3/3/2015 vs. NC State
Result: L 61-66
CU Leading Scorer: Gabe DeVoe (18)
Key Stat: Clemson went 14 minutes and 23 seconds without a field goal
- NC State started off hot from three and Clemson struggled to get out and contest. In the first half, most of State's points came from three - literally, 12 of their 20 were on three-pointers.
- Though not nearly as epic as the defensive start to the Georgia Tech game this weekend, Clemson managed to hold NC State without a two-point bucket until the 5:45 mark. Unfortunately, they hit enough threes and FTs that their first two-pointer brought them within one point and they would add a dunk a minute later to take the lead.
- Austin Ajukwa lit a spark for Clemson when he hit the team's only three-pointer of the first half and then followed it up with a big block on the other end. Nnoko would make his only bucket of the half a moment and give Clemson a brief bit of momentum and 15-10 lead.
- Hall's three floaters in the first half were a major aspect of the offense, accounting for nearly 30% of the team's scoring in the half.
- Clemson seemingly outplayed NC State in the first half, however they were outscored by 9 from beyond the three-point line and 4 from the FT line. The Tigers failed to attempt a single FT in the half. NC State only trailed Clemson 20-21 at halftime.
- Clemson got off to an admirable start to the second half, showing great energy and attacking the basket more aggressively. They managed to find their way to the FT line and held a 30-24 lead at the 16:51 mark. Unfortunately, Clemson completely fell apart after that point.
- After those Grantham free throws, NC State embarked on a 25-3 run fueled mostly by Clemson's tragic offense. From the 17:49 mark to the 3:26 mark, Clemson did not make a field goal.
- 11 straight missed shots into the drought, Clemson was still amazingly within four until Demarcus Harrison and Coach Brownell initiated the collapse. Off the fast break, Harrison charged into a defender and was correctly tagged with a charging foul (no doubt about it). Brownell then made a remark to the referee that earned him a technical and the Wolfpack two points. Harrison followed up that debacle by mugging a jump shooter, which gave State three shots at the line (fortunately they missed two). All that amounted to three free points and a wasted possession. The lead ballooned to 7 at that point, but more importantly, the flood doors were open.
- Landy Nnoko played extremely poor. He seldom saw the court in the first 26 minutes of the game due to three personal fouls. He checked into the game after the 12 minute media timeout, hoping to spark Clemson's struggling offense, but did nothing to help solve their problems.
- Donte Grantham played well, scoring 12 points, but Clemson's offense has often been hapless when Jordan Roper is not hot. Roper's streakiness is more severe than any player I can remember. For that reason I like him off the bench. It seems like you can bring him in, allow him two or three shots, and from there you have a pretty good idea if he will do anything for you on that night. He made one early against State, but followed that with a few misses and then disappeared.
- Not a lot of bright spots in this ugly home loss - likely the last game in "Littlejohn Coliseum as we know it," but I was extremely pleased with Austin Ajukwa's play. He is scrappy and athletic defensively and is a quality shooter with great athleticism on offense.
The biggest bright spot though was Mr. Gabe DeVoe. DeVoe had struggled immensely in the first two-thirds of the season and only recently has started to look comfortable. He didn't check in until the game was out of hand, but he immediately ended Clemson's ridiculous scoring drought with a three-pointer. Clemson was in desperation mode, playing uncharacteristically up-tempo, affording DeVoe 10 field goal attempts. He found the stroke that we've heard about knocking down 3 three-pointers of the "Ogelsby variety." He looked very good and scored a career high 18 points. I do not expect a drop off at SG next year, in fact it should be notably better with DeVoe, Ajukwa, and Roper all more experienced.
- Ralston Turner was by far the most impressive player of the game. He finished with 23 points.
- Barring a stunning upset in South Bend, Clemson will finish at 8-10 in the ACC and likely as the 10 or 11 seed in the tournament. Syracuse's cheating cuts the field down to 14 and gives the 10 seed a bye they wouldn't normally have, so landing there wouldn't be total disaster. At the start of the season, we were hoping for a top 9 seed and a conference record around the .500 mark. We fell a bit short, but due to the inconsistent play and poor non-conference performance, if feel a bit worse than expected.