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Analysis: Clemson Knocks Off Third Straight Ranked Opponent with 76-65 Win Over Miami

Clemson basketball has swung from blowouts in Athens to win streaks against premier opponents. We'll try to make sense of it for you.

Dawson Powers-USA TODAY Sports

1/16/2016 vs. Miami

Result: 76-65 W
Leading Scorer: Clemson has 15 assists on 27 made field goals
Key Stat: Jaron Blossomgame (25)

  • First, what a win and what a run. After a deplorable non-conference showing that all but doomed the Tigers to the fringes of the NIT, Clemson has played like a NCAA tournament team.

  • Jordan Roper, has really become a point guard over the past month. After averaging 3.6 assists per game through his first fourteen games, that number has skyrocketed all the way up to 7.3 in the last four games.

  • Jordan Roper has one of the only mid-range jumpers I'll endorse. in his 6-11 18 point performance against Miami he knocked down 2 mid-range jumpers including one that gave Clemson control of the game late.

  • Clemson shot a solid .462 from the field and had just 2 turnovers in the first half, but trailed 32-34 due to a rebounding deficit. By the game's conclusion, the Tigers had decreased the rebounding gap and won the turnover battle handily. They turned the ball over on 13.3% of possessions compared to Miami at 21.5%. This is a battle past Brownell teams never seemed to win.

  • It's evident Jaron Blossomgame put in another offseason of hard work and improved his game. Specifically, his jump shot has improved. This forces defenders to come out and guard him and allows him to also be more effective driving. He had one of his best performances in this game. He took good, rhythm three-pointers and hit 2 of 3. He added 2 two-point jumpers and 5 lay-ins down low. Blossomgame was also 5-5 from the FT low. What a complete offensive performance! With an improved jump shot, Blossomgame has gone from "tweener" to versatile.

  • Landry Nnoko had 6 points in 19 minutes, but looked better than his stat line. He got into foul trouble in the second half after a blatant missed call on a cleanly blocked shot. Djitte did a fantastic job spelling him at the 5-spot. Whle Djitte's hustle won't show up on the stat sheet, he came up with a handful of key hustle plays, once diving on the ground for a loose ball. What he is credited for on the stat sheet is 10 rebounds in just 21 minutes.

  • Clemson's offense is what looked so good today. Brownell's motion offense may be too inflexible to work without shooters, but now with Grantham, Roper, Holmes, DeVoe, and Blossomgame all able to knock down open jumpers Clemson seems to be a legitimate offensive threat.

  • What's most impressive offensively is the AST/FGM ratio. Coming into the game, 60% of Clemson's made field goals have come from an assist. In this game that number was a solid 56%. The ball movement is more fluid than what we've experienced in years past. Passes are more purposeful. Last year, their AST/FGM ratio was below 50% and outside of the top 200. The same is true for 2012 and 2013. This team passes the ball much better than past Tiger offenses, shocking considering the loss of Rod Hall.

  • While the offense was impressive all night, the defense clinched the win. In the final 6:25, the Hurricanes scored a paltry 5 points! In that time Clemson score 19 points to earn an 11 point victory.

  • This is Clemson's fifth straight ACC win and third in a row against a ranked opponent. No Clemson team has ever done that before. They're now an amazing 5-1 and finish the ACC schedule with some of the conference's weaker opponents. Before they get to that stretch though, they'll play Virginia, Pittsburgh, and Florida State. Next up is Virginia this Tuesday at 8pm. Fortunately, just as football is over, basketball wakes up and gives us reason to tune into what may be a can't miss season. Check back with us for more basketball coverage this week.