Tanner Smith cringes in defeat (Greenville News)
I don't know even where to start.
Last night was ugly from the start. NC State played with an obvious fire and enthusiasm that the Tigers did not have. I am not sure if they were complacent because they supposedly have locked up a place in the NCAA tournament or not. They will probably make the tournament, but solely because the at-large field is weak this year.
Even this tactic didn't work last night.
Insert your own Caption Here (News and Observer)
Outside of a few top teams, no team has shown any real consistency and staying power, Clemson obviously included.
Last night, one of the single bright spots was the play of Noel Johnson. Neither the lights, the partisan crowd, nor the lack of referee control bother him. Here is a link to the complete boxscore. Here is a gallery link from the Raleigh News and Observer, obviously a bit NC State-centric.
The rest of the team, TBooker included, looked out-of-sync and TBooker looked aghast at the lack of fouls being called- for the second game in a row. I thought he would have learned that things change in the endgame, the end of the season.
But, for all of the lack of fouls called and the fouls called that were not fouls, the foul call total was even 15-15. And here's more proof that it was all ball last night when Booker was whistled for his fourth.
Trevor Booker gets all ball, still gets called for a foul (News and Observer)
The unevenness, though, was in the lack of rebounding effort. NCSU played bigger and stronger than Clemson last night. Tracy Smith, upset from being overshadowed by Booker and being called a poor man's Booker played tough and didn't let any criticism bother him.
The only solace I, and all, or at least most, Tiger fans can take from this is hopeful possibility of a Third Consecutive NCAA tournament bid, a first for Clemson Basketball. So in the grand scheme of Clemson Basketball, the Tigers are on the right track. As for last night, not so much.
Per next week, we'll have to wait and see.