The turnaround is quicker than the release on Jordan Roper’s jumper.
Roper scored 21 points Saturday to lead the Clemson University men’s basketball team to a 75-54 win against Virginia Tech. Merely two days later, the Tigers must travel to Atlanta to face Atlantic Coast Conference foe Georgia Tech.
Clemson hosts Virginia Tech Saturday, February 14, 2015 at Clemson’s Littlejohn Coliseum.
The Tigers can hope to sustain the confidence from shooting 47.4 percent from the field or from draining a season-high 11 3-pointers Saturday. They can hope to sustain the momentum from limiting Virginia Tech to 54 points on 18 field goals while notching seven steals, five blocks and forcing 11 turnovers.
However, that dominant performance was facilitated by three days of spirited practice. The quick turn to Georgia Tech may not allow the Tigers to absorb the scouting report as well.
“It’s hard. We can’t guard the Georgia Tech offensive stuff like we would if we had a day to practice,” Clemson coach Brad Brownell said. “You walk through it a little bit, but it’s not the same. You can’t practice different things you want to do offensively to make adjustments sometimes. There’s a lot of mental practice.”
This will be the third two-day turnaround Clemson has encountered since opening the ACC schedule. Clemson dropped the second leg in both of the previous two instances, albeit by a combined margin of six points.
Clemson scrapped with Florida State and Notre Dame in those contests. This time, Clemson’s condensed turnaround includes the two teams ranked at the bottom of the ACC standings. Virginia Tech has won merely two ACC games. One was against Georgia Tech, who suffered its 11th league loss Saturday.
Since Syracuse has removed itself from postseason play, Clemson essentially holds the sixth seed for the ACC Tournament. With five league games remaining in the regular season, the Tigers aim to clinch their second consecutive first-day bye. Additionally, with Notre Dame and Duke left on the slate, Clemson could salvage whatever NCAA Tournament hopes remain.
“We’re in the upper half of the league, but there’s a lot of basketball to be played,” forward Jaron Blossomgame said. “We just have to stay focused and can’t look ahead. We can’t circle any other game. We’ve just got to win the next game ahead.”