Clemson ACC Men's Basketball Tournament Notes


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Game 28: Clemson Tigers vs. Virginia (ACC Tournament)
Tipoff: 7:00 PM (Eastern)
Site: Greensboro, NC
Arena: Greensboro Coliseum (21,750)
TV: ESPN
(Dave O’Brien, Brad Daugherty)
Tickets:Sold Out
Radio: Clemson Tiger Sports Properties
(Pete Yanity, Tim Bourret)

SERIES NOTES
Overall: Virginia leads 61-46
At ACC Trn: Virginia leads 5-1
at G-Boro: Virginia leads 3-1
at Clemson: Clemson leads 30-19
at Virginia: Virginia leads 36-15
at neutral: Virginia leads 5-1
in 2003-04: Virginia won both games
61-50 at Virginia
58-55 at Clemson
Streaks: Virginia won 2 in row
Teams split last 6 meetings

#9 CLEMSON (10-17 , 3-13 ACC)      #8 Virginia (17-11, 6-10 ACC) 
14 Chey Christie 6-4 178 Jr.   G   22 Todd Billet 6-0 192 Sr. 
(9.3 PPG, 2.7 RPG)                 (9.9 PPG, 3.3 APG) 
22 Shawan Robinson 6-2 183 So. G   15 T.J. Bannister 5-11 173 Fr. 
(10.7 PPG, 3.2 RPG)                (3.2 PPG, 2.7 APG) 
5 Sharrod Ford 6-9 220 Jr.     C   43 Elton Brown 6-9 255 Jr.
(11.9 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 2.3 BS)        (15.0 PPG, 6.4 RPG) 
12 Olu Babalola 6-6 242 Jr.    F   2 J.R. Reynolds 6-3 190 Fr.
(9.0 PPG, 4.5 RPG)                 (8.4 PPG, 2.0 APG) 
43 Chris Hobbs 6-7 260 Sr.     F   34 Jason Clark 6-8 234 Jr. 
(7.9 PPG, 5.5 RPG)                 (4.5 PPG, 5.1 RPG) 

• Clemson’s strength of schedule is ranked second in
the nation by Sagarin and third by RPI. Clemson
has three wins over teams currently in the top 25 of
the RPI (North Carolina, NC State and Boston College).
Clemson has more RPI top 25 wins than St.
Joseph’s, Mississippi State, Stanford, Gonzaga,
Kansas, Florida, Cincinnati, and Wisconsin and the
same number as Syracuse, Oklahoma State, and
Texas.

• This will be Clemson’s third game against Virginia
this year. The Cavaliers have defeated Clemson
twice by a total of 14 points, including a 58-55 Cavalier
victory the last time the two teams met. Olu
Babalola was Clemson’s top player against the
Cavaliers in the two games this year as he led the
Tigers in scoring (26), rebounding (16) and assists
(7). He made 11-14 free throws. As a sophomore
Babalola hit two free throws with 5.7 seconds left to
give Clemson a 78-77 victory over the Cavaliers.


• This will be Oliver Purnell’s first head coaching appearance
at the ACC Tournament. He has coached
in three tournaments as an assistant at Maryland
(1986-88) and the Terps had a 2-3 record.

• Purnell has a 16-13 record as a head coach in conference
tournaments and has won a pair of tournament
championships. He won the Colonial Athletic
Conference title at Old Dominon in 1992 and the
Atlantic 10 conference tournament title last year.

• While Clemson head coach Oliver Purnell has not
been the head coach for a game in the ACC Tournament,
assistant coach Dr. Ron Bradley has. In
the 1989 tournament, Maryland head coach Bob
Wade suffered a heart attack after coaching the
Terps to victory over NC State in the first round.
Bradley led the Terps the semifinal game vs. UNC.

• Chris Hobbs will be playing in his final ACC Tournament.
While Hobbs has not had huge scoring games
in the event, he has made 7-9 field goals in the ACC
Tournament over his career. He has also played
well against the Cavaliers, hitting 27-51 shots from
the field and averaging 10.3 points per game. His
career high is 28 points, set against Virginia in the
regular season of 2001 and his only double figure
scoring game this year against an ACC teams was
recorded at Virginia earlier this year.

