What’s wrong with Clemson basketball? The Tigers were supposed to be a top-25 team, but would currently be left out of the NCAA Tournament field altogether.
Clemson basketball fans were understandably frustrated as the Tigers gave up a six-point halftime lead and ended up losing 77-68 to Florida State on the road.
The Seminoles were reeling coming into the game, with just a 1-4 conference record. They had just one day to prepare and most thought the Tigers- who got plenty of rest this weekend- would have a chance to turn things around and get a win even if the game was on the road.
They couldn’t get the job done, though, and fell to just 11-7 on the season and 1-4 in the ACC.
So, what’s wrong with Clemson basketball? Can it be fixed? Let’s take a look at some of the problems the Tigers have had this season.
- Bad offensive possessions
Here’s the first thing I’ve noticed. Shots just aren’t falling for this team. They are taking threes and just not hitting them night in and night out. You may have a guy get hot and knock down a couple, but the three-pointer is just clearly not there.
So, instead of working for a better shot, they’re still settling too often with outside looks or with “one pass and shoot” possessions. I’d much rather see the Tigers work through Elijah Thomas on the post, but that can’t be your only source of offense.
The bench hasn’t helped matters either when it comes to offensive scoring.
- Defensive Issues
This team has had defensive issues all season. Specifically, in guarding the three-pointer. When you can’t make threes on one end and you’re giving up threes on the other end, you’re not going to win too many games. I don’t care who you are.
The problem is that this team hasn’t particularly done a bad job defending the three-pointer. FSU was not good from the three-point line coming in. But, then all of a sudden the Seminoles caught fire against the Tigers. That’s been the case too often this season.
I think teams see how bad the Tigers are ranked in three-point defense and that shooters come into the game believing their going to make shots. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.
In addition to three-point defense, it seems that too many times Clemson basketball allows bad offensive possessions to turn into bad defensive possessions. Frustrations rise and they give up easy baskets as a result.
Can it be fixed?
Sure, things can be fixed. There’s always hope that the team starts knocking down shots and playing more efficiently on both sides of the court.
But, we’re already in mid-January.
I have a feeling that this is the team we’re going to continue to see. I hope I’m wrong, but I just don’t believe you’re going to see major changes. This team is not an NCAA Tournament team right now and I don’t think they’re going to be. I hope they prove me wrong, but right now, NIT seems to be a bit of stretch.