Clemson vs UAB NCAA Tournament notes


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GAME SETUP

Site: UD Arena (13,455)

Date: Tuesday, March 15, 2011

City: Dayton, OH

Time: 9:00 PM

TV: TruTV (Jim Nantz, Clark Kellogg, Steve Kerr, Tracy Wolfson)

Radio: Clemson Tiger Sports Properties (Pete Yanity, Tim Bourret)



SERIES NOTES

Overall: UAB leads 2-0

at Clemson: None played

at Littlejohn: None played

at UAB: UAB leads 1-0

at Neutral: UAB leads 1-0

First Meeting: UAB, 65-64, on Mar. 22, 1993

Last Meeting: UAB, 78-66, on Dec. 21, 2004

Streak: UAB has won both meetings

QUICK FACTS

• Clemson will travel to Dayton, OH to take on UAB as part of the NCAA Tournament First Four games. The game will be played at 9:00 PM on Tuesday, March 15 and will be televised by TruTV. The winner will advance to the second round to face #5 seed West Virginia in Tampa, FL at 12:15 PM on Thursday, March 17.

• This will be the third meeting in history between the Tigers and Blazers. UAB holds a 2-0 advantage, with the most recent game coming in the 2004 Rainbow Classic in Hawaii.

• Clemson Head Coach Brad Brownell will be making a return trip to Dayton, the same city he spent the previous four years as head coach at Wright State. Brownell led the Raiders to the NCAA Tournament in 2006-07, his first season at the school. In fact, he has now taken each of his three schools (UNC Wilmington, Wright State and Clemson) to the NCAA Tournament in his first season at each school.

• Brownell and UAB coach Mike Davis faced each other in the NCAA Tournament when Davis was the head coach at Indiana and Brownell the top assistant at UNC Wilmington in 2002.

• Clemson’s senior class will be making its fourth straight trip to the NCAA Tournament, a feat that had never been accomplished prior to the Selection Sunday announcement.

• Clemson advanced to the ACC Tournament semifinals for the second time in the last four years after the Tigers defeated Boston College by a score of 70-47 in the quarterfinal round on Friday, March 11.

Demontez Stitt was named first-team All-ACC Tournament after averaging 22.5 points per game in Clemson’s two outings. Stitt is the first Clemson player chosen to the first-team All-Tournament Team since both Trevor Booker and K.C. Rivers were named to the squad in 2008.

• Stitt’s 25 points against North Carolina in the semifinals were a career-high for the native of the Tar Heel state.

• Clemson has seven players on its roster with NCAA Tournament experience, including seniors Stitt and Jerai Grant at three games apiece. Stitt has averaged 12.3 points per game in three tournament games.

• Clemson is 8-10 all-time in NCAA Tournament games and is looking for its first win in the “Big Dance” since the 1997 team advanced to the Sweet 16.


PROBABLE STARTING LINEUPS

CLEMSON (21-11)                       UAB (22-8)
2 Demontez Stitt 6-2 180 Sr.    G     1 Aaron Johnson 5-8 185 Sr.
(14.7 PPG, 4.4 RPG)                   (11.1 PPG, 7.9 APG)
11 Andre Young 5-9 175 Jr.      G     4 Jamarr Sanders 6-5 210 Sr.
(10.8 PPG, 3.0 APG)                   (17.8 PPG, 4.3 RPG)
5 Tanner Smith 6-5 205 Jr.      G     23 Dexter Fields 6-2 205 So.
(7.8 PPG, 3.6 RPG)                    (7.0 PPG, 2.1 RPG)
31 Devin Booker 6-8 245 So.     F     3 Anthony Criswell 6-9 230 *Fr.
(7.9 PPG, 5.3 RPG)                    (14.4 PPG, 7.2 RPG)
45 Jerai Grant 6-8 230 Sr.      F     32 Ovie Soko 6-8 210 So.
(12.1 PPG, 6.7 RPG)                   (9.5 PPG, 6.0 RPG)


Clemson’s NCAA Tournament History

• This is Clemson’s 11th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers have an 8-10 record in games played on the court. Clemson has advanced to the Elite Eight once (1980) and the Sweet 16 three of the previous 10 appearances (1990 and 1997 in addition to 1980). Clemson’s appearance in the 1990 tournament was later vacated when freshman Wayne Buckingham was ruled academically ineligible. (Had the NCAA Clearinghouse been in place at the time, it would not have been an issue.) Buckingham later graduated from Clemson.

•This is the fourth year in a row Clemson has participated in the tournament, the first time Clemson has played in four consecutive events. Clemson had a three-year run under Rick Barnes from 1996-98 and three years in a row under Oliver Purnell 2008-10.