• Sharrod Ford leads Clemson in scoring, rebounding
and blocked shots this year. He is trying to
become the first Clemson player to lead the Tigers
in all three categories in the same year since Greg
Buckner in 1994-95.

• Clemson has not played since a March 2 game at
North Carolina. This is Clemson’s longest layoff
entering the ACC tournament since 1971 when it
also had a March 3-10 layoff prior to the 1st round.


Clemson Head Coach: Oliver Purnell (Old Dominion ‘75)
Overall (16th season): 266-208 .561
At Clemson (First season): 10-17 .370
vs. Virginia : 1-5 .167 (0-2 at Clemson)
at ACC Tournament: First Game
Clemson Assistant Coaches: Ron Bradley (Eastern Nazarene College, ‘74); Frank Smith (Old Dominion ‘88);
Kevin Nickelberry (Virginia Wesleyan ‘86); Tim Heskett (Graduate manager) (Oklahoma ‘01)

Virginia Head Coach: Pete Gillen (Fairfield ‘68)
Overall (19th season): 376-204 .648
At Virginia (6th year): 102-76 .573
at ACC Tournament 0-5 .000
vs. Clemson: 8-4 .667
Virginia Assistants: Walt Fuller, Rod Jensen, Scott Shepherd

Clemson’s ACC Tournament History

•Clemson has a 13-50 record in the
ACC Tournament with just one appearance in
the finals (1962) and no tournament
championships. Clemson is the only original
member of the ACC that has never won the
ACC Tournament. This is tournament number
51.

•While Clemson has struggled in the
ACC Tournament over the years, the Tigers
won five games in the 1990s. Clemson was 510
in the 1990s, 1-10 in the 1980s, 3-10 in the
1970s, 3-10 in the 1960s and 0-6 in the 1950s.
Clemson is 1-4 in the 21st century.

•Clemson has won its opening round
game of the tournament five of the last 11
years. Clemson won three years ago in the 8
vs. 9 game, 66-64 over Florida State in Atlanta.
The Tigers last win in the quarterfinals in the
ACC Tournament took place in Greensboro in
1998, a 75-56 victory over Wake Forest.
Clemson trailed by eight at intermission in that
game.

•This will be Clemson’s sixth
appearance in the 8 vs. 9 game, a first round
game that has been in existence since 1991-92,
the first year Florida State entered the league.
The ACC had a different format three times
since 1991-92 when the #1 seed faced #9 and
#7 faced #8. Clemson is 2-3 in its previous five
appearances in the 8 vs. 9 game with the wins
coming in 1994 and 2001.

•Clemson’s most exciting victory in
the ACC Tournament in recent years took place
in the 1996 tournament when Clemson downed
North Carolina, 75-73. It is Clemson’s only win
over North Carolina in the ACC Tournament and
it was Clemson’s first win over the Tar Heels in
the state in 29 years. Greg Buckner’s dunk
with 0.6 seconds left won the game for
Clemson.

•Clemson is 3-13 in Raleigh, 3-11 in
Charlotte, 5-19 in Greensboro, 1-4 in Atlanta
and 1-3 in Landover, MD over the years in ACC
Tournament play.

•Clemson has a record of 2-5 in the
first round (including a 2-3 record in the 8 vs.9
game), 10-35 in the quarterfinals, 1-9 in the
semifinals and 0-1 in the finals for an overall 1350
record in ACC tournament play.

•Clemson lost its first eight ACC
Tournament games between 1954-61.
Clemson’s first win the tournament was a 67-46
victory in 1962. That 21-point victory is still the
largest margin of victory in Clemson history in
an ACC Tournament game.

•Clemson has been seeded in the top
four of the ACC Tournament just 11 times in the
51 tournaments. Clemson is 6-11 as a top four
seed. The year Clemson reached the finals of
the event (1962), Clemson was seeded sixth.
Clemson has been the number-one seed just
once, 1990, the only year Clemson has won the
regular season of the ACC.

•Clemson has reached the
tournament semifinals 10 times, including four
times in the 1990s (1990, 1993, 1996 and
1998). Clemson did not reach the semifinals
any year between 1981-89.

