|by Mickey Plyler - Radio Host - Monday, January 12, 2015 5:59 AM||
We saw an impressive performance from the Clemson basketball team for the second straight game on Saturday. The results were different but the effort was similar. What we saw in the loss at Louisville on Wednesday carried over in a win on the road at Pittsburgh.
Clemson's 71-62 win over the Panthers provided a rare road win and could inject some much needed confidence back in this team.
This week we saw a different team from what they showed us earlier in the season. The bench has been invisible for much of the season but Saturday the Tigers outscored Pitt's bench 23-8.
Sidy DjitteSidy Djitte
#50 6-10, 240
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Josh SmithJosh Smith
#33 6-8, 245
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Even Jordan RoperJordan Roper
#20 6-0, 165
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Speaking of old self, Rod HallRod Hall
#12 6-1, 205
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The star for the Tigers was once again Jaron BlossomgameJaron Blossomgame
RS So. Forward
#5 6-7, 215
View Full Profile. The sophomore was 6-9 from the field and had 18 points. Blossomgame was aggressive on the offensive end as well. Like several of the Tigers, he was able to use his size as a big advantage. The taller Tigers out-rebounded Pitt 39-22. The dominance on the boards also showed in terms of offensive rebounds as Clemson limited the Panthers to six offensive rebounds. This is hard to do when you play as much zone as Clemson played in this game.
Speaking of the zone defense, we have seen the Tigers go to the zone more often in recent games. One has to think this kind of success could lead to more zone from the Tigers in the future. The zone defense does lead to as many turnovers for the opponent (Pitt turned it over only three times), but teams that have trouble shooting the ball in today's game. Pittsburgh shot just 39% from the field compared to Clemson, which shot 47%.
This game was won behind the three point line as well. Clemson was 8-18 from behind the arc while Pittsburgh was just 4-13. That 12 point difference was a big advantage in gaining the road win.
With the victory, Clemson improved to 9-6 and 1-2 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The rest of the schedule is still difficult but if the Tigers play hard and execute at the level they did on Saturday, few games are not winnable. Outside of tomorrow night's trip to Charlottesville, VA, a February visit to Duke and the regular season finale at Notre Dame, no game looks like a total mismatch. Unfortunately we have seen good and bad from this team this season, so no game on the schedule looks like a for sure win either.
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