You probably noticed Clemson's tremendous performance against Boston College
the other day. We kind of thought they might have a good shot at the game, since
B.C. had probably never been anyplace like Clemson before, and Littlejohn, when
things are right, can be a considerable advantage. And we were duly
impressed by the reports. Then we saw a replay of the game.
Let's just say this: what we saw was not what ACC fans traditionally
think of Clemson basketball. It was smart, it was precise, it was, in
spots, superb basketball. This from the team which struggled recently with
Radford? What gives?
Here's our theory: with the holiday break, Oliver Purnell got to spend more
time introducing his system, and not only did the players come to understand it
better, they also have now completely bought into it. So what you see is
Clemson just devastating B.C. on defense, and then on offense running gorgeous
breaks, filling the lanes, making remarkably smart passes, and playing a game
any ACC school would be proud to claim.
Needless to say, this is not the norm at Clemson. They've had good
teams over the years, but they were rarely really fundamentally sound, and when
games were down to very small margins of error, Clemson wasn't prepared.
We'll also say this: if we were Clemson fans, we'd be very excited.
True, it's one game, and true, they could fall apart, but we don't think
so. They are Getting It, and will soon become dangerous to the
others. To Duke?
Well think about it. Duke has rarely had an easy time of it in
Littlejohn. Even the 1992 team came close to losing there. So while
Duke has every advantage, really, basketball is a game where a little teamwork
can go a long way. So if you think Clemson is going to roll over and die
just because Duke comes to town, better think again. They are in the early
stages of true success.
If Duke goes in with a cocky attitude, they may get it handed back to
them. We don't want to go out on a limb, but something very interesting
appears to be happening in Littlejohn. Let's hope Saturday is relatively