Auburn Basketball: Clemson Q&A With Rubbing the Rock


The 3-4 Auburn basketball team will play 5-3 Clemson on the road this afternoon. As we look ahead to the game, we sat down with Dan Kelley, the editor of Rubbing the Rock (@RubbingTheRock on Twitter), the Clemson fan site on the FanSided network.

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Dan was kind enough to answer some of our questions in regards to today’s game.

Fly War Eagle: Taking a quick look at the results from earlier in the season, Clemson has played a lot of close games. Clemson has two wins against SEC opponents so far, including a nice overtime win against Arkansas last week. How have Tigers fans felt about the season so far?

Rubbing the Rock: I think more than a few Clemson basketball fans were seeking out a good, tall ledge prior to the Arkansas game. Losses to Winthrop, Gardner-Webb, and Rutgers certainly weren’t what any of us had hoped for. But knocking off Arkansas breathed some new life into the season. I just hope that the win signaled that Clemson has turned a corner and it wasn’t that Arkansas was just overrated.

FWE: Losing K.J. McDaniels to the NBA certainly hurts, but Clemson’s had some nice results from Jaron Blossomgame and Landry Nnoko so far this season. What can you tell us about them?

RtR: I think both players have developed nicely. As a freshman last year, Blossomgame showed that he was a good rebounder, grabbing five boards per game, but he wasn’t a great scorer. Now he is leading Clemson in scoring and rebounding with 12 points and 8.9 rebounds per game and he has played even better recently. He had three consecutive double-doubles going into the Arkansas game but narrowly missed out on extending that streak, finishing with 17 points and eight rebounds against the Razorbacks.

Nnoko is a similar story, although the improvement hasn’t been quite as dramatic. He is scoring and rebounding more this season though and, if Auburn lets him get the ball down low, he is probably going to put the ball in the basket. He is connecting on about 55% of his field goal attempts this season.

FWE: Donte Grantham was a huge signee for the Tigers in the most recent recruiting class. How is he working out so far? Are there any other newcomers we need to know about?

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  • RtR: I don’t think anyone could have realistically expected much more from Grantham this year. He hasn’t been flawless but, for a freshman, he has been very, very good. He averages about 11 points and five rebounds per game and he has done that without any glaring freshman mistakes. He is also one of the better shooters on the team.

    There is also freshman guard Gabe DeVoe, but you probably won’t see much of him. He hasn’t had a lot of run since the opener against Florida A&M.

    FWE: The ACC is always difficult. How do you see Clemson stacking up this year?

    RtR: Playing against the top half of the ACC might be the equivalent of playing football in the SEC West. Right now the ACC has six ranked teams, including three in the top ten. Duke might be the best team in college basketball (though Kentucky looks a bit better to me) and Louisville and Virginia look like potential Final Four teams, as well.

    As far as Clemson goes, I don’t harbor any thoughts of them winning the conference. The Tigers might be able to pull a nice upset or two but I don’t think the talent is there to hang with the top teams over an entire season. If they finish around the middle of the standings, I would consider that a successful season.

    FWE: Looking ahead to Sunday’s game, would you care to make a prediction?

    RtR: I think this is a game that Clemson probably should win but I never feel confident predicting anything with this team. I mean, they lost to Rutgers one week, then beat Arkansas the next, so who knows?

    If I had to take a guess though, I would say Clemson wins by something like 67-63.

    Thanks, Dan. We look forward to a good game.

    Next: What Will Muschamp Brings to Auburn

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