The Clemson men’s basketball team broke a four game losing streak by running away from Jacksonville 68-39 on Friday night. This was certainly an expected win and there isn’t all that much you can draw from it beyond the positive return of junior combo guard Clyde Trapp and the continued strong play by Aamir Simms.
Trapp’s experience and savvy really jumped out even though he only played about 12 minutes and didn’t fill the stat sheet up. The game just seems slower to him as compared to Dawes. He wasn’t bothered by people getting into him defensively and both of his assists were very high level plays.
The Tigers did catch a break as Jacksonville center (and Ohio State transfer) David Bell wasn’t able to play due to an injury. Without Bell, they had very little success dealing with Aamir Simms who went for 18 points on 7-8 shooting including 3-3 on 3 pointers. The Tigers shot under 30 percent from 3 once again, but Simms looked extremely fluid on his pick and pop opportunities.
Curran Scott got the start and responded with a strong game, scoring 15 points. Scott was able to play all 2 guard with Trapp being back to provide point guard depth. Scott is able to be effective against smaller teams but needs to prove he can produce against the longer, more athletic teams Clemson is getting ready to see on a regular basis in league play.
Both Jonathan Baehre and Chase Hunter were held out of this one as both struggle to come back from their respective injuries. Neither looked very good against the physical U of SC Gamecocks in the last outing and need to get right before ACC play. Alex Hemenway continues to be out with what must of been a severe high ankle sprain.
Clemson has a quick turnaround as a dangerous Yale team comes to town on Sunday. Yale is currently in the top 100 in KenPom’s rankings and sits at 8-3. Clemson desperately needs a “good” win before league play because only the TCU game counts as one at this point, and the Tigers had to mount an improbable rally just to notch that one.