Tigers can’t afford poor shooting, wasted possessions

Tigers can’t afford poor shooting, wasted possessions

Basketball

Tigers can’t afford poor shooting, wasted possessions

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Clemson ranks 11th in the ACC in foul shooting

Clemson is hoping today’s game against Wake Forest will get it back in rhythm as it tries to continue to build momentum at the midway point of the season.

To do that, however, the Tigers need to start making shots, something they did not do in their last game at NC State. Clemson had its three-game win streak snapped this past Saturday thanks to a horrible shooting performance at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The Tigers (9-8, 3-4 ACC) connected on just 20 of 53 shots, including a dreadful 5 of 20 effort from three-point range. But the game was really lost at the foul line, where they went just 9 for 23 in a 60-54 loss to the Wolfpack.

“We had a tough day the other day at PNC Arena,” Clemson head coach Brad Brownell said. “We shot nine for 23 and that is really frustrating when some of those possessions are good offensive possessions that are creating fouls. We are not getting points for it and it is hard to win that way.”

Clemson, who beat Duke last Tuesday at Littlejohn Coliseum, was just 11 for 22 at the foul line against the Blue Devils. For the season, the Tigers have made just 67.1 percent of their shots from the charity stripe, which ranks 11th in the ACC.

Brownell can’t point to a reason why some of his best shooters are struggling. Clyde Trapp missed both of his attempts the other day, as did John Newman, while Hunter Tyson was just 3-for-6. Tevin Mack was just 2-for-4. They were golden opportunities for the Tigers to get points that turned into wasted possessions, which ultimately cost them the game.

When asked was it fatigue or just something mental against the Wolfpack, Brownell did not have an answer as to why Clemson continues to struggle at the foul line, an issue that has dated back to their trip to Italy this past summer in the World University Games.

“I don’t know. I wish I had the answer. That would be very valuable,” he said. “Some of it is probably a little bit [mental]. You miss a couple and think about it a little bit. I also think sometimes certain guys are better free throw shooters and maybe get into a little bit better rhythm and make shots.

“Maybe those guys get fouled a little bit more so your numbers are a little bit better.”

One of those guys is forward Aamir Simms, Clemson’s leading scorer. He went to the foul line just three times against NC State and was 2-for-3. The Tigers will need to get Simms to the foul a little more today when they host Wake (9-8, 2-5) in a key ACC Showdown at Littlejohn Coliseum.

Tip for today’s game is scheduled for 8 p.m., and can be seen on the ACC Network.

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