December 20, 2014

USC takes the hoops bragging rights with blowout of Clemson (AUDIO)

Laimonas Chatkevicius dunks for two of his 12 points in the win over Clemson

Laimonas Chatkevicius dunks for two of his 12 points in the win over Clemson

Basketball was on center stage in the USC-Clemson rivalry Friday night and the Gamecocks stole the show in a 68-45 win over their Upstate rival. The hardwood matchup pales in comparison to the one on the gridiron, but for a night the 11,992 Garnet and Black fans at Colonial Life Arena were able to savor a dominant win over a Tigers team that had won two straight in the series.

USC (6-3) made it happen with defense. The Gamecocks trailed by two at the half, but pulled away after the break by holding Clemson(6-4) to 18% shooting from in the final 20 minutes. The Tigers shot just 30% from the floor for the game. While the Tigers couldn’t find a basket, USC went on a 26-2 run over a 9:30 span. That stretch removed all doubt about who was going to win.

BOX SCORE

USC's defense limited Clemson to 29.8% shooting

USC’s defense limited Clemson to 29.8% shooting

Notes:

  • Duane Notice led the Gamecocks with 19 points. He hit five of the Gamecocks seven three point shots.
  • USC was 1-9 from 3 in the first half and 6-13 in the second. Clemson hit 1-11 from 3 in the second half.
  • Jaron Blossomgame led the Tigers with 14 points. Damarcus Harrison scored 10.
  • The 23 point win for USC is its biggest over Clemson since a 22 point win in 2001.
  • Clemson’s largest lead was two points.
  • Clemson erased an 11 point USC lead in the first half with a 10-0 run. They took the lead at the end of the first half with a 6-0 run, 30-28.
  • USC is the first SEC team to beat Clemson this year. LSU, Arkansas and Auburn lost to the Tigers.
  • This is Frank Martin’s first win over Clemson since taking over the Gamecock program.

Postgame reaction:

AUDIO: Frank Martin [14:00]

AUDIO: Brad Brownell [3:30]

AUDIO: Duane Notice and Laimonas Chatkevicius [4:00]

AUDIO: Jaron Blossomgame [2:06]

AUDIO: Jordan Roper [1:28]

 

SportsTalk at the Stadium: USC hammers Clemson 68-45 in Columbia (VIDEO)

It was an enjoyable night for Frank Martin as he picked up his first win in the rivalry

It was an enjoyable night for Frank Martin as he picked up his first win in the rivalry

Frank Martin earned his first win over Clemson and his team no doubt earned more respect around the basketball world with a 68-45 win over Clemson Friday night in Columbia in front of nearly 12,000 fans at the Colonial Life Arena.

The Gamecocks break a two game losing streak to the Tigers with their most dominate win in the series since 2001.

The Gamecocks improve to 6-3 while Clemson drops to 6-4.

Check out our game recap from the CLA.

[Read more…]

Dabo Swinney following Thursday night’s practice (AUDIO)

Dabo Swinney updated reporters on bowl preparation Thursday afternoon.

Dabo Swinney updated reporters on bowl preparation Thursday afternoon.

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney addressed the media Thursday afternoon following their practice in the upstate.

The Tigers are just 10 days away from their matchup with the Oklahoma Sooners in the Russell Athletic Bowl.

Thursday Dabo focused his comments on his younger guys coming around, getting his team back in to game shape following the long delay, and caught the media up on where some of his most prominent players stand academically.

Clemson will practice one more time in their home state before making their way to the bowl location.

The Tigers and Sooners kick things off in Orlando December 29th, 5:30 on ESPN.

AUDIO: Dabo Swinney [4:00]

 

Santa Claus is real, graduated from Clemson, and is sending letters to recruits

Clemson santaDo you believe in Santa Claus? No? Well, you should.  Why? Because Santa is real and Clemson has the proof.

In case you didn’t know this, Santa  graduated from Clemson in 1896, is tight with Dabo Swinney, and he’s active on the recruiting scene. Hopefully, he’s not bringing any gifts to these recruits, because we all know that would be an NCAA violation.

But make no mistake about it; Santa Claus is “All In” with Clemson:

 

Clemson puts another bowl practice in the books (VIDEO)

Clemson is prepping for a matchup with Oklahoma later this month.

Clemson is prepping for a matchup with Oklahoma later this month.

Head Coach Dabo Swinney completed his post-practice comments to the team Wednesday by asking his graduates to the front. Twenty-two active players joined him.

“It is not an accident that this senior class is the winningest in Clemson history,” said Swinney. “Tomorrow is graduation day, and 17 of our players (including three injured) are going to become Clemson graduates. It is an indication of the work ethic this group has. It is part of our culture to stay the course and get the job done in everything that we do. That is why we have so many graduating tomorrow, some in just three-and-a-half years. I am proud of all of you.”

Fourteen active players graduate Thursday and join the eight players who have already earned their degrees, giving the team 22 graduates on the roster for the Russell Athletic Bowl game against Oklahoma.

The list of senior players graduating Thursday includes starters Stephone Anthony, Corey Crawford, Kalon Davis, Adam Humphries, Grady Jarrett, Garry Peters, Robert Smith, Tony Steward and DeShawn Williams. They will join starters Vic Beasley, Sam Cooper and Josh Watson, who already have their diplomas, meaning the Tigers should start 12 players who are Clemson graduates when they meet Oklahoma on December 29.

Charone Peake and Stanton Seckinger graduate Thursday as well with a full year of eligibility remaining. Seckinger will not play in the bowl game due to a knee injury. Other Tigers graduating on Thursday are D.J. Howard, Daniel Rodriguez and Michael Sobeski.

“I have always given the players graduating the day off from practice,” said Swinney. “It is a day for them to enjoy with their families.”

That means Clemson will be down 14 players for Thursday’s practice.

Swinney said the team had a good practice Wednesday when the Tigers worked for two hours in perfect football weather.

“We did some good things in the two-minute drill on both sides of the ball,” added Swinney. “Overall, we got better today. We had a good attitude from the first special teams period. We got better as a team, and that is the objective. It all starts with the attitude.

“We are getting more and more into out plan for this game, and the team is responding. We are going against one of the traditionally great programs of college football. Oklahoma is the winningest program in the nation since 1946. They have many national championships, Heisman Trophy winners and All-Americans. I think our players are excited about the challenge.”

Clemson practices Thursday and Friday afternoon this week, then breaks until the team meets in Orlando, Fla. on December 23. The first practice in Florida is December 24.