Basketball: Quotes and Notes For Saturday's Clemson-USC Matchup

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Series Notes
Overall: South Carolina leads 86-71
at Clemson: Clemson leads 43-30
at Littlejohn: Clemson leads 18-7
at South Carolina: South Carolina leads 53-25
at Neutral Sites: Tied 3-3
First Meeting: South Carolina 39-18 at Columbia in 1912-13
Last Meeting: Clemson 74-53 at Columbia in 2006-07
Streak: Clemson won 3 in a row


- Clemson has defeated South Carolina each of the last three years, including consecutive wins by at least 19 points.

? Oliver Purnell has a lifetime record of 4-1 against South Carolina, including 3-1 at Clemson. Dave Odom has a lifetime record of 22-11 against Clemson. He has more career wins against the Tigers than any other school.

? Clemson has opened with a 6-0 record. It is the third straight year Clemson has won at least its first six games. Clemson opened 17-0 last year.

? Clemson will be without 2006-07 starters James Mays and Sam Perry for Saturday's game with South Carolina. Mays missed the Purdue game with a hip injury and will be out until at least the tournament in Puerto Rico, December 20-22. Perry had knee surgery in November and also will be out until the games in Puerto Rico.

? Clemson is shooting 40.3 percent on three-point shots for the first six games of the year. Starting guards K.C. Rivers and Cliff Hammonds are both shooting at least 45 percent from 3-point range.

? Sophomore David Potter has made 9-12 three-point shots so far this year. He made just seven three-point goals all of last year (in 41 attempts). His scoring average of 6.3 per game is up from 2.1 per game last year.

? Trevor Booker needs just three blocked shots to reach 100 for his career. He needs just two to go ahead of Larry Nance on the Clemson all-time list. Nance had 98 between 1977-81 before going on to become the number-one shot blocking forward in NBA history.

? South Carolina guard Branden Conrad is the son of former Clemson point guard Bobby Conrad. Conrad helped Clemson to the Elite Eight of the 1980 NCAA Tournament and is in the Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame.

? Clemson is ranked 18th in both polls this week. This is the highest ranking Clemson has had entering a game with South Carolina since the 1996-97 season when Clemson was eighth. Clemson is 5-0 in its history as a ranked team against South Carolina.

? Cliff Hammonds has a 25/7 assist/turnover ratio, first in the ACC. He is now fourth in Clemson history in career assist/turnover ratio.

? K.C. Rivers had a double double against Purdue with 18 points and 12 rebounds. It was his second career double-double, but his second in the last 10 games.

? Clemson's seniors can become the first senior class to sweep South Carolina since the seniors of the 1999-00 season. Clemson won six in a row from 1994-95 through 1999-00.


Senior guard Cliff Hammonds

Do you see much difference in this year's South Carolina team?

"Not really. A couple of years ago they had similar players in Rocky Trice and Tre' Kelley at guard. Now they have Devan Downey and Zam Fredrick. I think they're going to come with the same style of play. They're going to try to get up and down and have their bigs crash the boards like they always have.

"I have great respect for their guards. Zam came down here a few years ago with Georgia Tech and had a big night against us here. Just seeing what Downey has done for them this year, you can tell they're a guard-oriented team. We have to contain their guards as good as possible, and I think we're up to the challenge."

How do you think you've had so much success against them in the past?

"We approach it like we do any other team. We have been fortunate to win in the end these last three years. The first year (2004-05) it was real close down there. I think everybody comes into these games mentally focused and ready to play. It's a rivalry game, so you have to come with an edge."

What do you see in Devan Downey?

"I'm not sure he gives them much of a different dynamic than what they've had in the past. I can see he and Tre' Kelley as similar-type players. Tre' was a great distributor and he averaged about as many points as Downey does. I haven't watched too much tape on them yet, though. I watched half of their game against Southern Cal and I saw the games over the weekend they had on TV. But I was just watching those as a fan of college basketball."

Junior swingman K.C. Rivers

What do you notice about South Carolina this year?

"They're a different team than what we've seen in the past. I wouldn't say they're necessarily a young team, but they've got some good freshmen and their transfers playing now. It's going to be a running game. I saw them in the Old Spice Classic, and that's my perception of what I think we're going to see."

Is it no longer safe to assume the results will be like they were the past two years?

"You can never assume anything playing the game of basketball. You have to give all you got. I'm looking for an exciting game to happen on Saturday."

Is there a common denominator you took from your success against South Carolina?

"Just our poise. The last two times we've won, we've done it with poise. We stuck with each other when they were making runs. We stood together and countered their runs with even bigger runs of our own. I don't know what to expect this time, I'm just looking forward to playing against South Carolina for the third time."

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