Deep 3 with T.O.: What Clemson can learn from loss at Virginia


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Deep 3 with T.O.: What Clemson can learn from loss at Virginia

Clemson lost its second consecutive game, dropping a 51-44 decision to Virginia Wednesday night in Charlottesville, and Terrence Oglesby is back with his keys to the loss.

The defensive battle saw Clemson (11-11, 5-7) and Virginia (15-6, 7-4) shoot 32.7 and 37.0 percent from the field, respectively. Beyond the 3-point arc, the Tigers were 6-for-28, while the Cavaliers went 7-for-20 on 3-pointers. Clemson hauled in eight offensive rebounds and totaled eight second-chance points. Virginia, on the other hand, benefited from 13 points off turnovers.

Here are his keys to the game:

DEFENSIVE REBOUNDING

Sure, Clemson struggled to score but UVA wasn’t much better on the offensive end. The difference in the 1st half was Virginia got some tip outs and second-chance points. When you are playing against a team like Virginia that struggles to score, you can’t give them ample opportunities per possession. It is a bit demoralizing when you have to play defense for a full 30 seconds then have to do it all over again because UVA doesn’t rush anything. That is why Clemson was down early. This was a defensive clinic by both teams, but UVA was able to get more shots because of the OREB’s.

AL-AMIR DAWES' COMPETITIVENESS

Dawes plays with such bravado and confidence that it rubs off on his teammates immediately. This was immediately evident at the start of the second half. He began with a 3 ball, then proceeded to make play after play both offensively and defensively. His ability to get into the lane gave the Tigers a different element on offense than they had last year. He forced rotations and made some good reads. We got a peek at sophomore/junior year Dawes Wednesday night, and the Clemson family has a lot to be excited about.

CLEMSON GRIT ON DISPLAY

Make no mistake Dawes was the catalyst, but the team was able to rally and continue to play hard even when the ball wasn’t going through the net. Defense never suffered because of the lack of offense and it kept them in the game. The Tigers made the Hoos shoot contested 2’s all night and it showed with their ability to get back in the game during the 2nd half final.

CLEMSON ZONE/BRAXTON KEY’S HERO BALL

Coach Brownell made the decision to go zone about 5 minutes into the ball game and boy did it pay off. Clemson was struggling to keep the ball out of the middle while playing man and the switch confused Virginia. Braxton Key played the role of ultimate bailout guy and hit some really tough shots towards the end of the game. If he doesn’t hit some tough contested shots, Clemson wins.

MOVING FOWARD - WHO PLAYS THE POINT?

This is not a slight towards Trapp, but I can understand Tiger fans getting apprehensive. He’s been back for two months and should be back in a good place health-wise. Clemson has struggled with offense and looked much better Wednesday night with Dawes at the point guard position. If you bring Trapp off the bench, that will give Brownell a chance to put a shooter in to space things out. Dawes gives the players confidence, that is very evident. Plus, his ability to put pressure on the defense with the ball in his hands gives Clemson another element that they haven’t had since Shelton Mitchell’s junior year. This will also give Trapp a chance to ease into the game, and not feel pressured to set the world on fire right out of the gate. Clemson has Notre Dame coming in and with two elite guards for the Irish, it looks as if both Trapp and Dawes will start again beside each other.

Clemson needs to shoot the ball better to compete as 44 points will not be good enough to compete with a Notre Dame team that is second in the league in scoring. Overall, the Tigers battled their butts off, and there are parts of today’s game to be happy about. They remain firmly entrenched in the middle of the ACC and need to get a couple in a row here to regain momentum.

I will go into greater detail with a rapid reaction from the UVA game on my podcast “Let It Fly with Terrence Oglesby”. Please take a listen!

I also love going back and forth with the Clemson faithful about Tiger basketball on twitter. Hit me up @CoachTO22 as I tweet games in real-time to give a coach’s point of view on the game.

On to the next one!

-Terrence Oglesby

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