April 6, 2006
Clemson guards Shawan Robinson and Vernon Hamilton both ranked in the top 15 in the nation and won ACC statistical championships according to statistics released by the NCAA on Thursday. The Clemson team also ranked second in the nation in steals, the highest national ranking for a Clemson team in any statistical category since 1989-90 when Clemson ranked second in the nation in blocked shots per game.
Robinson made 84-92 free throws this year for a .913 percentage this past season to rank third in the nation. He led the ACC and in fact the .913 percentage was fourth best in ACC history, trailing only three seasons by J.J. Redick. Robinson is the first Clemson player to lead the ACC in free throw shooting since 1966-67 when Jim Sutherland led the ACC and finished fourth in the nation. Robinson finished his career with a .833 percentage, sixth best in school history.
Hamilton ranked 15th in the nation in steals per game with a 2.68 figure. His 83 total steals and 2.67 per game average were Clemson records. Hamilton also led the ACC in steals per game, the first Clemson player to lead the conference in that category. His national ranking in the category was also the highest in Clemson history.
Hamilton will enter his senior year with 201 career steals, already the Clemson career record, and his 2.21 steals per game ranks 11th best in ACC history on a per game basis.
Akin Akingbala and Cliff Hammonds also had top 10 rankings in various statistical categories in the final ACC statistics. Akingbala, who averaged 15 points and 10.7 rebounds per game over the last 11 games of the year, finished fourth in the conference in rebounds with an 8.2 average. He was also seventh in offensive rebounds (3.0), fourth in defensive rebounds (5.22) and 10th in blocked shots (1.28 per game). His .576 field goal percentage would have ranked in the top five in the league, but he did not have enough made field goals to qualify.
Sophomore guard Cliff Hammonds ranked third the conference in assist/turnover ratio with a 1.84 figure. He was second in conference games. Hammonds also had a 1.75 steals per game average, seventh best in the conference. Hammonds finished the season a 10.1 average, giving him a double figure scoring average as a freshman and a sophomore. Next year he will attempt to become the first Clemson player to average in double figures for his first three years since Terrell McIntrye (1995-96 to 1997-98).
In terms of team statistics, Clemson finished the season second in the nation in steals per game with an 11.0 average. The Tigers had 352 steals in 32 games, a school record in terms of total steals and steals per game. Only Houston, with a 12.4 average, had a higher steals per game figure than Clemson in 2005-06. It marks the second consecutive year Clemson has ranked in the top 10 in the nation in steals. The Tigers were seventh in 2004-05.
The number-two national ranking in steals is Clemson’s highest ranking in a team category since the 1989-90 Tiger team that featured Dale Davis and Elden Campbell ranked second in the nation in blocked shots per game. That Clemson team actually led the nation in total blocks with 235, a total that still ranks 15th best in NCAA history.
In addition to leading the ACC in steals with an 11.0 average, Clemson also paced the conference in turnovers forced per game with a 19.0 figure and led the ACC in offensive rebounds per game at 14.56. Clemson was second in the ACC in turnover margin with a +3.44 figure and third in three-point goals made per game with 7.44.
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