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Five Takeaways from Clemson's disappointing loss to Notre Dame

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Clemson lost its final game of the season against Notre Dame 81-67 in South Bend. Notre Dame controlled the entire game, and the loss dropped Clemson to 16-14 overall. Here are five takeaways from the loss.

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Notre Dame's offense is potent.

Notre Dame has been one of the best teams in the country and stayed in the top 15 for most of the year. There is a reason for that: they are absolutely potent offensively. Shooters all over the place combined with a skilled big man in Zach Auguste and one of the best players in the country in Jerian Grant make for one fun team to watch. As well as the Tigers played them last game, I couldn't help but wonder how they'd be able to match that performance against an offensive team as good as this one. Notre Dame went on to shoot 55% from the field. That is an astoundingly high percentage against this Clemson defense. I would agree that Clemson did not have their best defensive game by any means, but shooting 55% from the field is elite in college basketball today. Even with their size deficiencies, don't be surprised to see them make a run come March.

Blossomgame and Nnoko came to play.

As poorly as the team played and as much as the score reflects that, it should be noted that Jaron Blossomgame and Landry Nnoko showed up and produced. Blossomgame flashed more All-ACC potential and looked like a man on a mission at the beginning of the game scoring 17 of Clemson's 31 points in the first half, finishing with 22 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 assists on 9-12 shooting. Notre Dame definitely made some half-time adjustments that affected his opportunities to score which opened the door for Nnoko to step up big in the second half. Nnoko was able to be active on the offensive glass early on against an undersized Notre Dame team, and this appeared to really energize him as he had one of his better games of the year finishing with a career-high 19 points and 9 rebounds. As well as these guys played, no one else was able to provide much help resulting in the loss.

Where's Rod Hall?
In one of the stranger story lines of the game, Senior point guard Rod Hall did not play at all in the second half. This was an interesting move, and there's really not much to say about it other than it was just plain weird. Brownell didn't provide any other explanation other than the fact that it was his decision. I highly doubt Hall would be the type to talk back to the coach, but it's a possibility. Hall's shoulder could have been bothering him too much for him to be able to play or maybe Brownell just wanted to let the young guys run the show in the second half. Whatever it was, it appeared to be a strange call with no real explanation.

Clemson has to shoot well from three to be competitive against good competition.
To all Clemson fans it has been rather obvious that Jordan Roper has been mighty quiet recently compared to what he was doing when Clemson went on their four-game winning streak. This lack of production has been most visible in Clemson's horrendous three-point shooting. He shot 1-5 from three against the Irish. However, Clemson's three-point shooting woes can't be pinned all on one player as their shooting from pretty much everyone has always been wildly inconsistent throughout the year, and it was again last night as the Tigers shot 4-18 from three. To be competitive and contend in the ACC, Clemson must have consistent shooting. Let's hope these guys get a ton of shots up this off-season, and transfer Avry Holmes can bring some more of that next year.

The NIT will now come down to the FSU game.
A few week ago it seemed like Clemson was an NIT lock as they made it on Lunardi's "Last Four Out". All the realists out there understood that the NCAA tourney talk was premature, but even they would've thought they had a good shot at clinching an NIT berth over the next few games. Clemson went on to lose all the games they were expected to and lost to Georgia Tech on the road. The lack of pulling any upsets and the bad loss at Georgia Tech down the stretch have now put Clemson in a position where they most likely will need to beat FSU next Wednesday to make the NIT. Since FSU is in the exact same position, the game should be intense this Wednesday as Clemson takes them on at noon to kick off their ACC tournament play.