Clemson will need its aggressive guard to have success against Orange’s zone
Following the loss to Duke last Saturday, Clemson head coach Brad Brownell took senior guard Clyde Trapp aside and had a little conversation. Trapp scored just two points against the Blue Devils and took just two shots, though he was on the floor for twenty-five minutes.
“It was not by design,” Brownell said. “I thought he was a little sluggish, probably tired. He did not really have any pop to him. We talked about it. I said, ‘Hey man. I can’t be playing you twenty-five or thirty minutes in games and you are just going to take two shots. He did not have it.”
Trapp got the message.
Against North Carolina, the guard came out aggressive and attacked the Tar Heels’ defense with penetrating drives in the lane that sparked the Tigers to a 16-point lead in the first 20 minutes of the game. He took seven shots in the first half, making three of them, while recording one assist.
“I just think that is one of my assets, just putting pressure on the paint,” Trapp said. “Once I get pressure on the paint, then it kind of opens up for everybody else. So, that was just kind of my focus.”
Trapp’s focus allowed him to finish with 14 points, nine rebounds and two assists in the Tigers’ 63-50 victory over UNC. And if Clemson (11-5, 5-5 ACC) is to get a second straight win today against Syracuse (2 p.m.) it will need a similar performance by its senior guard.
“My teams, and Aamir [Simms] and Clyde especially, they are physically drained after these games,” Brownell said. “They are really good athletes, but they are not the kind of guys that can do it every day, all day. They throw so much into it and expend a ton of energy. There are days, every once in a while, they need to take it easy.
“This was a long stretch for us. Third game in seven days, plus practices leading into that game. I mean we had really hard practices Monday and Tuesday. We had not been off since (Jan.24). I think, you are going to feel that, but tonight he regrouped, and I thought he really set the tone with his ability to attack.”
There was no conversation with his head coach following the UNC win. Trapp did what Brownell asked. He was aggressive and he shot the ball, making six of his 13 field goal attempts.
“It is just knowing how to do your job, honestly,” Trapp said.
He will be asked to do his job again today against Syracuse’s zone defense. Having an aggressive Clyde Trapp can go a long way in how the Tigers’ success will go in attacking the zone.