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Hoops Preview: Clemson vs. Coppin State

The Tigers square off against the winless Eagles for the third time in the two schools’ history

NCAA Basketball: Nebraska at Clemson Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

When: 2 p.m. Sunday

Where: Littlejohn

TV: None

Stream: ACC Network Extra

The Tigers square off against an Eagles team that has yet to find their first win of the season at Littlejohn this afternoon and should be able to add another win to their tally. Coppin State has looked lost against some of the better programs in the country, giving up 96 to Georgetown and Utah, and 94 to BYU.

Additionally, Coppin State has one of the worst defenses in the country, in terms of opposing field-goal percentage. The Eagles allow nearly 47 percent of opposing shots from the field, and almost 34 percent from beyond the arc, good for 291st and 167th in the country respectively. If you pair these weak defensive numbers with a Clemson offense that has put up 77-plus points in half their games this season you begin to see the makings of a blowout.

The Tigers should use this game to try to get Jaron Blossomgame going from beyond the arc. The senior wing shot 44.6 percent from deep last season after failing to hit at least 30 percent of his threes in his first two years at Clemson. This year he is struggling, shooting 16.7 percent on three attempts a game. For Clemson to be a true contender this season, he needs to do better than that and prove that his accuracy from deep was no fluke last year.

To go along with Blossomgame, Clemson has four other players averaging at least 10 points a game, and Sidy Djitte, who is averaging 9.8 points and 10 boards (five of which are on the offensive glass!!) a game. Djitte gives Clemson a huge advantage on the glass in this game; Coppin State’s leading rebounder, Blake Simpson, is only averaging 5.3 rebounds a game, total, and is giving up three inches and 10 pounds to Djitte.

Clemson should be able to handle this Eagles team, which doesn’t really possess any big offensive threats. Not one player who averages at least 20 minutes a game is shooting over 36.5 percent from the field, and their leading scorer, Joshua Treadwell is under 33 percent from the field for the year.

Additionally, Coppin State, averaging just five steals a game, does not force turnovers, which is good news for a Clemson backcourt that has struggled a bit with that early in the year. As long as half of the Clemson roster doesn’t end up missing the game with some mystery illness, I think it’s safe to say that this one can be marked under the safe win column.