Saturday, December 8, 2012

Clemson

Last year, the Cats had no trouble putting away the Clemson Tigers at home.  This year, they must travel two time zones toward the rising sun to the northwestern corner of South Carolina for the rematch.  This year's Tiger team is improved over last's, but so are the Cats.  On paper, this game seems like a win, but in all likelihood, it's going to be a nail biter.  When you couple Clemson's home court advantage at Littlejohn Coliseum with a long trip across the country, Arizona should have a fight on its hands. The Tigers' (5-2) two losses are respectable.  They fell by single digits on a neutral court to a very good Gonzaga team, and dropped one at home to Purdue, a solid Big 10 opponent.  On the positive side, the Cats should bounce back after having a subpar offensive performance against Southern Miss.   Incidentally, our last game was one of our best on defense, which explains why we got the W. Here's the breakdown.

The Cats have a solid advantage in most categories.  We shoot the ball better inside and outside the arc as well as from the free throw line.  We also have a strong advantage in points per shot and points per possession.  We have been slightly better at the defensive end both in terms of efficiency and field goal percentage.  Clemson has a slight advantage in defensive rebounding, but the Cats are a much better team on the offensive boards.  The Cats are bigger and more experienced.  Although Clemson gets more minutes from their bench, Arizona gets more scoring.  Buckle your seat belts.  The next two games are going to be quite a ride.  We could just as easily come out of this stretch 8-0 or 6-2.


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