USA TODAY Sports
In order to pick up a road victory in the ACC you need to play your best basketball. Clemson didn't do that this afternoon and they were defeated by Maryland with relative ease. It didn't help that Maryland played pretty well. They didn't turnover it over much, they rebounded well, and they shot well (except at the foul line). Nick Faust hasn't been able to hit the broad side of a barn all year, yet he becomes another in a long list of guys that have breakout games from beyond the arc against Clemson.
Clemson actually started the game well, jumping out to an early 6 point lead. But Maryland changed up their defense and went to a 1-2-2 full court press to speed up Clemson's pace. We looked like a team that had never faced a press before. We continued to inbound the ball into the corners, allowing Maryland to trap right where they wanted. When facing a 1-2-2 trap, you want to keep the ball out of the corner if at all possible. If you must inbound to the corner, you need to be ready to make a pass as soon as you receive the ball. What you don't want to do is hold the ball and let the trap come to you. Clemson never seemed to figure that out. Clemson finished the game with 11 turnovers, which isn't all that bad, but it seemed like most of their turnovers resulted in easy points for Maryland. Rod Hall played his worst game of the season, accounting for 7 of those turnovers.
Clemson's biggest issue, though, was rebounding. They had difficulty clearing the defensive glass and didn't pull down enough offensive rebounds. They gave up way too many second chance points. Maryland's offensive rebound rate was 42%. A good rebounding team expects to clear at least 75% of their defensive rebound opportunities. Clemson clearly fell short in this area. On the other side of the ball, Clemson was only able to rebound 18% of their misses. It was clear that Maryland was out physicalling us and that stats back it up.
Jordan Roper's shot was off today and he wasn't in the same form as Sunday against Miami. However, I'm still encouraged by his ability to score the basketball. He can spot up, shoot off the dribble, and has the ability to get to the rim. Alternatively, I'm discouraged by K.J. McDaniels development in the 2nd half of the season. He is just floating around the perimeter looking for open 3-point looks. He's not aggressive, he's stopped attacking the rim, and has been invisible on the offensive glass. Right now he isn't a consistent 3-point shooter. I believe his game should center around getting into the paint and shooting pull-up jump shots and attacking the offensive backboard. I want to see him use his 3-point shot as a secondary or tertiary option rather than letting it define his game.
Next up: UNC. This season has been a bit of a train wreck, but beating UNC can somewhat salvage this season for me.