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  1. #1

    MBB: Duke v Clemson (Tue 1/14, 7:00 pm, ESPN) Pre-Game and In-Game Thread

    It is a new era of college basketball, my friends. The Clemson Tigers will be coming home to celebrate their first victory in Chapel Hill after 93 years of futility. And on Tuesday night, less than 24 hours after the football team attempts to defend their national title, the basketball team will host the Blue Devils at Littlejohn Coliseum. Will the mood be one of jubilation or more of a hangover?

    Clemson is coming off an important win that, if nothing else works out this year, will serve as the high water mark on a season that is otherwise looking like another see-saw affair. In fact, Clemson will be looking to secure the Triangle Trifecta after consecutive wins over NC State and UNC. Meanwhile, the Blue Devils might be peaking ahead to a Saturday night showdown with Louisville back in Durham. That game will feature the College GameDay crew outside of Cameron Indoor Stadium. Will Duke walk into a trap in Clemson?

    The most dangerous tiger this year is JR F Aamir Simms (6'8" 250 lbs), who leads the team in scoring, rebounding, and is second on the team in assists. He's been playing very well of late, averaging nearly 18 points, 7 rebounds, a tick under 3 assists, and a tick over a steal and block per game in the past 6 games. Simms presents an interesting matchup for Duke in that he has the size and heft to bang with about anyone but can and will step out to shoot the 3 with accuracy. He leads the Tigers in 3-point shooting and is hitting over 50% in the last 6 games from distance. Brad Brownell is not playing a deep rotation this year and relies on Simms for a lot of the offense and rebounding. Putting pressure on Simms to defend without fouling will be an important factor for the Blue Devils.

    Clemson is ok on offense. They take a lot of 3's but do not make them at a good rate, ranking in the bottom half of teams in 3-point percentage in spite of their prolific 3-point shooting rate, which is 25th-most in the nation. The offense could really use a point guard. They do not have one and opt to share the ball-handling and distributing responsibilities. Look for Duke to apply pressure early and often. Even without a traditional PG, the Tigers do not turn the ball over that much. The Tigers's defense has a lot of teeth. They are good at generating turnovers, forcing bad shots, limiting offensive rebounds, and generally being a pest. And they don't send teams to the free throw line that often, either. Teams are opting to shoot over the interior defense rather than take the ball inside this year. About 45% of opponent shots are coming from beyond the arc this year, one of the highest rates in the nation. Duke will have to shoot the ball well from 3 in this one.

    Besides Simms, the Tigers employ a mix of athletic but not particularly skilled guards and wings. FR G Al-Amir Dawes sees a lot of time on the court but has had a lot of freshman struggles. Other guards include 6'5" SO John Newman III, 6'6" SR Tevin Mack, 6'4" SR Curran Scott, and 6'4" JR Clyde Trapp. Trapp missed the first half of the season but has inserted himself into the starting lineup now after playing the past 5 games. None of these players have stood out for consistent performance, although Mack has been solid. Up front, Clemson employs a couple of sophomore forwards, both about 6'8" and between 200 and 215 pounds apiece. They are Tyson Hunter and Khavon Moore. Moore was a 4-star recruit coming out of high school but has yet to establish himself much in the college game. In 3-5 minute spurts, Brownell will also play SO C Trey Jemsion (7'0" 250 lbs) to do tall man things like shoot the ball near the basket and block a shot.

    The Tigers are much better on defense than on offense. From a scoring perspective, they are just so-so. It's a collective effort after Simms. Containing Simms is the key to this one. I expect to see Duke put pressure on the interior with Carey getting a lot of early touches. If Carey is having trouble guarding Simms, we could see a lot of Javin and Jack lineups. On offense, Duke will look to continue its hot shooting. Duke is not one of the better 3-point shooting teams in the country, although the Blue Devils attempt relatively few jumpers per game. Where life could get tough is on the offensive boards. Duke is one of the best teams on the offensive glass while Clemson is pretty good at cleaning up opponent misses. If the Blue Devils struggle to collect their own missed shots, the game could get too close for comfort. My hope is that Clemson has a hangover after the big OT win over UNC while Duke does not look ahead to Saturday night.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBenAkiva View Post
    It is a new era of college basketball, my friends. The Clemson Tigers will be coming home to celebrate their first victory in Chapel Hill after 93 years of futility. And on Tuesday night, less than 24 hours after the football team attempts to defend their national title, the basketball team will host the Blue Devils at Littlejohn Coliseum. Will the mood be one of jubilation or more of a hangover?

    Clemson is coming off an important win that, if nothing else works out this year, will serve as the high water mark on a season that is otherwise looking like another see-saw affair. In fact, Clemson will be looking to secure the Triangle Trifecta after consecutive wins over NC State and UNC. Meanwhile, the Blue Devils might be peaking ahead to a Saturday night showdown with Louisville back in Durham. That game will feature the College GameDay crew outside of Cameron Indoor Stadium. Will Duke walk into a trap in Clemson?

