The 6-0 Clemson Men’s Basketball team looks to keep its perfect season intact against the University of Pittsburgh Panthers on Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh, PA.
The Panthers are 5-2 on the season and are led by 6’8, senior forward Blake Henson who’s averaging 19.6 points per game and shooting 39.3% from three-point range.
Guards Ishmael Leggett and Carlton Carrington are each averaging 14.9 points per game and Leggett leads Pitt in rebounding at 7.9 per game, while Carrington is the assists leader at 5.9 per contest.
It may sound like a broken record, but Pittsburgh is one of the best offensive rebounding teams in the nation and is led by 6’11 Federiko Federiko, who has the 25th-best offensive rebounding rate in the nation.
Federiko plays a little less than 23 minutes a game and leads the team in blocks at 2.4 per contest.
Clemson has three double-digit scorers of their own, led by senior P.J. Hall at 21.3 points per game, followed by Chase Hunter (13.3) and Syracuse transfer Joe Girard (13.0).
Junior forward Ian Schieffelin leads the Tigers with 8.2 rebounds per game, with Hall contributing 7 per contest.
Schieffelin dominated the glass in Clemson’s biggest win of the season in Tuscaloosa over Alabama Tuesday, grabbing 14 rebounds.
Hall has been limited to 27.5 minutes per contest due to foul trouble, otherwise, his statistics would look even more impressive.
Clemson has shot the ball well, with their 56.8% effective field goal percentage good enough for the 94th percentile in the country. The Tigers have also taken care of the ball, turning the ball over only 10 times per game good enough for the 90th percentile.
What the Tigers have not done well is rebound on the offensive end (30th percentile), get to the line (17th percentile) or score on fast breaks (4th percentile).
What all that means is the Tigers are ultra-reliant on their shooting, more than your average team, and could be susceptible when the off-shooting nights inevitably come.
In Pittsburgh, they meet one of the tallest teams in the nation on average, that rebounds well and gets to the line often and the game will be on the Panthers home court.
Clemson Men’s Basketball faces tall task in Pittsburgh
First things first: I’ve been terrible at picking Clemson games against the spread (1-5), so take my advice and go the other way.
Every projection I’ve seen for this game is within two points either way, so a close game should be expected.
It sounds simplistic to say the Tigers are dependent on their shooting since, at least to some degree, every basketball team is. I would argue that Clemson is more than your average team because they get very few fast break or second chance points and that’s not a great combination on the road against a team that rebounds as well as Pittsburgh.
The Tigers shot incredibly well in Tuscaloosa and will have to duplicate that feat in the Steel City to leave with a win.
Pittsburgh wins and covers 1.5 points.