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TD: Clemson Preview/Blog

Date: 1/15/2012

Two Dukies  
Posted By: Matt

Volume XV, Episode 4
January 15, 2012

#8 DUKE (14-2, 2-0) @ CLEMSON (9-7, 1-1)

Matt's comments in blue. 
Gorace Hrant's comments in white.

COWARD UNDER FIRE DEPARTMENT:    So you're losing by 33 on the road, despite the fact that the Espenator GameDay Dweebs called you winning by 48 and chortled mightily at the mere idea that the opponent could give you anything resembling a challenge.  Do you:

(a)  Sack up and take the loss like a man
(b)  Rip into your guys in the locker room and question their toughness
(c)  With 14.7 seconds remaining, create a massive spectacle out of yourself and passive-aggressively try to dampen the opponents' win by leaving the court along with your entire team and staff, BUT leave five walk-ons in the middle of the floor to be trampled by the crowd you're so desperately afraid of, and, as a bonus, make sure to blame the whole thing on the opposing coach in the postgame presser

Rrhoid, ladies and gentlemen.  Easily one of the largest, flush-defying turds in all of sports. 

THANKS, FLORIDA STATE AND FANS UNDER LEN HAMILTON DEPARTMENT:  We appreciate you getting up for someone else besides us at home.  If you don't have anything left in the tank on February 23, that's okay too.  

BILASS DEPARTMENT:  What was his excuse this time?  It's not easy to handwave a 33-point loss, but you know that Jay will find a way for his favorite team. 

PREDICTED AP POLL RESPONSE DEPARTMENT:  NCCH down to #7.  Florida State appears in the poll at #22.

UNDER HIS OWN POWER/FRESH 35 ON THE SHOT CLOCK DENOUNCING THE ANNOUNCING DEPARTMENT:  Wait, so Fox considers KAlbert/Johnston/Siragusa to be its #2 NFL announcing team.  Really?  Albert is competent but boring, and Johnston's emotionless delivery, combined with Siragusa's utter buffoonery and ability to make anyone dumber merely by speaking to them, actually made the Saints/49ers game - - the last five clock minutes of which should have made it one of the most exciting divisional playoff games in recent memory - - DULL.  I was sitting there trying to imagine Gus Johnson calling things, just to keep myself awake.  I mean, Joe Buck would have been screaming at the end of that one.  Albert and Johnston carried on like they were ordering dinner, while Siragusa got advice from a production assistant on how to tie a tie without looking peerlessly stupid.  Awesome, Fox.  Awesome. 

HAZARD PAY, PLEASE DEPARTMENT:  So I actually went roster by roster on NBA.com - - I site I have never previously visited - - and found the same 15 former Duke players on rosters that I discussed in the last edition's comments section, so I'm not sure where ESPN got that "17 players" stat, unless they're counting Lance Thomas, who's in the D-League, and Kyle Singler.  Fine with me.  (I'm assuming that the Neeba's own site keeps its rosters current, but that's probably not a true statement.)  By the way, Jeff Capel Sr. is a Neeba assistant, Kevin McHale coaches the Rockets, P.J. Carlesimo has a job, Jarrett Jack is in the Association, so is Shumpert, and Flip Saunders is a white man.  This was all headline news to me, but if it isn't to you, you, sir or madam, are an NBA expert.  Congratulations!  I must now take five showers.  

NICE WIN, DUKE DEPARTMENT:   Apparently, a majority of bulletin board Duke fans was unimpressed with Duke's win on Thursday.  Why?  That was Virginia's second loss of the season - - are they not for real or something?  And sure, the rebounding was bad and the free throw shooting caused the game tape to be slapped with an NC-17 rating, but . . . well . . . Duke played pretty good defense, no?  Just ask Mike Scott's second half.  Or Sammy Zeglinski's whole game.  Obviously, this season's boxscores are frequently tough to read, but, well, Virginia under Tony Bennett can magnify that, and as I mentioned in the comments section, Duke shot pretty darn well from two-point range.  I even spotted Austin Rivers playing some fairly tight second-half defense.  But now, let's win on on the (gasp) road. 