    The most dangerous tiger this year is JR F Aamir Simms (6'8" 250 lbs), who leads the team in scoring, rebounding, and is second on the team in assists. He's been playing very well of late, averaging nearly 18 points, 7 rebounds, a tick under 3 assists, and a tick over a steal and block per game in the past 6 games. Simms presents an interesting matchup for Duke in that he has the size and heft to bang with about anyone but can and will step out to shoot the 3 with accuracy. He leads the Tigers in 3-point shooting and is hitting over 50% in the last 6 games from distance. Brad Brownell is not playing a deep rotation this year and relies on Simms for a lot of the offense and rebounding. Putting pressure on Simms to defend without fouling will be an important factor for the Blue Devils.

    Clemson is ok on offense. They take a lot of 3's but do not make them at a good rate, ranking in the bottom half of teams in 3-point percentage in spite of their prolific 3-point shooting rate, which is 25th-most in the nation. The offense could really use a point guard. They do not have one and opt to share the ball-handling and distributing responsibilities. Look for Duke to apply pressure early and often. Even without a traditional PG, the Tigers do not turn the ball over that much. The Tigers's defense has a lot of teeth. They are good at generating turnovers, forcing bad shots, limiting offensive rebounds, and generally being a pest. And they don't send teams to the free throw line that often, either. Teams are opting to shoot over the interior defense rather than take the ball inside this year. About 45% of opponent shots are coming from beyond the arc this year, one of the highest rates in the nation. Duke will have to shoot the ball well from 3 in this one.

    Besides Simms, the Tigers employ a mix of athletic but not particularly skilled guards and wings. FR G Al-Amir Dawes sees a lot of time on the court but has had a lot of freshman struggles. Other guards include 6'5" SO John Newman III, 6'6" SR Tevin Mack, 6'4" SR Curran Scott, and 6'4" JR Clyde Trapp. Trapp missed the first half of the season but has inserted himself into the starting lineup now after playing the past 5 games. None of these players have stood out for consistent performance, although Mack has been solid. Up front, Clemson employs a couple of sophomore forwards, both about 6'8" and between 200 and 215 pounds apiece. They are Tyson Hunter and Khavon Moore. Moore was a 4-star recruit coming out of high school but has yet to establish himself much in the college game. In 3-5 minute spurts, Brownell will also play SO C Trey Jemsion (7'0" 250 lbs) to do tall man things like shoot the ball near the basket and block a shot.

    The Tigers are much better on defense than on offense. From a scoring perspective, they are just so-so. It's a collective effort after Simms. Containing Simms is the key to this one. I expect to see Duke put pressure on the interior with Carey getting a lot of early touches. If Carey is having trouble guarding Simms, we could see a lot of Javin and Jack lineups. On offense, Duke will look to continue its hot shooting. Duke is not one of the better 3-point shooting teams in the country, although the Blue Devils attempt relatively few jumpers per game. Where life could get tough is on the offensive boards. Duke is one of the best teams on the offensive glass while Clemson is pretty good at cleaning up opponent misses. If the Blue Devils struggle to collect their own missed shots, the game could get too close for comfort. My hope is that Clemson has a hangover after the big OT win over UNC while Duke does not look ahead to Saturday night.
    Clemson fans may have a hangover. A lot of celebrating or heartbreak. Big test for this team.
    dukelifer

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Washington, D.C.

    Clemson

    Based on the last five minutes of Clemson's last game, I'd say they like to run plays featuring back door cuts. Duke's pressure defense can be vulnerable to those. Really need to put pressure on the passer.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by dukelifer View Post
    Clemson fans may have a hangover. A lot of celebrating or heartbreak. Big test for this team.
    I agree in principle, but the basketball Tigers aren't heading to New Orleans. The fans might be spent, but the players on the court will be locked in on our jerseys.

    Time for another Duke statement game.
       

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Durham
    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    I agree in principle, but the basketball Tigers aren't heading to New Orleans. The fans might be spent, but the players on the court will be locked in on our jerseys.

    Time for another Duke statement game.
    i'll be quite happy to chalk up another 30 point ACC win...anything else just seems like failure these days.
    oof

    "If you don't address the things you're not doing well when you're winning the winning will eventually stop."

    -David Cutcliffe

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by uh_no View Post
    i'll be quite happy to chalk up another 30 point ACC win...anything else just seems like failure these days.
    This should be a Duke victory, but it is a road game and crazier things have happened this season. Going by KenPom rating, Clemson is in the lower tier of teams in the conference this season.

