Regardless of Tech’s record, you have to marvel at what Lewis Clinch has done lately.
The senior guard has hit 27 of his last 53 3-pointers. He’s averaging 25.8 points over the last four games.
Clinch was in an incredible zone Wednesday night, when he hit 9 of his first 14 threes. “The rim is feeling like it’s as big as the ocean,” he said.
In the postgame press conference, Clinch was quick to credit his teammates for setting him screens and getting him the ball in the right spots.
After finishing classes Wednesday, Clinch headed over to AMC at 2 p.m. and shot for 20 minutes with assistant coach Peter Zaharis. He’s been doing that on gamedays for a few weeks.
“We worked on coming off curls, different cuts, catch-and-shoot, different speeds, quick shots,” he said. “That really helped me get prepared…Basically every shot that I took [in the game], we had worked on.”
Clinch’s defense should not be overlooked. He started out on Miami senior guard Jack McClinton, who came in averaging 22.2 points in ACC games. McClinton scored 13 on 3-for-12 shooting.
Clinch said the most important thing about the 78-68 win was the momentum it could produce.
“We’re not giving up,” he said. “We’re going into Boston College to take another one and get prepared to win this ACC tournament and go to the NCAA tournament. That’s the kind of mindset we have and that’s the mindset we’re going to keep in the locker room.
“I really think our fans believe in us,” added Clinch, who went over to the student section after the game. “I get calls and emails all the time saying, ‘You guys play hard, just keep working and something great will happen for you.’”
Tech suffered two injuries Wednesday night that we’ll update as soon as possible. Iman Shumpert landed hard after being fouled on a drive; he has a hip pointer. Alade Aminu banged his wrist while dunking early in the game. While he stayed in, it affected his touch around the basket.
Another note: Gani Lawal did not start because he was a couple minutes late to the pregame meal, coach Paul Hewitt said. Lawal should start Saturday at Boston College.
“It’s not a major issue,” Hewitt said. “He understood. He had a long day at school and just got a little sidetracked, I think.”
Lawal scored 14 points on 5-of-7 shooting, but grabbed just 2 rebounds.
Of course, one Senior Night win doesn’t change this disastrous season. Tim Crothers, an author and former Sports Illustrated writer, sized up Tech’s problems very nicely in the ACC Sports Journal.
But here’s my question: if Clinch stays hot, can Tech do damage in the ACC tourney?