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Hot-shooting Winthrop wins as turnovers, free throws doom Tigers

Clemson takes early-season blow in upset loss to Winthrop.

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson was incredibly sloppy with the basketball tonight (16 TOs). I'm not sure what Rod Hall was doing for the majority of the game, but his mind was somewhere else. After a 10-assist, 0-turnover game against Florida A&M, he  gave the ball away four times, usually unprovoked. Despite having 5-foot-7 and 5-foot-10 guys guarding him all night, he refused to drive the ball.

Clemson is way too content to stand around and shoot threes for a team that can't shoot.

Nnoko scored 19, but he should have had 30. He looked shaky at times, dropping passes and missing a couple easy buckets, getting called for three-in-the-key, and committing seven turnovers. That said, the Tigers still didn't give him the ball enough. He had a distinct size advantage inside, and even though Clemson turned it over some early trying to force it to him, I would still rather have that than picked-off outlet passes and losing the ball while driving the lane.

One of the things that helped Clemson exceed expectations last year was improvement at the free-throw line. Tonight was a regression in that department, and I can only hope it doesn't get in their heads like we've seen with so many Clemson teams before.

Winthrop is undersized, but they have some talented guards. Every time it seemed Clemson might seize control of the game, the Eagles would hit another dagger three.

Grantham was in a bit of foul trouble, but he was out of the game for too long in the second half. I know he is a freshman, but he is probably the best basketball player on the team already.

As a bad loss early in the season, this is a tough one to swallow. You can either let it affect you negatively or use it as motivation. We'll learn soon which it will be.