    NCAA Tournament Teams
    1 Duke
    9 Louisville
    15 Florida State
    43 Virginia

    Bubble Teams
    50 NC State
    55 Virginia Tech
    60 Syracuse
    61 Notre Dame
    66 Pittsburgh

    Lower Tier
    81 Georgia Tech
    82 UNC
    87 Clemson
    89 Miami
    101 Wake Forest
    159 Boston College

    Georgia Tech is also in the lower tier of teams and Duke struggled in the second half against the Yellow Jackets. The two teams are somewhat similar in that they are defense-first squads that struggle to shoot the ball. Georgia Tech has a rim protector in James Banks III while Clemson doesn't.

  7. #7
    I hope we can contain Simms and shut him down some. I don't think the Tigers really have any other dynamic player who could carry them if Simms is slowed down. Now that they have ended the streak against the holes,let's give them a great big welcome back to the real world. Go Devils!
       

  8. #8
    It does sound like Jack and Javin might be better matchups on Simms, chasing him out to the 3 point line. Would love to see us establish Vernon early and pick up some fouls. If they are scouting us off the Wake tape, maybe they’ll fall into the trap of trying to guard big Vern one on one.
       

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    I agree in principle, but the basketball Tigers aren't heading to New Orleans. The fans might be spent, but the players on the court will be locked in on our jerseys.
    At what time on what day will the Clemson players start to focus in on Duke? It's a very interesting schedule spot for them. They're basically going to spend all of today and tomorrow receiving pats on the back and re-playing their exciting and historic victory over the cheats in their heads, if not on film. (They're only human afterall; Coach K has said that his greatest opponent over these 4 decades is human nature.) And these guys are still college students. I'm certain the basketball team will be watching the Clemson vs LSU football game tomorrow night, and being college students, there's a pretty good chance alcohol will be imbibed. And if Clemson wins the national championship, being college students, I think the bball team is going to join that celebration on campus. More alcohol, maybe some quality time spent with some celebrating coeds in the dorms. If I had to set the over/under on what time the average Clemson bball player is going to bed Monday night, I'd probably set it as 2am Tuesday.

    Normally, I'd be all over Clemson +12 or whatever the inflated line will be in this ACC road game for Duke. But, considering the situational spot that Clemson is in, it's gotta be Duke or pass. (Leaning pass).

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Troublemaker View Post
    At what time on what day will the Clemson players start to focus in on Duke? It's a very interesting schedule spot for them. They're basically going to spend all of today and tomorrow receiving pats on the back and re-playing their exciting and historic victory over the cheats in their heads, if not on film. (They're only human afterall; Coach K has said that his greatest opponent over these 4 decades is human nature.) And these guys are still college students. I'm certain the basketball team will be watching the Clemson vs LSU football game tomorrow night, and being college students, there's a pretty good chance alcohol will be imbibed. And if Clemson wins the national championship, being college students, I think the bball team is going to join that celebration on campus. More alcohol, maybe some quality time spent with some celebrating coeds in the dorms. If I had to set the over/under on what time the average Clemson bball player is going to bed Monday night, I'd probably set it as 2am Tuesday.

    Normally, I'd be all over Clemson +12 or whatever the inflated line will be in this ACC road game for Duke. But, considering the situational spot that Clemson is in, it's gotta be Duke or pass. (Leaning pass).
    All fair points. I hope you are correct about the distractions. And the alcohol.
       

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Steamboat Springs, CO
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidBenAkiva View Post
    Lower Tier
    81 Georgia Tech
    82 UNC
    87 Clemson
    89 Miami
    101 Wake Forest
    159 Boston College

    Georgia Tech is also in the lower tier of teams and Duke struggled in the second half against the Yellow Jackets. The two teams are somewhat similar in that they are defense-first squads that struggle to shoot the ball. Georgia Tech has a rim protector in James Banks III while Clemson doesn't.
    I am revising my opinion of the Jackets -- they played well against us and overwhelmed BC in Chestnut Hill. The return of Jose Alvarado and Jordan Usher's joining the team as a transfer makes them a pretty good team.
    Sage Grouse

    ---------------------------------------
    'When I got on the bus for my first road game at Duke, I saw that every player was carrying textbooks or laptops. I coached in the SEC for 25 years, and I had never seen that before, not even once.' - David Cutcliffe to Duke alumni in Washington, DC, June 2013

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    I am revising my opinion of the Jackets -- they played well against us and overwhelmed BC in Chestnut Hill. The return of Jose Alvarado and Jordan Usher's joining the team as a transfer makes them a pretty good team.
    That's a good observation. Alverado missed about a month which ended with Georgia Tech dropping 3 straight to Syracuse, Kentucky, and Ball State. Since Alverado returned, the Yellow Jackets are 4-3 but are playing much better. The losses are at a neutral site to Houston, at Florida State, and against Duke. Those were all 3 Quadrant 1 games and losses. They've won their other games. They have to play Louisville twice but should be competitive or better in all their other remaining games. I could see a situation in which Georgia Tech gets onto the bubble if they go on a run and manage to knock off Louisville in Atlanta.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Undisclosed
    So, I have to go from Clemson being my hero to pulling against them in the span of just a few days?

