It has been an up-and-down rollercoaster of emotions for Clemson fans as of late. Not only have they seen their Tigers lose five of their six games in the month of December, then turn it around to start the 2020 year, but then you add on the football program playing in the national championship vs. LSU just days ago.
But the Clemson basketball program certainly seems to be riding high to start the month of January, owning the trio of North Carolina teams on the court.
The Tigers started off the season 5-1 but then lost six of their next seven games, three against ACC programs as they sat in the cellar of the conference. Now, Clemson sits at 3-3 in ACC play and with impressive wins vs. NC State, North Carolina, and then-No. 3 Duke.
Who has been one of the catalysts for this turnaround?
Junior forward Aamir Simms has been a huge part, averaging 20.7 points, seven rebounds, and nearly six assists per game in his last three outings. That includes huge performances on the road against North Carolina, scoring 20 points and eight rebounds in the 79-76 overtime victory and then following that up with a career-high 25-point, nine-rebound, and five assist game at home against the Blue Devils Tuesday night.
Simms has been one of the clear leaders for the Tigers this season, averaging 14.6 points and 7.6 rebounds. Early on though, the junior forward had some struggles at times but his ability was never questioned; it just took a little time to find his rhythm this season.
In conference play though, Simms is stepping up big-time Clemson, producing at a high level and now getting his team back to .500 in the ACC. Simms ranks near the top in several categories in ACC play, proving that he has really escalated his play as of late.
%Min: 84.0 (18th)
ORtg: 121.5 (11th)
%Poss: 24.1 (19th)
eFG%: 61.2% (6th)
OR%: 8.3 (16th)
DR%: 18.7 (17th)
Blk%: 3.5 (25th)
2-pt Pct: 56.5 (18th)
3-pt Pct: 47.6 (6th)
*According to Kenpom.com on 1.15 (Click Here: https://kenpom.com/player.php?p=40042)
The 6’8 forward has continued to improve and develop his overall game, showing that he can play strong and battle down low, as well as step out with his range and skillset. Clemson will need him to continue to play at the highest level like he has shown but it seems that Simms could be turning the tables and showing his full potential.
Simms is showing that he can really be a nightmare for opponents and why he was considered one of the top players around the region coming out of high school.