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Clemson Basketball: Presbyterian vs Clemson Preview

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This seems like a more appropriate early season game. Did I just agree with Boeheim?...shivers...

NCAA Basketball: ACC Media Day Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Normally I would do a more in-depth preview with fancy stats, but those stats don’t say much this early in the season, and honestly, this game is all about Clemson.

Clemson (0-1) vs Presbyterian (0-0)

Littlejohn Coliseum, 7 PM

TV - ESPN +

Keys to Success

  • Come Out Fast

The Tigers need to show progress from their season opening home loss to Virginia Tech. Opening with a conference game is tough, especially with Clemson’s new roster, but Virginia Tech was in the same situation and outplayed the Tigers.

No excuses, just win.

Brad Brownell has a new roster, but the results were the same. Clemson played hard, inefficiently, and lost the game in the 2nd half. I’ve seen that story one too many times in the last 10 years.

Clemson needs to come out and put this game away early. They have to be locked-in and ready to play from the opening tip. If for no other reason than to give the fan base a night off from weeping and gnashing their teeth.

  • Shooting

Against P.C., Clemson has to shoot the ball better than they did two days ago. On Tuesday, Clemson was 7-29 from deep. That’s ridiculously poor shooting for a guard/wing oriented team. In theory, this should be one of Brownell’s best shooting team 1-5 (and off the bench) and if they’re going to compete this season, they need to be Brownell’s best shooting team 1-5.

I was optimistic in the first game, and my hope was rewarded with a procession of bricks. Let’s hope that was because of first game yips.

  • Aamir Simms

Throughout his career, Simms has teased Clemson fans with his ability. At times, he looks like an NBA player, but he has a maddening habit of fading in and out of games. He was a monster on the boards against the Hokies, pulling down 15 boards, but his offense was once again....lacking. His silly foul on the late Virginia Tech breakaway dunk all but put the game away. Your senior leader can’t commit fouls like that.

Clemson needs Simms to be their best player, and 4-11 shooting, including several misses close to the basket isn’t going to get it done. I want to see Simms come out and physically dominate this game on both ends of the court from the opening to closing whistle. This is it for Aamir, he’s running out of time. If he’s ever going to turn his potential into results, it needs to start now. Anything short of 20-10 against the Blue Hose will be a let down.

  • Chase Hunter

Opening your college career with an ACC match-up isn’t ideal, but woof, Chase looked every bit a true freshman on Tuesday. For Clemson to be successful this year, they need Hunter to be a legit ACC guard. He didn’t look the part against Virginia Tech going 3-10 (including 0-3 from deep and 1-5 from the line) for 7 points. Let’s hope that it was a case of nerves for the unquestionably talented freshman out of Georgia. He needs to bounce back game tonight, if for nothing else, a confidence boost.

  • Brad Brownell

Patience for Brownell’s inconsistent (at best) results is at an all-time low in Tiger Town. After losing the opener, it’s clear that the people who care about Clemson basketball are tired of caring about Brad Brownell. This game won’t do anything to fix his problems, but a poor showing against P.C. could put this team into a death spiral 2 games into the schedule.

Brad needs to have the guys ready to play, and above all, he needs to figure out his rotation. There is no reason the starters on this team should be playing 30+ minutes, with the possible exception of Simms and Mack. Against the Hokies, only 2 players off the bench logged more than 10 minutes.

I expect that to be different tonight.

Curran Scott, Hunter Tyson, Trey Jemison, Alex Hemenway, and Khavon Moore need to produce off the bench for this team to have a chance. They weren’t given the minutes to show much in the opener. They need to show the ability to put the ball in the basket tonight.

P.C.

  • Young and Inexperienced

I don’t have much of a scouting report for the Blue Hose, because I doubt they even know what they’re going to look like on the court. They lost their top 3 scores from last year’s squad, and only have 4 upper class men on the roster.

This game should be a walkover.

  • JC Younger

Younger is a crafty, 6’4, 200 pound senior guard. He’s P.C.’s leading returning scorer, and it sure would be nice if Clemson didn’t let him inexplicably go off for 30 points. The Tigers let one player, Landers Nolley, beat them on Tuesday. They need to put the clamps on Younger and keep him, even in a P.C. loss, from getting his points.

The defense has to be better at identifying threats. It was terrible on Tuesday, but hopefully they can figure it out tonight against lesser competition.

Ken Pom Prediction

Clemson 79 - P.C. 62

Drew’s Predilection

Clemson 67 - P.C. 52