This time last week, after he struggled to make any kind of shot or free throw in Clemson’s win over Wake Forest, people wondered just how effective Clyde Trapp can be just a month after returning from a serious knee injury.
But all of those questions seemingly were erased when he made a driving layup with 2.3 seconds to play to help the Tigers’ beat Syracuse, 71-70, Tuesday night at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson.
“Everybody wants to make a game winner,” Trapp said afterwards. “Especially on the collegiate level. Making the winning play, I feel like I’m an older guy, so I wanted to make the winning play to seal the deal for us.”
Trapp scored a career-high 17 points, while grabbing nine rebounds and dishing out six assists in the win. He was 6-for-9 from the field overall, including 4-of-7 from behind the arc, and made his one free throw attempt, which was an important three-point play in the closing minutes.
Tuesday’s performance was the second straight game in which the 6-4, 200-pound guard asserted himself. He scored a team-high 11 points last Saturday at Louisville and the Syracuse performance was his best one since coming back from his ACL injury.
In fact, it was best performance, from a statistical standpoint, in his carer.
“I wouldn’t say anything is different,” Trapp said. “Basketball is a weird game. I am staying with my routine. I am working out, staying in the gym. I don’t really think about the last game or the last shot too much. I just try to keep that next-play-mentality.”
Clemson head coach Brad Brownell is glad to see his point guard making plays again and feeling good about it.
“I think today’s game, being a little slow paced kind of helps him,” Brownell said. “That’s a lot of minutes for him to play right now but because the game was … they are kind of slow on offense and you’re slow on offense. I don’t think it was as grueling a 34 minutes as some games can be, so I think he had his legs under him the whole time. I think he was comfortable, made some shots early and was confident.
“I think all of that kind of played into it.”
And it all benefited Trapp, who in the final seconds had enough in his legs to get down the floor, get the ball from Khavon Moore and slash to the basket for the game-winning shot.
“I kind of glanced up at the clock. I think there was kind of 11 seconds left and I knew Coach did not really want to call a timeout right there because we were in transition and you do not want to give them time to set up their zone,” Trapp said. “I saw Khavon with the ball, so I figured I could get to the rim and make a play.”
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