After the injury to Donte Grantham, Clemson basketball managed to hold things together. This wasn’t an easy process, though, and it didn’t come without some bumps in the road — the Tigers dropped three straight in mid-February (FSU, Duke, Virginia Tech).
Arriving at this point — one of 16 teams still playing for a title — was a collective effort; however, the Tigers aren’t moving onto the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1997 without the improved scoring of Gabe DeVoe.
DeVoe has been a stud for Clemson all season, and he’s maintained that high level of play in the Big Dance.
In 62 minutes of action across two tournament games, DeVoe has scored 44 points on 18-of-28 shooting (64.3 FG%) — 8-of-14 from beyond the arc (57.1 3P%). This type of shooting is how it’s possible to score 44 points on 28 field goal attempts without attempting a free throw.
DeVoe splashed six three-pointers in Clemson’s blowout win over Auburn; he’s one of eight players to accomplish that feat in a game during the opening week of the tournament.
Prior to that, in the win over New Mexico State, DeVoe went 10-of-15 from the field, including 5-of-6 shooting on transition possessions (11 points), per Synergy Sports.
For the season, DeVoe has scored 1.1 points per possession on spot-ups (57.6 eFG%), good for 16th in the ACC (minimum of 100 possessions). DeVoe has been prolific in transition this season, too. According to Synergy, DeVoe has scored 1.2 points per possession with an effective shooting rate of 64.7 percent on transition attempts.
The Jayhawks await
Omaha is the site for Clemson’s matchup with No. 1 seed Kansas. The Jayhawks feature a powerful perimeter trio: Devonte’ Graham (the Big 12 Player of the Year), Malik Newman and the hyper-athletic Lagerald Vick.
Kansas is a really good team, but Bill Self’s squad is driven by its offense — No. 5 nationally in efficiency, per KenPom. On defense, opportunities may present themselves for a Clemson team look to land an upset.
The Jayhawks rank 46th nationally in defensive efficiency, and opponents have shot 33.1 percent on three-pointers. That’s not a great clip, but this team isn’t razor-sharp at wing defense. In six of Kansas’ seven losses this season, opponents shot 39 percent or better from beyond the arc.