Deep 3 with T.O.: Tigers take aim at Jackets on Senior Day


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Deep 3 with T.O.: Tigers take aim at Jackets on Senior Day

By Terrence Oglesby

Senior Day is here for the Tigers. Clemson comes back to Littlejohn on a quick turnaround after a loss Wednesday to the Hokies in Blacksburg. This is a tough situation for coaches to get prepared and equally important for players to be able to wash off the last loss in order to have a good performance at home. Georgia Tech will not be playing in the ACC Tournament for sanctions given for some improper recruiting practices and will want to end off their year on a strong note. They are led by two highly-talented guards that drive their team and how they are able to see the game will determine the outcome. Here are the keys to the game...

GUARD PLAY DEFENSIVELY

As we saw in Atlanta the last time these two played, Georgia Tech has some extremely talented players at their lead guard positions. Jose Alvarado is about as tough a guard as there is in the conference, and Mike DeVoe has tremendous size at guard and possesses an uncanny ability to hit timely shots. In the first meeting between the Yellow Jackets and Tigers, Clemson struggled to contain DeVoe off the dribble. This broke down a lot of Clemson’s defensive rotations because he was penetrating the lane from the top of the key. Devoe is a physical player, but John Newman and company need to do a better job in Littlejohn of containing the basketball this time around.

TAKE CARE OF THE BALL

I feel as if I’m a broken record with this point, but it has been a bit of an Achilles heel for the Tigers. Georgia Tech’s guards, namely Alvarado, have the ability to really pressure the ball and take risks defensively because of James Banks III playing behind them protecting the basket. Alvarado is pesky and he’s good enough to finish tough plays on the other end in transition. If the Tigers do turn the ball over, it needs to be “dead ball turnovers” so they can get back and set up their defense. You can’t allow the Yellow Jackets to gain momentum on the road by getting easy baskets, and if you take care of the ball, you eliminate those chances.

INTENSITY ON BOTH ENDS

Tevin Mack, Curran Scott, and Paul Grinde have all given parts of their lives to contribute to the Tiger family in one form or another. What better way to honor them than giving your all for what may be their last time playing in Littlejohn. Clemson has played high-level basketball at home and much of that has to do with their level of energy on the defensive end. Offensively, Brownell’s bunch needs to move quickly and let the ball pop around the perimeter. Cuts around the perimeter were a bit sluggish in Blacksburg last game and will need to be faster in order to move the defense around. Remember, Georgia Tech will play a good bit of zone if the Tigers prove they can get open looks against their man defense. Energy and efficiency in their off-ball movements is equally important against both defenses

The Tigers will need a packed Littlejohn Coliseum to send off the seniors to the real world in style. I will be attending the game and tweeting the game in real-time with the Tiger family. As always, make sure to hit that follow button @CoachTO22 to see what the coaches see.

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