The Tigers looked ready against BC. BC was up to the challenge. In what was a game of streaks, the Tigers were able to clampdown in Littlejohn for the win.
Both seniors, Stitt and Grant, lead the team in a workman-like fashion. Each player endured a minor injury, and each played through it. That is until Grant was on the sideline for the endgame action.
Nonetheless, this is solid leadership from the guys who need to be doing such. While Jerai Grant had 17pts, he only had 5reb. Stitt had as many rebounds as Grant. In fact, BC finished with 7 more rebounds than the Tigers. Offensively, though, BC relied- rightfully- on Trapani and Jackson, 22pts and 27pts, respectively.
Clemson spread the scoring around with four players in double-digits: Smith 11, Grant 17, Stitt 16, and Young 15. This is how Clemson needs to win games, as a team. And now, they are playing like a team.
If Devin Booker can string together two halves, or even 1.5 good halves, coupled with something more than a solid cameo from Jennings, the Tigers could really be dangerous.
The win over BC moves the Tigers into sole possession of 4th place in the ACC- which is good for the ACCT- but a lot of work is yet to be done. Brownell has a solid record over the 10 games in the ACC so far; however, some difficult games lie ahead. Here is a random thought about Clemson from D1scourse.com
Brownell's ACC 10 game record is as good as any during the OP-era.
While I don't know what that means, it is an interesting observation nonetheless. But we all know what looking too far ahead can do to a team- remember 17-0?
Of the next six games remaining in the ACC season, the Tigers have three home and three away- home vs UNC, Wake, and VT; away vs NCSU, Miami, and Duke.
This stretch of games is as crucial as any thus far this season.
While FSU, BC, VT, and even MD are getting some national attention as the non-Duke/UNC ACC teams that might get invites to the NCAAT, Clemson is not even being mentioned, despite beating two of those teams and losing by two to another (MD).
Should the Tigers come away win the games they are supposed to win they should have at least three wins, which leaves VT, UNC, and Duke- and two of these games are at Littlejohn.
Brownell has an opportunity to finish above .500 in the ACC and give Clemson a realistic shot at the NCAAT. However, the wildcard games might turnout to be NCSU and Miami- both away games. If Clemson cannot (continue? - they only have one away ACC win vs. GT, two wins total, the other was CofC) win on the road, then all of this speculation is unnecessary.
Every game, it seems is pivotal and crucial. I was glad to see the Tigers weren't looking too far ahead to the UNC showdown on Saturday.
Time to keep it moving forward.