07 March 2008


Clemson traveled to Atlanta last night to face Georgia Tech for their senior night game and fell hard 80-75. The game was close than even the score indicates, with both teams trading leads throughout the game until Tech took a slim lead with 10 left to play and hung on. Clemson hung on to the very end. A bit o' bullshit occurred when Cliff Hammonds ran into another Tiger teeth first and hit the ground hard, lying face down. The officials failed to stop play, as the NCAA rules clearly dictate when a player is injured and in a situation where he could be further harmed. I think a Clemson player sprawled out on his stomach, barely moving, in the fucking paint is cause for an officials' time out. However no such pause was called, and Tech used its 5 on 4 advantage to drain a three and extend their tiny lead with 2:41 to go. Add this to a blatant no-call on a foul on an attempted KC Rivers layup near the very end of the game and you have just cause to be a little pissed about the officiating.


So I said I thought there were some deficiencies in the way the game was called. I feel that that's true, but it is not the reason Clemson lost. Again the Tigers lose a game down the stretch that they should've had well in hand if they could hit their damned free throws. Clemson was 9-17 at the charity stripe (basketball lingo!), a stat that doesn't include the missed frontends of one-and-ones. For whatever reason, Cliff Hammonds (DFIG's favorite Tiger cager) was handling the ball in the last minute of the game. A 44% career free throw shooter should not be the guy streaking to the basket and getting to the line when it counts. I'm not taking anything away from Cliff, he is a monster. He played with a broken wrist and still put up 15 and 8 and came right back into the game after breaking a tooth. Nonetheless he shouldn't have been the guy shooting FTs at the end.

The bigger picture we're looking at is whether or not Clemson can hang on to a top-4 spot in the league to get that valuable first round bye in the ACC Tournament. A victory against Virginia Tech on Clemson's senior night is really a must. Damnit Tigers, you lost to a 12-16 team and played absolutely sloppy and flat most of the time, and had no excuse not to seal the deal with this game. We will be doing a Q&A with a VT blog about the game, that should be up soon.