Tigers turn-over ACC home opener to 'Noles, 56-41

Clemson's Landry Nnoko looks to shoot over Florida State's Boris Bojanovsky in the second half.

Clemson's Landry Nnoko looks to shoot over Florida State's Boris Bojanovsky in the second half.

CLEMSON — Sometimes in a rough night, one play tells the story.

Trailing Florida State by 12 with 10:51 left, Clemson spent its third of four second half timeouts.

After Brad Brownell’s instruction, his Tigers passed the ball around the horn, and as the Littlejohn Coliseum crowd grew antsy, sophomore center Landry Nnoko was fed the ball in the paint. A Nnoko dribble — a Nnoko post-move, and without a shot, the shot-clock buzzer went off.

Clemson’s fortunes didn’t improve from there, dropping their home ACC opener, 56-41. Stretching over three seasons, it was the Seminoles’ fifth-straight win in the series.

Florida State (10-4, 1-1 ACC) hadn’t led in its first 45 minutes of ACC play, after getting routed wire-to-wire at home against Virginia last week. Thursday night, Clemson (10-4, 1-1) trailed the final 24:19, coming as close as two points, but shooting below 30 percent most of the night.

Junior swingman and leading scorer K.J. McDaniels was the lone bright spot in the off-offensive night, as the only Tiger in double-figures (14). Clemson’s double-figure averaging guard duo Rod Hall and Jordan Roper shot 4-for-14 combined, adding 10 points.

“It was a combination of everything,” Brownell said. “It was one of those nights when your best players don’t play great, you don’t get a lift off the bench from anybody to think everything is going to be good. Even though we were down five to seven points, it felt like more than that. It was hard to get the guys to believe that we were going to make a play and get something going.

“We just never made any.”

Their turnaround time? Less than 48 hours, meeting No 16 Duke (11-3) in the same arena at 2 p.m. Saturday. Brownell is hoping for the best, but knows it’s tough to judge a team with eight underclassmen and no seniors game-to-game.

“I don’t know (what to expect). That’s the million dollar question,” Brownell said. “If you have that (pulse), you would be a rich man as a coach. Hopefully our guys will be resilient. We’re not going to beat them down, but we certainly are going to point out mistakes and get ready for Duke and do the best we can to get our energy level back up.”

Both teams struggled to get off the mat early, resulting in an ugly first half.

Florida State missed its first five shots out of the gates, trailing 2-0 over four minutes in. Clemson, however, countered missing eight of their first 10. Turning Tiger turnovers into points, Florida State put some distance between the two early with a 13-2 run.

Crawling back with its only two first-half three-pointers, Clemson and then FSU went cold-er, shooting a combined 9-of-27 the rest of the half. Brownell’s bunch hit only 23 percent by themselves, committing eight turnovers.

“We just couldn’t find high-percentage shots,” longtime Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said, “but we didn’t panic and kept moving the ball and being patient. That’s what you have to do against a good defensive team like Clemson.

“Tonight out of respect of what we had seen them do to this point, we knew we had to stay with the gameplan and move the ball and get the best opportunities and that’s what our guys did.”

“We were shooting 23 percent and playing awful in the first half and had 16 points,” Brownell said, “but we were only down five. I was trying to get our guys to cheer up. Our youthfulness showed tonight.”

FSU’s decided advantage in points off the bench, 33-9, showed early in the second half when sophomore guard Devon Bookert scored the first six and eight of his 10 points to jump-start the Seminoles attack. After drawing within two with 19 to go, Clemson couldn’t narrow the game to two possessions in the final 15 minutes.

In the tough final tally, Clemson’s turnovers (18, season-high) exceeded their made shots (15), which didn’t happen even in the low point-mark of the Brownell era last season at Duke (68-40 loss; 13 turnovers, 15 field goals).

The Tigers, who carried the nation’s top scoring defense in, dropped their first game holding an opponent under 60 points or lower this season (10-1).