•When Clemson was chosen for the tournament in 2008 it was the first time in 10 years Clemson had been selected.

•This is the first time Clemson had made the NCAA Tournament in consecutive years under different coaches.

•Brad Brownell is the first Clemson coach to take the Tigers to the NCAA Tournament in his first year.


•Clemson has lost five consecutive NCAA Tournament games. The Tigers have been to the NCAA Tournament each of the last three years, but lost all three years in the first round eight points or less. Clemson has lost to Villanova by six, Michigan by three and Missouri by eight over the last three years.

•The Tigers last victory took place in Kansas City, MO, a 65-59 victory over Tulsa in the second round. That game was played March 16, 1997. Clemson had beaten Miami (OH) 68-56 in the first round that year. Clemson lost in the Sweet 16 to Minnesota in double overtime in San Antonio.

•Clemson has eight NCAA Tournament wins and six of the eight have taken place in the Central, Mountain or Pacific time zones. Clemson has just two wins in the Eastern time zone (Hartford in 1990).

•Clemson’s first appearance was in 1980 and the Tigers advanced to the Elite Eight in that first appearance. Clemson defeated Utah State and BYU (and Danny Ainge) at Ogden, UT, then defeated Lamar in Tucson, AZ before losing to UCLA (coached by Larry Brown) in the Elite Eight by 11 points. That is still the furthest Clemson has gotten in the tournament.


Clemson Selected for NCAAs for Fourth Straight Year

Clemson will face UAB in Dayton, OH on Tuesday at 9:00 PM in one of the First Four Games of the 2011 NCAA Tournament. The game will be televised by Tru TV.

The winner of the game will play East Regional fifth seed West Virginia in Tampa, FL on Thursday.

This is the fourth straight year Clemson has advanced to the NCAAs. Clemson and Duke are the only ACC schools that can make that claim. The Tigers will be making their 11th NCAA Tournament appearance. All have taken place since 1980.

Clemson enters the game with a 21-11 record, including a 9-7 mark in regular season ACC games. It was the fourth straight year Clemson has had a winning record in ACC play. Clemson also reached the semifinals of the ACC Tournament with a victory over Boston College.

Clemson is led in scoring by Demontez Stitt with a 14.7 average. Stitt just had consecutive games of at least 20 points in the ACC Tournament, 20 in the win over Boston College on Friday and 25 in the overtime loss to number-one seed North Carolina on Saturday. His 22.5 scoring average was second best in the tournament.

Stitt also leads the team in assists with 101 and is second in steals with 41. He has 1,342 career points, 413 assists and 340 rebounds over his 124-game career. Stitt is the first player in Clemson history to start on four NCAA Tournament teams.

Jerai Grant is the Tigers second leading scorer with a 12.1 average and he is the top rebounder with 6.7 and top shot blocker with 77. He also leads the team in field goal percentage at .568.

Andre Young is a third Tiger in double figures with a 10.8 average. He is in the top 10 in the conference in three-point goals per game, steals and assist/turnover ratio this year. He has 74 three-point goals to lead the Tigers.

Clemson’s most successful NCAA run came in 1980, the first year Clemson was selected. The Tigers won three tournament games under Bill Foster that year and reached the Elite Eight of the tournament before losing to UCLA. Clemson also made the Sweet 16 in 1990 under Cliff Ellis and 1997 under Rick Barnes.

Brad Brownell is taking his third different program to the NCAA Tournament. He took UNC Wilmington in 2003 and 2006 and Wright State in 2007. He has now taken each of his three schools to the NCAA tournament in his first year with the program.

UAB enters the NCAA Tournament with a 22-8 record. They had a 12-4 record in Conference USA during the regular season, then lost in the first round of the conference tournament to East Carolina. They had won their last four regular season games prior to the conference tournament.

The two teams had two common opponents, Duke and East Carolina. Both teams lost at Duke during the regular season. Clemson defeated East Carolina in a meeting at Clemson. UAB defeated the Pirates twice in the regular season, but the Pirates won the meeting in the Conference USA Tournament.

UAB is led in scoring by 6-5 senior forward Jamarr Sanders who has a 17.7 scoring average. The native of Montgomery, AL also averages 4.6 rebounds per game. Cameron Moore, a 6-10 junior, averages 14.3 points and 9.4 rebounds per game. Aaron Johnson is a third double figure scorer with a 12.0 average. The 5-8 native of Chicago leads the nation in assists per game with a 7.7 figure. He also shoots 78 percent from the foul line.

Clemson vs. UAB Series History

UAB and Clemson have faced off on the hard court just twice in history and UAB has a 2-0 lead in the series.

