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Clemson Among Hottest Teams Entering ACC Tournament

Clemson Among Hottest Teams Entering ACC Tournament

March 6, 2006

Clemson has been one of the best teams in the ACC over the last five games of the season. Oliver Purnell’s Tigers have a 4-1 record in those games with the only loss an overtime defeat at Wake Forest, 74-68 on February 22. Only North Carolina, with a 5-0 record is better than Clemson over the last five games. Florida State and Boston College are also both 4-1 over the last five games of the season.

Statistically, Clemson has a +10.0 scoring margin over the last five games, second only to North Carolina’s +22.2. In fact, only five of the 12 ACC teams have a positive scoring margin over the last five games. Clemson has three wins by double digits, second only to North Carolina’s four.

Clemson has averaged 85.6 points per game over the last five thanks in part to 43.7 percent three-point shooting. Individually, there have been some outstanding performances over this time period as Shawan Robinson, Akin Akingbala, Cliff Hammonds and Vernon Hamilton all have averaged in double figures for the last five games combined.

Robinson has averaged 20 points per game during that time with an even 100 points. That includes his 22 point performance on Senior Day against Georgia Tech. He is shooting 51.2 percent on three-point (22-43) during those games. He did not make as many as five three-point goals in any of the first 24 games, and now has scored at least five made three pointers in four of the last five games.

Akin Akingbala has averaged 15.4 points and 10 rebounds per game over the last five games. He has shot 53 percent from the field and has 19 offensive rebounds to lead the club in that category. Like Robinson, he has scored in double figures in 10 of the last 11 games.

Hammonds has averaged 13.6 points per game in the last five and has made 12-25 three-point goals, 48 percent. The sophomore guard is shooting 23-43 overall during that time period, 53.5 percent and has 21 assists and just nine turnovers. Over his last three games, all Clemson wins, he has 12 assists and just one turnover.

Hamilton has had injury problems, the result of a fall in the final moments against Boston College on Feb. 11. He suffered a chipped bone in his left elbow and torn ligaments in his left thumb. Still he has played on, and has 44 points in his last four games, including 24, the second highest total of his career, in the win over Georgia Tech when he shot 8-11 from the field and added four steals. He is now Clemson’s career leader (196) and single season leader (78 this year) in steals.

Sam Perry certainly deserves mention for his last five games as the sophomore has made 53 percent of his field goals and is 21-27 from the foul line for 78 percent. He has scored 7.8 points per game and had just four turnovers in his last 100 minutes. K.C. Rivers has made 9-23 three-point goals in his last five games and also has a 7.8 scoring average during this time. Steve Allen has made 11-15 field goals during this time for 73.3 percent and Julius Powell has averaged 5.2 points.

                ACC Standings over the Last Five Games        Sd      Team    W-L     PPG     Opp     Margin        2       North Carolina  5-0     88.2    66.0    +22.2        9       Clemson         4-1     85.6    75.6    +10.0        5       Florida State   4-1     70.8    67.0    +3.8        3       Boston College  4-1     67.2    64.0    +3.2        1       Duke    3-2     77.8    73.0    +4.8        6       Maryland        3-2     68.0    73.4    -5.4        4       NC State        2-3     71.8    74.0    -2.2        12      Wake Forest     2-3     69.0    73.4    -4.4        8       Miami (FL)      1-4     64.0    69.6    -5.6        11      Georgia Tech    1-4     76.6    79.6    -3.0        10      Virginia Tech   1-4     66.6    69.2    -2.6        7       Virginia        1-4     64.4    78.8    -14.4