I have listed each player with their minutes per game (MPG) and offensive rating (Ortg) by their name. Players who have not played enough to have an Ortg (Ajuwka and Fields) are not included. It is important to remember that these are our student athletes so I ask that you please not trash them in the comments. That said, we will not be shy in pointing out areas of improvement for each player. For an explanation of some of the advanced stats we use, please visit this post from our friends over at Blogger So Dear or KenPom's definitions page.
Rod Hall (32.1 MPG, 114.0 Ortg): Hall is no superstar, but he's incredibly important to this team, as evidenced by his team leading 32.1 minutes per game. He's one of the more improved players from last season. He has the best FT rate on the team by a wide margin (54.5 FTs per 100 FGs) due to aggressiveness in attacking the basket. When coupled with his improved FT% (from .597 to .738) we quickly see why his offensive rating has jumped from 92.2 to 114.
Hall has one of the lower Shot% (15.4) and the best AST Rate (26.5%) on the team, indicating he is more a distributor than a scorer. He also is Clemson's best on ball defender and has rebounded from a poor stretch of defense in the Pitt and UNC games.
Although he isn't much of a shooter, his 3P% has increased from .222 to .341. We'd like to see his continued growth come in the mid-range game so he can stop and pop a mid-range jumper making his threat to drive even tougher to stop. His floater against Virginia was a thing of beauty.
Adonis Filer (15.2 MPG, 96.0 Ortg): Filer brings an aggressiveness that this team often needs. Unfortunately, he can throw up some real clunker games with that aggressiveness. In the last six contests he has posted an Ortg over 100 twice and under 10 three times... talk about up and down.
He has the best 3P% on the team (.349), but also the highest turnover rate (30.3). The latter is dragging his Ortg down and is the reason why we sometimes complain when Brownell uses him in place of Roper during the critical moments of games. If he can be more careful with the ball and show more consistency he can be extremely valuable for this team moving forward because he has the raw tools to be a complimentary scoring threat alongside McDaniels. Filer really is it in terms of the backup point guard position unless Roper moves to the 1 next year, so his development is very important going forward.
Jordan Roper (32.1 MPG, 102.4 Ortg): Jordan Roper was getting the most minutes at the #2 guard until recently when Filer took his starting spot and then Austin Ajuwka began stealing minutes in the UVA game. With Rooks and Coleman unavailable (due to injury and transfer, respectively) and Gabe DeVoe not yet in Orange (he could be an impact freshman next season) he still has a very important role on this team. Austin Ajuwka, at 6'5" is an intriguing option and we'd love to see him continue to get opportunities, but Jordan Roper shouldn't be given the Devin Coleman treatment.
Roper is really undersized to be playing the 2 position and it might be in his best interest to concentrate on the 1 next year when competition for minutes at the 2 is going to increase exponentially with Rooks and DeVoe entering the fray.
Roper trails only McDaniels in 3-point shots attempted and 3-point shots made. While on the court, Roper takes 25.3% of the team's shots. He's a true scorer and has a solid .456 2P%, but his .315 3P% is mediocre and down from last year when he shot .414 from 3. For the volume of shots he takes and the role we need him to play this season, I'd like to see that number inch up.
Demarcus Harrison (18.1 MPG, 104.9 Ortg): Harrison is a guy I wasn't too optimistic about early in the season and he has proved my criticism of his shooting ability to be correct. At .386, his eFG% is one of the lowest on the team. His .342 2P% tops only Josh Smith's.
What he does well is draw fouls. He draws 3.3 fouls per 40 minutes. He also shoots more than 1/5 of the teams shots while he is on the court. Although his percentages are bad, we need someone who is willing to shoot. He is also fairly careful with the ball only turnover with a minuscule turnover percentage of just 12.1. That's the lowest on the team and as a result he has a Ortg over 100. If he could increase his shot percentage he would be a key cog, however the sample size is now large enough that an increase is not expected.
Harrison would have been the highest rated guy in his class had he signed with Clemson out of Christ School instead of BYU. He certainly has fallen short of the projections. His lack of significant impact has really hurt and he will have a fight on his hands for playing time next season should he return.
K.J. McDaniels (31.9 MPG, 113.1 Ortg): K.J. has been unbelievable on both ends of the court. He's our best scorer by a wide margin, but he's really more dominant on the defensive end where he is blocking 9% of opponents 2-point shots while he is on the court. Pause a moment to think of that. Nearly 1-in-10 of our opponents 2-pointers are being blocked by K.J. if he is on the court. He leads the team in blocks (62) and steals (26).
It sometimes may seem like he takes every shot, but he really doesn't. He accounts for 31% of Clemson's shots while he is on the court. That's 337th in D-1 basketball. High to be sure, but not anything silly. His eFG% is over 50% and is second only to Landry Nnoko.
If you're looking for areas of improvement, it's a little hard to spot one, but his assist numbers could improve. He is averaging 1.3 APG. Considering how often he has the ball, that number certainly could be better, of course, he doesn't have the benefit of passing to K.J. McDaniels as his teammates do. If DeVoe, Grantham , and/or Rooks are at all able to be a 11-15 points per game scorer (or one of the returning players), K.J.'s efficiency next season could be off the charts.
He's been our star player the past two seasons and I recommend you take every opportunity to watch him play that you can as we won't have him all that much longer.
Jaron Blossomgame (20.7 MPG, 92.1 Ortg): Blossomgame is the toughest to evaluate for a handful of reasons. He is playing out of position. He is really a wing player (he told me as much), but is being asked to play in the post. Given that, we're impressed by his rebounding numbers. He's posted 4.8 RPG, but when considering his playing time, that's better than it seems (OR%: 8.7, DR%: 16.7). It's also dragged down by some of his early season games where he was not contributing much on the glass. He seems to have gotten his feet under him a bit more as the season has progressed and he has had more time since his leg injury.