“I think that you have two really good defensive teams playing against each other and we just had a few less turnovers,” FSU’s Hamilton analyzed. “It was just one of those nights where sometimes the ball falls out of your hand. It’s just the way the game goes. You have those kind of nights, like we did against Virginia last weekend.

“I think they’ll bounce back, there’s no doubt about that.”

© 2014 OrangeAndWhite.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Topics

Comments » 11

84tele writes:

We got some really good players..... in the pep band!

brookesdad729 writes:

I couldn't believe the unforced turnovers we committed in that game! Couldn't get out of our own way. I had to look to see if they had helmets and pads on cause it was like deja-vu!

YabbaDaboDooDoo writes:

"Tigers turn-over ACC home opener to 'Noles, 56-41" shouldn't be the headline. There seems to be an unwritten rule among Clemson sportswriters: thou shalt not give the opponent their due credit. If Clemson loses, it's because Clemson didn't play well and not that the other team CAUSED Clemson to not play well. Leonard Hamilton's teams are known for their defense so it shouldn't be that big of a surprise that they could turn Clemson over 18 times. That number is typical of the number of turnovers FSU gets in the games they've won this season. The other point to make here is that Clemson's defense wasn't as stellar as Mr. Rink is letting on. FSU shot 57% from inside the arc. The game could've been much worse had FSU done better than 1-11 from the 3-point line.

The truth of the matter is that Brownell needs to do a better job recruiting. You could tell who was going to win this game by watching the layup lines. My question to Clemson fans is do you want to compete in the top third of the ACC and do you think Brad Brownell can do that? Or is basketball something to pass the time until spring football?

DMM writes:

The truth of the matter is until Clemson loses the notion it's the venue and not the amount they want to pay for a good coach, nothing will change. Cameron is a dump (albeit with history) but Duke ponies up the $$$ for a championship coach. You pay peanuts you get monkeys. Coaching nor recruiting are going to get better than Brownell until they start to up the ante.

BrandonRink writes:

in response to YabbaDaboDooDoo:

"Tigers turn-over ACC home opener to 'Noles, 56-41" shouldn't be the headline. There seems to be an unwritten rule among Clemson sportswriters: thou shalt not give the opponent their due credit. If Clemson loses, it's because Clemson didn't play well and not that the other team CAUSED Clemson to not play well. Leonard Hamilton's teams are known for their defense so it shouldn't be that big of a surprise that they could turn Clemson over 18 times. That number is typical of the number of turnovers FSU gets in the games they've won this season. The other point to make here is that Clemson's defense wasn't as stellar as Mr. Rink is letting on. FSU shot 57% from inside the arc. The game could've been much worse had FSU done better than 1-11 from the 3-point line.

The truth of the matter is that Brownell needs to do a better job recruiting. You could tell who was going to win this game by watching the layup lines. My question to Clemson fans is do you want to compete in the top third of the ACC and do you think Brad Brownell can do that? Or is basketball something to pass the time until spring football?

I just pointed to their No. 1 scoring 'D' - I didn't say they played great defense Thursday night. FSU's Hamilton pointed to them having a reputation for being strong. The inside the arc shooting percentage was inflated, however, by all of the easy baskets off turnovers.

Yes, FSU traditionally plays great defense - they won the ACC on that a couple years ago. But there were a lot of unforced errors and Clemson looked lost offensively. All of the great defense in the world doesn't explain losing by 15 on your home court when you're favored.

michtiger writes:

What does explain the lost is the horrible recruiting of front court people. How could you recruit a Jr college player as bad as Djambo, or rely on a center that has almost no BB experience. This season and the next have no chance with the big men we have. I watch every game and after the losses to very average teams in Ark., Auburn and the near collapse at BC it became a OMG moment last night that this is a very very poor team and the recruiting has been horrible. You can not win in any league with one very good player in MCD a good competitor in Hall and maybe Roper and average inconsistent players in Filer and Harrison and the rest. We may right now be at the bottom. It is going to take a strong stomach to watch this season and as far as you can see. Just live for the moment the little talent we have hits a game together.

