Expect to Win

Posted: January 14, 2010 by Doctor A in Basketball, Opinion

With almost twenty minutes before tip-off, there was no longer a seat in Littlejohn Coliseum. The students, many which had been camping since last week were restless. From the minute Trevor Booker and the Clemson Tigers stepped onto the court, it was total domination. However when Noel Johnson knocked down back to back threes the scoring frenzy was on. After a flurry of points, the Tigers were up 40 to 18 with 6:29 remaining in the first half.

Crowd noise and defensive pressure were obviously factors as the North Carolina team was rattled committing fifteen turnovers in the first half alone. As surprising as it may seem, I believe the second half was the most positive half of the game. The Tigers proved that even without the three point shot (0-11) they could still maintain the lead against the Tarheels by making all thirteen of their free throws in the second half. This game provides the spark that the Tigers needed in their season. I was slightly disappointed as I watched the students rush the court after the win. Folks, this is a new era in Tiger Basketball. Let’s expect to win on our home court!

In their first six ACC games, Clemson faces Duke twice and North Carolina once. If the Tigers can pick up some key road wins against NC State and Georgia Tech, they could have a shot at going 5-1 during the toughest stretch of their schedule as Duke enters home court on January 23. Clemson fans should expect the Tigers to show marked improvement when Duke rolls into town.

Look for the Tigers to continue to mix up the defensive pressure showing multiple different presses. If they can keep up the defensive intensity on the road this could be Purnell’s best season at Clemson.

Students should now expect to protect our home court, even against Duke and North Carolina. Like I said, “This is a new era.”

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