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Limited ACC Offenses

Clemson usually struggles on offense but last year’s offense was really a problem

Rutgers v Clemson
 INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - MARCH 19: Clyde Trapp #0 of the Clemson Tigers didn't have any trouble scoring on this play
Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Clemson has rarely been known for its offensive prowess, and last season was no exception.

The Tigers were tough defensively, but followed form in finishing last in the ACC in scoring offense (64.25 points per game). They similarly finished 12th in field goal percentage, 10th in 3-point percentage, ninth in rebound margin, and so on.

This lopsided offensive profile made it all the more remarkable that Clemson finished tied for fifth with North Carolina, winning two-thirds of its games overall (18-9).

Making the Tigers easier to defend, senior Aamir Simms, he of the two double-letter names, was their lone double-figure scorer at 13.4 points per game. Next-closest was junior guard Al-Amir Dawes at 9.0.

Simms barely made all-ACC second team despite leading Clemson in scoring, rebounding, assists and blocks for the second straight year, the only Tiger ever to lead simultaneously in all those categories. Even once, let alone twice.

Brad Brownell’s club meanwhile became only the ninth in the ACC since 2010 to finish the year with a single player averaging 10 or more points per game.

Oddly, over that same period there have been the same number of squads with five double-figure scorers, most recently Miami in 2019.

While you might suspect otherwise, modern teams with a single potent scorer have not fared poorly. Only two of nine posted losing overall records. Three of the eight won better than 20 games.

Clemson fell two games short of the 20-win mark in 2021, but with only 24 outings on its covid-plagued schedule doubtless was deprived on a chance to win a few more.

Of the nine teams with a single-barrel offense, three finished in the ACC’s first division: Clemson in 2021, Louisville in 2020, and Clemson in 2014, also under Brownell. In 2020 Louisville finished in a three-way tie for second. The ’14 Tigers were sixth in the ACC.

NC State, with a single prominent scorer, eked out a three-way tie for seventh in 2014, a borderline first-division perch. The Pack were carried offensively by Anthony “T.J.” Warren, the only ACC scoring leader and sole first-round NBA draft pick among the workhorse point-producers since 2010.

Teams With Single Double-Figure Scorer Since 2010
(Listed In Descending Chronological Order)
Year Team Scorer Avg./Game Team Record
2021 Clemson Aamir Simms 13.4 18-9
2020 Louisville Jordan Nwara 18.0 24-7
2015 Georgia Tech Marcus Georges-Hunt 13.5 12-19
2015 Clemson Jaron Blossomgame 13.1 16-15
2014 NC State TJ Warren 24.9 24-10
2014 Clemson KJ McDaniels 17.1 23-13
2014 Miami Rion Brown 13.5 17-16
2013 Georgia Tech Marcus Georges-Hunt 10.8 16-15
2012 Georgia Tech Glen Rice 13.0 11-20