I’m not sure which I hated more, watching the Tigers lose a gut-wrenching match at the buzzer last year or watching them get out-played in literally every category of the game tonight. To be fair, Coastal Carolina was clearly out for blood tonight, and they had their way with Clemson.
There’s really nothing that Clemson did right in this competition. Probably the most frustrating thing is the number of unnecessary 3-point attempts. Clemson went a combined 4-21. FOUR FOR TWENTY-ONE. Just to be clear, that is pathetic, and should make you sick if you are not already nauseas. Jennings played horribly, shooting 2-12 from the field. He went 1-6 from three, while McDaniels went 1-5 and Harrison went 0-3. I’d keep going, but you get the point.
Hall did nothing tonight, which would have been ok if someone had come off the bench to play. Unfortunately, it appears that only Devin Booker and Jordan Roper decided to play tonight. Everyone looked like they were bored and would rather be home with their families than playing basketball for Clemson. Lazy play on defense is why Coastal demolished our commendable season records on D, and laziness is why Clemson decided to keep attempting three pointers. It’s easier to just pull up and take the three than to work hard to get open, find the open man, or drive to the basket. Also, Brownell keeps trying to strategically throw in 1-3-1 looks on D, which would be a great plan IF the team could execute. However, Clemson has either not grasped the set to an acceptable level, or they are not disciplined enough while in it to make it effective. Brownell needs to realize that his team is most effective in man-to-man right now, and they are not ready to use 1-3-1 in any significant playing time for the next several games. One final thing to point out, once again there were way too many uncontested shots from the perimeter. This should not happen. Maybe one or two per game, but this is starting to become a consistent problem that needs to be corrected.
So we now know that this team is not much different from last year, and this season we can look forward to the occasional inspired performance when the competition warrants the effort. But for every other contest it’s going to be another rollercoaster of a year. We will be lucky to make an appearance in post-season play. Very lucky. But the young guys we have are very talented, and if they can become more consistent and dependable by next season, this program may still be moving in the right direction. As of right now, there is too much laziness going around this team for things to improve much this season (anyone want to guess what Seniors are creating/contributing to this culture?). We can only hope that the crazy train stays on the track long enough to make this season bearable.