Basketball To Face Talented Winthrop Team


by - Correspondent -
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CLEMSON - Larry Shyatt had a clear message for his Clemson basketball team concerning Winthrop, tonight's opponent at Littlejohn Coliseum:

Western Carolina they ain't.

The Eagles (4-3) are a more talented, athletic team than the Catamounts' squad the Tigers (4-1) crushed Saturday, 87-52. And just in case another reminder is necessary, Shyatt can point Winthrop's 66-61 loss to North Carolina in Matt Doherty's Tar Heel debut Nov. 10, or his own team's five-point victory over the Eagles a year ago, 64-59.

"Last year they went double overtime with Maryland, beat Missouri and lost in the last moments to Clemson," Shyatt said following Monday's practice. "So it's no surprise they go to the wire this year with (North Carolina), they go to the wire with Arizona State, and go to the wire with Nebraska...that was an eight-point game with two minutes to play.

"They're very good at making sure you don't get easy things against them. They're a very smart team and a very athletic team."

Senior guard Roger Toxey and junior forward Marcue Stewart lead Winthrop in scoring, averaging 10.7 and 10.6 points per game, respectively. Stewart also is the leading rebounder at 6.6 rpg.

Shyatt had his team working against both full and three-quarter court pressure Monday, anticipating Winthrop's occasional tendency to press after made baskets or free throws.

"They're very athletic at every position...I admire about everything you can about their team," Shyatt said. "I expect pressure, they play both zone and man (defense), so we play a guessing game now until the game begins."

Notes:

- Dustin Braddick likely will be back in the starting lineup tonight, again replacing Tomas Nagys.
Braddick has averaged 7.2 points and 6.4 rebounds through the first five games, compared to Nagys' 2.0 and 3.3.
"It probably will be Braddick, but we'll wait until game time to test some matchups," Shyatt said.

- Good performances against Western Carolina in their first extended minutes of the season may lead to more Dwon Clifton and Jamar McKnight sightings, Shyatt said.
Maybe.
"Gameday matchups, who's playing well, who's in foul trouble...all those things seem to tie in," Shyatt said. "But they certainly helped themselves, with their teammates and the staff. I think there's a higher level of confidence with all of them right now."

- Clemson has held its last three opponents to less than 35 percent shooting, a stat near and dear to Shyatt's heart. Still, as most coaches are apt to do, he looks for even better numbers.
"I like it a lot, but I think there's room for more improvement," Shyatt said. "(Tonight) will be another challenge."

- The walking wounded are improving. Now the trick is keeping them out of sick bay.
Will Solomon (ankle sprain) and Adam Allenspach (back) each practiced full speed Monday and appeared fit and relatively pain free. However sophomore forward Ray Henderson, who is battling a stress fracture in his left foot, missed practice because of the flu.
He is expected to be recovered enough to dress and play tonight.

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