    “Tough crowd.”
    "We're only tourists in this life
    Only tourists but the view is nice"

    -- David Byrne

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh
    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    So, I have to go from Clemson being my hero to pulling against them in the span of just a few days?

    “Tough crowd.”
    Easy. All you need to remember is that you have two favorite teams: Duke and whoever plays "u"nc.

    I'll be here all week. And here: https://forums.dukebasketballreport...?3840-Ymm-Beer

    [redacted] them and the horses they rode in on.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Troublemaker View Post
    At what time on what day will the Clemson players start to focus in on Duke? It's a very interesting schedule spot for them. They're basically going to spend all of today and tomorrow receiving pats on the back and re-playing their exciting and historic victory over the cheats in their heads, if not on film. (They're only human afterall; Coach K has said that his greatest opponent over these 4 decades is human nature.) And these guys are still college students. I'm certain the basketball team will be watching the Clemson vs LSU football game tomorrow night, and being college students, there's a pretty good chance alcohol will be imbibed. And if Clemson wins the national championship, being college students, I think the bball team is going to join that celebration on campus. More alcohol, maybe some quality time spent with some celebrating coeds in the dorms. If I had to set the over/under on what time the average Clemson bball player is going to bed Monday night, I'd probably set it as 2am Tuesday.

    Normally, I'd be all over Clemson +12 or whatever the inflated line will be in this ACC road game for Duke. But, considering the situational spot that Clemson is in, it's gotta be Duke or pass. (Leaning pass).
    I actually would anticipate the Clemson basketball program getting an off campus hotel for their players to get a good night's rest and away from the fracas (and to be able to enforce a curfew). I'm sure they'll watch the game though.
       

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    High Point
    Almost all the "bubble" teams are hampered by a lack of impressive wins OOC. I will be shocked if the ACC gets more than five, and four is a good possibility.

  17. #17
    based on recent play and who is available I think GT is better than lower tier too: (missing Alvarado was a huge loss and now he is back). Clemson probably stays lower tier (no O) but they were missing 4 guys . they have 2 or 3 back now but still are banged up. They probably finish with about 6 ACC wins

    NCAA Tournament Teams
    1 Duke
    9 Louisville
    15 Florida State
    43 Virginia

    Bubble Teams
    50 NC State
    55 Virginia Tech
    60 Syracuse
    61 Notre Dame
    66 Pittsburgh
    81 Georgia Tech


    Lower Tier

    82 UNC
    87 Clemson
    89 Miami
    101 Wake Forest
    159 Boston College

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluedog View Post
    I actually would anticipate the Clemson basketball program getting an off campus hotel for their players to get a good night's rest and away from the fracas (and to be able to enforce a curfew). I'm sure they'll watch the game though.
    Dear Coach Brownell,

    Your request for funds to pay for hotel rooms has been denied. Some of the laser tag vests in our football facility are very beat up, and that money really would be better spent to replenish them.

    Regards,

    Clemson Athletics

  19. #19
    Also, how focused is Coach Brownell and his staff on this game? Despite only 2 NCAA appearances in 10 years, no one's going to fire the coach that broke the streak against UNC. So whatever level of security Brownell was feeling before, he knows his job is 100% safe now. Which means what? Which means he and his wife spent all of yesterday planning and booking their summer vacation! I mean, that's what I would've been doing, given the difference in his job security pre and post UNC game.

    I'm really only half joking or maybe a quarter joking. I think there's a 25% chance I'm largely painting the picture correctly about Clemson bball since the UNC win. I've never seen a team have such cause to be distracted when Duke is coming to town.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    I agree in principle, but the basketball Tigers aren't heading to New Orleans. The fans might be spent, but the players on the court will be locked in on our jerseys.
    .
    This is such an interesting dynamic. I mean, has there ever been a more explosive four days for any university athletic program? Wow, breaking an 0-59 versus a perennial power, two days later the Natty in FB, then hosting your BB Super Bowl 24 hours after that? I think being at home, the BB players will be more caught up in either the elation or depression, depending on how the FB game goes, than they would be spending the night in a Durham hotel before the game.

    If Dabo's boys win tonight...tomorrow at Littlejohn may be forgotten...or it may be a huge orange celebration possibility. If Clemson loses tonight, there will be no atmosphere or energy in Littlejohn...for Duke.

    But again, to my memory, this is uncharted territory for an athletic program...
    Don't waste your time on House of Cards S6!
    -We found out Frank was critical to making anyone else in the show interesting...not a surprise...

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