PLAYER OF THE GAME - CLEMSON - Bryan Narcisse
Why not? The guy continues to play well in place of an injured Tanner Smith.
Narcisse's numbers aren't flashy (nine points, five rebounds, two steals and a block), but he sure knows how to throw down when he gets above the rim.
His first dunk woke the crowd and his team up. The second dunk reminded NC State that the comeback was indeed on.
"It's just one of many good defensive plays," Brad Brownell said of the second dunk, which was setup by a steal at half court. "Bryan's athleticism and size helped us. We're not as long at some positions, and he is a bigger three. I thought he gave us great energy."
Speaking of Smith, maybe he should have watched Jay Cutler on Sunday. Aren't guys with knee injuries not supposed to be that active on the bench?
PLAYER OF THE GAME - NC State - Tracy Smith
He wins by default. One of the premier players in the ACC, Smith had 13 points on 4-of-10 shooting from the field. He only had four rebounds.
"He was very good early, because he was unselfish," Brownell said.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Pick ‘em. You get three.
First Narcisse dunk.
Second Narcisse dunk.
Jerai Grant followed his own missed layup with an offensive rebound and a put back. He got the and one and hit the free-throw. With 5:43 left in the game, Clemson led for the first time, 50-48.
STAT OF THE GAME
NC State made eight shots from the field in the second half. Two were 3's from Scott Wood and both were two minutes into the half.
"The scare was that Scott Wood would start making shots and it would open everything else up," Brownell said. "Then the inside game gets going when you over-help to Scott Wood and you can't get it shut off. That was a major concern. A couple of times, our big guys switched out onto Wood to take away a shot, or at least make him take a tougher shot."
Go ahead and pat yourself on the back, Terry Don Phillips. You've done well.
Even a blind referee wearing Narcisse's rec. specs could see that Brownell's got staying power in the ACC.
Sure, the league's down. Yes, Brownell still hasn't won a game on the road. But how many more times do we need to go down this road?
As long as his team of less than 10 scholarship basketball players keeps playing this way, so at least nine or 10 games.
It's hard for a team that uses the amount of emotion to comeback in the first half to keep it up in the second half and make another comeback. These guys did.
It's the same team that played four of the starters played over 32 minutes. The same team that had two players with over 20 minutes on the court. And the same team that saw the other two pint-sized guards play almost 10 minutes.
Saturday's game against Florida State marks the half-way point in the ACC schedule. Five of the final eight games are on the road, including two trips down Tobacco Road (one is senior night at Duke...hello, Kyle Singler).
Brownell isn't back in the tournament yet, but do you really doubt that he won't be?
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