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Clemson 2008 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Clemson Tigers - Atlantic Coast Conference (24-9, 10-6)

Seed: #5 - Midwest Region

RPI: 18

Big Wins: 11/15 at Mississippi State (84-82), 11/27 Purdue (61-58), 3/15 vs Duke (78-74)

Bad Losses: 1/9 Charlotte (72-82), 2/19 at Florida State (55-64), 3/6 at Georgia Tech (75-80)

Last NCAA Appearance: 1998, First Round loss to Western Michigan

Coach: Oliver Purnell (0-3 in 3 NCAA appearances)

Probable Clemson Starters:

  • Cliff Hammonds, Senior, Guard, 11.6 ppg, 3.9 apg, 4.1 rpg
  • K.C. Rivers, Junior, Guard, 14.7 ppg, 6.4 rpg
  • Sam Perry, Senior, Forward, 3.1 ppg, 2.2 rpg
  • James Mays, Senior, Forward, 10.9 ppg, 6.9 rpg
  • Trevor Booker, Sophomore, Center, 11.1 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 1.8 bpg


Key Clemson Roleplayers:

  • Demontez Stitt, Freshman, Guard, 8.6 ppg, 3.0 apg
  • Terrence Oglesby, Freshman, Guard, 10.5 ppg 1.2 apg
  • David Potter, Sophomore, Guard, 4.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg
  • Raymond Sykes, Junior, Center, 4.4 ppg, 2.4 rpg


Why The Tigers Can Surprise:
The Clemson defense can be brutal on indecisive or inexperienced guards. The Tigers will press at almost every opportunity and they have a couple great defenders in guards Cliff Hammonds and K.C. Rivers. When not in man-to-man, James Mays will use his lanky 6-9 frame to amass steal after steal at the top of the zone. As a team, Clemson averages a great 9.7 steals per contest.

There is no single dominating scorer spearheading Clemson’s high powered offense. Instead, the Tigers have five players who average double digit scoring. K.C. Rivers, Cliff Hammonds and Terrence Oglesby are all very dangerous long range shooters. They each hit about two three-pointers per game and shoot around 40 percent from long range. It would be impressive with one player who shoots that well, but having three makes it extremely difficult to defend.


Why The Tigers Can Disappoint:
The turnovers can spell the end of the Tigers, but if that does not do it, the horrid free-throw shooting probably will. Freshman Demontez Stitt commits nearly three per game on his own. Stitt will be the point guard of the future and his starting experience this season will certainly help in his development, but during the tough times in March he may find himself on the bench a little more often. No one player gets to the charity stripe that often, so the poor free-throw shooting is pretty much a team effort. Hammonds, who shoots 47.0 percent from the floor and 39.7 percent from behind the arc, only shoots 45.9 percent from the free-throw line. It does not make any sense, but that epitomizes Clemson’s problems at the line.

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Who To Watch:
The frontcourt has plenty of options with do-everything Mays, fearless sophomore Trevor Booker and defensive specialist Sam Perry. Mays is a superb offensive rebounder and Booker has developed into a great scoring option either inside or out to about 18 feet. Perry will occasionally earn the starting nod, depending on the competition, but he will not play too many minutes. But having him and Raymond Sykes available gives Coach Oliver Purnell plenty of options in the frontcourt.


By the Numbers:

Scoring Offense: 79.4 (19 th in nation, 3 rd in conference)

Scoring Defense: 69.6 (195, 7)

Field-Goal Percentage: 45.7 (90, 6)

Field-Goal Defense: 43.6 (158, 9)

Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 8.0 (51, 3)

Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 37.9 (56, 3)

Free-Throw Percentage: 62.3 (311, 12)

Rebound Margin: 3.0 (77, 5)

Assists Per Game: 16.1 (29, 3)

Turnovers Per Game: 15.0 (212, 6)


Joel’s Bracket Says: First Round loss to Villanova


> Find more coverage of the NCAA Tournament 2008 online from College Sports Fans and print your NCAA Tournament brackets today!



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