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Hoops preview: Clemson vs. High Point

Tigers look to get back on the winning track.

NCAA Basketball: Georgia at Clemson Dawson Powers-USA TODAY Sports

Where: Littlejohn

When: Friday 7pm

TV: ACC Digital Extra

Clemson returns home from the holiday tournament in Orlando at 2-2. The team played easily its worst game of the year in the loss to Oklahoma. Perhaps Clemson’s very limited depth caught up with them, but the guard play eroded and cost the team a chance at a good win for the resume. The big hope is that Shelton Mitchell is ready to return and provide much needed depth at the point guard position. Ty Hudson is also cleared for play and will be looking to earn minutes as he crawls out of the dog house. This should also allow the Tigers to be a little more aggressive on the defensive end on the perimeter. They simply could not afford foul trouble in Orlando.

There is not much to say about this game other than it needs to be a dominant win. High Point is currently #270 in Ken Pom’s rankings while the Tigers sit at #28. There were encouraging signs shown from the team last week, but they still are allowing the three point shot to dictate their play a little too much. It took way too long for Jaron Blossomgame to be the focus of the offense in the last two games. Teams are looking to double him more than ever, but you can still play through him and take advantage of the rotation stress doubling creates for a defense. The trio of Holmes, DeVoe, and Grantham were terrible vs. OU, posting offensive efficiency ratings of 67, 64, and 50 respectively while allowing opposing guards to post 126, 118, and 94 ratings. That will get you beat every time and it is amazing the Tigers only lost by six.

Hopefully the team will have a nice crowd with folks coming in for the Palmetto Bowl. This is the time for the team to build momentum before facing some of the more challenging road tests in non league play. Mitchell is the guy we are waiting to see and hopefully he will be able to get some minutes Friday. The refurbished arena looks great so folks should check it out.