Syracuse Hoops Preview: Getting To Know Clemson

Syracuse is red-hot having won four straight.

On paper, SU (15-9) is better than Clemson (13-9), but as Jim Boeheim said in his press conference following Syracuse’s win over Virginia, “Clemson is a great team. They lost six in a row at one point, but they’re a really good team.”

The Orange travels to play the Tigers Tuesday night and as all SU fans know, winning on the road has not come easy for Syracuse this season.

The teams’ last matchup

Syracuse lost to Clemson in overtime 74-73 last year inside the Carrier Dome. At the time, (stop me if you’ve heard this one before) that loss looked like a devastating blow to SU’s tournament chances.

Last year’s game came down to free throws. Syracuse shot 63% from the line that night compared to Clemson’s 91%. With Tyler Lydon, Andrew White, John Gillon, and Tyus Battle all at 75% or better from the line this year, that issue should not come back to haunt SU.

Clemson’s difference maker

The Tiger’s top player is senior forward Jaron Blossomgame. The Georgia native was a first team All-ACC selection last season and won the conference’s Most Improved Player award.

This year Blossomgame averages 18 points and 6 boards per game. He’s scored in double figures in every ACC game this season.

Tiger Transfers

White and Gillon joining Syracuse received a lot of attention this offseason, but SU won’t be the only team to field transfers Tuesday night.

Clemson has three sophomore transfers who all get minutes for coach Brad Brownell. The team’s starting point guard, Shelton Mitchell, transferred from Vanderbilt and averages eight points and four assists for the Tigers.

Guard Marcquise Reed comes off the bench and averages ten points per game. He transferred from Robert Morris.

The final Clemson transfer is sophomore forward Elijah Thomas who last played at Texas A&M and averages seven points this year.

Clemson’s Form

Brownell’s team had a two game ACC win streak heading into last weekend, but was demolished on the road against Florida State 109-61 Saturday.

Posted: Connor Morrissette

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