Tuesday, January 4

Clemson ACC player ratings and ACC predictions

Right now, the team is a work in-progress with a few decent wins, no bad losses, and a long ACC season ahead of them. At 11-4, the Tigers have a decent record, not too gaudy, not to disparaging. Clemson probably should have beaten SC and with a little more discipline could have beaten Old Dominion. The Michigan loss was ugly from the beginning and the FSU was a huge disappointment, as the Tigers lead for much of the game.

And while the Dabo Swinney’s respective firings of Billy Napier and Andre Powell were expected moves following the conclusion of the seemingly never ending football season, one unexpected move off was his approval of Deandre “Nuke” Hopkins joining the basketball team. Hopkins will be looking to fill the void left by the departure of guards Noel Johnson and Donte Hill.

Here is how I rate/grade the players at this point moving into the ACC season, 11-4, 0-1. See original ratings here.

G: 5
Under 6 feet
Andre Young- B +
Shooting the ball well for the most part and looking to drive to the basket more.  
31.8 min, 10.7 ppg
Corey Stanton- C
Not playing as well as he was earlier in the season, maybe the excitement has waned.
14.1min, 2.9 ppg
Zavier Anderson- B -
Has statistically tripled his ppg and has held up well in a both starting and bench roles.
10.8 min, 1.8 ppg
Over 6 feet
Demontez Stitt- B +
Playing well despite missing time with an injury, playing senior level basketball.
30.3 min, 13.3 ppg
Tanner Smith- C
Still underachieving as a junior, tough, but inconsistent
31.8 min, 8.6 ppg
Deandre Hopkins- ?
Gifted athlete, hopefully the spark the Tigers need for the ACC season.
F: 3
Bryan Narcisse- C
Still plays with energy, but you never know which Narcisse will show up at gametime.
9.9 min, 2.7 ppg
Milton Jennings- C -
Improved, but looks uncomfortable on offense and isn’t playing consistently, or with intensity.
21.2 min, 8.9 ppg
Jonah Baize- INC
Still on the team.
4.5 min , 0.0ppg
F/C: 2
Devin Booker- D -
Shows potential, still looks lost and isn’t playing with the necessary toughness.
22.6 min, 8.0 ppg
Jerai Grant- B+
Looks comfortable, plays with fire and is making a baskets at a high percentage, 63.9%
24.9 mins, 12.1 ppg
C: 1
Catalin Baicu- F
I guess this isn’t the year.
4.8 min, 1.5 ppg

While many players have stepped up their games: Grant, Anderson, Stitt, and Young, several are still middling: Smith, Jennings, Stanton, Narcisse, and some have actually devolved or failed to improve: Booker, Bobo, and Baize (The curse of the B’s?).

Nonetheless, the Tigers will need to continue to improve both individually and as a team if they expect to finish above .500 in the ACC.

So here is what I think will happen throughout the course of this season. Some of these games are optimistic wins. However, I tried to be realistic about the Tigers chances this season. I think the team will improve throughout the course of the season as they continue to grow and learn Brownell’s motion offense.

My Hopeful Evaluation:

@ FSU L This happened.
Miami W Hopeful. Of Miami’s four losses, three have been to ranked teams.
GT W GT has looked downright awful at times; luckily, Hewitt is buyout protected
@UNC L I wish this were the year, but...
@MD L If this were a home game, I think the Tigers would win.
NCSU W Hopeful. This could be a season defining game.
FSU W The first game showed the Tigers can play tough as well.
@UVA W Hopeful; UVA can be dangerous, but has lost some consistency.

Halfway 5-3 Again this is hopeful, but a winning first half could do wonders for the  
team’s confidence.

@GT W Unless GT turns it around.
BC W BC is playing strong right now with several quality wins.
UNC L Unless the wheels fall off in Chapel Hill- again.
@NCSU L NCSU is a tough road game and the Pack will be improved
@Miami L Tigers could steal this game after UM’s ACCCT practice at UNCG.
WF W The Deacons are painful to watch.
@Duke L Cameron Indoor; even an with an extra six second for the Tigers.
VT W The Hokies always play tough; Greenberg is, well, who he is. An L would place the Tigers at 8-8.

2nd Half 4-4 A solid performance from a much tougher 2nd half of the season

Total: 9-7 I don’t know if this would be enough to get the Tigers into the NCAAT, but it, at least, 
wouldn’t hurt them. The fairly weak non-conference schedule along with GT and Wake 
bringing down the ACC this year might hurt the Tiger’s chances more than anything.

Go Tigers.

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