Putting Duke 'W' in past, Tigers seek 2-0 ACC road start

Clemson's Sidy Djitte (50) tries to pull a rebound away from Duke's Josh Hairston (15).

Photo by Sefton Ipock

Clemson's Sidy Djitte (50) tries to pull a rebound away from Duke's Josh Hairston (15).

Brad Brownell gave his players a day off Sunday after a whirlwind 48 hours.

Coming off the upset of No. 16 Duke, his first task getting back to work was putting that game in the past.

"We put that to bed," Brownell said. "We met Monday morning at 7 (a.m.) and watched film. Talked to them about 45 minutes and just kind of put the Duke game to rest, and there were some things we wanted to teach from the game.

"I wanted to make sure it was all done so we weren't still talking about Duke on Monday morning. I wanted the afternoon to be all about Virginia Tech."

Over the last two years, ACC teams that knocked off Duke are 1-4 in their next contest. This season, Notre Dame edged the Blue Devils, 79-77, then lost 77-70 at home to N.C. State.

Clemson's seeking its first 2-0 road ACC start since 2006-07, and their first road back-to-back conference 'W' run since 2008-09. The Tigers held on to 62-60 win at Boston College. The up-and-down (but mostly down) Hokies have already lost four games at Cassell Coliseum, including their first two ACC contests.

"You've got to have each other's back," sophomore guard Jordan Roper said. "Play with excitement. Saturday was exciting and I think every day I come out here it's exciting just be a Clemson basketball player. Everybody has to be reminded of that and play with passion.

"Passion and enthusiasm will help us play at a high level."

Djambo & Djitte

Brownell gave his midseason report card for new big men Ibrahim Djambo (junior college signee) and Sidy Djitte (freshman).

Djitte is averaging 10 minutes a game with 3.8 rebounds and 1.4 points per game.

Djambo has played a little more, 11.5 minutes per, averaging 1.9 points and two rebounds.

Brownell on Djitte: Sidy rebounds the ball at an exceptionally high rate. Just has a knack for it, nose for it (and) and hunger for it. You never know those things all the way in recruiting. I don't want to say he's a surprise that way, but maybe a little bit of a surprise of the rate he's rebounding. It's exceptionally high for a young guy. Defensively, pretty solid for a young guy in the post fighting in there, physical. Learning some different ways we play ball screens and pretty good.

Offensively, it's been a little more of a struggle just remembering plays and understanding the right thing to do all the time and just his offensive skillset. It needs work. He's done a solid job. He's physical and brings that presence that you need and that I think it significant. He's been very good.

On Djambo: Ibrahim has probably surprised me the other way. He's a really good shooter and can make threes. In the fall, he was shooting the ball unbelievably well. We do drills and he would just shoot the ball at a high level. Make 10 threes and he would be on the top four or five on the team in terms of being the first guy done. He shot the ball.

We knew his strength would be a problem. We hoped that being a little older he'd be able to overcome some of that. Right now that's been a problem. Probably bigger than I anticipated. He's had some trouble. He hasn't figured out ways to use his length to offset some of his physical limitation. The speed of the game has probably been a touch faster than he's used to. That's contributing to missed shots or being a half-step behind on a defensive play or rebound.

A little bit behind where I thought he would be and still optimistic there's a chance for him to turn it around. Junior college players, very few of the guys I've coached that way have got off to great starts. Usually very inconsistent then they get into their stride either in the second semester of their first year or their last year.

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Comments » 1

BlueRidgeBengal writes:

i am not sure what reporters think of him but i like the fact that Coach Brownell seems to give specific answers and without being overly critical. he seems to avoid "coachspeak" also.

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