Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports
Tech falls just short of a dramatic second half comeback in Littlejohn, 63-60.
As we saw in the Wake Forest game, Tech started off with a Chris Bolden 3 pointer. Bolden would hit another one soon after to help the Jackets jump out to an early ten point lead, 22-12. The Tigers did a good job working themselves into the game on both ends of the floor, however, and slowly chipped away at the lead, eventually taking the halftime lead, 36-30. Clemson closed the first half on a 10-0 run.
Clemson achieved this mostly by grabbing 8 offensive rebounds out of 20 available rebounds on that end of the floor (40% ORB%.) Clemson also implemented a full-court press whenever there was a dead ball inbound to discomfort Georgia Tech as they tried to get the ball into the offensive end. Although Clemson's bigs, Milton Jennings and Devin Booker, combined for only 6 points in the first half, the Tigers were doing a good job of threatening down low and kicking the ball out to open shooters as the Tech wing players came to double team.
Clemson would extend their 6 point halftime advantage out to a game-high 11, 43-32. From there, I was concerned what Tech's reaction would be. Would they let the home team get away like we saw in Chapel Hill? The Jackets would answer with an emphatic no, using good post play from Daniel Miller and Kammeon Holsey to go on a 14-6 run, making the score 49-46 Clemson. The last 8 minutes saw the teams trade baskets, but that 3 point margin would be telling, as Clemson closed out the game 63-60.
Now for some good and bad, first the bad:
1. Clemson had 8 first half rebounds, out of 20 available at that end of the floor (40% ORB.)
2. CBG using his last timeout after Mfon made the free throw to make the score 60-61. The team should be able to transition from a made free throw into a full court press without a timeout, allowing us to save that timeout for our last possession, and hopefully drawing up something better than that frantic, contested Brandon Reed 3.
3. The referees were...something. Their choices on when to call moving picks and when to let it go confuses me so much. They called 3 of them on Kam, and then allowed Rod Hall to get away with one (with a good helping of 'bow) on Holsey to free up Milton Jennings for a big 3 pointer to push the score to 54-48.
1. Mfon did a very good job in this game with his decision making when getting a pick from Miller or Carter. We saw several pick and pop moves with both guys, and Daniel did a good job with his mid range jumper. Carter hit his first 3 out of a P&P as well. Later, after Miller hit a few mid range jumpers, he did an effective job of drawing the help defender to him and then going to the hole.
2. Solomon Poole had 2 very nice assists to Holsey. We saw some really nice chemistry between these two guys, and Kam is such a hard fighter, never willing to let the team lose bad.
3. CBG made a very good adjustment at the half and we allowed only 3 second half ORB's, of 17 available rebounds (17.6% ORB.)
Regression Potential Alert!!!
The home ACC record was mentioned in the broadcast last night, so I decided to do a quick calculation of home winning percentage this year versus the last 4 years in the ACC. Including the 3 games last night, the ACC home teams are 30-11, for a win percentage of .7317. The mean home win percentage in the last 4 years of ACC league play is .6458, so we clearly have a significantly higher home win percentage this year. This year's home win percentage is 2.43 standard deviations above that mean.
4 years isn't a huge sample size, but it was all the data I was willing to try to find quickly, so I decided to include the top 6 conference's numbers to get a bigger sample size (24) (B1G, ACC, SEC, Big 12, Pac 12, Big East.) The mean home winning percentage across all 6 conferences for the last 4 years was .6392, slightly lower than the ACC mean. That puts the ACC's current home win percentage 2.80 standard deviations above the mean.
So, from these numbers, I think we can reasonably assume the road teams might start winning some games soon. Or we are in for a statistical outlier of a season, and you just read 3 useless paragraphs.