Jaron Blossomgame has been the face of Clemson basketball for the past two seasons. He passed up entering the NBA Draft last year in order to come back and be the heartbeat of the 2016-’17 Clemson basketball team.
While this year has been largely disappointing for the Tigers, Blossomgame has been a bright spot averaging 17.4 points per game and 6.1 rebounds.
After not being able to finish in close games several times this year, including a 1-9 mark in ACC games decided by six points or less, the Tigers were finally able to hold N.C. State in the last seconds for a 78-74 victory at Littlejohn Coliseum on Wednesday.
Blossomgame was a large part of the win, especially since he had no points at halftime and was shooting 2-of-10 from the field with 6 minutes left to play in the game. He closed the game shooting 3-of-5 with 10 of his 16 points in the last 6:34 minutes.
After being held scoreless for most of the game, Blossomgame said he just failed to find a rhythm in the first 30 minutes.
“I just missed shots,” he said. “I got shots that I usually take every game, I just couldn’t make them. It feels actually very very good. We’ve been playing well all year, just been on the tough side of things.”
He said the coaches helped him find his shot in the last five minutes of the game.
“The coaches really drew up a lot of plays for me,” said Blossomgame. “We ran them and executed them down the stretch and that’s something we haven’t done in the past and fortunately we did it tonight.”
After so many close losses, Blossomgame said it felt good to finally close out a close game
With several of those close losses coming on a buzzer beater, Blossomgame said his heart stopped a little bit, and said that Dennis Smith’s last second shot ended the same way the last time the Wolfpack was in Death Valley.
“A little bit, but I saw it was wide right,” said Blossomgame.
Notching a couple wins to close the season is crucial for the Tigers, especially as they prepare for the ACC Tournament coming up in Brooklyn.
“It’s huge,” he said. “We’ve shown all year that we can play with the best of the best and can compete at a high level. When we do that we can beat anyone in this conference.”
With Saturday being Senior Day and the last game of the regular season for Clemson, Blossomgame said his last moments as a Tiger in Littlejohn will be very emotional.
“I was actually a little emotional today and yesterday, all week really…for me to know that my last game in Littlejohn is coming up is pretty emotional,” he said.
The Tigers take on Boston College at 4 p.m. on Saturday for their final regular season game.