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Thoughts In Brief: Clemson, Round Two

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I hate Clemson basketball. A lot. And I don’t especially want to talk about this game, but let’s at least discuss some things.

NCAA Basketball: Wake Forest at Clemson Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports
  • I am torn about John Collins’s statline. It’s insane. 29 points (12-14, 5-5) and 10 boards. Somehow, though, John seemed off, especially on the boards. There were at least three or four rebounds that hit him right in the hands and he didn’t come down with them. Very uncharacteristic.
  • Turnovers killed us. 18 in the game. That’s another thing that was uncharacteristic of this team, as we average a much more reasonable 12 per game. Putting it in perspective, if even half of the difference led to baskets, that’s 6-9 points right there, not to mention the points Clemson may not have scored as a result of the fewer possessions.
  • Bryant Crawford was a beast. 25 points on 9-18 shooting and 3-7 from deep, including a massive three to cut it to a 6 point game with a little over a minute left. While John was also amazing and his statline is sexier, I will go to my grave saying our comeback never would have happened without BC.
  • We almost came back, and there’s something to be said for that. Down 21, we cut it to 6 with 5:40 remaining. By the way, spare me the moral victory narrative. Clemson was the home team, is more experienced (their team leader is a fifth year senior; imagine Bryant or John in the same position and tell me we wouldn’t be more composed) and they benefited from a lights out shooting performance that was not all bad defense. Some of them were bad shots that just went in (there were some of those for Wake too, let’s not kid ourselves, but it was disproportionate).
  • That said, dear Lord do we need a good wing defender more than anything on this team. Seriously.
  • If John Collins stays, this team will be absolutely filthy next year.
  • Keyshawn Woods losing his cool and getting T’d up threw me off, but the team went on a run after that so maybe it was a net good? I don’t know.
  • How did we get Clemson in such early foul trouble and then not go inside? Oh, I know. It’s because there was a stretch when there were travels every time we did. Our guys had unusually happy feet in the first half. Not ideal.
  • If Marcquise Reed is going to own us like this for two more years, I might just skip Clemson games until he graduates. Credit to the dude for balling out, but ugh.
  • Assuming we don’t completely crater down the stretch and make the NIT, I still call this season a win and am still all in on the Manning train. Plain and simple.
  • If we can manage to shock Duke on Saturday I will do some manner of happy dance, and if someone wished to record it and put it on the internet to humiliate me forever, that’d be fine. Jussayin’.

On to the next. Go Deacs.

--SF