•Clemson has been to the ACC
Tournament Championship game just once, in
1962. That year, Clemson was seeded sixth in
the tournament in Raleigh and upset #3 NC
State and #2 Duke before losing to #1 seed
Wake Forest, who was led by point guard Billy
Packer. Wake Forest went on to the Final Four
that year. Jim Brennan scored 34 points in
Clemson’s semifinal victory over Duke in 1962.
Duke was ranked eighth in the nation overall
heading into that tournament and it is the
highest ranked team Clemson has beaten in the
ACC Tournament.

•Clemson is 1-1 as the number-one
seed, 0-1 as #2, 3-4 as #3, 2-5 as #4, 1-4 as
#5, 3-8 as #6, 1-12 as #7, 1-11 as #8 and 1-4
as #9. Clemson is the #9 seed this year.
Clemson’s only win as the #9 seed took place in
2001 when Clemson beat Florida State in
Atlanta, 66-64.

•In ACC Tournament play Clemson is
3-5 vs. Duke, 2-3 vs. Florida State, 0-2 vs.
Georgia Tech, 1-9 vs. Maryland, 1-12 vs. North
Carolina, 2-5 vs. NC State, 1-5 vs. Virginia, 3-7
vs. Wake Forest and 0-2 vs. South Carolina.

•Clemson’s only postseason
tournament championship in history took place
in 1939 when the Tigers won four games in four
days at the Southern Conference Tournament in
Raleigh. The Tigers defeated North Carolina,
Wake Forest, Davidson and Maryland to win the
event. Clemson did not lead at the half in any
of those games. Banks McFadden was the star
of the Clemson team. Clemson came close to a
championship under Larry Shyatt at the 1999
NIT when the Tigers lost in the finals to
California, 61-60.

•Assistant Coach on United States Olympic team for
2004 Olympic Games in Greece. Has 40-1 record,
and five Gold medals as a coach of USA Basketball
teams in his career.

• Has defeated two top 15 AP ranked teams this
season, first time for Clemson since 1996-97

•Has taken eight teams to 20-win seasons, including
each of his last four teams at Dayton. Left Dayton as
the third winningest coach in school history. Finalist
for the Naismith Award last year.

•Coached Dayton to a top four seed in 2002-03 when
the Flyers were 24-6 and won the Atlantic 10
Conference Tournament.

•Member of the NABC Board of Directors.

•Has been a Division I conference Coach of the Year
in three different conferences. Coach of the Year in
the Big South at Radford, at Old Dominion (CAA) and
the Atlantic 10 at Dayton.

•Won 57 games in three years and took Old
Dominion to post season play each of his three
seasons at his alma mater.

•Led Radford to a 22-7 record in 1990-91, a 15-game
improvement over the previous season. That is still
the ninth greatest one season improvement in NCAA
history.

•Led Old Dominion to the Division II NCAA
Championship as a senior (1974-75). Won the Tom
Scott Award at Old Dominion as the school’s
Outstanding Gentleman Student-Athlete of 1974-75.

•Inducted into the Old Dominion Athletic Hall of Fame
in 1988.

•Won his first game as Clemson head coach by 31
points, largest victory margin for a Tiger coach in his
first game since 1917.

•First Clemson coach to defeat North Carolina in his
first meeting with the Tar Heels since 1984-85 when
Cliff Ellis defeated Dean Smith at Clemson 52-50.


2004 ACC Tournament
March 11-14, Greensboro, NC
Greensboro Coliseum
Thursday, March 11
Game 1 #9 Clemson vs. #8 Virginia ESPN 7:00 PM
Friday, March 12
Game 2 (#1 Duke vs. 8/9 winner) noon
Game 3 (#4 Georgia Tech vs. #5 N. Carolina) 2:30 PM
Game 4 (#2 NC State vs. #7 Florida St.) 7:00 PM
Game 5 (#3 Wake Forest vs. #6 Maryland) 9:30PM
Saturday, March 13
Game 6 (Winners games 2/3) RJ/ESPN 1:30 PM
Game 7 (Winners games 4/5) RJ/ESPN 4:00 PM
Sunday, March 14
Championship Game RJ/ESPN 1:00 PM

ACC Notes

•ACC teams are 91-16 in non-conference play this year,
a .850 winning percentage. If the season ended today
that would be the second best non-conference winning
percentage in the league’s 51 years. The only figure
that is higher is the .857 achieved in 1983-84 when the
league was 108-18 against non-conference teams.

