Clemson Men’s Basketball: Sometimes you gotta hug ugly

I believe it was that esteemed philosopher Mack Brown who coined the phrase, or at least that’s where I remember hearing it first, but wherever it was, it certainly applied to Clemson Men’s Basketball and their 51-50 win over Virginia Tech Saturday at Littlejohn Coliseum.

“Sometimes you gotta hug ugly.”

Tonight, I’m hugging the Tigers ugly win over the Hokies in a game I thought they had won and lost 3 or 4 times, which is remarkable considering the teams combined for only 101 points, which these days are about a quarter and a half of NBA scoring.

In the long run, Clemson has a guard problem if Chase Hunter can’t get and stay healthy, but in the short run, a win tonight was important.

I was fairly sure the Tigers would have trouble scoring but had no idea they’d end up needing a game-winning three to slide past 50 points on 38.3% shooting from the floor.

Before that game-winning three the Tigers were 2 of 17 from deep, with their guards being non-existent offensively on anything other than a layup or bunny.

To be fair, Dillon Hunter made some plays down the stretch and showed potential, but for the first 35 minutes of the game neither he nor Josh Beadle were any kind of offensive threat.

Thankfully, P.J. Hall was, as the big man finished with 20 points and 8 rebounds, keeping the Tigers in the game in the first half.

It wasn’t a great night for Hunter Tyson for the first 39 minutes and 50 seconds, but his three-pointer from the top of the arc was one of the few beautiful shots of the night for Clemson and the Tigers only 3 of the second half.

Tyson finished with 12 points and 9 rebounds on 4 of 10 shooting, including 2 of 7 on threes and led the Tigers with 9 rebounds.

Clemson Men’s Basketball has three winnable ACC games ahead, but they need to play better than they did tonight

Clemson is now 16-4 on the season and 8-1 in the ACC, with three winnable conference games ahead: Hosting Georgia Tech (Tuesday), visiting Tallahassee (Saturday) and visiting Chestnut Hill on January 31.

It’s a tricky proposition for Brad Brownell though, because if the Tigers play like they did tonight, they could lose all three also.

I’ll worry about that on Tuesday, though.

Right now, I’m hugging ugly.