Well, what is left to say. We are what our record says we are, a 6-6 team in the ACC. Clemson is an average basketball team. Average basketball teams deserve to play in the NIT and not the NCAA. And that's where Clemson is headed after losing to NC State. This game felt all too familiar to most of our other road contests this year. Play just well enough to keep ourselves in the game, but fall apart down the stretch.
The fact of the matter is we don't know how to finish games. The end of the game is when focus and attention to detail are needed and we don't focus on these details. It's the little things that win or lose games down the stretch, like hitting free throws, playing sound defense, and boxing out. We don't do any of these things. We start playing with poor fundamentals and a lack of focus.
Here are the last 4 minutes or so in a nutshell.
- Stitt misses the front end of a crucial 1-and-1 and then later missed 1 out of 2.
- To compound the missed free throw, Stitt picked up a cheap foul by getting lazy and handchecking instead of putting his face in his man's chest and moving his feet. Granted the refs started calling it real tight, but the players knew that and should've adjusted.
- Nobody puts a body on CJ Leslie after Javier Gonzalez's miss (and after Gonzalez's blatant traveling that the refs swallowed the whistle on). Leslie's offensive rebound led to 2 made free throws and the nail in the coffin.