Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports
After it seemed liked this one was shaping up to be a huge "upset," with Georgia Tech coming off a bulldozer win over Wake Forest, and Booker still recovering from the flu, Clemson managed to hold on to win. McDaniels sealed the deal with clutch 1-and-1 makes, putting Clemson up 63-60 with 15 seconds to go, and Brandon Reed missed from the perimeter there at the end to allow the Tigers to progress to 12-8 overall, 4-4 in the ACC.
I'm not going to lie, I'm just glad that our team won. Clemson looked completely worn out tonight, and with Booker still recovering from a temp of 103, this could have been much worse than it was. Not saying it wasn't bad, but all things considered, we'll take it.
With Booker less than 100%, once again we needed the team to step up and fill the void that would be left. While the last game had McDaniels, Harrison (!), and an inspired Jennings taking up the slack, this game was more of a team effort, with McDaniels as the only one to score double-digits. Booker not being healthy really hurt us in this one (since Jennings doesn't like to play defense), as Tech's Center, Daniel Miller, was able to amass 16 points, leading scorer Georges-Hunt (G-F), had 11, and Holsey (F) came off the bench and scored 14. We need Booker healthy again, if not for the points, then at least so that he can give 100% to defending the opposition's post players.
If you're tired of reading rants about Jenning's 3-point fetish and failures, then you can skip this next paragraph, but I wanted to take a different approach for arguing why he shouldn't be attempting as many 3's as 2's. Let's look at his field goal statistics just from tonight. When shooting from inside the perimeter, he went 3-7 (43%), which is about the average for the team tonight, but from three he went 1-5 (20%), which is clearly not good. Now let's see what would happen if he had taken all of his shots inside. Assuming that his inside shooting percentage stayed consistent, he would have likely made 2-5 on top of his 3-7, and those 4 points would have netted him one more point than his three-point shooting achieved. Similarly for McDaniels, he also went 1-5 (20%) from 3, but he shot 4-6 (67%) inside, so using the same logic, he could have easily netted 3 more points just shooting 2's. Now I won't say this applies to McDaniels as much because he's still young, and even as a sophomore he's way more consistent from 3 than Jennings. But Jennings needs to weigh the pro's and con's of shooting 3, and understand that 9 times out of 10, he's going to have a better night if he just sticks to taking his shots in or around the paint. And as invigorating as it is to see your team raining 3's, it can completely drain your team's morale to see two of your starters go 1-5 from 3. ‘Nuff said.
Clemson needs the next two days to rest and recover after playing 4 games in 9 days with a sick Booker for most of it. On Saturday, they travel up to Chestnut Hill to take on a struggling Boston College team in what will likely be another tight game for the Tigers. Clemson has achieved the 50% mark in conference play now, and if they have any hope of having that same record to end the season, they need to continue to beat the few teams in the ACC that are looking worse than them.