•All nine ACC teams are ranked in the top 86 in the
nation in the latest (March 8) RPI report. That includes
five in the top 17 and seven in the top 50. The ACC is
the only conference that can make that claim.

•Five of the top 10 teams in the nation in terms of
schedule ranking are from the ACC, including Clemson,
who has the third toughest schedule in the nation by
RP, the second best by Sagarin.

•ACC teams are 9-7 against non-conference top 25
teams, including 3-0 against #1 ranked teams.

•Every ACC Tournament has been sold out since 1966.
That was the last year there was a public sale of tickets
for the event.

•Five ACC teams are ranked in the top 25 of the
Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today coach’s polls.


Clemson Has had Long Layoff


Clemson enters the ACC Tournament
without having played a game since March 2 at
North Carolina. That means eight full days
without a game by the time the Tigers play in
the ACC Tournament on March 11. This is the
longest layoff between the end of the regular
season and the ACC Tournament for the Tigers
since the 1970-71 season when Clemson
ended its regular season on March 2 and
played in the ACC Tournament on March 11, the
exact same situation as this year. That year
Clemson ended the regular season with a loss
to Duke and then lost to North Carolina in the
first round of the ACC Tournament.


Having a long layoff in between
games has not been a bad thing for Clemson
this year. Clemson opened the season with a
31-point victory over Gardner-Webb, scoring 86
points in the process. Clemson scored 53
points in the first half of that first game,
Clemson’s highest scoring half of the season.
The Tigers defeated Boston College 72-62 in
one of its most impressive outings in the first
game after Christmas. Clemson had seven
days to prepare for that December 30 game.
When Clemson defeated #12 North Carolina on
Saturday, January 31 it had not played since
the previous Tuesday. When Clemson defeated
#13 NC State on Feb. 18 on a Thursday night it
had not played since the previous Saturday.


Clemson in Greensboro


Clemson has an 9-29 all-time record
in the city of Greensboro, NC. That includes a
5-19 record in the ACC Tournament and a 4-10
record in the regular season. That includes a
91-65 win over High Point in the Greensboro
Coliseum on November 27, 2002, Clemson’s
last win in the city. Clemson lost its first round
game in the ACC Tournament in Greensboro
last year.


Prior to last year, Clemson had not
played in the ACC tournament in Greensboro
since the 1998 ACC Tournament when the
Tigers defeated Wake Forest in the first round,
then lost to number-one ranked Duke in the
semifinals. That is the last time Clemson
advanced to the ACC semifinals. A number-
one ranked Duke team won that semifinal
game 66-64 on a driving shot by William Avery
with just one second left. That was Clemson’s
third loss by four points or less to Duke that
year.


One of Clemson’s greatest victories in
history took place in this facility. In the 1996
ACC Tournament, Greg Buckner’s dunk with 0.6
seconds left gave Clemson a 75-73 victory over
North Carolina. It is the only ACC Tournament
win over North Carolina for the Tigers. It was
the only time Clemson defeated North Carolina
under Rick Barnes.


Clemson vs. Virginia in 2003-04
Virginia 61, Clemson 50
at Charlottesville, VA, Jan. 20, 2004


Virginia outscored Clemson 18-7 over
the last 5:29 of the game and went on to a 61-
50 victory over Clemson pm January 20, 2004
at University Hall in Charlottesville, VA. The
victory improved Virginia to 12-4 overall, 2-3 in
the ACC, while Clemson fell to 8-8 overall and
1-4 in the ACC.


Clemson was led by senior Chris
Hobbs, who had 13 points on 6-9 field goal
shooting. He was the only Clemson player in
double figures. Shawan Robinson added eight
points off the bench, while Olu Babalola and
Sharrod Ford added seven points apiece.
Clemson won the rebound battle 41-
31 led by Ford’s nine and Babalola’s seven.
Clemson had 20 offensive rebounds, a season
high for the Tigers in an ACC game. Babalola
led the Tigers in assists for the second straight
game with four against just one turnover.
Virginia was led by freshman guard
J.R. Reynolds, who scored 11 points, including
3-4 three-point shooting, all in the second half.
Devin Smith and starting center Donte Minter
added 10 points apiece. Clemson held high
scoring Virginia guard Todd Billet to just nine
points, including just one field goal, the first field
goal of the game for Virginia.


