by - Radio Host - Monday, December 15, 2014 10:32 AM

One day last week I wrote a blog stating my concern over the basketball team. The major point I had was the concern over the intensity and effort especially on the defensive end of the floor.

Several readers didn't like the blog and said I was too harsh and it was too early in the season to make those judgements. I was called short-sighted by a few readers. While I agree it was early (I even made that a point in that blog), I still stood by the original thought. I wanted to see this team play harder.

On my radio show Friday, Brad BrownellBrad Brownell
Head Coach
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made the same point. He said he wanted to see more effort from his team. In fact, the players wore E3 warm-up shirts Friday which stood for Effort, Energy and Enthusiasm.

What we saw yesterday in the Tigers 72-61 win over Auburn was just that. Clemson made mistakes and still has glaring issues, but this team did play hard.

On the positive side of the ledger, Clemson is now 3-0 versus the SEC and has a chance to go 4-0 if it can beat South Carolina this Friday in Columbia.

Other positives included another solid rebounding performance, a good shooting night, block shots and steals.

Clemson out rebounded Auburn 38-30 including 10 offensive rebounds. Jaron BlossomgameJaron Blossomgame
RS So. Forward
#5 6-7, 215
Alpharetta, GA

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led the Tigers with 10 rebounds. Laundry Nnoko got in foul trouble and only played 16 minutes, but he had seven boards.

The Tigers shot 45% from the field and 74% from the free throw line. Clemson iced the game down the stretch with clutch free throw shooting from Blossomgame and Demarcus Harrison.

For the night Rod HallRod Hall
Sr. Guard
#12 6-1, 205
Augusta, GA

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had 20 points, Harrison had 19 and Blossomgame added 12.

Clemson had seven blocked shots compared to Auburn's two including four from freshman star Donte GranthamDonte Grantham
Fr. Forward
#15 6-8, 205
Martinsburg, WV

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. The West Virginia native struggled going 1-7 from the field but his blocked shots and four steals were a big part of the early success on the defensive end.

I also loved Josh SmithJosh Smith
Jr. Forward
#33 6-8, 245
Charlotte, NC

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's contribution. Smith is limited athletically but he had a career high six points and had three rebounds.

This team still has major concerns. Hall turned the ball over eight times yesterday and the Tigers had 17 turnovers for the game.

The bench scored only seven points including Smith's six. Jordan RoperJordan Roper
Jr. Guard
#20 6-0, 165
Columbia, SC

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has not progressed in his role coming off of the bench. Austin AjukwaAustin Ajukwa
So. Guard
#1 6-6, 205
Columbia, SC

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had only one point and failed to get into the flow of the game. Gabe DeVoeGabe DeVoe
Fr. Guard
#10 6-3, 200
Shelby, NC

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and Smith are limited. Patrick RooksPatrick Rooks
RS Fr. Guard
#0 6-2, 190
Charlotte, NC

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struggles on the defensive end of the floor and did not play yesterday. I like Siddy Djitte, but he too has limitations.

Finally, this team also struggles shooting the ball at times especially from behind the three point line.

Unfortunately, the season is about to get very tough. Duke, Louisville and Virginia are ranked in the top ten in the country, while UNC and Notre Dame are off to good starts.

This conference looks stronger than ever and Clemson has some issues to clean up. Turnovers need to be reduced and the bench will have to provide more support. However, at this point it looks like the players got Brownell's message about effort and this gives them a much better chance at success. I say we keep these E3 warmups.

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