Less than 24 hours after not being able to hit the broad side of a barn, Clemson shot the lights out against UTEP in a 69-48. The Tigers shot 12-16 from deep and 23-44 from the field overall. This was only a 54 possession game, which is very slow paced, but the Tigers scored a very efficient 1.28 point per possession. On the other hand, they held UTEP to a paltry 0.89 points per possession. Milton Jennings and K.J. McDaniels led the way with 18 and 17 respectively. Jennings was 4-5 from three while McDaniels was a perfect 4-4 from long range.
Jennings had another impressive showing in this one. Last night against Gonzaga he battled extremely hard, but was overmatched against a huge Gonzaga front line. He displayed the same effort in this one and seemed to be all over the court. I don't expect him to shoot this well each night, but if he brings a consistent high level of energy each night it will be a tremendous asset for this team.
McDaniels continues to show that his offseason work on his jumpshot is paying off. He's now 7-12 on the season from three. If he can continue to shoot well, defenses will have to respect that and he can use a very good first step and his explosiveness around the rim to make them pay.
While we can't expect the Tigers to shoot 75% from three every night, if they continue to bring the effort they've shown so far this season each night, and continue to get after it on defense, they're going to be a tough out going forward. We're playing a lot of guys right now, and the majority of them in either in their first or second season of college ball, so they should continue to get better as they gain experience. The team is gelling well right now, but still has a few more non-conference games against Purdue, South Carolina, and Arizona that should provide a good barometer for this team heading into conference play.