Clemson takes on Rutgers in NCAA Tournament first round


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Clemson's tournament road begins in Bankers Life Fieldhouse. (ACC photo)
Clemson's tournament road begins in Bankers Life Fieldhouse. (ACC photo)

The seventh-seeded Clemson men's basketball team (16-7) starts its NCAA Tournament Friday night against the 10th-seeded Rutgers Scarlet Knights (15-11) in Indianapolis.

Tipoff in Bankers Life Fieldhouse is set for 9:20 p.m. ET. Spero Dedes, Brendan Haywood and Lauren Shehedi will call the broadcast for TBS. Will Qualkinbush and Tim Bourret will broadcast the game on the Clemson Tigers Network.

SERIES HISTORY VS. RUTGERS

• Clemson has a 2-1 advantage in the series with Rutgers. The series dates to the 1999 NIT when Clemson defeated the Scarlet Knights, 78-68, in the second round in a game at Rutgers. The Tigers went on to reach the championship game of the NIT that year. Clemson’s leading scorer in that game was Terrell McIntyre with 16 points. He played all 40 minutes and added nine assists. Freshman Will Solomon scored 15 points off the bench and Andrius Jurkunas added 14, and Harold Jamison had 12.

• Rutgers won at Clemson on December 1, 2014, 69-64, but the Tigers came back the next year to win in a regular season tournament game in Las Vegas, Nev. Clemson won that most recent meeting on November 24, 2015 by a 76-58 score. Future NBA players Donte Granthem and Jaron Blossomgame each scored 22 points to lead the Tigers. Landry Nnoko hit 6-7 shots from the field and added 14.

CLEMSON’S NCAA HISTORY

• This is Clemson’s 13th appearance in the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers have a 11-12 record in games played on the court. Clemson has advanced to the Elite Eight once (1980) and the Sweet 16 four of the previous 12 appearances (1990, 1997 and 2018 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. Thus the 2-1 record from 1990 is vacated and the official record is 9-11.

• This is Clemson’s first NCAA appearance since 2018 when head coach Brad Brownell took the Tigers to the Sweet 16.

• Clemson won its first two rounds against New Mexico State and Auburn to advance. The Tigers topped NMSU 79-68 in round one and then demolished Auburn 84-53 (largest victory margin by a lower seeded team in NCAA history). The Tigers fell to Kansas in the Sweet 16, 80-76.

Gabe DeVoe put on a show in 2018, recording one of the best tournament performances by a Tiger in Clemson history.

• DeVoe scored the third-most points (75), which produced the best scoring average in Clemson NCAA Tournament history (25.0 per game).

• He scored a career-high 31 points against Kansas in the Sweet 16 - marking the most by a Tiger in his final game since Larry Nance had 34 vs. Temple in a NIT game on March 12, 1981.

• Prior to that performance, Kansas had not had an opponent score 30+ points in a game since Nov. 22, 2016 when Yante Maten of Georgia scored 30.

• In 2011, Clemson won its first-round game in Dayton that year then lost to West Virginia in Tampa. Clemson made four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances between 208-11, three under Oliver Purnell and one under Brownell. Clemson made three straight appearances under Rick Barnes from 1996-98.

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

• Brad Brownell was the first Clemson coach to take the Tigers to the NCAA Tournament in his first year when the Tigers advanced in 2011. When Brownell and the Tigers defeated UAB in 2011 it broke a five-game NCAA Tournament losing streak.

• Prior to 2018, Clemson last advanced to the final 32 of the NCAA Tournament in 1997 when Clemson reached the Sweet 16 with wins over Miami (OH) and Tulsa at a region in Kansas City. Clemson then lost to Minnesota in double overtime in a game in San Antonio in the round of 16.

• Clemson has 11 NCAA Tournament wins and eight of the 11 have taken place in the Central, Mountain or Pacific time zones. Clemson has just three wins in the Eastern time zone (Hartford in 1990 and Dayton in 2011).

• 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 (coached by Billy Tubbs) 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 rotation and Rutgers starting 5

(RV/RV) Clemson Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown GP/GS PPG RPG APG MPG

G 0 Clyde Trapp 6-4 203 Sr. Eastover, S.C. 23/23 7.0 5.4 2.6 28.7

F 1 Jonathan Baehre 6-10 214 Sr. Wiesbaden, Germany 23/10 4.4 3.2 0.8 16.9

G 2 Al-Amir Dawes 6-2 180 So. Newark, N.J. 23/14 9.0 2.1 1.8 25.3

G 3 Chase Hunter 6-3.5 204 So. Atlanta, Ga. 23/4 2.9 1.3 0.9 14.0

G 4 Nick Honor 5-10 205 RSo. Orlando, Fla. 23/10 8.4 1.3 2.3 23.4

F 5 Hunter Tyson 6-8 215 Jr. Monroe, N.C. 18/11 7.4 4.3 0.3 16.5

F 10 Olivier-Maxence Prosper 6-8 218 Fr. Montreal, Quebec, Canada 22/2 2.5 1.9 0.3 9.8

G 11 Parker Fox 6-7 212 Jr. Reno, Nev. 3/0 1.3 0.3 0.0 1.5

G 12 Alex Hemenway 6-3.5 185 So. Newburgh, Ind. 23/10 4.7 1.3 0.5 15.5

G 15 John Newman III 6-5 207 Jr. Greensboro, N.C. 21/8 3.9 2.1 1.1 16.2

F 20 O’Neil McBride 6-7 207 So. Myrtle Beach, S.C. 3/0 0.7 0.3 0.0 1.5

G 21 Wells Hoag 6-3 199 Jr. Greenville, S.C. 3/0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.5

C 22 Lynn Kidd 6-10.5 235 Fr. Gainesville, Fla. 7/0 1.1 1.0 0.1 4.6

F 24 PJ Hall 6-10 235 Fr. Spartanburg, S.C. 20/0 3.7 2.1 0.1 10.3

F 25 Aamir Simms 6-8.5 245 Sr. Palmyra, Va. 23/23 13.3 6.2 2.7 29.3

(--/--) Rutgers Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown GP/GS PPG RPG APG MPG

G 0 Geo Baker 6-4 195 Sr. Derry, N.H. 23/20 10.1 3.2 3.1 31.0

G 4 Paul Mulcahy 6-6 210 So. Bayonne, N.J. 26/19 5.8 3.3 2.8 27.6

G 24 Ron Harper Jr. 6-6 245 Jr. Franklin Lakes, N.J. 25/25 15.4 5.9 1.6 31.9

G 42 Jacob Young 6-2 185 Sr. Houston, Texas 26/18 14.4 1.9 3.5 29.8

C 15 Myles Johnson 6-11 255 Jr. Long Beach, Calif. 26/20 8.3 8.7 0.8 24.5

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