ACC Tourney: Tigers vs Tarholes

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Clemson won its first ACC Tournament game since 2008 yesterday with the 70-47 rape of Boston College and will try to advance to just our 3rd ever ACC Tournament Championship game today against the 'Holes.

Earlier this year we didn't fare so well in Chapel Hill, losing 75-65. The two teams went back and forth in the 1st half before UNC put up a big run at the end of the half, which Clemson began to chip away in the 2nd, drawing within one point at 66-65 with just under 5 minutes to go in the game. We had numerous chances to take this game at the end and just couldn't get it done. We lost this one more because we were awful than because of NC's play.

Jerai Grant was thoroughly handled by John Henson in both contests with NC, as was Devin Booker. Henson ended up with 5 blocks in just the first game. Andre Young shot 4/14 and Demontez Stitt really struggled in his shooting as well the first time around. It was our seldom-used reserves that provided the spark to keep us within distance in the 2nd half, but also turned it over at critical moments.

The 2nd contest was essentially the same. No inside presence lets the defense overplay the perimeter and we shot 6-26 from 3 point range. We handled them on the boards but missed key FTs at home and turned the ball over 16 times. We couldn't handle Barnes or Marshall defensively that well either.

To win, Clemson will need to play solid defense and not try to run in transition with UNC. We're not a running team anymore. If we try to run with them we'll get killed. UNC is #1 in tempo in ACC Conference play. Clemson has to slow it down and make UNC work to score. Preferably from 3 point land, since they're last in 3P% in Conference play. If we can get in their faces and slow them down, we will be close at the end, close enough to win. Additionally, we can't have an off night from Stitt at all while Jerai Grant must bring his "A" game inside and draw some fouls and clean up the boards.

"I have to just work on different parts of my game and being physical. I have to score outside of the paint and on different parts of the court. I have to work on my screens and getting other people the ball. They are a really long team. They have Barnes who is 6-foot-8. Everyone on their team is long. The shots we were hitting today, we are going to have to hit them tomorrow."

Former North Carolina center Eric Montross, who played for the Heels in the early 90’s and currently works as a color analyst on North Carolina’s radio network, said Grant needs to not only extend North Carolina’s John Henson and Tyler Zeller – he needs to get them in foul trouble.

"Jerai is a talented player," Montross said of Grant. "He is a guy that has been affected by Henson, but he is in a crowd with that, not singled out. There have been a lot of very good players bothered by Henson and Zeller. Their inside play has been pretty consistent, but Carolina is not real deep. If either of those guys get in foul trouble it could really open it up."

Yesterday we brought the "A" game. We held BC to 34% shooting. UNC didn't bring theirs. They let Miami run away from them in the 1st half, and then The U flushed that lead down the toilet. Harrison Barnes scored 18 points to lead North Carolina and fellow freshman Marshall contributed 10 assists. The Tar Heels outscored the Hurricanes 27-6 over the final 9:52, finally taking their first lead, and the win, on the very last shot.

 

Clemson / North Carolina Projected Linups

Clemson

North Carolina

#

Player

Ht / Wt

Class

Pos.

#

Player

Ht / Wt

Class

2

Demontez Stitt

6-2 / 180

Sr.

G

5

Kendall Marshall

6-3 / 186

Fr.

11

Andre Young

5-9 / 175

Jr.

G

1

Dexter Strickland

6-3 / 180

So.

5

Tanner Smith

6-5 / 205

Jr.

F

40

Harrison Barnes

6-8 / 210

Fr.

31

Devin Booker

6-8 / 245

So.

F

31

John Henson

6-10 / 210

So.

45

Jerai Grant

6-8 / 230

Sr.

C

44

Tyler Zeller

7-0 / 250

Jr.

 

Clemson Season Statistics:

Player GP MIN PPG RPG APG SPG BPG TPG FG% FT% 3P%
Demontez Stitt 29 33.8 14.3 4.5 3.3 1.3 0.4 2.1 0.436 0.739 0.368
Jerai Grant 31 26.9 12.4 6.7 0.8 1.1 2.5 1.5 0.579 0.71 0
Andre Young 31 32.4 10.7 2.7 3 1.3 0.1 1.2 0.401 0.673 0.391
Milton Jennings 31 19.9 8 5.2 0.5 0.6 0.5 1.9 0.398 0.757 0.278
Devin Booker 31 24 7.9 5.4 0.6 0.7 0.4 1.6 0.441 0.739 0.326
Tanner Smith 29 28.4 7.6 3.5 2.7 1.2 0.3 1.8 0.399 0.72 0.321
Bryan Narcisse 31 13.2 3.1 1.6 0.3 0.5 0.5 0.7 0.507 0.531 0.375
Noel Johnson 7 13.1 2.9 1.6 0.3 0.3 0.1 0.9 0.273 0.625 0.214
Cory Stanton 30 11.3 2.5 0.7 0.7 0.7 0.1 0.7 0.329 0.667 0.211
Zavier Anderson 28 9.9 1.4 1.3 1.3 0.7 0.3 1.2 0.483 0.421 0.75
Catalin Baciu 23 3.3 1 1.1 0 0 0.1 0.2 0.563 0.333 0
Jonah Baize 10 2.4 0 0.3 0 0 0 0.3 0 0 0
DeAndre Hopkins 7 1.4 0 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.3 0 0 0
Totals 31 -- 68 35 13 8 5 13 0.439 0.696 0.343

 

UNC Season Statistics:

Player GP MIN PPG RPG APG SPG BPG TPG FG% FT% 3P%
Tyler Zeller 31 27.2 14.5 7.2 0.5 0.7 1.1 1.4 0.543 0.744 0
Harrison Barnes 31 28.2 14.2 5.6 1.4 0.6 0.4 1.9 0.41 0.74 0.327
John Henson 31 25.8 11.3 9.8 0.9 0.5 3.2 2.1 0.51 0.462 0.25
Leslie McDonald 30 15 7.6 1.9 0.5 0.5 0 0.8 0.417 0.727 0.412
Dexter Strickland 31 26.2 7.5 3.2 2.2 1.2 0 1.5 0.446 0.673 0.25
Reggie Bullock 27 14.5 6.1 2.8 0.6 0.7 0.1 0.5 0.367 0.565 0.296
Kendall Marshall 31 22.6 5.9 1.9 5.7 1 0 2.3 0.449 0.703 0.385
Justin Knox 31 15 5 3.4 0.4 0.2 0.4 1.2 0.542 0.661 0
Larry Drew II 21 22.8 4.4 2.3 3.9 1.1 0 1.8 0.384 0.677 0.207
Justin Watts 28 10.1 2.2 2.1 0.6 0.1 0.1 0.5 0.37 0.536 0.333
Patrick Crouch 11 1.7 0.8 0.1 0 0 0 0.3 0.571 0 0.5
Daniel Bolick 12 1.4 0.5 0.3 0.2 0 0 0.1 0.25 1 0
D.J. Johnston 11 1.7 0.4 0.7 0.1 0 0.1 0.1 0.286 0 0
Van Hatchell 9 1.6 0.1 0.2 0.1 0 0 0.1 0 0.5 0
David Dupont 10 1.6 0 0.5 0.1 0 0 0.1 0 0 0
Stewart Cooper 11 1.5 0 0.4 0.1 0 0 0.1 0 0 0
Totals 31 -- 77 43 16 6 5 13 0.452 0.661 0.329
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