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No Shock Here, Clemson Downs Wake

Beating Wake Forest at Littlejohn isn't anything to write home about .  We've already discussed Wake's ineptitude here.  But Saturday's win was significant because it has now guaranteed the Tigers of finishing ACC play with at least an 8-8 record.  After changing coaches and systems, losing Trevor Booker to graduation, and having two scholarship players quit mid-season, I think most people would've been extremely satisfied if you told them the Tigers would finish .500 or better this year.

The Good

  • Clemson won this game on the defensive end.  The Tigers led Wake by 13 at halftime after holding Wake to 20 first half points on 24% shooting.  
  • The Tigers forced 11 first half turnovers.
  • Devin Booker pulled down 10 boards.  That's the most rebounds he has recorded since January 22.  I thought he showed effort and aggressiveness in his rebounding.
The Bad
  • 9 first half turnovers.  It seemed at times we were attempting to match Wake turnover for turnover.
  • Offensive aggressiveness in the 2nd half.  We were up 13 at the half and the game never seemed in doubt, but the 2nd half was missing a "foot on the throat" type of aggressiveness.  We only attempted 4 second half free throws, which shows that we didn't attack the basket.  I was hoping to see us come out and play a solid second half and win this game going away by 30.
The Ugly
  • The matchup.  There is nothing glamorous about playing Wake Forest this year.  The players don't get hyped, the fans don't get hyped, and the RPI will take a hit even after a win.  It's a game that you won't get much credit for winning, but a game that you absolutely cannot afford to lose.
With Duke and Virginia Tech left on the schedule, Clemson will have two chances to finish above .500 and enhance a suspect NCAA tournament profile.  The first chance comes on Wednesday night, as the Tigers travel to Durham to face Duke.  It figures to be an angry Duke team after losing to Virginia Tech tonight.

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