What UVA Basketball fans need to know about the Clemson Tigers
The Tigers (8-4, 0-1 ACC) lost at Miami, 80-75, in their ACC opener earlier this month. The other losses are St. Bonaventure (68-65, Nov. 19), West Virginia (66-59, Nov. 21) and Rutgers (74-64, Nov. 30).
No shame in any of those.
Two Top 100 wins – at home over Wofford and a neutral-site win over Drake.
The offense ranks 28th in KenPom, scoring 1.104 points per possession.
The defense has struggled a bit. Brad Brownell has had three top 20 KenPom defenses in the past four seasons, but this year’s group ranks just 90th (.965 points per possession allowed).
Brownell goes eight deep, with his five starters averaging double digits in scoring.
- 6’10” sophomore P.J. Hall (14.7 ppg, 6.3 rebs/g, 48.9% FG, 30.6% 3FG)
- 6’4” senior David Collins (11.7 ppg, 6.9 rebs/g, 52.7% FG, 50.0% 3FG)
- 6’2” junior Al-Amir Dawes (11.7 ppg, 41.1% FG, 43.5% 3FG)
- 6’8” senior Hunter Tyson (11.3 ppg 6.1 rebs/g, 47.5% FG, 36.6% 3FG)
- 5’10” senior Nick Honor (10.2 ppg, 3.3 assists/g, 43.9% FG, 40.4% 3FG)
- 6’3” junior Alex Hemenway (5.9 ppg, 51.4% FG, 57.7% 3FG)
- 6’6” senior Naz Bohannon (4.7 ppg, 57.8% FG)
- 6’3” sophomore Chase Hunter (3.8 ppg, 34.9% FG, 23.1% 3FG)
Where the offense comes from
Spot-ups account for 25.1 percent of the offense, and the data analytics site Synergy Sports rates Clemson as “excellent” here, scoring 1.082 points per possession on spot-ups.
Clemson is shooting 41.4 percent from three this season, which ranks fifth nationally.
Virginia has been susceptible to the three at times this season. Navy and Houston each hit 11 threes in their wins over the ‘Hoos, and Iowa drained 10 – and Pitt, in a one-point loss in Charlottesville, was 8-of-16.
Pick-and-rolls are 18.3 percent of the offense. Clemson scores .852 points per possession, and is much better on the rolls (1.163 PPP).
The combination to be wary of would be Honor as the ball-handler (1.097 PPP) and Tyson as the screener (1.25 PPP).
It will be important for Kadin Shedrick and Francisco Caffaro to avoid cheapies early so that they can hard-hedge the P&R and take this weapon away from Clemson.
Post-ups and lane cuts are 16.2 percent of the offense. Hall (1.156 PPP on post-ups, 1.267 PPP on cuts) and Tyson (1.125 on post-ups, 1.313 on cuts) are beasts underneath.
Bennett will want to go early to the post-to-post double, and the guards on the back end will need to be alert on the cuts behind.
The other big chunk of the offense comes from transition (15.3 percent). Collins gets the most opportunities here, and shoots 60.0 percent on transition opportunities, but Dawes is the most effective Tiger here (1.391 PPP).
Virginia’s approach largely takes away transition opportunities – good ones, anyway. Opponents are averaging 6.2 transition points per game against the ‘Hoos, and are shooting just 38.1 percent in transition.
Dawes ranks as the best defender, allowing .724 PPP, with Hunter, coming off the bench, ranking second, at .741 PPP.
The weak links are Hemenway, who allows 1.375 PPP, which explains his limited minutes with his offensive numbers, and Hall, who allows .915 PPP.
Hall and Collins can be foul-prone, Collins, in particular – he fouled out of the loss to WVU, and has rung up four fouls four other times.
- KenPom: Virginia 61-59, 59% win probability
- BartTorvik: Virginia 59-57, 57% win probability
- ESPN BPI: Virginia +2.7, 62.5% win probability
Story by Chris Graham