Clemson did what was expected on Wednesday night and totally smothered an overmatched SC State team on the way to a 75-38 win. Hunter Tyson led the scoring with 13 points off the bench, but freshman Olivier Prosper got the surprise start and showed why the staff was so excited about him as he put up 11 to set his current career high. The Tigers once again flexed the depth as 10 players played at least 12 minutes, forcing the Bulldogs into 24 turnovers and just 1-14 shooting on 3’s. Holding anyone under 40 points in a shot clock world is extremely impressive. Star freshman PJ Hall didn’t even play due to a concussion.
The Twitter verse was already filled with highlight dunks from Aamir Simms, Clyde Trapp, and Hunter Tyson. The Tigers used these to help race out to an 18 point halftime lead and eliminated any hope of drama. Prosper and fellow freshman Lynn Kidd were able to get some extended minutes as hoped for in a game like this. Jonathan Baehre just played just 5 minutes, and along with Hall being out, that freed up some time for Prosper and Kidd. While Kidd struggled some to finish baskets, he was active with 4 offensive rebounds and 2 blocks in his 12 minutes.
The Tigers shot a crisp 54% from 2 point range and a respectable 35% from 3. 4 players topped 112 in offensive efficiency rating, including John Newman who started for the first time this season and looked a lot better than he did in Florida.
This is probably going to a be a season where the top scorer could be one of probably seven different guys. This time it was Tyson, the game before it was Simms, and before that it was Hall and Dawes. This should help Clemson avoid some of the lulls we have seen in years past when two or three guys had to shoulder the vast majority of the scoring load each and every night.
The Tigers get a week off before a critical stretch of games against Maryland, Alabama, Virginia Tech, and South Carolina. Should the Tigers win 3 or 4 of those, we could really be in store for a special season. Going 2-2 should be the minimum goal, but Clemson is well equipped and positioned to have a strong resume coming out of December.