Kuiper’s Three-Pointer: Clemson-N.C. State

College coaching consultant Denny Kuiper breaks down Clemson’s 73-56 win over N.C. State.

This is a very good win for Clemson.  Playing at home, tied with N.C. State in the conference with 6-6 records, it was important for the Tigers to get this win.  On the other hand, it would have been a very good win for the Wolfpack on the road, but State was not up to the task.

There were several situations in this game that I found interesting, so please allow me to deviate from the regular three pointers and comment on these many situations.

1) T.J. Warren’s Performance

T. J. Warren did not have a great game:  Please notice I didn’t write that he had a bad game; he just didn’t have a great game. He scored 20 points on 8-of-15 from the floor, but missed the front end of two one-and-ones in the second half.  He also had six turnovers. 

2) T.J. Warren: ACC Player Of The Year?

Last night was a so-so game from him and he still got 20. If the Wolfpack was a top four team in the league, I believe he would win player of the year award hands down. I think he has played the best of any player in the conference.

3) Syracuse Hangover

You almost could have predicted the Pack would be a little flat after Saturday’s heartbreaking loss. If you are Mark Gottfried, you would have liked this game to be played on Wednesday or Thursday. Tuesday night’s game was too soon after Saturday’s game for these young N.C. State players to get mentally ready for the next challenge.

4) Three Big Runs By Clemson

The Tigers started the game on a 7-0 run and the second half on a 9-0 run.  The final run was a 12-0 stretch starting at the nine-minute mark of the second, extending a seven-point lead to 19, putting the game out of reach.

5) Sitting Warren Before 8-Minute Media Timeout

I agree with Gottfried’sdecision. Warren had just picked up his third foul and was gassed after scoring seven straight points to get his team within seven. The decision didn’t work because the Pack went into a scoring slump, but I still like the move.

6) Tyler Lewis’s Defense

Lewis is one of the best passers in the ACC and can run a team on offense, but in all honestly he is a poor defender. He is not quick enough or strong enough to guard quick, strong players like Rod Hall. Hall’s eyes lit up when he saw Lewis on him. Also, Lewsis’ inability to pressure the ball handler allows the opponent to run its offense.

7) K.J. McDaniels’ Shot Blocking

McDaniels had six blocked shots last night, including blocking a three-point attempt by Warren, which was very impressive. McDaniels is only 6-6, but his timing and leaping ability allow him to do spectacular things defending the basket.

8) McDaniels’ Tip Dunk Late In The Second Half

Again, McDaniels used his great timing and jumping to reach back behind himself to slam dunk with his left hand, which is not his dominant hand. Not many guys in college basketball could have made that play.

9) Credit To Brad Brownell

The Tigers are not an overly talented team, but Brownell has them buying into doing what they have to do to win games. They play great defense, and are patient on offense. The Tiger players are very tough minded. 


The question for both of these teams is how do you finish the season?  The Tigers and Wolfpack can both make a good run the last five games of conference playand get themselves involved in the at-large NCAA tournament talk.