|Monday, December 21, 2015, 9:40 AM- -|
Losing to the arch rival is never good, but losing to the Gamecocks two years in a row is hard to take.
It is hypocritical for me to criticize the fans for not going Friday night. I will admit that I was not in Greenville for the game Friday night because I had a previous engagement. But can you imagine someone scheduling a party the same time as the Carolina-Clemson football game?
Clemson fans are still on Cloud Nine from this football season and are much more concerned about Clemson and Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl, the potential for the national title, and the Tigers' continued success in football recruiting.
Sometimes I wonder if success on the football field helps Clemson basketball because it keeps pressure off of the basketball program, or if it hurts the basketball program because it keeps attention away from it.
The truth of the matter is that Clemson has had a difficult time competing in the ACC in basketball. That cause was hurt in the 1950s and 60s when the rest of the league was building powerhouses in basketball while Clemson focused its resources on football. But over the last 30 years, Clemson has fared very well against South Carolina in basketball. Watching Frank Martin recruit a talented team in Columbia makes it harder to watch Clemson struggle on the hardwood.
I don't expect to compete in the ACC on a yearly basis, but I do expect to beat South Carolina.
If we are honest with ourselves, we can look at this basketball season as a disappointing start. Clemson is 7-4. The Tigers' seven wins have come against North Carolina Central, Texas San Antonio, Texas Southern, Rutgers, USC-Upstate, Wofford, and Presbyterian. Clemson's four losses have been to UMASS, Minnesota, Alabama and South Carolina.
North Carolina Central is 3-7. Texas San Antonio is 2-10. Texas Southern is 1-9. Rutgers is 4-7. USC-Upstate is 3-10. Wofford is 3-7. Presbyterian is 5-6. The record of the teams Clemson has defeated this year is 21-56.
North Carolina Central's RPI is 336. Texas San Antonio is 345. Texas Southern is 324. Rutgers is 228. USC-Upstate is 306. Wofford is 248. Presbyterian is 349.
Clemson's best win is over a Rutgers team that is 4-7 and has an RPI of 228.
The Tigers lost to UMASS, who is 6-4 and ranked 179 in the RPI. The loss to Minnesota hurt at the Gophers are 6-5 and ranked 183.
Clemson's RPI is 262. The Tigers are behind Grambling, North Dakota, Eastern Washington, South Carolina State and The Citadel in the RPI.
The only Power Conference school lower than Clemson in the current RPI is Boston College.
I love Clemson basketball, but this season looks like another disappointing start, and I am not sure at this point how exciting the new year will be for this program.
The Brad Hughes All-State Insurance Agency
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