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Tip Drill: Clemson Outlasts Miami

Who ever said up-tempo basketball was more fun? Two of the three slowest tempo teams battled in Littlejohn Coliseum and Clemson came out on top.

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

3/4 vs. Miami

Result: 58-54 Victory
Leading Scorer: Rod Hall (14)
Key Stat: Miami was 2-8 from the FT line

  • With a quick look at the box score you may wonder how Clemson won. Miami shot .500 from the field and only committed 5 turnovers, but Clemson gutted out this slow tempo battle by outscoring the Hurricanes by 10 from the FT line and out-rebounding them by 8. 

  • Coming off a game (Maryland) where we were manhandled on the glass, it was good to see them bounce back and show more fight there. Miami is not a small team so I give them huge kudos for battling for the ball. Clemson got offensive rebounds on more than a third of their misses and collected .786 of their defensive rebounding opportunities. Miami only managed an OR% of .214 and a DR% of .654. McDaniels led the team with 9 rebounds, but Blossomgame also played a major role in the win snagging 8 while Nnoko added 6.

  • The teams traded just 52 possessions. Whoever said slow tempo basketball is not entertaining must be delirious, because this was a fun game to watch. Seeing the screens come and players run the offense when each possession means so much is not bad basketball, it's a treat. It also helped that the refs let them play and only called 24 personal fouls, many of which came late when Miami had to foul to stop the clock.

  • Early in the game Nnoko was very active hitting two shots that were outside of his normal range, one all the way from the the elbow and the other a hook shot he took without hesitation. He only took 2 more shots throughout the rest of the game, but impressed me by avoiding foul trouble yet again. After fouling out vs. Wake Forest, he only has 4 personal fouls in his last two games (78 minutes) despite averaging 4.3 fouls per 40 minutes on the season. We'll hope this is a progression in his defense and not just an matter of small sample size. On one particular Miami drive to the basket he seemed to concede the basket after rotating over late instead of committing a silly foul, so I am hopeful it's the latter.

  • Because Nnoko stayed out of foul trouble, Sidy Djitte only played five minutes while Josh Smith was only used for 3. Djitte will have one more chance to get an assist in regular season play. He currently has 0.

  • In the first four minutes of the game, Clemson was getting completely gashed by penetration and points in the paint. This continued until eventually Clemson switched to a 2-3 zone. The swap sparked a 13-2 run and left them tied at halftime. They went back to man defense in the second half after they hashed out the problem in the locker room.

  • The announcers pointed out that Harrison has posted a eFG% (effective FG%) of 58 in his recent hot streak. We discussed this in the Maryland Tip Drill, but I was pleasantly surprised to hear the announcers bring that type of analysis. I hope this becomes the norm. Harrison was great once again today. He had 12 points including 2 big three pointers and was a solid 4-5 from the stripe.

  • During the second half of our game, Georgia Tech knocked off Syracuse in the Carrier Dome. I find it intriguing that a team from such a #SoftNosed city like Atlanta could go and win and the Dome with the heat and humidity and such, but I digress.

  • In that second half, Filer came on to spell Rod Hall and was very efficient. His 151 Ortg was a team high. He did his usual thing attacking to the basket, but did a better job finishing. Unfortunately, his night ended on a play where he was over-dribbling, lost the ball, then pulled his hamstring. It is being reported as a strained hamstring so I'll go out on a limb and say he is questionable at best for the Pittsburgh game and we'll hope to have him back next Thursday in Greensboro. In the meantime, it'll be interesting to see what Brownell elects to do in his absence. I imagine we'll see more of Jordan Roper and Austin Ajukwa, but Filer wasn't really getting a ton of minutes anyway. Roper may have to play some PG, but Rod Hall is on the court for almost entire games right now. He only sat for 3 minutes in this one. 

  • Ibrahim Djambo hit another 3-pointers bringing his 3P% up to .216 on the season. I don't have a problem with him taking the shot if Brownell is seeing him make them in practice (we've only seen him shoot 37 so we really can't say much to his ability), but they do need to be smart shots, not ones coming early in the shot clock. Hanging out by the 3-point line and jacking it up on every touch is not what I'm looking for from my 6'10" PF. He had 1 rebound, 3 3-point attempts, and 0 2-point attempts, but did have a block.

  • Rod Hall led the team in scoring with 14. He has now scored double-digit points in 4/5 games. Earlier we wondered if his success in non-conference play was due to weaker competition. He is now showing he can do it against ACC-caliber guards. I am excited to see what he can do as a senior. He is yet another positive player development story of the Brownell era.

  • Without a Clemson/SCar baseball game to mess with, the crowd was much better than Sunday, especially the student section, and the atmosphere seemed more electric because of it. I haven't been shy about giving students a hard time, so now I'll point out that they were in force and I commend them for that. 

  • Clemson has reached 10 ACC wins for just the 4th time in school history, though it needs to be highlighted that there are two more ACC regular season games than in years past. They are now at 19-10 (10-7). It is unbelievable that this team has a shot at 20 wins this weekend Clemson when they host Pittsburgh. Additionally, the #5 seed in the ACC tournament is on the line. It is an NCAA elimination game for us, though we'll be a long shot even with a win, so I hope to see another solid crowd.