From UNC forward Brice Johnson’s record-breaking 39-point, 23-rebound performance against Florida State to Virginia Tech’s home upset over #4 Virginia, it will be difficult to top the basketball that we saw on Monday evening around the ACC. With only one game on the slate for Tuesday, let’s see how Clemson and Syracuse match-up in advance of their 8 p.m. showdown.
Clemson (8-6, 1-1 ACC) Vs. Syracuse (10-5, 0-2 ACC), 8:00 PM ET on ESPN3.com
- Jaron Blossomgame and the Clemson Tigers are looking to break through offensively to supplement their stout defense that has been on display throughout most of the season. The Tigers rank 14th in the country in points allowed, as they are only giving up an average of 61.4 points per game. On the other end of the court however, it has been quite the struggle. Clemson ranks just 260th in points per game, as they have scored just 69.5 points per game this season.
- It’s safe to say that Syracuse is happy to be home. The Orange dropped the first two conference games of the 2015-2016 campaign on the road to Pittsburgh and #13 Miami, but are returning to the Carrier Dome this evening where they posted a 7-1 record throughout the non-conference schedule.
Legendary Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim continues to sit out due to a suspension for NCAA violations. Without him, the Orange have struggled with continuity in the early beginnings of the conference season.
This should not matter nearly as much this evening, as these are two teams that both play similar styles of basketball and struggle at times to score. There is a go-to scorer on each roster, as Syracuse has moved the ball through senior forward Michael Gbinije (17.7 ppg.), while Clemson has been anchored offensively by junior wing Jaron Blossomgame (15.0 ppg.).
Ultimately, this may come down to who wins the turnover margin, as this is one of the only areas where the two teams greatly differ statistically. Syracuse boasts a respectable 1.8 assist to turnover ration as a team, which is 81st nationally entering play. Meanwhile, Clemson’s 1.2 assist to turnover ratio as a team places them in a tie for 112th in college basketball.
Syracuse comes in as a 6.5-point favorite, and with the turnovers telling a good deal of the story in addition to their raucous home environment at the Carrier Dome, I believe that they will not only win, but will ultimately take the victory by double-digits to get their first conference win of the season.
Syracuse 78 Clemson 66