UM vs. Clemson: Keys to the Game

What went right?

You cannot question the heart and determination of Jack McClinton, who carried the team on his back once again in a pivotal game. Down by six points and needing a spark, McClinton responded by hitting three consecutive three-pointers. McClinton, who struggled with his shot through most of game, did not back down and remained confident with the game on the line.

Miami’s frontline bounced back with a strong performance. Miami dominated the boards, especially pulling down offense rebounds that led to second chance points. Dwayne Collins had a breakout game with strong position in the paint to convert near the basket. Jimmy Graham and Anthony King combined for eight blocked shots and both were active on the glass.

Miami was able to get to the free-throw line and had success, going 25-for-29 from the charity stripe. Lance Hurdle and Brian Asbury closed out the game by knocking down key free throws.

What went wrong?

Miami’s backcourt struggled with their shot from the perimeter. McClinton was just 5-for-17 from the field while James Dews only scored six points and was 2-for-10 from the field.

Miami seemed out of sync in the halfcourt set after intermission. The Hurricanes were unable to establish an inside-outside game throughout the second half and went away from their post players.

What went right?

James Mays and Demounted Stitt picked up the offense in the second half and gave Clemson a chance to win. Mays provided a spark in the paint while Stitt drove to the basket successfully and was able to get to the free-throw line.

The Tigers stepped up their defense in the second half. Clemson did not allow Miami to get out in transition and made the Hurricanes work for their points. Clemson’s guards did a great job locking down and frustrating Miami’s backcourt players, until the final minutes.

What went wrong?
Clemson had no answer for McClinton down the stretch. Clemson’s guards lost focus and did not do a good job closing out and contesting shots in the final two minutes. McClinton was given enough room to fight through screens and pull up from beyond the arc.

Clemson’s backcourt also did not shoot the basketball particularly well. The Tigers shot just 38.5 percent from the field and received little production from go-to scorers K.C. Rivers, Cliff Hammonds and Terrence Ogelsby from beyond the arc.

Clemson was outworked in the post and on the boards all game long. Trevor Booker only played six minutes and the rest of the Tiger’s frontline was not as physical to match up with the Hurricanes.

Alex Kushel may be contacted at