Wake Forest vs. Clemson (4:00)
Fox Sports South/ESPN3
On Saturday afternoon our Deacs will look to rebound from their embarrassing loss at Virginia. The performance against Virginia was this team's worst since that horrific showing against N.C. State on January 14th. Clemson opened up as 4.5 point favorites, but the line has since moved down to 3.5.
The Deacs will look to get revenge from their 71-60 loss at Little John on January 28th. The Deacs will also try snap a five game losing streak, with their last win coming at Boston College on January 21st. Read the rest of the preview after the jump.
|Adj. Efficiency||103.1 129||95.1 72||100.6|
|Adj. Tempo||64.7 263||66.6|
|Effective FG%:||47.7 210||48.3 153||49.0|
|Turnover %:||19.1 93||22.8 63||20.6|
|Off. Reb. %:||33.7 124||29.5 58||32.3|
|FTA/FGA:||32.8 262||30.9 52||36.5|
|3P%:||32.9 227||36.8 280||34.3|
|2P%:||47.0 198||45.2 78||47.8|
|FT%:||67.7 217||70.5 258||68.9|
|Block%:||6.6 23||12.2 49||9.3|
|Steal%:||9.6 157||10.6 108||9.7|
|3PA/FGA:||31.0 213||31.0 106||32.9|
|A/FGM:||54.3 153||51.2 116||53.7|
|Defensive Fingerprint:||Mostly Man|
|Point Distribution (% of total points)|
|3-Pointers:||26.0 205||28.9 127||27.5|
|2-Pointers:||55.2 95||52.7 159||52.1|
|Free Throws:||18.9 263||18.4 266||20.5|
|Strength of Schedule|
|Components:||100.5 180||99.8 127||100.6|
|Bench Minutes:||32.2% 143||31.0%|
|Experience:||1.88 yrs 103||1.66|
|Effective Height:||+1.1 92||0.0|
|Average Height:||76.4" 192||
Clemson's strengths clearly come on the defensive end. They only allow 95 points per 100 possessions, which ranks them 72nd nationally. Part of the reason they don't allow as many points is that they make it difficult for opponents to even get shots up against them. They force turnovers on 22.8% of their defensive possessions, which allows this team to remain competitive even when their offense is not clicking.
Clemson also does a very solid job of limiting their opponents' opportunities on the offensive end. They are excellent at limiting the amount of offensive rebounds that their opponents grab. They are also very effective shot blockers. Not only do they block a high number of shots, but they do it without fouling. They only allow about 30 free throw attempts for every 100 field goals their opponents attempt. The national average is about 36. Clemson averaged about 67 possessions per game, so that's essentially saving them from their opponents shooting an additional 4 free throws per game. Given that the line this Saturday is 3.5, those 4 free throws saved on Saturday could very well be the difference in the game.
Clemson's main offensive strength is their discipline. They are above average in terms of limiting turnovers. They are are also able to maintain possessions by grabbing offensive rebounds at an above average rate. They also take smart and calculated shots in the post, as only about 6% of their shots are blocked. That should be an interesting matchup against Ty Walker on the interior.
Clemson is not a great offensive team. Although they average 103.1 points per 100 possessions, this doesn't come as a result of great shooting from the perimeter or around the basket. This is mostly due to their limited turnovers and offensive rebounds as mentioned before. Their effective field goal percentage is well below average. They are below average in 2P%, 3P%, and FT%. This is good news for the Deacs, as we have been getting burned from the perimeter all season. They are also horrendous at defending the three, which is why the Deacs were able to keep it close in Little John.
Based on the length of the strengths and weaknesses sections, it may appear that the Tigers are a very good basketball team, but ultimately the most important thing in basketball is effective field goal percentage, and Clemson is simply below average in that category. That's why Clemson has a sub .500 record.
I have a really good feeling about this one tomorrow. Probably the homer in me, but I really feel like the Deacs are going to pull out a victory. I think Chase Fischer and CJ Harris are going to hit multiple 3's a piece. I truly believe we will bounce back from the drubbing in Charlottesville. This game marks the first of two consecutive very winnable games for the Deacs at home. With this game, two games against Georgia Tech and an additional home game against Boston College. I know things don't look good for the Deacs now, but I believe that we will end up with 14 wins by the time the season is over.
As always, please feel free to leave comments and join us on the game thread tomorrow. Riley and I will be at the Joel, but Marty should be holding down the fort on BSD. I'll drop the occasional Twitter Bomb if you want to follow @Robert_Reinhard .