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Analysis: Clemson Basketball Plays Well, but Loses Again in Chapel Hill

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Clemson was looking to improve to 1-57 all-time in Chapel Hill, but fell short... again.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

12/30/15 at North Carolina

Result: L 69-80
CU Leading Scorer: Jaron Blossomgame (15)
Key Stat: UNC won the battle of the boards, claiming 67% of their available defensive rebounding opportunities (vs. 55% for Clemson) and 46% on offense (vs. 32% for Clemson)

  • Clemson got off to a good start. It wasn't a "hot" start, but a good one where they forced UNC into 3 turnovers before the 12 minute timeout and created some easy baskets for themselves. The Tar Heels started 0-6 from the field.

  • UNC benefited from some fortunate calls. This includes a foul on Djitte that looked like a missed hooking call, a missed goaltending, a missed travel (according to the commentators, I didn't notice it), and a ridiculous foul on Blossomgame when his man gave him a stiff arm. Such is life in Chapel Hill.

  • UNC took their first lead at 13-12. After starting 0-6, the Heels picked up the pace making 10-16. Clemson outplayed them early, but missed too many floaters and failed to establish a strong lead. You can't miss ANY opportunities when you have to make up the kind of significant talent gap we do. To win in Chapel Hill we need them to play poorly while playing darn near perfect.

  • Jordan Roper and Avry Holmes continue to split the point. Although they are faster and better shooters, they don't run the position with the veteran guile of Rod Hall. Roper was called for 5 second closely guarded. He doesn't seem like a true PG.

  • "He's got to start weaving in and taking it to the basket." That's what the commentators had to say about Donte Grantham. We've been saying that for a while now. He's limiting his potential if he becomes a spot-up shooter.

  • The Tigers had 0 fast break points in the first half. That may be one of the Tigers most glaring deficiencies, as they seem unable to create turnovers and turn them into quick points. 

  • A quick 11-3 run helped UNC establish a 10-point first half lead. The Tigers cut the deficit to 7 points (30-37), entering halftime, but making a comeback against a superior foe is extremely difficult.

  • UNC came out of halftime with a hot hand and never looked back. After knocked down a few three-pointers, they had extended their lead to a nearly insurmountable 50-36 before the 16 minute TV timeout. From there they cruised

  • This was a "moral victory" I suppose. If you're a program like Wake Forest basketball, with a new coach clearly progressing towards the goal, then moral victories have some meaning. When you're a stagnant program in the sixth year of the current coach, nobody will be pleased with a moral victory.