In upset wins over Duke and FSU sank some crucial three-pointers, however his .206 3P% second to bottom (Djambo) on the roster. His FT% is also the second lowest (Djitte). His eFG% is just 39.4 and hopefully will improve here down the stretch. His shot selection seems good and he doesn't take a high volume of shots which makes this harder to criticize. He's an X-factor for us. We have not lost a game in which he's posted double-digit points.
He's had a couple issues defensively that may have hurt his playing time--most notably against Notre Dame. He seems to over-hedge on screens and allow his man to slip behind him for some easy buckets. This is something he should be able to correct in the film room and it's a must because we're a better team with him on the court. When he is aggressive on the glass and playing good defense he is a major asset to this team.
As he continues to recover from his severe leg injury which held him out all of last season, hopefully he continues to develop as we see a lot of potential for this young man. He seems to have added a bit of muscle as the season has wore on and I expect him to be one of the positive player development stories in the next few seasons. The biggest thing will be for him to build his lower body strength up now that he won't be rehabbing all summer. Should he correct some of his defensive lapses, we'd like to see him on the court as much as possible, but the problems with the pick and roll defense were noticed even in the most recent game against UVA when he had a critical breakdown that allowed Anthony Gill an easy basket late.
Ibrahim Djambo (10.3 MPG, 78.7 Ortg): From a JUCO transfer with only two years, I was really expecting a bigger impact in year one. One frsutration has been his FC/40 rate. He commits a whopping 5.5 fouls per 40 minutes. Only Djitte is a bigger hacker.
He also has the second highest turnover rate on the team (25.0%), which for someone in his role is hard to explain. His 3P% is a shaky .200, as he has only made 6 3-pointers all season. His 2P% is much better at .450, but he's shot 10 more 3-pointers than 2-pointers. I'd like to see him hit more mid-range jumpers, shoot fewer 3-pointers, and stop committing silly fouls along the perimeter. I love a big man with a nice stroke, but his rebounding percentages (OR%: 6.5, DR%: 11.5) and his BLK% (1.3) indicate he isn't playing like a big man.
Due to the lack of depth in the paint, Djambo could certainly help this team, but he needs to do the things we expect from our big men (rebound, box out, block shots), stop committing silly fouls, and shoot at a higher percentage. He remains a high-upside player that needs to play tougher in the paint. We rarely see JUCO's in any Clemson program and missing on the few that we do bring in really hurts. Hopefully Djambo will figure things out before the season is over and give himself a chance for a solid senior season.
Landry Nnoko (25.3 MPG, 110.1 Ortg): Clemson's starting center only played 6.6 MPG last season so we weren't sure what to expect this year. Fortunately, he has improved with experience and has been one of the bright spots on this team. Defensively, he's been an crucial presence in the post (as evidenced by the team's post defense in the UVA game, which he missed with flu-like symptoms). After McDaniels, he averages the most blocks and rebounds on the team.
His weakness of course, is his penchant for getting into foul trouble which exposes Clemson's lack of depth behind him. Averaging 4.7 fouls per 40 minutes, he actually picks up personal fouls at a lower clip than Djitte, Djambo, and Smith, however he plays more minutes and it's much more impactful when he leaves due to foul trouble. He's certainly fallen victim to some nicky knack fouls (as discussed in the Notre Dame Tip Drill), but this is one area where he will likely improve with experience.
He's shown flashes of offensive growth, but also had some games where he was unable to finish around the basket. The Notre Dame game comes to mind. H
It is not out of the question for Nnoko to emerge in the next two seasons the way Akin Akinbala and Jerai Grant did. Getting some kind of scoring punch in the post would push this program forward in a big way. Hopefully he can continue to develop his offensive moves and improve his ability to finish around the paint. He's already one of the most important players on the team, but as he continues to grow as a player, he could be one of the shining examples of what happens when a player commits to a team, works hard, and improves from his freshman year to his senior year.
Sidy Djitte (10.1 MPG, 87.4 Ortg): Djitte hasn't been playing basketball long (he was a soccer goalkeeper) so it's not surprise that he is very raw. He has ZERO assists on the season and is a .200 FT shooter. He also commits an almost amazing 7.8 fouls per 40 minutes. That means he's averaging five fouls in only 25.6 minutes!
Hopefully with "raw" there is some promise and I think we can see a bit of it with Sidy. He is a very solid rebounder and has the best rebounding percentages on the team (OR%: 17.5, DR%: 23.1). He has a lot of room for growth, but we can see the promise and hope he can become a development story over the next three years. He's in a similar phase of development as Nnoko was last year, but he's had to play a much larger role without a Booker or Jennings in front of him.
Josh Smith (11.7 MPG, 70.8 Ortg): Smith has the lowest offensive rating on the team. His size is sorely needed, but he oftentimes fails to make quick decisions with the ball leading to turnovers or less than ideal shots. When he sets a screen, teams not only hedge, but double team the guard allowing Smith to roll to the basket with the assumption that he won't finish or the guards won't make the pass. With a team low eFG% of just 31.2, it's the smart defensive play.
He plays hard on defense and can be an asset on that end of the court. He often goes straight up in defending the basket, but still draws 4.9 fouls per 40 minutes (even more than Nnoko!). He needs to make more shots around the basket and take fewer shots from outside a couple of feet to be improve his offensive efficiency. He really is a Steve Allen type of guy, but not signing Brice Johnson (that one really hurt) has made him an important big body.
This post includes input from the whole basketball editorial staff--SuperTigerC, MarkGordon, and Ryan Kantor.