Milton Jennings, 6-9 JR - - former Mickie D AA routinely murders Duke, NCCH, looks like a stiff against everyone else.  Well, at least he's equal opportunity.  8.7 ppg this year on pretty average shooting, but he's also the Tigers' second-leading boardsman at 5.7 rpg. 

Devin Booker, 6-8 JR - - 10.6 ppg and 6.6 rpg to lead the team on the glass, but he's shooting under 50%, doesn't hit well at the line, and he's dealing out more fouls than Dave "The Hammer" Schultz. 

T.J. Sapp, 6-3 FR - - Whew!  Their third guard/wing forward is shorter than Austin Rivers!  Sapp is a freshman who bombs and bombs from three-point, but doesn't play great defense and refrains from burdening the stat sheet in other areas, apart from steals. 

Andre Young, 5-9 SR - - the point guard, now firmly entrenched alone in that role after the graduation of Demontez Stitt.  3.4 to 1.3 A/TO, he doesn't miss at the line, he's the Tigers' leading scorer (13.1 ppg in a slowdown offense) and he collects 1.8 thefts per game on the defensive end.   

Tanner Smith, 6-5 SR - - now in his fifth four-year term thanks to the voters of Pickens County, Smith originally came to Clemson with Tree Rollins.  I know some of you like me to refer to guys who take a lot of threes and seemingly eschew the area of the court within the bonus arc as "soulless three-point gunners."  Smith pretty much heads up the Soulless Gunners' ACC chapter.  In all seriousness, though, he's taking a lot more shots from two-point land than I would have expected.  Not footspeed fast, but can create his own shot and is a pretty decent, quick defender.

BENCH?  Sure. 

Rod Hall, 6-2 FR - - he was more of a football player in HS, and usually that means trouble, but not under Brownell.  Hall had 7 points in 15 minutes up in Chestnut Hill in the Tigers' last game, which they lost, but he looked strong on both ends. 

Catalin Baciu, 7-2 SR - - led the team in bench minutes (23) against BeeCee, but did not score while collecting two bounds and a block.  I don't know - - if you have to play this guy for that many minutes, it could come back to Baciu!  Guaranteed to see time in the middle against the Plumlees. 

K.J. McDaniels, 6-6 FR - - this is probably that Scouting Report Guy, meaning the guy that Collins and Wojo don't quite get to, who then goes off for 15-19 points.  Hasn't done anything all year but is really athletic, so if you're not cueing the Bootsy music (funk bass, of course), something's wrong with your game preparedness, no?  (Hope not.)

Bryan Narcisse, 6-6 SR - - gets a little too taken with himself.  Get it?  Get it? 

Bernard Sullivan, 6-8 FR - - basically Booker's backup.  I'm only going this deep because they're Clemson and I like them. 

BY THE WAY:  Other than Duke, Clemson has one of the coolest mid-court logos in all of Division I basketball.  The enormous cat paw in the middle of the court - - I love it.  What a great homecourt Littlejohn is.     

BOTTOM LINE THIS FOR ME, PLEASE:  Like GIT, Clemson has a new coach (I mean, Brownell came in last season, but he's still pretty shiny), and when the Tiggers beat Alabama-Birmingham last season in the NCAAs, it was about as much as Sir Purr accomplished in his whole Clemson career.  (By the way: DePaul went 9-3 against a Hostessy OOC sked, but is now rounding into form with a 1-4 Big Least record.)  The defense is tough, they don't allow a lot of offensive rebounds or hot shooting, and they have reasonable control of the ball.  Now, here's something that I would LOVE to see on one of these SportsInfominion releases - - when was, do you think, the last time that Duke came into a game trailing Clemson in free throw shooting?  69.7% to 67.9%.  Wow!  However, Clemson is relatively short, they don't get to the line very often (#251 of 351 in FTA/FGA, or free throw rate), and their field goal shooting isn't all that great, either.  Some of their losses came to pretty bad teams and their signature win is, well, sorry, Roid, but it was beating Florida State at home by 20 two Saturdays ago.  I bet Brownell *and* Listless Len hung around for all of that one.  The upshot is that Clemson is beatable, but given Duke's road woes, which as usual stem from too much neutral-court coddling, this could be anyone's game.  We'll see.  Let's go, Duke!!

