Game Recap: Clemson Tigers Top Wake Forest, 71-60

So I decided to wait a little while before writing this recap because, as noted in the game thread, I was hopping mad yesterday. I'm not as mad now, and time brings perspective. That said, I'm far from happy. Wake was looking really good early, being up by as many as eight before they started turning the ball over like it was going out of style and Clemson never looked back. The box score confuses me a little in terms of stats, but I'll get to that. The bottom line is this was a frustrating loss with very few bright spots that further illuminated some issues that I don't understand on multiple levels.

Read more after the jump...

I really only have it in my heart to talk more general stuff as opposed to breaking down stats as a whole like I usually do, but let's start with a few key points:
  • Three bright sides. Travis McKie had another double double, not only did Ty Walker play, he continued to make a MAJOR case for most improved player in the ACC, and the fact of the matter is we were at one point up eight with the ball. Last year, that never would've happened.
  • Andre Young was the guy that really had a wild game for Clemson. 19 points on 7-12 shooting and 3-6 beyond the arc. Yikes. This illuminates another problem I'll get to later.
  • Turnovers are what killed us. When we were up eight, that's what really dwindled our lead. Clemson had 19 points off 14 Wake turnovers, which is more than the difference in the game. Not only that, but every one of those turnovers is a lost scoring opportunity. Even if Wake had scored a two-pointer on even half of those unlucky possessions, that's 14 more Wake points, not to mention the reduced number of possessions and points for the Tigers. I think this game had more turnovers for easy baskets than any other game this year.
  • Another positive: C.J. Harris and Travis McKie both scored in double digits AND both of them took a double-digit number of shots. This is good, very good. They are our stars, and should be playing aggressive.
  • Ty Walker also went 4-7 shooting. Awesome performance.
  • Tony Chennault needs to get stronger, period. He missed so many layups this game I lost count, and he doesn't fight through screens on defense at all. It's brutal to watch. TC was also directly responsible for a couple turnovers for easy baskets. You're killing me, TC.
  • On that note, the Anthony Fields situation is going to give me an aneurysm. Look, if the kid is going to transfer, that's a shame but it wouldn't shock me. So if Coach Bzdelik isn't playing Ant because he knows he's going to leave, then I guess I can understand that. But then why bother even putting him in when the game is over? If you're going to refuse to play him, then by god go whole hog. Put in a walk-on instead during garbage time. If you're not playing him because you FEAR he's going to transfer, then you're making the whole thing a self-fulfilling prophecy. If he was even getting five minutes a game, I really don't think I'd be mad at all. This whole thing is just a mess though.

UNC is going to murder us, but honestly this Clemson game, while bad, was not irredeemable, like say, the NC State game was. It was on the road, 11 isn't exactly a blowout (though the game was dominated by the Tigers after the first half), Ty Walker appeared healthy and on point, and Travis McKie continued his solid play.

We can only hope UNC doesn't humiliate us too badly. That's about it. As always, comments/questions/suggestions appreciated. Thanks for reading. Go Deacs.

--SF

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