Greetings Clemson Men’s Basketball fans, I have returned from the stupor of lack of sleep from a newborn to talk a little basketball before the season ends. A few weeks ago, I said this team could be special. Now, even with an impressive win last night, the daunting final stretch has many wondering if Clemson fans (myself included) spoke too soon.
On January 26th, I had an article published regaling how this team seemed different from the Brownell-coached teams of the past; on the 28th, that theory seemed to be true. Clemson somehow found a way to win the in house of horrors that is Tallahassee. Incredible efforts by Chase Hunter, Hunter Tyson, and PJ Hall led to a thrilling finish that saw the Tigers win against the Noles on the road for the 1st time in 7 tries.
But as the days passed, and as my wife and I welcomed our 2nd child, even a major change in my life could not mask the seeming regression and “more of the same” the Tigers would put forward over the next 6 games.
The Tigers are 2-4 in that span though, to be fair, the wins have been pretty spectacular. Clemson followed up their miraculous win in Tallahassee by beating the Noles again in a home beat down to the tune of 40 points, the largest win over an ACC opponent in school history. This past Wednesday, the Tigers made quick demolition of the always stale and never changing Syracuse 2/3 Zone.
While those wins have been amazing, the losses have been just as spectacular. It started on January 31st when, in between holding my new baby, I would check my phone to see Clemson falling completely cold against a relatively listless Boston College team. It was a bad loss that Clemson could not afford, but could possibly make up for with a home win against Miami.
But they couldn’t seal the deal.
A week later, the Tigers followed up the BC loss with losing by 20 in Chapel Hill to one of the most disappointing (their fans words not mine) UNC teams to date. A team that has been putrid from the 3-point line all season suddenly found 16 3-pointers against the Tigers.
And finally, there was the absolute toilet bowl performance at Louisville. The previously 3-23 Cardinals were literally dunking the Tigers to sleep.
The loss at Louisville could be the nail in the coffin for Clemson Men’s Basketball
That (for now, at least) could be the nail in the coffin of Clemson’s postseason hopes.
There is still hope, but it is going to be extremely challenging. 2 out of the next 3 games are on the road against ranked opponents before finishing at home against a struggling Notre Dame. The Tigers need a strong showing as well as some wins in Greensboro in the ACC tournament to get back in to the conversation for a lower seed in the NCAA tournament.
If that doesn’t happen, it could be an interesting few weeks around the athletic department.