The first meeting took place in the 1993 NIT at UAB and the Blazers came away with a 65-64 victory. Sharone Wright had 18 points and 16 rebounds, including 10 offensive, to lead the Tigers. Andre Bovain added 14 points. Robert Shannon led UAB with 19 points and Stanley Jackson added 17.

Clemson had a 12 point lead with 14 minutes left, but Shannon led a UAB comeback as he scored 15 of his team’s last 22 points, including what proved to be the winning three point shot with 51 seconds left.

The game had a controversial ending. Wright scored what appeared to be the winning points for Clemson in the final seconds. But, officials ruled the goal was no good because one of the officials had blown his whistle inadvertently. After much discussion, Clemson was awarded the ball again and this time, Wright’s final shot missed and UAB had the victory.

The two teams met again in Hawaii in 2004-05 and UAB won by a 78-66 score. Cliff Hammonds led the Tigers with 22 points on 7-12 shooting and Sharrod Ford had 16 points and 13 rebounds. UAB was led by Donnell Taylor with 26 points. Clemson had 26 turnovers in the game and forced just 12, a stat that negated Clemson’s 44-22 advantage in rebounding, including 22-5 in offensive rebounds.

Clemson One of 19 Teams in Fourth Straight NCAA Tournament

Clemson is one of 19 teams in the NCAA Tournament for a fourth straight year. Clemson joins Duke as the only ACC teams to make the field four straight years.

The other schools making at least a fourth straight appearance are Pittsburgh, Villanova, Xavier, Texas, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Purdue, Marquette, BYU, Texas A&M, Louisville, Michigan State, Kansas, West Virginia, Gonzaga, Butler and Temple.

Current seniors Demontez Stitt, Jerai Grant, Zavier Anderson and Jonah Baize all have been on the roster for each of the last four Clemson teams and are thus the first Clemson class to play in the NCAA Tournament all four years. Stitt, however, is the only senior to play in each of the last three NCAA tournaments. Grant, Anderson and Baize did not play against Villanova as a freshmen.

Seven Tigers Have NCAA Tournament Experience

Seven current Clemson Tigers have NCAA Tournament experience, including four who have played in at least tournaments apiece.

Demontez Stitt has the most experience among the veteran Tigers with 37 points in 74 minutes of play in three games, a 12.3 scoring average. Stitt has made 12-24 shots from the field, including an impressive 8-10 three-point shots. Stitt averages 10.7 points per game over his career, so he has a higher scoring average in the NCAA Tournament than he does in regular season games.

The same can be said for junior guard Andre Young, who has a 14.0 scoring average in two NCAA Tournament games, and just an 8.1 average for his career. Young has made 8-13 three-point goals, so Stitt and Young are a combined 16-23 on three-point shots in NCAA play. They rank one-two in Clemson history in three-point goals made in NCAA Tournament play.

Seven Straight Postseason Appearances for Clemson Program

Clemson has now been selected for post season play each of the last seven years, the longest run of postseason tournaments in the program’s history. Cliff Ellis took Clemson to six straight postseasons between 1984-85 and 1989-90, three NCAAs and three NITS. Oliver Purnell took Clemson to post season play each of his last six years with the program, three NCAAs and three NITs. Now Brad Brownell has taken Clemson to the NCAA Tournament in his first year, giving Clemson seven straight.

Clemson’s first postseason appearance took place in 1974-75 when the Tigers went to the NIT under Tates Locke.

Brownell Returns to Dayton

Clemson Head Coach Brad Brownell returns to Dayton, OH to coach his first NCAA tournament game as the Tigers head coach. Brownell coached at Wright State, located in Dayton, OH from 2006-07 through the 2009-10 season. He had an 84-45 record in his four years at Wright State, a .651 winning percentage. He took that program to a 20-win season each of his four years, including a 23-10 mark in his first year when he took the program to the NCAA tournament.

While he coached at Wright State, his team never played Dayton. But, Brownell has coached at Dayton. That took place when he was the head coach at UNC Wilmington on December 7, 2002. Dayton, then coached by Oliver Purnell, the coach Brownell replaced at Clemson, defeated UNC Wilmington 59-48. Dayton went on to a 24-6 record that year and an NCAA bid. Purnell came to Clemson the next year.

Brownell and Davis Were on Opposite Sidelines

This will not be the first time Clemson’s Brad Brownell and UAB’s Mike Davis have been on opposite sidelines in the NCAA Tournament. In 2002, in Brownell’s last season as an assistant coach at UNC Wilmington, Indiana played UNC Wilmington in the second round of the NCAA tournament in Sacramento, CA. Davis was the head coach at Indiana at the time and took the Hoosiers to the NCAA Championship game. In that second round game, Indiana defeated UNC Wilmington by a 76-67 score.


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