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Boston College Men’s Basketball vs. Clemson: Breaking Down the Tigers

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NCAA Basketball: Clemson at Boston College Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Do you want to know more about BC’s opponent besides its won-loss record? No problem. BCI brings you the “cheat sheet” for a quick rundown of BC’s next opponent, Clemson.

Recent Results

The Tigers are the four seed in the ACC Tournament and while they’ve had a great year they do come in back peddling a bit losing four of the last six games. Most recently Clemson lost 55-52 up at the dome in Syracuse.

Personnel

While some BC fans might remember a little bit about this Clemson team from the match-up back on January 3rd, an important thing to know is that senior forward Donte Graham is no longer on the roster due to a season ending injury. Grantham was the 2nd leading scorer on the team at 14.2 ppg and the 2nd leading rebounder at 6.9 rpg. It’s important to note that the Tigers are just 6-5 overall since Grantham’s injury.

Clemson’s leading scorer is 6’3” guard Marcquise Reed who is averaging 16.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 3.5 apg and 1.8 steals per game. Reed was named to the All-ACC 2nd team and was Clemson’s lone representative on the team. Not surprisingly, Reed is kind of an all-everything player for his team like Jerome Robinson and Ky Bowman for the Eagles. Reed has logged 86% of all available minutes available this year and takes nearly 25% of his team’s shots. The guard is an excellent shooter at the free throw line (85.5%) and is good from beyond the arc as well at 38.2%.

His partner in crime in senior guard Gave Devoe, who is 3rd on the team in scoring at 13 ppg. More than half of Devoe’s field goals made this year are three pointers so you know what he likes to do.

Elijah Thomas was on the All-ACC Defensive team this year mostly because of his shot blocking ability. Thomas averaged 2.3 blocks per game and is a presence down low with his 6’9” height and nice wingspan. Thomas chips in around 10 points per game on offense and does all of his damage inside the three point line.

Behind the Numbers

Clemson wins with its defense plain and simple. The Tigers have the 28th best effective field goal percentage defense in the country matched with the 9th best two-point shooting defense. A lot of those numbers are a result of the Tigers blocking 13.6% of opponents shots which is 20th in the nation and 3rd in the ACC. At this point you’re probably thinking BC is in a little bit of trouble in this game on the offensive end and you might not be wrong. However, the Tigers do have a weakness in that the defense is a little vulnerable on the perimeter as opponents are shooting 35.7% from three, and that number jumps to 37% in conference play.

The good news is that as good as Clemson is on D the offense is pretty pedestrian which could be good news for a BC defense that has struggled all year. Clemson ranks 11th in points per game, 8th in FG% and 7th in three point % in the ACC.

One additional bit of good news for a tired BC team—Clemson plays at the 35th slowest offensive tempo in the entire country. The Eagles will not have to be going up and down the court all game like against NC State.

What to Expect

BC will have to step a little out of its comfort zone and play a half court battle. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing because of BC’s depth issues and also because the Eagles were forced to play a slow tempo against Clemson and Virginia earlier in the year. While both games resulted in BC losses they were only by one point and four points and were both on the road. It’s likely that BC is going to have the crowd with them tomorrow not only from its own fans but from fans of other schools rooting on a heavy underdog to advance.

BC is coming into this game red hot and very confident right now and Clemson is coming off of its coldest six game stretch of the season. Call me crazy but this is setting up for a BC upset.