Game 10: Clemson Basketball vs. Elon Notes
Game 10: Clemson vs. Elon
Saturday, Dec. 15, 2001
4:00 PM (EST)
Littlejohn Coliseum (11,020)
Radio: Clemson Tiger Sports Properties
Play By Play: Jim Phillips * Color Analyst: Tim Bourret
Clemson Returns to the Court
After a week off for final exams, Clemson returns to the court at 4:00 PM on Saturday at Littlejohn Coliseum when it plays host to Elon.
The Tigers have not played since an 81-59 loss to South Carolina last Saturday night and will be looking to get back on the winning track. Clemson is 6-2 in its non-conference portion of the schedule, but is 6-3 on the year after a loss at Duke, in the ACC opener on Dec. 2. Clemson%èas 7-2 to begin the non-conference portion of its schedule a year ago before finishing with a 9-4 mark in non-league games.
This year, the Tigers are led by sophomore forward Chris Hobbs, who is averaging 14.6 points per game. He is joined in double figures by junior captain Edward Scott (10.8) and junior forward Ray Henderson (10.1). Scott tops the team in assists with a 6.9 average and Henderson is the top rebounder with 8.9 boards per game.
About the Phoenix
Elon is 4-5 this season, winning three of four at home and a neutral site game while dropping all four road contests. The Phoenix is led by Brendon Rowell who is averaging 13.2 points per game in the five games he has played. David Hall (11.9) and Gary Marsh (11.8) are also scoring in double figures. Chris Adams paces the Phoenix in rebounding, pulling down 5.1 boards per game.
A First at Littlejohn
Clemson fans will see something at Littlejohn Coliseum this year that they have never seen before. Elon head coach Mark Simons is married to Duke women's head basketball coach Gail Goestenkors. This will be the first season that husband and wife have coached at Littlejohn Coliseum in the same season. The Duke women play in Clemson on Thursday, Jan. 10.
Against the Big South
This will be the first ever meeting between Clemson and Elon, but Clemson is familiar with teams from the Big South. In fact, Clemson is perfect in its previous 34 meetings against the Big South, including a a 3-0 record last year. The Tigers beat Winthrop 69-59 last year to go with an 97-77 win against Charleston Southern and an 81-68 victory at Coastal Carolina. The Tigers will meet teams from that conference in each of their next three games: Elon, Winthrop (Tuesday) and Charleston Southern (Dec. 22).
Tigers Fall to 6-3 After Rare South Carolina Win in Clemson
South Carolina claimed an 81-59 win over Clemson at Littlejohn Coliseum on Dec. 8. It was just the second victory for the Gamecocks in their last 19 games in Clemson.
Chris Hobbs led Clemson with 14 points and six rebounds. McKnight added 13 and Edward Scott scored 10 points and had nine assists for the Tigers. Clemson struggled from outside, hitting 3-23 from behind the arc.
It was also the first game this season that the Tigers did not hold an advantage in rebounding as South Carolina controlled the boards 46-37. Clemson had been out-rebounding its opponents by an average of 11 rebounds per game.
Aaron Lucas scored 20 points and Jamel Bradley added 18 for the Gamecocks.
The Tigers, who trailed 51-30 at the break, pulled within 14 at 64-50 off consecutive 3-pointers from Jamar McKnight. But McKnight missed his next two shots as the Clemson rally fizzled. South Carolina eventually built a game-high lead at 77-54 with five minutes to go.
Clemson's struggles from the outside continued against South Carolina. The Tigers made just 3 of 23 attempts from behind the arc, including an 0-for-3 performance from Tony Stockman, an all-rookie ACC selection last year, who was fifth in the league a year ago in three-point shooting.
South Carolina started the game hitting 2-of-10, but the Gamecocks hit nine of their next 10 shots to spark a 14-0 run and take a 33-16 lead with nine minutes left in the first half.
Clemson answered with an 11-5 run of its own to pull within 35-23. But after calling a 30-second time-out, South Carolina went into the lockerroom at the half on a 16-7 run and was ahead 51-30 at the break.
Tigers Out-rebounded for First Time This Year
Clemson entered the South Carolina game out-rebounding its opponents by 11.6 boards per game, but the Gamecocks claimed the advantage on the glass last Saturday night. It marked the first time all season that one of Clemson's opponents grabbed more boards. South Carolina held a 46-37 edge. Clemson had out-rebounded opponents in all but one game - against La Salle when the Explorers and Tigers each finished with 33 rebounds.
Clemson averages 41.0 rebounds a game compared to 31.7 boards by opponents. Chris Hobbs and Ray Henderson account for 15.2 of Clemson's rebounds each game. The Tigers also have clear advantage on offensive rebounds, 16.0 per game to 10.3 per game.
Struggles from Long Range
Clemson hit just three three pointers in each of its last two games,going 3-20 against Appalachian State and 3-23 vs. South Carolina.
For the season, the Tigers are hitting only 25.8 percent of their three-point attempts (40-155). That percentage pails in comparison to the clip the team was connecting from outside last season: 35.8 percent (248-692). That was an average of 8.0 three pointers a game. In fact, there were only two ocassions last season when Clemson hit three or fewer three pointers and only another six times when the connected five times per game or less.
