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Clemson Basketball: Three takeaways from loss to No. 8 North Carolina

What went wrong as the Tigers lost back-to-back games for the first time all season, falling to North Carolina 65-55.

It's a dangerous time for this Clemson team. After a stellar opening to the year, beating multiple quality opponents, it appears as if the momentum has slowed dramatically for this Tigers squad. What happened in their loss to North Carolina and will they be able to fix the problems quickly?

1. The stars aren't shining

This was brought up briefly after the loss to Miami but stars PJ Hall and Joe Girard at least had some pop in that game. They were ice-cold against North Carolina. Both players arguably had their worst showing of the year which led to some disastrous results. Hall went for 10 points on 4-13 shooting, 0-5 from 3, and even just 2-4 from the free throw line. Girard was somehow even worse. Just 5 points on 1-10 from the field. No one on the team shot particularly well, to be fair. The good news, and the main hope, for Clemson fans is that performance had to have been rock bottom and they'll rebound from here.

Ian Schieffelin North Carolina

Ian Schieffelin recorded a double-double against North Carolina.

2. Did they shrink the rim?

Clemson shot 1-18 from 3. A big "thank you" goes to Chauncey Wiggins for hitting the lone three-ball. Clemson won't win very many games, if any at all, shooting like that but certainly not against top 10 opponents. What's even worse is that this game is at home where percentages usually go up. There's plenty of credit to be given to the Tarheels' defensive effort but even a team with their talent can't bring about a 6% game just by being in the right spots. Clemson has plenty of talent in their own right and they're going to have to hit some contested shots and move the ball to get better open ones if they want that number to change moving forward.

3. Help may be on the way soon

We've bemoaned the lack of depth Clemson has experienced during this tough stretch, especially without Jack Clark and Alex Hemenway. Both may be looking to return relatively soon, as coach Brad Brownell updated their status.  "Jack tried to practice a couple times this week. Did a few things. We hope he's getting closer. Just [the] trainer said he still can't go yet. Alex still hasn't practiced. I'm hopeful, I don't know if it's this week or next week that we can start to get him out there."
While it doesn't sound as if either is 100% yet certainly the fact that this team may resemble its full self soon may provide a boost of confidence to the players enduring the toughest stretch of play they've faced this year.