March Madness: Clemson (7) vs. Michigan (10) Preview — Plus Video previews


A reader from the Clemson blogs popped in and gave a breakdown of his team:

“…In our studying your season, it appears we seem to be mirror images of one another: 6-5 shooting guards who aren’t afraid to go inside for rebounds, a power forward playing essentially a center, some decent outside shooting, impressive wins over Duke and a couple of thise “WTH” type losses.

As you know, we live and die on pressure defense and 3-point shooting. If the Wolverines counter with a four-guard offense, I am not at all sure how that is going to work. Last time we saw your coach (at West Virginia) he fed us a lot of zone defense.

ESPN: Selection show preview of the South Region

No doubt, word has gotten out about Terrence Oglesby, who can shoot us in (or out) of any game. A couple of other guys on our team you might want to watch are:

Point guard Demontez Stitt (9 ppg, 3 reb, 4 ast, 3 TO) has a quick first step and goes to the hole, but a good zone defense can slow him down.

Ray Sykes (8 ppg, 5 reb) is a senior forward, plays with a lot of energy, but gets happy feet when posting up. If you double Trevor on the block, he can hurt you.

David Potter (6 ppg, 3 reb) is our best defender, and at 6’6″, he can frustrate shooting guards. Far more valuable than his numbers indicate.

Two freshmen who contribute are Andre Young (5-7 point guard) and Tanner Smith (6-5 forward). Both are threats to shoot from the outside, and Tanner, like Potter is a heady defensive player. In addition, they both will make freshman mistakes….”
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Will Oliver Purnell be able to avoid the upset this year or will the Wolverines send the Tigers home early?

Jason Horowitz and Greg Anthony preview this first round matchup:

“…If you looked at our roster, you saw a 7-2 guy. Do not worry: Bobo Baicu is a project for the future. You will not see him on the floor.

Much is made of Clemson’s press (which is actually five different varieties of press), but we play an impressive half-court pressure defense as well. That is what we used against Duke and in the comeback against Virginia Tech. If you start cracking the press for easy baskets, we will likely fall back to that.

On offense, we like to do some high-low, getting the ball in to Trevor first. If he has single coverage, he will go to the hole. If he is doubled, the ball goes back outside, looking for a gap in the defense. Of course, we prefer to get points off the press, but since it appears Michigan takes care of the ball, we may not get many chances.

We have played ragged for the past three weeks, losing a couple of games we should have won. Most surprising is opponents shooting percentage which has topped 50 percent in our last four losses. That is what has Clemson fans the most apprehensive going into the game.

That is the Tigers in a nutshell. There is a sense of disappointment in how the season ended, but when you consider the abyss that Clemson basketball has been, two straight Dances (and three straight 20-win seasons for the first time in school history) are reason to celebrate.

Congrats again on getting back to the “Big Dance” and here is to a good game!”

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Written by Rev (Clemson blog) and ErocWolverine