Purnell Finds Spark In Perry
The Tigers basketball team had fallen into its longest losing skid of the season. The wear and tear of close losses were beginning to settle on the team. Head coach Oliver Purnell changed the starting line up last Tuesday night giving Sam Perry and James Mays their first career starts. Coach Purnell was looking to find a new energy on the floor.
Nik Caner-Medley came into the game as one of the hottest players in the ACC, averaging 17.4 points per game. I even overheard Caner-Medley telling some of the Clemson students prior to the game, that he was going to destroy the Tigers. Well obviously, Caner-Medley was not expecting the match up with Perry. Perry is an extremely tough defender as he displayed earlier this year against the ACC's leading scorer JJ Redick. Perry harassed Caner-Medley all evening limiting him to nine points. Perry was also able to force several key turnovers.
At a time, where hope was beginning to fade on the 04-05 season, Coach Purnell turned to a fearless freshmen who played exactly as described, fearless. Perry had his career high last Tuesday night of 14 points after which he was mauled by the Clemson student body on the floor. Perry's successful early penetration in the lane freed up Shawan Robinson for some open looks on the perimeter.
Perry all season has just been asked to come in and play with great energy off the bench. Perry has a very fan friendly game. His game never stops on either end of the court and can also provide highlight dunks like he had on 7-1 Will Bowers Tuesday night. Last Tuesday night was a peak into the bright future of the young Piedmont native as well as the Clemson program.
It was nice to see what the future of Clemson basketball will look like, but if Perry can continue provide a spark maybe the Tigers have a late season run in them. The Tigers returned to the floor Tuesday night versus Georgia Tech in Littlejohn Coliseum at 7 pm.