The game was a defensive struggle
most of the contest. The Tigers shot just 31.6
percent from the field for the game, their low
percentage of the year, and made just 2-18
three-point shots. Clemson committed 23
turnovers, but forced 19.


“I don’t have a problem with the way
we played defense, or with our effort in
general,” said Oliver Purnell after the game.
“We just have to hit more shots and improve in
our ball handling on the outside.”


Clemson took a 20-14 lead in the first
half with 2:37 left on an inside score by Hobbs.
But, Virginia scored the last six points of the
half to tie the game at intermission. Clemson
shot just 8-32 in the first half, but stayed in the
game thanks to defense and rebounding.
Clemson had a 25-16 rebound lead at halftime
and had seven steals on defense, including a
career high three by Akin Akingbala.


The strong defense by both teams
continued in the second half. Virginia took an
eight-point lead at 43-35 with 7:15 left on a
score by freshman Gary Forbes. But, Clemson
responded with an 8-0 run of its own on a three-
point goal by Chey Christie, a layup by Ford
and a three-point goal by Robinson, whose shot
with 5:29 left tied the game at 43.


But, the Cavaliers scored the next nine points behind the inside
play of Minter and the outside shooting of Reynolds. Virginia made 3 of
its four field goal attempts and 8-10 from the foul line inside the last five
minutes, while Clemson made just 2-9 from the field and 3-7 free throws
for the final five minutes.


Virginia 58, Clemson 55
At Clemson, SC February 21, 2004


Todd Billet scored 21 points, including a decisive three-point
goal with 16 seconds left to lead Virginia to a 58-55 victory over Clemson
Saturday afternoon at Littlejohn Coliseum. The victory improved the
Cavaliers to 14-10 overall, 4-9 in the ACC, while Clemson fell to 10-14
overall, 3-10 in the ACC.


Clemson was coming off a 60-55 victory over 13th ranked NC
State the previous Wednesday night, the second top 15 win for the Tigers
in Oliver Purnell’s first season as Clemson head coach. Clemson now
travels to Maryland for a Tuesday evening game in College Park. The
game featured eight ties and six lead changes.
Olu Babalola led the Tigers with 19 points, nine rebounds and
three assists. It was the third time this year a Clemson player had led
the Tigers in all three categories in the same game. Freshman Vernon
Hamilton did it on two occasions earlier this year. Babalola also led the
Tigers in steals with three. Fourteen of his 19 points came in the second
half.


Shawan Robinson also scored in double figures for the Tigers
with 10 points. Chey Christie added nine and Akin Akingbala recorded
eight rebounds. Clemson won the battle of the boards 47-31, including a
season high 24 offensive rebounds, but the Tigers still could not get the
win as Clemson shot just 34 percent from the field, hitting just 20-59
shots.


Once again Clemson held the opposition under 40 percent
shooting as Virginia made just 22-56 shots from the field, 39.3 percent.
Clemson blocked eight shots on defense, including four by Akin
Akingbala and three by Sharrod Ford.


Clemson committed just 15 turnovers for the game, four under
its average, but nine of the 15 took place in the first five minutes and the
last five minutes of the game. Clemson had just six miscues in the
middle 30 minutes of the contest.


Billet was outstanding as the senior leader hit 8-13 shots from
the field, including 5-9 on three-point attempts. He also had five assists
and just one turnover in 35 minutes. It was the second straight year he
had an outstanding game in Littlejohn Coliseum. He had 25 points,
including seven three-point goals, in a 78-77 Clemson victory last year.
Clemson went on an 11-3 run over the last seven minutes of
the first half to take a 28-20 lead at intermission. Clemson was very
balanced in the first half as eight different players had between two and
five points and all nine players who participated had at least one
rebound. Clemson won the rebound battle 29-12, including six apiece by
Akingbala and Lamar Rice. Virginia was held to 8-27 shooting by the
Tigers defense, which had held 13th NC State to 30 percent shooting the
previous Wednesday.


