good first half and I thought that certainly the pace was what we liked and that's probably why we scored so well. Defensively, we stopped getting into our pressure; as a result we started to give them some easy baskets."

Decorum aside, here is what I wished he would have said:

"Defensively, we didn't play. Obviously we had a good first half, but can we really rely on Mr. Dependability, David Potter? I thought that the pace was what we liked and that's why we scored well. Defensively, we sucked. Our team identity is predicated on one thing: defense. We couldn't even do that. And did you see Vasquez mopping the floor? What a piece of ****."

OP obviously has more decorum than most and that is why he is where he is.

About Grant? The MD return was a bust last night. Potter fared better in his return, but we shouldn't have to rely on the outside shot. That should be just one component of the inside-outside game. Grant's presence down low was missed in the second half. The Tigers couldn't create the space for Booker and with the 3pt shots not falling as frequently, they couldn't get Booker the ball, though Trevor did manage to connect with Devin for a big alley-oop dunk. That quieted the crowd for about two seconds before the Terps went down to the other end for a quick score.

So all in all, what did we learn last night?
Re: MD
1. Vasquez is in fact the most pompous player to wear any ACC uniform in a long time, trumping Reddick.
2. Vasquez is a good player.
3. Vasquez is not the only player on the MD team.

Re: Clemson
1. The Tigers still cannot seal the deal
2. They have the ability, but seem to lack the drive.
3. The Tigers are running out of time to improve.

Up next, FSU in Tallahassee. Let's see how the Tigers respond to another away game challenge.

Go Tigers!

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