PREDICTION:  Duke, but barely. 

Duke 68, Clemson 63.

Please add your comments below, before, during, and after.  Thanks.

Last Edition

Matt 1-0

This Season
Matt  2-1 

Last Edition's Score Prediction Margin Variance

Last Season:
Matt 52-18
Guests 3-3



View more articles from this category


Posted by: Matt Date: 1/20/2012 7:46:49 PM  
Sorry, folks; I'm traveling for work and had to miss the WFU game. I didn't even save it on DVR; hope it's on ESPN3 as it looks like a nice result.

I doubt I'll be able to do an edition for the FSU game, either - - too tired. But maybe I can at least put up a game thread. Hope everyone, all 11 of you, are well.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 1/19/2012 7:41:28 PM  

Posted by: Matt Date: 1/19/2012 2:58:15 AM  
One of the funniest things ever. Don't fail to click on that link, folks. Part of the reason why it's so funny is because those sorts of historical plaques dot the landscape in North Carolina, to a nearly ridiculous extent. My personal favorite is one on some random street corner in downtown (I don't do fake names for downtowns) Charlotte, on the side of a building, that suddenly announces that that was the last place that Jeff Davis met with the Confederate cabinet. Mkay! Good to know! But the Lost Colony is even better.

Posted by: Steve!! Date: 1/18/2012 4:45:37 PM  
I'd bet the ESPN stat on current NBA Duke players came from Wikipedia. They list 17 players (of which two are Singler and Thomas).

Posted by: T. Randall Taylor Date: 1/18/2012 9:35:53 AM  
Seems to work. Enjoy the link below ya'll.

Posted by: T. Randall Taylor Date: 1/18/2012 9:35:25 AM  

Posted by: T. Randall Taylor Date: 1/18/2012 9:34:59 AM  


Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 1/16/2012 11:40:39 PM  
**Dateline: Moscow, 15.01.12

In an unnoticeable apartment highrise, Martyn Pocius watches Seth Curry and asks, "explain to me one more time why I was blackballed?"**

Weird coincidence: I was trying to formulate a Pocius joke during the game myself! (Glad I didn't post it, as your effort shames my material.)

Posted by: blueflame Date: 1/16/2012 12:27:17 PM  
Overall a pretty good game by Coach K and the guys in dark blue. It is a little disappointing that we were out-rebounded, yet again. I think Austin peaked in December...

Posted by: ClemsonGuest Date: 1/16/2012 12:10:53 AM  
I'm not all that disappointed. This was Clemson's second-best game of the year, behind the FSU win. The end result was 60% due to Duke hitting well-timed key THREE!s and 40% our awful free throw shooting.

The T on Dawkins was deserved. But Miles shouldn't have been called for any foul for elbowing since I don't think he touched Tanner. I wonder where Tanner got that Tyler Hansbot DVD.

I liked the fact that the arena contained maybe 15% Duke fans. Even as late as 2005 or so, when the Devils or Goats visited, so many Clemson season ticket holders gave/sold their tix to out-of-towners that it'd always be about 40% blue.

Matt should predict a 25-point win over Wake Forest Thursday. I'm glad we get WF twice ... and Duke just once.

Posted by: tom Date: 1/15/2012 9:49:34 PM  
Definately a slow start but you see K called a time out, unlike some coach we all know. And I just wanted to say a couple of things about that. Duke message board (and others) were big on Roy leaving with 14 seconds left. I did remind the guys that in 2006 K did the same sort of thing when he took the starters out and they left the floor but K did stay out there (which I forgot) and it is a big difference. And K was hounded by the hole fans for doing this. Of course, I got crap about my fact checking and that K stayed with his team. Which is a big difference and I'll be interested to see some of the UNC fans at work on their take of it. This is why I don't post on there much. Maybe from now on, I should start off with "correct me if I'm wrong..." Really felt Duke dependend too much on the threes at the beginning of the game where Miles and Mason were playing well. You can see K is trying to set something up with Kelly and Seth handling the ball when trying to run the clock out. Dawkins did great. I knew he was getting a technical on the dunk. Hubert Davis was ok commenting on the game and he even said that flagrant on Miles was such BS. How can the officials look at that on video and actually thing that was flagrant. Is there something in the rules that they are required to call it a flagrant one or two? It was such obviously an acting job. Mason made all of his free throws. And that was great of him to tip that ball out in the waning seconds. So, this was a nice basketball weekend. Would have been great if Kentucky lost. It's still a long season and anything can happen. Next couple of games should be something to see. Have a great Monday guys.

