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Tip Drill: Clemson Defense Raids Yellow Jackets

K.J. McDaniels struggled, but Clemson's defense halted the banged up Yellow Jackets to earn their sixth conference win.

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

2/4 vs. Georgia Tech

Result: 45-41 Victory
Leading Scorer: Jordan Roper (12)
Key Stat: Jordan Roper was the only Tiger to hit a three-pointer. He sunk two.

  • Wednesday is national signing day and all attention will be there, so I'll keep this short. Starting with the obvious, K.J. McDaniels was off tonight. He was 0-5 from three and 3-14 overall. Tech did a great job guarding the paint and his mid-range wasn't on fire like it was in Tallahassee. He posted an offensive rating (Ortg) or just 54, surely one of his lowest outputs of the season.

  • Thankfully Jordan Roper stepped up. He didn't start--Filer started alongside Nnoko, Blossomgame, McDaniels, and Hall--but made an impact immediately upon touching the court. Just seconds after entering the game he sunk his first three-pointer. Later in the game he hit a three-pointer that ended a 8-0 Tech run and sparked the run that Clemson would ride to victory. I was also impressed with his defensive effort. Along with Filer and Hall, they held opposing guards to eight total points. Tonight's game ball goes to Jordan Roper.

  • Filer bounced back after a very poor game and was very efficient. He attacked the basket and made two lay-ups. He only committed one turnover and had the highest Ortg on the team (105). Kudos to him for bouncing back after one of his worst performances to date on Saturday. 

  • Djambo came in and promptly committed a silly block foul 25 feet from the basket. He does this far too often. I believe Brownell yanked him and he didn't see the court again. Djambo has potential to help this team, but Djitte got the minutes in this one.

  • Jaron Blossomgame didn't get as involved in the offensive as I would have liked (he was 0-2 with no attempts from inside the arc), but made his presence felt on the glass. His nine rebounds led the team. His rebounding is very valuable for our team.  

  • Georgia Tech's redshirt senior center, Daniel Miller was fantastic. He had eight rebounds and two blocks to go along with his phenomenal shooting night. He was 9-13 from the field and was the high-scorer in the game with 18. He also has the highest Ortg in the game at 118. He seems like a serviceable NBA player and we wish him well, though we'll have to see him one more time before then. 

  • Early on, Clemson was working the offense through Landy Nnoko. After missing a short hook shot, the announcer noted that he missed a "bunny." After a few more misses they highlighted that Clemson was making a point to work it to him, and that he is "not quite ready." He finished with a solid day, 3-9 shooting, seven points, and five rebounds. It's apparent that he still has a lot of development left, but he's giving us more than we expected coming into the season and that's one reason this team is blowing away out expectations.

  • Clemson looked poised to let this slip away, but in classic fashion the defense stiffened and allowed GT only one field goal in the final 7:20. This was a defensive, junk yard dog style win if I've ever seen one. The game was played at a slow tempo and only had 57 possessions. That's two straight wins and two straight games with less than 60 possessions. 

  • Despite electing to start them both against UNC, Brownell played Harrison for just eight minutes while Josh Smith was a DNP - Coaches Decision. Who is emailing him our posts?

  • This was Clemson's eight straight win over the Yellow Jackets (or as Dawg Sports calls them, the North Avenue Nerds) and the 500th in Littlejohn Coliseum.

  • Up next Clemson travels to Syracuse on Sunday. They are a huge matchup problem for us. Their length will get us fits and their zone forces teams to beat them from behind the arc. As stated, Roper was the only Tiger to hit a three tonight. If that happens versus Syracuse it'll be ugly. Don't be discouraged by a blowout, we've seen what this team can do and are in position to accomplish all the goals we set for this team in the pre-season. After Syracuse, they get a quick turn with a Tuesday trip to South Bend. This will be a big challenge, but it is a feasible one we'll be interested to see.