CLEMSON - One thing you can say about the Atlantic Coast Conference. There's
no time to get complacent.
Slightly more than 72 hours after knocking off then No. 1 North Carolina,
the Clemson Tigers find themselves on the hotseat again tonight when No. 24
Wake Forest visits Littlejohn Coliseum (7 p.m.). Needless to say, any
celebration of Clemson's win over the Tar Heels was short-lived.
"(Monday) was Wake Forest. Period," coach Larry Shyatt said. "I thought our
guys did a terrific job in attempting to have a productive practice and
focus on what they should focus on - another (ranked) team."
The first meeting back on Jan. 21 was one of the few ACC road contests in
which the Tigers have performed well this season. Clemson lost that game
71-63, but was within five points (66-61) with 2:33 remaining in the game.
That afternoon also gave opposing team's an early glance at the
triangle-and-two defense which proved so effective last Sunday, though not
everyone recognized what the Tigers were doing.
"The announcers thought we were playing box-and-one on (senior guard Robert)
O'Kelley," Shyatt said. "But really at times that's where it began, at Wake
last time on the road. For a long period of that game it was that waiting
and uncertainty for Wake that helped us, because they do have an advantage
man for man."
After a quick start to the season, ACC play has brought Wake Forest (17-8,
6-7) back to earth somewhat.
Still, Dave Odom's team has plenty of firepower. The Demon Deacons have
three projected starters averaging double figures - sophomore Josh Howard
(14.2) and juniors Darius Songaila (13.0) and Craig Dawson (13.0).
Clemson has struggled offensively against Wake Forest in each of the last five
contests with the Deacs, all Wake Forest victories. Clemson has failed to reach
70 points in each of the five games and has averaged just 61.7 points a game in that stretch.
Wake Forest leads the all-time series 86-49, though Clemson has a 32-30 advantage at home,
including 18-14 at Littlejohn Coliseum.
- Junior guard Will Solomon continues to lead the ACC in scoring at 21.5
points per game, and has averaged 28.3 ppg in his last three outings against
the Demon Deacons.
- Tony Stockman enters the game looking to extend his freshman record for
3-pointers. Stockman hit four 3s in the win over North Carolina, bringing
his season total to 55.