This year, Clemson is making only 4.4 threes through its first nine games of the year with five games of three threes or fewer. The Tigers came out of the gate with a hot hand from downtown, going 22 of 58 (37.9 percent) in the three games in the Virgin Islands. Since then, they have connected 18 of 97 times (18.6 percent).
Of course, Tony Stockman missed two games after having knee surgery on Nov. 29. The sophomore was fifth in the ACC a year ago in three-point shooting. As a freshman, the Medina, OH native averaged 2.4 threes per game. This year, his per game number is down to 2.1, but that is slightly skewed since he made nine threes in his first two games of the year. He has made just six in his last five games and went 0-for-8 his last time out against South Carolina.
Despite Poor Outside Shooting, Clemson Still Managing to Win
In Clemson's last four wins - against Wofford, Penn State, Coastal Carolina and Appalachian State - the Tigers were outscored 114-27 on three-point baskets.
The Tigers made just three of 20 attempts from beyond the three-point arc against Appalachian State. That was after making six threes at Duke on Dec. 2, the most since the Tigers connected to make eight in the second game of the year.
Clemson made just six three pointers against Wofford, Penn State and Coastal Carolina, but claimed victory in each of the contests, including the first two of those in come-from-behind fashion. In those three games, the Tigers were outscored 87-18 by opponents from outside.
Clemson made just 2-15 three-point shots in its victory over Wofford, including an 0-5 performance in the second half. The Terriers shot lights out, hitting 15-32, or 46.9 percent. Wofford's total tied for the third most three-point goals in Clemson history against the Tigers. Only Duke with 17 in the 2000 ACC Tournament, and Georgia Tech with 17 at Clemson last year, are higher figures.
Clemson followed that with a 1-10 three-point shooting performance at Penn State. That one three-point goal was a big one, however. Dwon Clifton nailed a three on the first Clemson possession of the second half to cut the 10-point margin to seven. The Tigers took that momentum from there.
Against Coastal Carolina, the Tigers were 3-17 from long distance getting three-pointers from Dwon Clifton, Jermel Douglas and Tony Stockman.
A victory for the Tigers with a three-point goal percentage less than 20 percent is a rarity. In fact, the Tigers had lost 12 straight games when failing to hit at least 20 percent from three-point range prior to the Wofford game. Clemson won four in a row when failing to shoot 20 percent on three-point shooting (Wofford, Penn State, Coastal Carolina and Appalachian State). The South Carolina game was the first loss of the season when the Tigers failed to shoot 20 percent or better from behind the arc. Clemson was 6-12 (.500) in the loss at Duke. The Tigers were 0-11 under Larry Shyatt when failing to hit 20 percent from behind the arc prior to this year. Clemson was 2-21 between 1993-94 and 2000-01 when it failed to connect on at least 20 percent of its three-point shots.
Tigers Shooting Better Than 50 Percent on Two-Pointers
While Clemson continues to struggle from three-point land, the team is shooting better than 50 percent on its two-point tries. The Tigers have made 199 of their 378 two-point attempts for their first nine games of the year. That is 52.6 percent.
Chris Hobbs and Ray Henderson are definitely responsible since Clemson has gone cold from outside. Hobbs is shooting 59.7 percent from the floor this season, while Henderson is making 58.7 of his attempts. Clemson has never had two players shoot at least 60 percent from the field on the same team for an entire season.
Bruise Brothers Leading Inside Game
Clemson frontcourt players Ray Henderson and Chris Hobbs are becoming quite a duo on the inside this year. Hobbs ranks first on the team in scoring with a 14.6 average, while Henderson is third on the team with a 10.1 average. They are the top two rebounders on the Tiger team, as Henderson has a 8.9 rebounding average and Hobbs is at 6.3 per game.
Both have double-double potential. Henderson had 16 points and 10 rebounds in the win over Appalachian State, while Hobbs had 20 points and five rebounds in just 22 minutes. For the year, the duo has combined for 24.6 points and 15.2 rebounds per game in almost 58 minutes per game.
Henderson and Hobbs, both from the state of North Carolina, are the major reason Clemson is out-rebounding the opposition by 9.3 rebounds per game.
With both players at roughly the same size, 6-7 and 255 pounds, Coach Larry Shyatt has begun to call them the "Bruise Brothers" when he refers to Hobbs and Henderson in interviews. They are reminding some of a powerful frontcourt duo that led the Tigers to the ACC regular season championship in 1989-90.
That year, Elden Campbell and Dale Davis both were named first-team All-ACC, the only year in school history Clemson has had two first-team selections. Campbell and Davis combined for 30.7 points and 19.3 rebounds per game on Clemson's 24-8 squad that advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament.
Campbell and Davis were known as the "Duo of Doom" as the 6-11 frontcourt players struck fear in opposing players who drove the lane against them. Both are still in the NBA 12 years later. Campbell is the starting center for the Charlotte Hornets, while Davis is the starting center for the Portland Trailblazers.