Tigers finish non-conference schedule 11-1
Entering Friday’s game Louisiana-Lafayette averaged 88 points per game, 13th among teams in Division I. However, they were held to just 60 points as Clemson cruised to an 89-60 victory over the Ragin’ Cajuns (10-3).
Clemson improved to 11-1, the best record against non-conference foes in the regular season by a Tiger team since 2008-09 when that team went 14-0.
In the first half Clemson held the Ragin’ Cajuns to just 28 points shooting just 31-percent from the field and 29-percent from three-point land.
Louisiana-Lafayette took an 8-7 lead with 16:53 to play following a Clemson turnover but that would be the only bright spot on the afternoon for the team from Lafayette.
The Tigers played excellent defense Friday afternoon, holding their opponent to 28.1-percent from the field and forcing 10 turnovers. Head coach Brad Brownell is pleased with the way his team is defending lately.
“Our guys are giving us good effort with focus and attention to details” he said.
“Our last two games and portions of the Florida game we have defended really well, I am pleased with how we have approached things so far” said Brownell.
Redshirt-junior David Skara had his most impressive game of the season Friday afternoon scoring 11 points with 3 rebounds.
During Friday’s football media availability with Dabo Swinney the Clemson coach hailed Skara as his favorite player because of his toughness on defense.
After reclaiming the lead with under 16 minutes to play in the first half the Tigers never looked back and continued to pour it on the opposition.
Donte Grantham had another successful night from the floor leading Tiger shooters with 17 points and 10 rebounds for a double-double, his third on the season. He also became the 39th player in Clemson history to eclipse 1,000 points.
Grantham is happy to be among the elite players in program history but stats are not his top priority.
“I’m just happy to be in the club but stats don’t matter it’s about wins and losses” said Grantham. “If you win the stats and other things will come.”
Clemson continued to pour it on in the second half outscoring its opponent 46-32. Jumping out to a large lead allowed younger Tigers to get minutes.
Freshman Clyde Trapp looked good in his eight minutes of work showing his range with a pair of three pointers finishing with eight points on the afternoon. The young player looked impressive and gave Tiger fans a glimpse into the future.
Brownell liked what he saw from the freshman guard Friday afternoon and has seen the game start to slow down for him recently as a result of his growth.
“He asks a lot of questions and he is not afraid to speak, because of that his confidence has grown since he’s learned more” said Brownell.
The win should be good enough to get Clemson into the top 25, a week ago they earned 35 votes and the 28th spot in the AP poll, they entered the game 24th in the RPI.
However, Brownell says he is not worried about the polls right now and is just focused on the start of the conference schedule.
The Tigers are back in action hosting North Carolina State in the first game of ACC play on December 30 in Littlejohn Coliseum.