Clemson to Host Presbyterian in Season Opener on Friday


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Oliver Purnell joined former Georgia Tech coach Bobby Cremins as the only coaches in ACC history to take a program to a better winning percentage in five consecutive years. (Photos: fotoman)

GAME SETUP

Site: Littlejohn Coliseum (10,000)

Date: Friday, Nov. 13, 2009

City: Clemson, SC

Time: 8:00 PM

TV: None

Radio: Clemson Tiger Sports Properties

(Pete Yanity - play-by-play, Tim Bourret - color)

Web: TigerCast (ClemsonTigers.com)

(Roy Philpott - play-by-play, Alex Welp - color)

Rankings: Clemson: #24 AP, #24 ESPN/USA Today



SERIES NOTES

Overall: Clemson leads 54-18-1

at Clemson: Clemson leads 32-8-1

at Littlejohn: Clemson leads 5-0

at Presbyterian College: Clemson leads 22-10

at Neutral: None played

First Meeting: Tie, 39-39, in 1915-16

Last Meeting: Clemson, 79-58, in 200
8-09
Streak: Clemson has won five in a row



QUICK FACTS

• Clemson and Presbyterian College will meet in the season opener for the first time since the 1954-55 season. The Tigers hold a 54-18-1 lead in the series that dates to 1915-16, the fifth year of Clemson basketball.

• The Tigers defeated the Blue Hose 79-58 last season. Trevor Booker scored a season-high 25 points in the win, while Jerai Grant added 11.

• Clemson has an overall record of 94-15 in its history during the month of November. Under Head Coach Oliver Purnell, the Tigers have won 26 consecutive games dating to his second year with the program (2004-05). Clemson was 5-0 in November of 2005, 8-0 in 2006, 6-0 in 2007, and 7-0 last November.

• Clemson won its exhibition game on Friday, Nov. 6, by a score of 99-51 over Francis Marion. Freshman guard Noel Johnson led three players in double figures. He scored 19 points on 7-10 shooting (3-6 from three-point range).

• Tanner Smith added 16 points in the exhibition win, while David Potter posted 10 and three steals. Fourteen players participated for Clemson, but no player logged more than 22 minutes in the game.

• Clemson is ranked No. 24 in the preseason Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today coaches’ polls. It marks the first time since 1997 the Tiger program has been ranked in either of the national preseason polls. The Tigers were ranked among the final top-25 teams by the AP each of the last two seasons.

• Over the last three years alone, Clemson has totaled 72 wins, third-best in the ACC behind only Duke and North Carolina.

• The Tigers were picked to finish third in the ACC by the league media, the highest predicted finish for Clemson since 1997-98.

• Clemson has three announced sellouts so far for the 2009-10 season, all conference games. Tilts against Boston College (Jan. 9), North Carolina (Jan. 13) and Duke (Jan. 23) are officially sold out.

• Trevor Booker was named to the preseason All-ACC team at the conference media day. The senior forward has also been tabbed a preseason All-American by Basketball Times, CBSsports.com, FoxSports.com, and Blue Ribbon. Booker is one of 50 players on the preseason watch list for the Naismith Trophy and Wooden Award as well.

• Booker is the ACC’s active leader in both rebounds (792) and blocked shots (204). He is Clemson’s top returning scorer (15.3 ppg) from a year ago.

• The Bookers will be the first brother combination to play for Clemson since Horace and Harvey Grant in 1984-85. Trevor’s younger brother, Devin, will make his debut in a Tiger uniform Friday evening.

• Demontez Stitt returns for his third season as the Tigers’ starting point guard. He has started 52 of 64 career games in his two years with the program. Last season, he ranked sixth in the ACC in assists per game and a/to ratio.


PROBABLE STARTING LINEUPS

Demontez Stitt 6-2 175 Jr. 	G 	2 Kevin Davis 6-2 180 So.
(Matthews, NC) 				(Charlotte, NC)
5 Tanner Smith 6-5 220 So. 	G 	24 Khalid Mutakabbir 6-4 190 Fr.
(Alpharetta, GA) 			(Suwanee, GA)
45 Jerai Grant 6-8 220 Jr. 	C/G 	31 Chase Holmes 6-4 205 So.
(Bowie, MD) 				(Spartanburg, SC)
15 David Potter 6-6 215 Sr. 	F 	21 Walt Allen 6-5 220 Jr.
(Severn, MD) 				(London, KY)
35 Trevor Booker 6-7 240 Sr. 	F 	30 Jake Troyli 6-9 185 Fr.
(Whitmire, SC) 				(Largo, FL)


Clemson vs. Presbyterian College Series


Friday’s game will mark the 74th meeting between the two schools, but only the third since the 1982-83 season. Clemson holds a 54-18-1 advantage in the series which dates to the 1915-16 season.

