The Clemson Tigers enter the ACC Tournament as the #7 seed and will face #10 seed Virginia Tech in the opening round. With a record of 16-14 overall, 8-8 ACC, Clemson needs to make some noise in the conference tourney if they want an invite to the big dance. To win the tourney, Clemson would have to beat #2 seed Duke before Sunday’s championship game. A tall order for any team and one a team like Clemson is not ready to face. The Tigers and Virginia Tech Hokies just squared off on March 4th with Clemson winning a close one 58-56. As part of our ACC Tournament Team Preview series, let’s get to know Clemson.
Some ugly, early losses, stained this season for the Tigers. Losses to teams like College of Charleston, Coastal Carolina and Texas El-Paso before ACC play kicked off set an ugly tone going into league play. They pulled it together with with four wins in their five games to pull to .500 in the conference. The Tigers looked like they might turn into something this season after a 20 point blowout of Florida State. They promptly turned around were beaten by Boston College. The BC loss turned into a streak in which they dropped six of eight games. The Tigers have been a wildly inconsistent and hard team to predict all season long to say the least.
The Tigers are a good defensive team ranking 25th in the nation giving up just 60ppg. The problem is, like Virginia, they can’t score either. And unfortunately for Clemson, there is no Mike Scott on this roster.
Roster Breakdown: My favorite player on Clemson is Devin Booker. He’s a hard working junior who has improved every aspect of his game all three years he’s been at Clemson. He’s the teams best rebounder at seven per game and the third leading scorer at 10.6ppg. Andre Young is the teams top scorer at 13.3ppg. I’m not a fan of Youngs, he reminds me of a poor mans Terrell Stoglin, shooting just 41% from the field. He’s the best scorer on the nations 250th ranked scoring team. Senior Tanner Smith would have to qualify as this teams rock. Averaging 11.1ppg on 45.6% shooting and five rebounds per game, he’s been their most consistent perimeter player this season.
What the numbers say: The numbers make Clemson seem worse than I picture them. This is a good defensive team but they don’t combine that with anything else. They are soft on the boards at 33rpg 247th in the nation. They are not a good shooting team at just 43% for the team ranking them 184th in the nation. I could go on and on, to sum it up. Out of the 50 most commonly ranked team statistics, Clemson ranks in the top 100 only six times.
Floor/Ceiling: The floor is simple, lose to Virginia Tech and don’t even turn on the TV Selection Sunday. Ceiling, blowout VT and shock everyone against Duke, gaining some interest in next Sunday.