After getting off to such a slow start in Friday’s season opening, 85-57, win over Western Carolina, Clemson got rolling when Gabe DeVoe drained a three-pointer from the right wing to spark a 22-2 run to close the first half.
But forward Donte Grantham said the Tigers’ offensive outburst over the final 7:13 of the first half was just a glimpse of what they are capable off when everyone is on the same page.
“We are, and it’s not that we just got going, but we are such an offensive team,” the senior said. “We have so many guys that can have a good night on any night. That was just a flash of how we can play.”
It was flash that showed some promise for a team many are wondering about considering there are so many new faces on the roster, whether by transfer or freshmen.
Of course in the season opener, it was the older faces that shined the brightest. Grantham led the way with a game-high 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting, while also grabbing five rebounds. He was also 3-for-3 from behind the arch as well.
“I think he is shooting the ball well,” Clemson head coach Brad Brownell said. “He is putting in good time. We do shoot around at 7:15 in the morning and I got in here and Donte was already in and getting shots up.
“I think you see that from older players that realize this is extremely important and their sense of urgency is really high.”
Besides Grantham, DeVoe and Elijah Thomas added 11 points each for Clemson, while Marcquise Reed tallied 10 points. Point guard Shelton Mitchell had 6 points to go along with his 6 assist.
“It was a good start for our team,” Brownell said. “I’m really happy for our players. You could see the excitement that we had all the way through the roster. That is really how you want an opening game to go.
“We had to work a little bit in the first 10 minutes and make a few plays, but I thought in the mid part of the first half we did some good things.”
After a slow start, Clemson took control of the game in the last seven minutes of the first half. With 7:13 to play in the opening half, DeVoe drained a three-pointer from the wing that started a 22-2 run to end the first half.
“I think our defense led to transition,” Reed said. “We got some turnovers. We got some steals. We got some long rebounds that led to transition. We when are all playing in the open floor, I think we are a hard team to stop.”
The Tigers shot 50 percent from the field (27-54), including 43-percent from behind the three-point line (6-14). Clemson also connected on 25-of-31 free throws.
“It was a nice way to play,” Brownell said. “I thought we played very well late (in the first half). One of the big things was we had them in the bonus because on defense we got stops, we got out in transition and we got a lot of transition attacks and we got fouled.
“There were a couple of times we had baskets taken away, but it got us in the bonus right away. So we played bonus free basketball for a good part at the end of the half … those are little things that we try to work on and coach.”
Clemson will be back in action Sunday when it hosts North Carolina A&T at 2 p.m.