For a game that featured a whole lot of bad, let’s start with some good:
Hunter Tyson looked good in his return to action (both appearance, face masks on basketball players rock, and performance). He scored 7 points, knocking in his first 3 shots, to spark a Clemson mini-run at the end of the first half.
Clemson literally could not play worse. It was comically bad; UVA was the Monstars and Clemson was the NBA players whose powers were drained. The Cavaliers had one of the best shooting nights I’ve ever seen in college basketball and Clemson was, well, the opposite. You can throw the film out on this one.
Now the bad.
Clemson is supposed to be the best defensive team in the ACC, but the rust didn’t just show on the offensive side of the ball. From the rip, Virginia was getting anything they wanted and, while, later in the game, it was an incredible display of shot making, early on the Cavs were getting open on simple back cuts and screen actions. Virginia started the game on a 20-3 run, which Clemson didn’t snap until the under-8 timeout. From there, things got better, slightly, but the game was already lost.
The Cavaliers shot an absurd 60.7 percent from the field and hit an even more absurd 55 percent of their threes, making 15-27 from beyond the arc. Clemson meanwhile shot 40 percent from the field and made just 21 percent of their threes (5-23). Like I said, Monstars vs. duds.
The Tigers 11-day COVID lay-off likely played a part in their struggles. They looked very rusty and out of sorts early on. They reportedly were unable to practice until Wednesday and Coach Brownell was not able to join them at practice until Friday, just one day before playing the top team in the ACC.
Hopefully the rust has been shaken off and the Tigers are ready to rebound against a good, but not great, Georgia Tech team this Wednesday on the road. Pick up a win in Atlanta and things should be right back on track.