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Clemson vs. Presbyterian: 5 Takeaways

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Clemson beat Presbyterian easily but has plenty of work to do if it wants to hang with South Carolina on Friday.

Dawson Powers-USA TODAY Sports

  • This was not an inspired effort by Clemson, and it really took until the second half for the Tigers to push the lead to a comfortable margin. They trailed early and led by just 10 at half against a PC team that is just not very good. Some of that may be attributable to the quick turnaround after playing Sunday night, but there's only so much you can excuse. Sixteen turnovers is far too many against an opponent the caliber of the Blue Hose, and many of them were simply a result of laziness or lack of focus, which is discouraging.
  • I had a feeling the three-point shooting success this team had early this season would go to the players' heads, and now they're just jacking them up soullessly. There is no reason for Clemson to attempt 23 three-pointers in a game where it has that decided of a size and athleticism advantage, especially when they're only making them at a 21.7% rate.
  • Jaron Blossomgame has been on another planet the last two games. I know teams are gameplanning to stop him, but he has just looked disinterested after really playing well at the beginning of the season. He will have to pick it up ASAP if this team is going to accomplish anything.
  • Jordan Roper is not giving this team enough scoring punch right now. Since his 25-point outburst at Minnesota, he has gone four games without scoring in double figures while shooting less than 30% from the floor. Even worse, he was uncharacteristically careless with the ball against PC. We know Roper is streaky by this point in his career, but the Tigers desperately need better point production (and efficiency) from their senior shooting guard, because Gabe DeVoe is just not a reliable player and Ty Hudson is too raw offensively to be counted on for point production at this point. Speaking of DeVoe, he scored 11 points in the first half and actually looked competent offensively, but he quickly regressed to the mean with a litany of Gabe plays in the second half. He is terribly frustrating to watch.
  • Sidy Djitte was superbly efficient, posting a double-double (12 points, 13 rebounds) in just 12 minutes of play. Honestly, I can't imagine that has ever even been done before, as 13 rebounds is a preposterous number in so few minutes on the court. Anyway, he and Nnoko had their way (as they should have) with PC's overmatched post guys, but they should have had way more opportunities.
There is not much reason for confidence when undefeated South Carolina comes to town Friday night. The Gamecocks are big and physical, and Clemson has not been the most willing rebounding team and is vulnerable defensively in the post against players who know what they are doing. South Carolina's top three scorers are post players, so that presents a problem in that area. They're not particularly deep on the perimeter, but they are talented and can present matchup problems on both ends of the court. Their schedule isn't exactly a who's who of college basketball, but they have been winning by comfortable margins. They also haven't played a true road game, although I'm worried there will be enough garnet and black at the BS on Friday that it will feel neutral for them at worst.