Posted by: Serious G Date: 1/15/2012 8:07:18 PM  
Good win, guys. Imperfect? Yes - but a good win in any event!

Go Duke!
Go Giants!

Posted by: Mark Buckner Date: 1/15/2012 8:05:42 PM  
Dateline: Moscow, 15.01.12

In an unnoticeable apartment highrise, Martyn Pocius watches Seth Curry and asks, "explain to me one more time why I was blackballed?"

Posted by: Serious G Date: 1/15/2012 8:03:42 PM  
Clutch FTs by Duke

Posted by: Serious G Date: 1/15/2012 8:00:45 PM  
Dawk! Big 3!

Posted by: Serious G Date: 1/15/2012 7:53:04 PM  
Seth coming up big at the line

Posted by: Serious G Date: 1/15/2012 7:48:23 PM  
CDG - Giants movin' on!!!!

Posted by: CDG Date: 1/15/2012 7:47:27 PM  
Really??? Really???? I knew that would be called even if it was a BS call.

Posted by: Serious G Date: 1/15/2012 7:46:56 PM  
Another one - BS tech call on Dawk

Posted by: CDG Date: 1/15/2012 7:43:40 PM  
Karl Hess strikes again, granting a Flagrant 1 on an obvious flop. The cheque from UNC is in the mail...

Posted by: Serious G Date: 1/15/2012 7:38:58 PM  
ok that foul on Miles was BS!

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 1/15/2012 7:33:57 PM  
Ugh with the offensive doldrums. Or Keystone Cops routine.

Posted by: Serious G Date: 1/15/2012 7:25:57 PM  
Mason with the big O board

Posted by: Serious G Date: 1/15/2012 7:13:35 PM  
Huge 3 dawk, just huge

Posted by: Serious G Date: 1/15/2012 7:09:05 PM  
Nice finish by Seth

Posted by: CDG Date: 1/15/2012 6:51:41 PM  
Thanks Fats! Will definitely help to keep the peace. :) We are also doing some picture-in-picture action here, but the feed is totally helpful!

Our offensive boarding is not impressing me, but otherwise I am pretty good with the first half. We really need to be feeding it inside as it is clear they can't defend us. While the 3's are falling now, we need to do more dribble offense.

Serious G: Giants on top!

Posted by: Serious G Date: 1/15/2012 6:51:33 PM  
Balk-o-stiff a little more involved in this game than I would like

Posted by: Serious G Date: 1/15/2012 6:47:20 PM  
Great D boys

Posted by: Serious G Date: 1/15/2012 6:37:08 PM  
Miles is really bringing it on both ends

Posted by: Serious G Date: 1/15/2012 6:34:16 PM  
Dawk with the finish!

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 1/15/2012 6:30:26 PM  
Matt: can't believe Baciu didn't get the Balk-o-stiff descriptor!

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 1/15/2012 6:29:08 PM  
CDG: http://www.justin.tv/sportzzworld26#/w/2443182432/2

Posted by: Serious G Date: 1/15/2012 6:28:33 PM  
Miles again with the inside work

Posted by: Serious G Date: 1/15/2012 6:26:31 PM  
CDG - Go Giants!

Posted by: Serious G Date: 1/15/2012 6:26:08 PM  
Kelly stepping up with some good boards

Posted by: CDG Date: 1/15/2012 6:24:29 PM  
Classic fight going on in my house: boyfriend wanting NFL, girlfriend wanting Duke game. I will get possession of the remote at halftime but after that... it will be sporadic. Good thing I am also a Giants fan! Nice TD to end the first half too. :)

Just a note on yesterday's Tallahassee fiasco. First, I called the loss with my boyfriend when I heard that Willy had kept the Holes at home for the last EIGHT games or so. Doing some pretty basic math, that means the Dirty Footmen had NOT been outside the confines of the Whine and Cheese Dome since 2011. That is NOT good preparation for winning on the road in the ACC, in my very humble opinion. I said "These morons are going to get slaughtered". And they did. Props to the Staties who accomplished a new phenomenon called the "PSBANC" (copyright infringement on Matt for that one).