YabbaDaboDooDoo writes:

in response to DMM:

The truth of the matter is until Clemson loses the notion it's the venue and not the amount they want to pay for a good coach, nothing will change. Cameron is a dump (albeit with history) but Duke ponies up the $$$ for a championship coach. You pay peanuts you get monkeys. Coaching nor recruiting are going to get better than Brownell until they start to up the ante.

It's all about picking the right coach. Brad Brownell isn't it. The results and the recruiting have gone downhill since Oliver Purnell left. You need a good recruiter who can keep the best in-state talent from leaving. Frank Martin was in SC for what seemed like all of 5 minutes before he bagged Sindarius Thornwell. That should be embarrassing. Atlanta is a huge hotbed of talent just down the road and yet there's only 1 kid from the Atlanta area on the roster despite GT and UGa being absolutely AWFUL.

"The truth of the matter is until Clemson loses the notion it's the venue and not the amount they want to pay for a good coach, nothing will change." Couldn't have said it better. Applies both to basketball and football. You need to pay for facilities AND a championship-caliber coach to win championships.

waran writes:

I did not realize that we can be so bad. I think this will be Brownell's last year.

I really don't know why Roper is in the team. He has no passion, poor in shooting and kept committing unnecessary fouls. No improvement from last year and that reflects on coaching.

fdohmann writes:

It would have been better for their Psyche to stay in Italy for the season.

YabbaDaboDooDoo writes:

in response to BrandonRink:

I just pointed to their No. 1 scoring 'D' - I didn't say they played great defense Thursday night. FSU's Hamilton pointed to them having a reputation for being strong. The inside the arc shooting percentage was inflated, however, by all of the easy baskets off turnovers.

Yes, FSU traditionally plays great defense - they won the ACC on that a couple years ago. But there were a lot of unforced errors and Clemson looked lost offensively. All of the great defense in the world doesn't explain losing by 15 on your home court when you're favored.

Since you were the one who's bringing up inflated numbers then I have to point out that scoring defense is largely determined by who you play and the number of possessions you have to defend. A 239 strength of schedule and Brownell's slow style of play has as much to do with them being #1 in scoring defense as anything else.

I'm not a gambler so I didn't know the line on the game. I was shocked to find out FSU wasn't favored. FSU has wins over 2 ranked teams and lost to 2 ranked teams by a total of 3 points. Clemson doesn't even have a DECENT win much less a good one. FSU had beat Clemson the last what, 4 times (now 5)? The explanation you're searching for as to why Clemson lost by 15 at home when they were favored... is that they shouldn't have been favored.

BrandonRink writes:

in response to YabbaDaboDooDoo:

Since you were the one who's bringing up inflated numbers then I have to point out that scoring defense is largely determined by who you play and the number of possessions you have to defend. A 239 strength of schedule and Brownell's slow style of play has as much to do with them being #1 in scoring defense as anything else.

I'm not a gambler so I didn't know the line on the game. I was shocked to find out FSU wasn't favored. FSU has wins over 2 ranked teams and lost to 2 ranked teams by a total of 3 points. Clemson doesn't even have a DECENT win much less a good one. FSU had beat Clemson the last what, 4 times (now 5)? The explanation you're searching for as to why Clemson lost by 15 at home when they were favored... is that they shouldn't have been favored.

Well, you seem entrenched in this stance so I'm not convincing you, but it's all in perspective.

Their "slow style of play" is in some ways an illusion if you're going by possessions a game since their defense slows down the game. They were slower on offense versus FSU because of the Seminoles' D and their own struggles, but they have tried to push the pace when they are hitting shots.

On favorite status, FSU does have the better resume by far, but they were coming off a wire-to-wire blowout loss at home against Virginia. Clemson typically plays well at home as well.

Share your thoughts

Comments are the sole responsibility of the person posting them. You agree not to post comments that are off topic, defamatory, obscene, abusive, threatening or an invasion of privacy. Violators may be banned. Click here for our full user agreement.

Comments can be shared on Facebook and Yahoo!. Add both options by connecting your profiles.

Features