|by David Hood|
The Clemson basketball team (15-7, 6-4) concludes a brutal stretch of five road games in six contests when they take on Notre Dame (12-12, 3-8) Tuesday night in the Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center for the first-ever meeting between the two teams - a win would make Clemson only the second team in history to win its first football and basketball games at Notre Dame.
The contest will tip off at 7 p.m. (ET). The Fighting Irish will look to snap a two-game losing streak, while the Tigers are coming off a loss to top-ranked Syracuse in the Carrier Dome Sunday evening.
CLEMSON (15-7, 6-4 ACC) vs. NOTRE DAME (12-12, 3-8 ACC)
Tipoff: 7 p.m.
Arena: Purcell Pavilion (9,149)
Radio: CTSN (Pete Yanity-pbp; Tim Bourret-color)
TV: RSN (Tom Werme-pbp; Debbie Antonelli-color)
Clemson began the road trip on January 21st with a game at Pitt, and road contests against North Carolina and Florida St. quickly followed. The Tigers played at home in February 4th, and then played at Syracuse Sunday. Clemson returns home Saturday, hosting Virginia.
Clemson head coach Brad Brownell told TigerNet Monday afternoon from South Bend that the team is happy that the end is in sight, but he wants them to keep their focus on the task at hand.
“We are tired. We got in at 1:30 last night after the Syracuse game, and now we have the quick turnaround game with Notre Dame,” Brownell said. “We played well in spurts against Syracuse – it was 22-22 – and then in the last four minutes of the first half it got away from us. Then we cut it to five at 42-37, but we just couldn’t get enough stops against a very talented Syracuse team. Now we have to regroup and get ready for Notre Dame.”
Brownell then said while he is glad the end of the long road is finally in sight, he thinks his team has benefitted from the challenge.
“I can barely remember who it started with,” he said. “We have had a long three weeks. We have had some very different games in some very challenging venues. But this trip showed our team that when we play well and play well on defense, we can play with some of the very good teams in the country. Getting to see some of the nice venues across the league makes you appreciate our conference. But I hope it has given our guys a sense of strength to do what we need to do effectively. Because when we do we can play with the really good teams in this country.”
• Clemson is in search of its first win in the state of Indiana since the 1996-97 season opener, when Rick Barnes’ Tiger team shocked the college basketball world with a 79-71 overtime upset of defending National Champion Kentucky in a neutral site game in Indianapolis.
• The Tigers last played in the Hoosier State in 2003, a 76-61 loss at Purdue.
• Notre Dame’s Mike Brey has faced Clemson as a head coach and as an assistant to Mike Krzyzewski at Duke. He coached against Barnes’ team in 1996 in Puerto Rico as head coach of the Delaware Blue Hens.
• Anthony Solomon, an assistant coach on Brey’s staff, was formerly the director of basketball operations for Larry Shyatt at Clemson from 1998-00.
• Adonis Filer’s older brother, Steve, was a linebacker for the University of Notre Dame football team from 2008-11.
• Filer played for Bishop Noll High School, just 75 miles from Notre Dame in Hammond, IN. He finished his career at Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, MA.
• Clemson entered Sunday’s game at Syracuse with a 5-3 record in games decided by eight or less. The Tigers were just 3-10 in that situation last season.
David Hood can be reached at email@example.com