Second, Roy's departure was ridiculous. I am sure he will get lots of accolades from morons, like Shillas, for putting the benchwarmers on the floor in such a clear loss ("He's a great teacher" or some crap like that). Congrats, Roy, on recognizing the obvious. But leaving like that - regardless of who counseled you to do so - shows an enormous amount of disdain for the Florida State team and its fans. Just so, so gross.

Now, as for THIS game, I am not happy with their performance so far. Still early but not good.

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 1/15/2012 6:20:16 PM  
And by "see", I mean watch through pixelation that is reminiscent of video games of the 1980s.

Posted by: Serious G Date: 1/15/2012 6:19:37 PM  
Just an awful start...I know K had to send a msg to the starters, but we played without a creator on offense for too long

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 1/15/2012 6:11:59 PM  
Is it just me, or is Hubert gibbering with glee at Clemson's successes?

Posted by: Serious G Date: 1/15/2012 6:10:51 PM  
yes Miles, give us more of the post play

Posted by: Fats "Lazer" Durston Date: 1/15/2012 6:06:42 PM  
And here I was pleased that I got to *see* the game via some streaming shenanigans.

Posted by: Serious G Date: 1/15/2012 6:05:23 PM  
Take care of the ball guys...sloppy start

Posted by: ClemsonGuest Date: 1/15/2012 2:21:08 PM  
Hey, glad the preview's posted before I left for an early supper and then for Littlejohn. Tonight can't be too much of a downer for me considering recent events. Pickens County and the surrounding areas are still reeling from the Orange Bowl ... and Matt will remember that I'm also a longtime Saints fan.

Another great mid-court logo: Richmond. I wonder how many opposing players go "don't step in the cracks" at least during warmups.

Look up last year's TD Clemson game preview for my thoughts on Milton Jennings and Oliver DePoornell. Nothing's changed on the 1:30 a.m.-departing jackass now in Chicago.

Milton has improved a little bit, having enjoyed possibly his best game ever as a Tiger a week ago against FSU. He still has his moments where you figure there'll be a turnover once he touches the ball, but he is a better rebounding force. The problem down low is that Devin Booker has not improved much from year to year, and taking into account his foul-prone state, he may have actually regressed. Being compared to his brother isn't helping.

Baciu, called "Bobo" by everyone including the PA announcer, has improved, but that just means he warrants more than the 4 minutes a game he saw a year ago. He's basically there to alter opponents' shots. Sullivan is not ready for prime time. At some point today you'll see a Clemson lineup with Milton or D-Booker and four guards, or three guards and Narcisse at PF. Not exactly imposing in the paint, huh? RK and the Plumdogs may be licking their chops.

Tanner Smith is amazing with his basketball smarts on both ends (he'd make a solid coach down the road if he chooses that route), but his shooting isn't as good as in past winters. So the best outside threats are Andre Young and T.J. Sapp. And I'd pick Rod Hall as the Scouting Report Guy/Bootsy candidate (or T.J. if Rod starts in his place). K.J. McDaniels had some good games in December and especially in the Tournament Formerly Known as the Rainbow Classic, but he hasn't played more than five minutes in any January contest.

Home court gives us hope. We have some winnable games coming up, but it'd take a really strong night from the shooters in the home jerseys if this became one of them, because we just don't have the consistent post presence.

Posted by: Serious G Date: 1/15/2012 2:12:31 PM  
Jennings & Booker frighten me a little bit, along with the potential for Young to bust us down on the perimeter. A capable PG, some inside athleticism and soulless 3-point gunners scare me. Matchups aside, I also worry about this particular Duke team's reaction to a very hostile road environment. Game on!

Hammer Schultz follow-up: The "classic" 1970s match between Philly & the USSR was recently shown on ESPN, the game in which the Soviets refused to return to the ice after some roughhousing by the Broad Street Crew. Many Canadians (not this one) consider this to be their favorite hockey game of all time.

Go Duke.

Also - go NY Giants.

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