Deep 3 with T.O.: Tigers look to rebound at Pitt Wednesday


by - Correspondent -
Deep 3 with T.O.: Tigers look to rebound at Pitt Wednesday

A wounded Clemson team is walking into the Peterson Events Center looking to right the ship after three consecutive losses. The Tigers are hoping to get Aamir Simms back and that his return sparks some energy into the lineup. It won’t be an easy task, however, as Pitt head coach Jeff Capel has his Panthers heading in the right direction. A six-win improvement a year ago, Capel will be close to an equal improvement this year if they keep playing good basketball. The Panthers prefer to play in the half-court as they are 333rd in the country in adjusted tempo, so you can expect a slow, grind it out game that will be very physical which leads me to my first point...

Hit the Offensive Glass

Pitt ranks 345th out of 353 Division 1 teams in giving up offensive rebounds. They are certainly vulnerable and this is a good way to put Trey Jemison to use on offense when he isn’t setting ball screens. With the possible absence of Aamir Simms, Jemison has to find ways to be effective and with his size can really do some damage there. This also creates more shots around the rim and possible “dagger 3’s” on kick-outs. This is a definite hole for the Panthers and one that Clemson should capitalize on with their struggles shooting the ball.

Protect the 2 (without fouling)

Pitt is led in scoring by two sophomore guards and a freshman and only one of them (Xavier Johnson) is shooting better than 31 percent from 3. The other two, Trey McGowens and Justin Champagnie, get the majority of their points attacking the basket. To further enforce my point, Pitt is 1-of-6 when shooting less than 43 percent from 2. Clemson also has to do this without fouling. The Tigers are currently 2-of-7 when opponents get to the line on 35 percent of their possessions. These two keys go hand-in-hand when playing the Panthers.

Hit Shots (Can’t keep it any more simple than that)

I hate that I am putting this on here, but with Hemenway coming off a stellar performance vs. Notre Dame, I feel like I don’t have a choice. He provides that outside scoring punch for the Tigers, and sometimes when one guy hits a few, confidence can spread like wildfire. To make matters even more obvious, in games that Clemson has shot above 30% from 3, the Tigers are a whopping 10-2. Here’s to Hemenway providing a boost in confidence to Clemson’s outside shooting.

I’ll also be tweeting the game in real-time with reactions from what is happening on the floor. Hit that follow button @CoachTO22 and I do my best to respond to any and all mentions during the game and any day after!

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