But, Virginia went on a 14-2 run to open the second half and
went from an eight-point deficit to a two-point lead. Starting guards J.R.
Reynolds and Billet both made two three-point goals to key the rally.
But, Clemson finally got untracked behind Babalola, who
scored eight straight and 12 of 13 at one stretch to bring Clemson to
within 44-43 with seven minutes left. Clemson then tied the score at 48
on a three-point goal by Christie with 4:32 remaining. The Tigers took a
52-50 lead when Robinson hit a twisting layup from underneath.
Robinson then scored again on the next possession to give Clemson a
54-51 advantage with 1:59 left.


It was still 55-53 in favor of Clemson when Robinson made 1-2
free throws with 27.8 seconds remaining. But, Billet then worked free off
a screen and hit a three-point goal with 16 seconds left to give Virginia a
56-55 lead. On the next possession the Tigers turned the ball over.
Billet ended up with the ball and drove in for a layup with two seconds
left. Clemson then threw the ball away on the in-bounds pass and the
Cavaliers had their first road win of the season.


Hamilton Native of Virginia


Clemson point guard Vernon Hamilton will play the team from
his home state when the Tigers meeting Virginia in the ACC tournament.
Hamilton is a native of Richmond, VA who attended Benedictine High
School. He led the team to the first VISBA Division I championship in the
school history. The team won the Virginia State Catholic League
Championship and he was the Most Outstanding Player of that
tournament. He competed against Virginia starting guard J.R. Reynolds.
Hamilton is just the third Clemson men’s basketball player
from the state of Virginia in the school’s ACC history, just the second
scholarship player. Hamilton is the first Tiger from Virginia since Jo Jo
Bethea came to Clemson from Newport News. He played for the Tigers
for two seasons (1973-74 and 1974-75). Bethea averaged 4.9 points per
game for his 53 career games and was Clemson’s starting point guard on
the schools first post season tournament team. He averaged 6.4 points
per game in 1974-75 Tiger team that played in the Nit.
The only other Clemson basketball player from Virginia was
walk-on Jeff Jenrette, a native of Blacksburg, VA, who played just one
game in 1987-88.


Hamilton has made a strong impact as a first-year freshman on
the Clemson team. He has started 16 games leads the Tigers in
assists (89) and steals (49). He is on pace to become the first freshman
to lead Clemson in assists and steals since Terrell McIntyre did it in
1995-96. He has averaged 7.1 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.
Hamilton had nine turnovers in the first meeting with Virginia, his high
figure in a game for the year, then had no turnovers in the rematch in
Clemson, the first game all year he went without a turnover.


Clemson Coaches Have Virginia Ties


While Clemson has a player with ties to the state of Virginia,
Clemson has four members of its coaching and administrative staff with
ties to that state.


Head Coach Oliver Purnell, played his college basketball at
Old Dominion from 1972-75 and led the Monarchs to the Division II
National Championship in 1975. Purnell served as an assistant coach at
Old Dominion from 1975-76 through 1984-85, and was the head coach
at his alma mater from 1991-92 through 1993-94. Purnell was also the
head coach at Radford from 1988-89 through 1990-91.


Associate Head Coach Dr. Ron Bradley also coached in the
state of Virginia. He served as the head coach at Radford from 1991-02.
He was also an associate head coach at James Madison in 2002-03.
Assistant coach Frank Smith was born in Alexandria, VA and
went to Mt. Vernon High School in Alexandria. He then attended Old
Dominion where he was a star on the basketball team from 1984-88. He
is still ranked in the top 20 in NCAA history in assists. As a coach, Smith
worked at Old Dominion as an assistant coach in 1988-89 and from
1991-94. He also worked at Radford for the 1990-91 season.


Assistant coach Kevin Nickelberry, attended Virginia Wesleyan College,
where he played from 1982-84. He earned a degree in 1986 from that
school.


Assistant AD for basketball operations Ben D’Alessandro was
born in Charlottesville, VA in 1973and attended Western Albemarle High
School. A graduate and former player at Providence College in Rhode
Island, he served as a graduate assistant at Virginia under Pete Gillen in
1998-99. He was also an assistant coach at James Madison in 1999-03.
Purnell Has Coached against Virginia Prior to This Season
Clemson head coach Oliver Purnell has coached six times for
three different schools against Virginia. He led Radford against Virginia
once, faced the Cavs three times as Old Dominion coach, and twice
earlier this year while coaching the Tigers. Purnell has posted a 1-5
record in those five games. He faced former Virginia coach Jeff Jones
in all four games prior to coming to Clemson.


