Tigers Find Backcourt Help in Troy Mathis
The movie Troy has been a box office smash, and Clemson basketball fans hope Troy Mathis a point guard from Laurinburg Charter Prep in Laurinburg, NC can be the next coming attraction to Littlejohn Coliseum. With the success of the movie, tourism promoters are hoping for a renewed interest in Hisarik(Troy)and with the arrival of Mathis and his fellow 2004 recruits, Clemson coaches are looking for a resurrection of their basketball program.
Mathis is a very good ballhandler and an excellent shooter from anywhere on the court. His presence will help improve on the Tigers 32% three point shooting and their 63% on free throws which were both an 'achilles heel' for the team last year. Troy has averaged over 40 percent shooting from three point land and 89 percent from the free throw line in his past two seasons at Laurinburg Charter. He averaged 29 ppg as a junior and 27 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds, and 4 steals per game as a senior. He had season highs of 40 points, 16 assists, and 9 steals this season.
Although a pure shooter, Mathis has excellent speed and quickness for a guy who stands 5'11 and weighs 210 pounds. He is able to beat defenders off the dribble, finish at the rim and nail smooth jumpshots on a regular basis. He also has good leadership skills and will get in the face of his teammates offering encouragement or disdain.
"Troy did not come to Laurinburg as a high profile basketball player, but he first gained notoriety after shutting down Darius Washington at a summer event, and he gained national recognition after scoring 73 points against Crossnore Academy as a junior," said Laurinburg Charter head coach Kenneth Gordon.
Mathis' 73 points against Crossnore is a single game scoring record for the state of North Carolina and Coach Gordon said that he actually scored 80 in the game. Troy's scoring will be a welcomed addition for a Clemson team that only scored over 80 points once and over 70 twice in ACC games last season.
"Troy is a natural point guard that has been called upon to score in the last couple of years and he has proven he can do that," said Clemson head coach Purnell. "He has shown a penchant for playing defense and that is a trait that will be important and enable him to contribute to our program in the near future. I believe that he will be a fine ACC player."
At Laurinburg, Troy had a majority of his practices at local parks and games were played at St. Andrews College and local elementary schools, because Laurinburg Charter does not have any on campus facilities.
"T.J.(Troy) will definitely be able to improve and adequately work on his game better in college. He can work on his game and get better weight room habits," said Gordon.
Mathis had offers or interest from Memphis, Clemson, USC Trojans, UCONN, and Missouri.
Mathis will join James Mays, Cheyenne Moore, Cliff Hammonds and Sam Perry in Purnell's first signing class.