Deep 3 with T.O.: Simms' absence affects Tigers in loss to Notre Dame

by - Correspondent -
Deep 3 with T.O.: Simms' absence affects Tigers in loss to Notre Dame

Clemson's leading scorer, Aamir Simms, missed Sunday's game against Notre Dame and his absence was felt in more ways than one.

Terrence Oglesby breaks down the loss to the Irish.


Tiger nation got some bad news going into the game when the word was out that Simms is suffering from the flu. It had a profound impact on the Tiger offense. The flow seemed to struggle especially early on. Jemison did a nice job, but he’s limited on the perimeter in regard to reading the defense and his passing ability. Clemson just seemed to have to take tough shot after tough shot. Aamir is able to make the shots easier for his teammates. No teammate seemed to be impacted more than John Newman, who only ended up with only six points on 1-of-5 shooting.


Not only did Alex Hemenway give the building energy, but he gave Brownell direction in his play calling. Clemson did some nice things on offense with some “flare screen to handoff actions” (this is how Hemenway got his shot at the elbow). I’m not going to say that Hemenway is a go-to player on offense yet, but he definitely showed his ability to get his feet set in a hurry. I remain an Alex Hemenway fan.


On the surface, it seems as though Notre Dame is just another mid-tier ACC team. However, when you factor in that they have lost six of their eight games by five points or fewer, it begins to paint a different picture. The difference in the game tonight is simply that the Irish were able to make more tough shots at the end of the game when both teams needed stops. Two step back mid-range jumpers and a 4-point play by Mooney closed the game out. With Chase Hunter on the bench for the Tigers, Brownell doesn’t have that Marquise Reed type player that you can just get the ball to and he will go get you one. Notre Dame has three of them in Mooney, Gibbs, and Pflueger. Wouldn’t be shocked if the Irish made a run at the bubble come tournament time.


In a game when your most important player is out with an illness, you can’t come out flat on the defensive end. Early in the game there were several open 3’s for the Irish as a result from lack of urgency in rotations. Communication has to be better if you are going to be switching screens off the ball. This changed quickly when Hunter Tyson, Curran Scott, and Khavon Moore checked into the game after the first media. Tyson was early in rotations on the backside and Scott/Moore did a nice job guarding the ball.


Jemison found out that he would be starting this morning and he answered the call. Trey played Mooney physical and did a nice job showing on pick and rolls out on the perimeter. Trey is a heavy dude and resembles a diesel truck more than a Maserati. He emptied the tank, and busted his butt on the defensive end. I can promise that the Irish will be going home with a few bumps and bruises from trying to get into the paint with big Trey waiting.

This game was hard for a lot of reasons. Notre Dame is very capable of scoring 85 points and Clemson was missing the player they run their offense through. Pitt provides a different sort of challenge as they play much more physical and try to muddy the game up a little more. Simms will be welcomed back with open arms, and I know Brownell is happy with Hemenway’s day.

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