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Previewing Clemson

Scouting Report / Game Plan
Season Stats

Clemson Offense 06-07Four FactorsPercentNat'l RankeFG%53.163Turnover Rate20.375Off Reb Rate42.07FTM/FGA16.4325
Clemson's offense is a good bit better this season, thanks to both improved shooting and improved offensive rebounding. The Tigers are one of the most accurate teams in the country on two-point attempts, and while their outside shooting still isn't great, the two guys taking most of the threes are shooting them well (especially compared to what they did in 2006):

Player 2006 2007

Rivers 44-131 (.336) 44-107 (.411)
Hammonds 49-173 (.283) 27-76 (.355)

Ken Pomeroy introduced a new feature on his site today which he calls the Game Plan--here is Clemson's. On the page, you can see the Four Factors broken down for each game Clemson has played. Even cooler than that, though, are the correlations at the bottom.

Note the statistically significant correlation there in the first column next to offensive rebounding percentage. This indicates a strong positive relationship between Clemson's OR% and its offensive efficiency. Moreso than most teams, Clemson's success at the offensive end is tied to its offensive rebounding. Now take a look at the NC State Game Plan, make your way down to the "Opp OR%" row and note the rather large +0.50 correlation between that number and NC State's defensive efficiency. How the other team offensive rebounds is a major factor in our defensive efficiency. Which makes sense, of course--we don't force turnovers, so we only stop teams by forcing them to miss shots. That makes defensive rebounding particularly important.

All of which is a long-winded way of pointing out how vital defensive rebounding will be for NC State on Tuesday. I think if the Tigers grab 40% of their misses (and that's what they've been averaging) they win easily.

They've grabbed more than half their misses on four different occasions. Take a look (in the Game Plan) at what they did to poor Minnesota. By game's end, the Gophers were naught but roadkill.

Clemson Defense 06-07Four FactorsPercentNat'l RankeFG%46.767Turnover Rate26.319Off Reb Rate30.557FTA/FGA24.410
Oliver Purnell's Tiger teams always play good defense, and they consistently force a lot of turnovers:

Season Opp TO%

2005 25.2
2006 26.1
2007 26.3

As if their offensive rebounding wasn't enough to worry about.

Against Clemson last year, we turned the ball over on 25.4% of our possessions. Clemson had a large edge in the turnover category, and that nearly cost us the game.

These guys are a terrible matchup for us--couple their ability to force turnovers and our inability to do the same and you have the makings of a big advantage. At least Gavin does not have to run the point against their quick-handed guards, because that would truly be a nightmare. It'll probably be ugly for us anyway.

Pomeroy has the Tigers winning by a score of 77-67. I'll take 79-66.