Clemson Men’s Basketball is off to a 2-0 start on the season with a routine win over an outmanned Winthrop squad and a last-second win over a plucky UAB team in the first round of the Asheville Championship.
There wasn’t much bad in the opener, but a couple of issues raised their head in the UAB win.
While the Tigers showed composure when down late, the way they got there was all too predictable and familiar. The Blazers outhustled the Tigers for stretches, got better position and hit the offensive boards despite their height disadvantage.
Against Davidson, Clemson will again face a team that has better offensive rebounding numbers than the Tigers, but also one that can rival the Tigers length and depth.
The Wildcats boast 9 players that average at least 14 minutes per game, with three that average double figures in points and another just below that.
6’7 freshman forward Bobby Durkin is scoring 14.5 per game, sophomore guard Angelo Brizzi comes in averaging 12.5 and 6’10 senior David Skogman totals 11 points and 8 boards per game.
The 6’3 Brizzi is responsible for a percentage of the Wildcats possessions that rivals P.J. Hall’s for the Tigers.
Davidson has wins over Non-Division I Washington and Lee by 23 and edged Maryland 64-61 in Asheville on Friday.
Hall is the unquestioned leader of this Clemson team, averaging 23.5 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1.5 steals, 2 blocks and only 1,5 turnovers over the first two games.
Other double-digit scorers for the Tigers are Chase Hunter (13.0) and Ian Schieffelin (12.0).
Despite their size advantage in the first two games, Clemson has relied on the three-point shot to a large degree, with 43.6% of their shots coming from behind the arc, accounting for 36.8% of their points on 37.3% shooting from deep.
Clemson Men’s Basketball is favored to beat Davidson
The Tigers are a 7.5-point favorite with a total of 140.5. Take this for what it’s worth since I’m 0-2 on Clemson sides in the early season, but I believe Clemson covers this number and I’ll also take the over.
In the win over UAB, the Tigers got a huge game from Hall, but very little from Joe Girard and Alex Hemenway. Davidson has the height to at least match up with Hall, though it’s debatable if they can slow the Clemson big man down.
But they’ll try, which will lead to more shots from the perimeter from the Tiger guards.
In addition, Clemson missed 10 of 27 free throws against UAB, despite being one of the top free-throw-shooting teams in the nation last season. They won’t leave 10 points at the line today, though whether they get 27 attempts is a question.
In the end, Clemson gets it done, but I wouldn’t lay more than 7.5 this early in the season and I believe the over will cover late, but just barely.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change