Ryan Kantor of Shakin the Southland graciously provided us with the Clemson perspective again on this matchup. If you visit Shakin the Southland, please follow their site rules and be a good representative of the University of Alabama.
A day after UK and UNC had an epic 103-100 shootout, we'll see a game with a
slower pace and a lower score in Birmingham.
Clemson has one of, if not the, most talented squads of the Brownell era. The
Tiger offense is 23rd in efficiency - unprecedented for a Brownell Clemson
squad. Nevertheless, they still play at a relatively slow pace. Alabama plays at
an even slower pace, 300th fastest in the nation!
Aside from Jaron Blossomgame, the Tigers' star PF, look out for Shelton
Mitchell. The transfer from Vanderbilt has taken over the starting PG role after
missing the first few games with a knee injury. He has given the offense added
efficiency as he distributed the ball carefully. The Tigers are top 10 on
The improved play of Sidy Djitte has been the best news for the Tigers thus far.
He has avoided constant foul trouble while continuing to be a monster on the
boards with greatly increased minutes per game. Keeping him off the offensive
glass will be a key for Bama.
The Tigers may also see Texas A&M transfer Elijah Thomas take the court for the
first time this season in Birmingham. He will give them a boost in frontcourt
This should be an exciting and competitive contest, but it's one Clemson needs
to win if they plan to make the NCAA tournament as we predicted.
I had no idea we were number 300 in pace of play, but it doesn't surprise me. I think it will be a competitive game, but I'll be surprised if we pull it out. Hopefully they prove me wrong.