Face It, This Team is Finished

Posted: February 10, 2010 by El Swann in Basketball, Clemson

I have never been one to throw in the towel, but after watching this basketball team the past few weeks it’s hard to see this season ending on a positive note. I can only hope that I get to eat my words and that you all will hold me to it. But I would suggest getting those NIT plans together because the NCAA tournament isn’t happening.

First of all, as I mentioned on this week’s Clemson Hotline, I don’t see the passion from the coaching staff that one would expect at this point in the year. Heck, Larry Shyatt picked up technical fouls when he thought we were getting shafted. I’m not saying that Oliver Purnell doesn’t care, but where is his fire right now? This team is in a tailspin and I want to see Coach Purnell getting hot!

I have seen poor officiating all year and I don’t recall one single technical being called on Oliver Purnell. Do I want my coach to be a loose canon? No. Do I want him to get in the refs face when there are obvious mistakes? Yeah! Who wouldn’t. I expected Oliver to get one to show the team he was ticked off at Virginia Tech, but it never came. I was as frustrated with the coaching staff as I have been in his career.

Secondly, we can’t shoot. Losing Rivers and Oglesby was certain to hurt us, but when people thought David Potter would be their replacement, I knew we were in trouble. Potter has his flashes, but most of the time he is a deer in the headlights. I don’t think he possesses the killer instinct necessary to knock down big shots.

Sadly, we don’t have a single guy on the roster who has the ability to hit important shots, or for that matter, to create their own shot at any point during the game. Andre Young is a nice option, but he is too small and can’t create a mid-range opportunities because of his size. Eventually, the guy who could do it is Noel Johnson, but he is still too young and inexperienced. If Johnson gets confident, he could be amazing. The kid can flat out stroke the basketball. I see a ton of upside, but this season’s time is running out.

On the flipside, since we can’t shoot, we can’t press. The press has been a staple of Oliver Purnell coached teams. If you are not hitting shots or getting fast break buckets, you are not able to set up the press. When we can’t set the press, we don’t get easy points, and our shooting percentage sinks. It’s a sad but true cycle.

Lastly, look at the half court offensive sets. Is there a team in the ACC that runs their offense any worse than we do? Can you identify what we are trying to do in the half court? I’ve compared it to bad square dancing. No one seems to know where they are supposed to be or what they are supposed to be doing. I hate to be harsh, but it ‘s tough to watch. We have guys who should be slashers standing around the perimeter with no cuts or screens. I’m not an offensive expert, but I can spot poor execution.

I fully expect Florida State to come in to Littlejohn tonight and cruise to victory. I think the Seminoles win it by 15 points or so and here’s why.

They will be more aggressive, control the tempo and more importantly the paint. It’s easy to see that if you eliminate Trevor Booker you will beat the Clemson Tigers. Solomon Alabi will have one job on defense, hold down Booker and help out on Grant.

In addition to that, Clemson has played passively over the past few weeks and Florida State has seen it on film. I think they will attack Clemson early and hope for a quick knockout punch.

Take note of the attitude that Florida State plays with tonight. That’s how Clemson will need to play from now on if they want to save this season.  Right now, I’m banking on a 6-10 conference record. Until I see a change on the court, Clemson’s NCAA dreams are finished.

  1. Wil Alexander says:

    You are better than this ElSwann! Do not jump ship yet

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