The Tigers have enjoyed 13 consecutive wins in the series on two occasions, most recently from 1943-50. The two schools have played just five times at Littlejohn Coliseum, with Clemson winning each contest. The Tigers won last season by a score of 79-58.

The Tigers have a 32-8-1 all-time record against Presbyterian College in home games. The last game played at PC in the series was in the 1954-55 season.

The 1982-83 meeting marked the first home game in Clemson history in which the three-point shot was used. The distance was 17’9” and the Tigers knocked down four from beyond the arc in that contest.

This is the first time the two schools have played each other in the season opener since the 1954-55 season.


Scouting PC


The Blue Hose are coming off the 2008-09 season in which they posted a 12-17 overall record (9-9 in the Big South). PC was picked 10th in the preseason Big South poll, largely due to the fact that their top three returing players are red-shirting the 2009-10 season.

Head Coach Gregg Nibert and his staff decided to red-shirt Al’Lonzo Coleman, Josh Johnson and Pierre Miller this season. The reason why is because PC is in its third year of the NCAA Division I transition process, meaning the 2011-12 season will be the first the school will be eligible for postseason play. Coleman, Johnson, and Miller combined to average nearly 33 points per game. The trio will be red-shirt seniors in 2011-12.

PC won its exhibition game over North Greenville on Nov. 5 by a score of 60-57. The Blue Hose were led by sophomore Chase Holmes, who tallied 21 points in 35 minutes of play. Jake Troyli added 10 in the victory.


Most Recent Meeting...

Clemson Downs Presbyterian College, 79-58


Trevor Booker scored a season-high 25 points and Clemson shot 53.4 percent from the field in a 79-58 win over Presbyterian College on Nov. 28, 2008.

Booker made 11-16 shots and all three of his free throw attempts for his 25-point total. He added nine rebounds and a pair of blocked shots in 27 minutes.

Four players scored in double figures for Clemson, including post players Jerai Grant and Raymond Sykes. Grant made all five of his field goal attempts and finished with 11 points, five rebounds and three blocked shots.

The Blue Hose made a run toward the end of the opening half, cutting Clemson’s lead to as small as four points at 36-32. However, the Tigers put together a 9-2 run to close the first half on top by 11 points.

In the second half, the lead grew to as much as 24 points after a K.C. Rivers tip-in put the score at 73-49 in favor of Clemson.


Tigers Strong in November Under Purnell


Clemson has been strong historically in November, but especially so under seventh-year Head Coach Oliver Purnell. Clemson finished 7-0 for the month in 2008-09 and has won 26 consecutive games in November dating to Purnell’s second year.

Clemson was 5-0 in November of 2005, then had an 8-0 November of 2006. The Tigers were 6-0 under Purnell during November of 2007. Clemson’s last loss in November took place in 2004 when the Tigers lost at Boston College the day after Thanksgiving, 79-70.

Clemson is 94-15 all-time in the month of November. Clemson first played a game in November of 1972, an 86-77 victory over Georgia Tech in Littlejohn Coliseum.


Clemson Third-Winningest ACC Team in the Last Three Years

Clemson has a 72-30 overall record and a 26-22 mark in ACC games over the last three years, or since the 2009-10 seniors arrived on campus. Clemson was 25-11 in 2006-07, 24-10 in 2007-08, and 23-9 last season. Clemson has a .706 overall winning percentage for the last three years, third-best in the ACC behind North Carolina and Duke. Clemson’s .553 winning percentage in ACC games (26-22) is tied for third with Virginia Tech.

The only Tiger in the starting lineup over this period of time is Trevor Booker, who came to Clemson as a freshman in 2006-07. Booker has started all 102 games in the last three years, the only Tiger to do that.


Winningest ACC Teams Last Three Years
Rk School 		W-L Pct
1. North Carolina 	101-14 .878
2. Duke 		80-24 .769
3. Clemson 		72-30 .706
4. Florida State 	66-38 .635
5. Maryland 		65-38 .631
6. Wake Forest 		56-36 .609
7. Virginia Tech 	62-41 .602
8. Boston College 	57-41 .582
9. Miami (FL) 		54-44 .551
10. NC State 		51-46 .526
11. Virginia 		48-45 .517
12. Georgia Tech 	47-48 .495


Purnell Improving Clemson Every Year


Clemson finished the 2008-09 season with a 23-9 record for a .719 winning percentage. It marked the fifth consecutive year that Clemson has improved its winning percentage from the previous year. Clemson Head Coach Oliver Purnell joined former Georgia Tech coach Bobby Cremins as the only coaches in ACC history to take a program to a better winning percentage in five consecutive years. Cremins did it from 1980-81 through the 1986-87 season.

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