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Analysis: Clemson Falls to South Carolina, Settles for Fourth Non-Conference Loss

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Clemson mounted a furious comeback, but fell short and is now 0-4 against KenPom top 140 teams.

Dawson Powers-USA TODAY Sports

12/18/2015 vs. South Carolina

Result: L 59-65
CU Leading Scorer: Jaron Blossomgame (17)
Key Stat: Clemson attempted 26 three-pointers

  • Things started off well for the Tigers as perimeter shots were falling. Grantham scored 8 quick points on a banked jumper and two three pointers. The Tigers led, 13-9, but an objective observer could tell it was fools gold. As the shooting cooled, the Cocks slowly took control of the game. Suddenly, Clemson's offense was sputtering. The Cocks took a 16-14 lead and then extended it to 33-14 as Clemson did not score for over 8 minutes.

  • Grantham needs to attack the basket more. He shot well and played well overall, but he is limiting himself by becoming a simple spot-up shooter. With the athleticism he has, and the Tigers need for a player who can create his own shot, he needs to become that player. He's a "chucker" at this point.  

  • Jordan Roper played a lot of point guard, in fact he may have ran the point more than Holmes. To me he over-dribbled, but it seemed, to some extent, that it was by design. Even down the stretch as the Tigers were mounting a comeback, it took a solid 12 seconds to really start the offense.

  • The Tigers' defense really battened down the hatches and dominated the Gamecock offense in the second half, but it seems when the defense plays well, the offense fails. Against Minnesota we saw the opposite.

  • Frank Martin has really done well to build a program in Columbia. The Cocks have superior talent and likely superior coaching. I said they'd make a run at the NCAA tournament and with their first 10-0 start in 80 years, that seems likely. I continue to say Brownell will get at least one year in the new arena to coach Clemson. I have been optimistic about what next season holds, while being cautious about this year (hopefully an NIT berth). Still, I can't help but question whether a year will make the difference between this team and a NCAA tournament team. 

  • On Tuesday, the Tigers head to Athens for one of their toughest non-conference games. Georgia is only 4-3, but will be favored. I'll be making the trek, as Athens is a great place for a night out. If you're able to make the trip, it will be Clemson's last gasp at salvaging something out of the non-conference schedule. Tweet me if you're headed to the Classic City.