|by David Hood|
The Tigers just completed a stretch of five of six games on the road, finishing 2-4 during that span. However, the Tigers are still above .500 in the ACC at 6-5 and get five of their final seven games in the friendly confines of Littlejohn Coliseum.
The first of those games tips off at noon Saturday when the Tigers host Virginia in a key ACC matchup.
CLEMSON (15-8, 6-5 ACC) vs. No. 17/16 VIRGINIA (20-5, 11-1 ACC)
Tipoff: 12 p.m.
Radio: CTSN (Pete Yanity-pbp; Tim Bourret-color)
TV: ESPN2 (Carter Blackburn-pbp; Sean Farnham-color)
CU Series W-L record: Virginia leads 68-53
Streak: The two teams split last season
“It’s good to be back. Just the wear and tear of travel can take some energy from your guys,” head coach Brad Brownell said Friday. “It’s been long – I don’t even know how long it’s been – that we’ve been gone. But you just want to get back into a routine, and you can’t do that when you travel so much. It will be nice to get back into a routine down the stretch.”
The Tigers are playing for a possible NCAA Tournament berth, and every win in the ACC would help them avoid playing on Wednesday in the ACC Tournament in Greensboro next month.
Playing five of the next seven at home will help that cause.
“We hope to have some good crowds, and some good games,” Brownell said. “That will give us a great environment and give our guys a little extra juice. So we are excited about that and have our hands full with a talented Virginia team tomorrow. But our guys did reasonably well (one the road). I think our team improved over the course of the three weeks we were gone. We played some good teams in some good environments, and now we have a chance to do some good things down the stretch and do some good things for the season.”
• Clemson takes on its second ranked foe in Littlejohn Coliseum this season Saturday as No. 17/16 Virginia comes to town.
• The Tigers are in search of their second home win over a top-25 ACC team; the last time Clemson beat two top-25 teams at home in the same season was 2003-04.
• Saturday begins a stretch of five home games over the last seven for the Tigers, including three straight to end the regular season.
• Clemson last defeated a ranked Virginia team in 2011-12, Brad Brownell’s second season at the helm of the program.
• The Tigers have won four straight at home over the Cavaliers; Virginia’s last win in Littlejohn came in 2006-07 on a tip-in by Jason Cain at the buzzer.
• Clemson is coming off a double overtime loss at Notre Dame, its first double overtime game since the 2007-08 season. In that game, K.J. McDaniels had 30 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks.
• McDaniels was the first ACC player since Maryland’s Lonny Baxter in 2000 with at least 30 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks in a game. He is only the second player in school history to produce those numbers across those three categories, joining Dale Davis who did it against Western Carolina in 1991.
• McDaniels is now second among ACC players in scoring and rebounding in league games, averaging 17.3 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.
• Rod Hall, who tripled his career output last time out with his 12th double figure scoring effort this season, has an even 500 points in his Tiger career.
• All youth tickets (ages 12 and under) are $10, redeemable at any of the Littlejohn Coliseum gates.
• Fans who show Saturday's ticket stub receive half-price admission to the Clemson vs. Eastern Michigan baseball game scheduled for 2:30 p.m. at Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
David Hood can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org