Fresh off a solid win over a solid opponent, Clemson Men’s Basketball is off to a 4-0 start on the young season and has one more game, before the meat of the non-conference schedule, with an ACC tilt mixed in, becomes reality.
The Alcorn State Braves of the SWAC Conference come into Littlejohn Coliseum with a 1-5 record.
The Braves of Lorman, Mississippi own a win over non-D1 Xavier of Louisiana, but also boast a top 10 non-conference strength of schedule having already played Arkansas, Michigan State and TCU, among others.
Alcorn plays at a faster tempo than the Tigers, don’t shoot as many threes, and aren’t very good at it when they do (29.9%).
The Tigers will have a distinct height and athletic advantage when the two teams meet on the court.
For their part, the Tigers have had an up-and-down first four contests, but they won all four and beat the best team on their schedule to date by 17 points.
The Tigers have plenty to work on and two of those things – offensive rebounding and free throw shooting – came to fruition against the Broncos.
That’s good news because after this game the schedule gets much more challenging with Alabama (No. 5 in KenPom.com), Pittsburgh (51), South Carolina (62), TCU (26) and Memphis (27) waiting in the wings.
Clemson’s current No. 121 non-conference strength of schedule will see a significant bump as a result.
The Tigers offensive rebounding was solid against Boise, but remains a concern moving forward as teams less talented, and sometimes with less size, pushed the Tigers around on the boards in the two games in Asheville despite the Tigers winning both games
The Tigers offensive rebound rate of 26.9% ranks at No. 249 in the. country.
That number should improve if P.J. Hall can avoid foul trouble and find himself on the country for more than the 68.1% of the playing time that he’s accumulated so far.
Despite the limited time on the court to date, Hall leads the Tigers at 19.5 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, with guards Joe Girard (12.3 points per game) and Chase Hunter (11.8) also in double figures.
Ian Schieffelin is tied with Hall at 25 rebounds on the season.
Clemson Men’s Basketball is a prohibitive favorite over Alcorn State
The Tigers enter this game as a 22.5-point favorite and should win comfortably at home.
Clemson’s size, depth and three-point shooting will overwhelm the battle-tested Braves at some point in the contest, it’s just a matter of when.
So far this season, I’m 0-4 picking sides when the Tigers are involved, so you may want to go opposite of me on this one.
I see the Tigers winning comfortably at home, but 22.5 is a big number for this team to cover. The projections I’ve seen put the Tigers in the mid 80s and the Boise State game certainly proved that’s possible, but I have a feeling the atmosphere in Littlejohn will be lacking as will the Tigers motivation to pile it on.
Tigers win easily, but Alcorn State covers the spread.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.