November 29, 2014

Tigers survive big scare from High Point 62-59

Nnoko had a double-double Friday night (File Photo)

Nnoko had a double-double Friday night (File Photo)

A Clemson men’s basketball game was decided by three points again Friday. For the second straight time, the Tigers escaped with a victory. Clemson held off High Point in a 62-59 triumph in Littlejohn Coliseum to move to 4-2 on the young season. The Panthers fell to 4-2 overall.

Jaron Blossomgame and Landry Nnoko both produced double-doubles for the Tigers. Blossomgame led the way with 14 points, all in the second half, and 13 rebounds. Nnoko added 10 in the scoring column with 13 rebounds. High Point’s John Brown led all scorers with 26 points.

Clemson led by as much as 12 in the first half and led by 10 at intermission when Sidy Djitte made a layup before the horn sounded. The Tigers limited the Panthers to just 16 in the opening half, their lowest total in a half this season.

High Point was hot to start the second stanza, connecting on four of its first five three-pointers. The Panthers evened the score at 36 and 38, but Clemson put together a 16-6 run to extend the lead to double digits again. But High Point crept back in cut it to 54-51 on a reverse layup by Brown.

Clemson made its free throws down the stretch, hitting 14 of 16 in the second half. Inside the final four minutes, the Tigers were a perfect 6-for-6.

The Tigers stay home for the second of four straight in Littlejohn. Clemson and Rutgers compete in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Monday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. The game will be televised by ESPNU.

Final Stats

Report: Clemson’s Morris to be new coach at SMU

Chad Morris

Chad Morris

Thanksgiving apparently turned out to be quite  bountiful for Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris.  According to reports on the 247Sports.com and Scout.com, Morris has agreed to become the new head coach at SMU.

Reporter Chip Brown of  Austin, TX, who writes for the Scout site HornsDigest.com, has some pretty strong details on the story he released on Twitter:

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It sure is sounding like Deshaun Watson will play Saturday (VIDEO)

Deshaun Watson could return Saturday, according to Dabo Swinney.

Deshaun Watson could return Saturday, according to Dabo Swinney.

Dabo Swinney isn’t tipping his hand, but it sounded like there is a good chance Deshaun Watson will play Saturday against rival USC. The question is when and how much? Watson took some snaps with the first team Wednesday , the first time he’s done that since his knee injury. Cole Stoudt has taken almost all of the reps this week.

Swinney probably has a good idea what the plan is for this weekend. He knows he gains nothing but revealing that now. He’ll keep everyone, including USC, guessing until Saturday.

Watch Swinney’s comments below: [Read more…]

Vic Beasley named one of three finalists for the Bednarik Award

Vic Beasley has put together a great final season.

Vic Beasley has put together a great final season.

Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley has been named one of three finalists for the Chuck Bednarik Award. The honor goes each year to the top defensive player in college football and is presented by the Maxwell Football Club of Philadelphia.

Beasley is joined by Joey Bosa, a defensive end from Ohio State and Scooby Wright, a linebacker from  Arizona.   This is the second award that Beasley has been named a finalist. Last week he was named  one of four finalists for the Lombardi Award, which goes to the top offensive or defensive lineman in college football.

Beasley has been a fixture on the Clemson defense for the last four years. A graduate student who would have likely been a high-round NFL pick last spring decided to return to Clemson for one last year. The defensive end, leads the Tigers with nine sacks and 15.5 tackles for losses.

Not only is Beasley now the all-time leader in sacks at Clemson, he is first among current FBS-level players in career sacks and tackles for a loss.  He has had at least one tackle for loss in every game this year and has a streak of 13 straight games over two years.

Clemson’s defense is ranked first in the country in six categories, including total defense, tackles for loss and third down defense.  Beasley is the third Clemson player to be named a finalist for the Bednarik Award.  The others were Keith Adams in 2000 and Da’Quan Bowers in 2010.

Talking Tuesday: Dabo says Watson day to day, preparing Stoudt to start (AUDIO)

Dabo Swinney

Dabo Swinney

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney got a look at Deshaun Watson and his injured knee in practice last night, albeit in a green jersey, and this afternoon he plans to see if Watson can turn it loose in practice and do the things necessary to beat USC Saturday in Death Valley.  At his Tuesday press conference, Swinney said they will take it day by day with Watson with the hope his knee will come around and he will be able to start, against the Gamecocks.  But as of Tuesday, the staff is preparing Cole Stoudt to be the starter.

Here are more of Swinney’s key comments as well as full audio from his presser:

[Read more…]