For the second time this week, Clemson Men’s Basketball takes on an undefeated opponent, this time facing Texas Christian University (TCU) in Toronto as part of the Discount Tire Hall of Fame Series.
TCU comes in at 7-0 and is ranked No. 44 in the NET Rankings and No. 33 in KenPom, with five players averaging double figures in scoring.
The Horned Frogs are led by 6’7 senior forward Emmanuel Miller who’s averaging 15.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3 assists and almost 2 steals a game, while shooting 54.2% from the field, including 41.2% from three-point range.
Right behind Miller, JaKobe Coles is averaging 15.7 points and 5.3 rebounds, Micah Peavy 12.1 points, Jameer Nelson, Jr. 11.7 points and Avery Anderson III 10.4 points.
As most teams do, TCU plays at a much faster pace than the Tigers, but the Horned Frogs are less reliant on the three ball (30% of shots), and stop me if you’ve heard this before – rebound well on on the offensive end.
Clemson has to refocus after a win in their rivalry game vs. South Carolina, which followed road wins at Alabama and Pittsburgh.
The Tigers are sitting at No. 19 in the NET rankings and are one of three teams (along with Purdue and Kansas) with three quad 1 wins, and the only one of the three without any quad 1 losses.
Brad Brownell’s team currently sits at No. 26 in the KenPom.com rankings.
The Tigers are led by senior P.J. Halls 20.5 points per game, followed by Joe Girard’s 14.4 and Chase Hunter’s 11.8 points per game.
One of the bigger stories of the Tigers recent success has been the dominant performance on the boards by junior Ian Schieffelin who’s grabbed an amazing 43 rebounds across 80 minutes of playing time in wins over Alabama, Pittsburgh and South Carolina.
The Tigers have shown depth, with 8 players averaging 13.5 minutes on the court and a ninth at 8.6 minutes per game.
The Tigers have had someone, and at times more than one, stand up during crunch time in close games to date, which is the sign of an experienced, veteran team.
Clemson Men’s Basketball battles for fourth quad one win of early season
In a game that’s a pick’ em at press time, I lean towards Clemson as the Tigers are the more battled tested of these teams early in the season.
The Horned Frogs highest rated KenPom opponent has been No. 176 Georgetown who they beat by a point at home. Other than that, every TCU opponent has been ranked 269 or worse.
Still this is a TCU team that has shot well, hit the offensive glass and played at a high pace.
Add to that the shooting dependent Tigers unfamiliarity with the arena in Toronto and you have some unknown to be concerned about.
Clemson has relied on a 56.1% effective field goal percentage and 41% three point shooting in it’s first eight games.
Avoiding foul trouble, especially for Hall and Schieffelin will be key and continuing to shoot the ball will serve the Tigers well in this one.
Clemson wins and covers.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.