Olu Babalola made an emphatic return the Tigers line up Wednesday night. Babalola had served a two game suspension for violating team rules. This was a critical game for the Tigers and the senior came through in a big way.
Coach Oliver Purnell wanted Babalola to be a leader on this basketball team. With the talented freshman, it was important that as senior Babalola set an example. On Wednesday, Bababola personified how a senior should play.
He nailed two key three pointers that tied the game for the Tigers on his way to a 17 point night. The biggest stride Babalola made was his clutch performance from the free throw. On the night, he went 7 for 9, but hit 4 of 6 in the last minute of the game.
In recent years, Clemson has lost close games at the free throw line. Babalola refused to let that happen to his team against Ohio St. Another key was Babalola walked away after a hard foul leading his teammates down to the other end drawing a standing ovation from the crowd.
Consistency is the next step for Babalola in his senior campaign. Senior leadership will be a key for this season and the future of Clemson basketball. When pressed against the wall, Babalola chose to respond with excellence over bitterness.