Thursday, February 15, 2007

Is this ths same old Clemson?

When Clemson was running up a 17-0 record to start this basketball season, plenty of people who’ve seen the Tigers pile up quick starts against unimpressive competition rolled their eyes and said, “Wait until February.”

Well, we’re halfway through February and the Tigers are going nowhere – but perhaps the NIT – fast.

By losing 67-65 at Wake Forest Wednesday night, the Tigers had plenty to keep them awake on the trip home.

The Tigers missed several chances to win the game at the end, including point-blank misses from James Mays and Trevor Booker. But the Tigers failed to score a basket in the final 6:02 and it killed them.

Empty trips to Wake Forest are nothing new to the Tigers, who haven’t won there since 1990.
Then there’s the increasingly urgent question as to whether Clemson can play its way back into the NCAA tournament committee’s good graces.

On the surface, the Tigers’ case looks fairly solid – they’re 19-6 overall and 5-6 in the league. However, they’ve lost six of their past eight games and a bad finish will doom a team as fast as 59 percent foul shooting, something else working against the Tigers.

“On the road in the ACC, I don’t consider this a bad loss,” Clemson coach Oliver Purnell said after losing to the Deacons.

“We’re 19-6 and in position to accomplish all the things we’ve talked about. We have three of our next four at home. We started the season with three of our first four on the road. I’d much rather be where we are now.”

The Tigers need to win two of their three remaining home games – against Maryland Saturday, Duke and Miami. That’s not an unreasonable expectation but it’s doubly important because their remaining road games are at Boston College and Virginia Tech.

“We just need to win some games,” Purnell said.

No doubt about it.

– Ron Green Jr.


Anonymous said...

" 'We just need to win some games.' No doubt about it."

How eloquent. Personally I think that Clemson just needs to be able to put the ball in the basket a little more often than their opponents. But that's just my opinion.