Virginia defeated Purnell’s Radford team 87-54 in 1990-91.
Each of the next three years he faced the Cavaliers as Old Dominion’s
head coach. He lost to Jones team 83-67 in 1991-92 and by a 90-68
score in 1992-93. In 1993-94, Virginia finally came to Old Dominion and
Purnell got the win 76-69.


Clemson Veterans in ACC Tournament


Clemson has five players on its roster who have appeared in
an ACC Tournament game. That includes senior Chris Hobbs who has
started four ACC Tournament games and is the only active Tiger to
experience a victory in an ACC Tournament game. He had six points and
four rebounds in Clemson’s first round win in Atlanta in 2001.
The other Tigers who have played in the ACC Tournament are
Olu Babalola, Chey Christie, Sharrod Ford and Shawan Robinson.
Ford, Hobbs and Robinson have all had solid shooting games in the ACC
Tournament. Hobbs and Ford are exactly 7-9 from the field in their
career from the field in ACC Tournament play. Babalola had a double
figure scoring game last year against Florida State.


Robinson is 5-8, including 4-5 on three-point shots. Robinson
did that last year against Florida State in the first round. That 80 percent
performance on three-point shooting (given a minimum of five attempts),
tied the Clemson record for an ACC Tournament game. Chris Whitney,
against FSU in 1993, and Andrius Jurkunas vs. UNC in 1996, are the
other Tigers to have a 4-5 three-point game in ACC Tournament play.


Purnell’s First Trip to ACC as Head Coach


Oliver Purnell will be coaching his first ACC Tournament game
as a head coach Thursday night when Clemson plays its first-round
game, but it won’t be the first time he has been on the sidelines at the
ACC Tournament. Purnell served as an assistant coach at Maryland for
three years between 1985-86 and 1987-88. He served one year under
Lefty Driesell and two years under Bob Wade.
Maryland had a 2-3 record in the ACC Tournament those three
years combined. Both of the victories were first round wins over top 20
foes. At the 1986 ACC Tournament, Purnell’s first year at Maryland, the
Terps upset North Carolina, 85-75 in the first round at Greensboro. North
Carolina was ranked fourth in the nation entering that game and had
been ranked number-one in the nation for 13 weeks during the regular
season. Maryland then lost to Georgia Tech, 64-62 in the semifinals.
Two years later, Maryland defeated an 18th ranked Georgia Tech team
84-67 in the first round before losing to North Carolina 74-64 in the
semifinals.


Ford Finishing Strong


Clemson’s top player over the course of the season and at the
conclusion of the season is junior center Sharrod Ford. The native of
Suitland, MD is Clemson’s top scorer (11.9), rebounder (7.1) and shot
blocker (62) for the season. Over the last three games of the season
Ford has scored 48 points (16.0 per game), 27 rebounds (9.0) and
blocked eight shots (2.7). His 54 percent field goal shooting is second
on the team to Akin Akingbala’s 60.3 mark, but his 56.2 figure for his
career is fifth best in Clemson history.


He has led Clemson in scoring in each of the last three games, the
second time this year a Tiger has done that. Shawan Robinson had a
three-game streak of leading the Tigers in scoring earlier in the season.
Ford had 20 points and 16 rebounds in the final regular season
game. He made 6-13 shots from the field and 8-10 free throws. His 16
rebounds were a career high and most by a Tiger this season. The total
included 10 offensive rebounds, tied for the most by a Clemson player in
an ACC game in history. Dale Davis and Horace Grant are the only other
Clemson players to record 10 offensive rebounds in a game against an
ACC team.


In the regular season finale, Ford had 14 points on 6-8
shooting and added five rebounds at North Carolina. Ford is now 10-15
from the field his year and 23-32 for his career against the Tar Heels.
For the season Ford has led the Tigers in scoring a team best
10 times and in rebounding a team best 12 times. He has seven double-
doubles to lead the team and has had 15 double figure scoring games,
tied for the best on the Clemson team.


Tigers Must Get off to Better Start


Clemson has lost each of its last three games of the regular
season by double digits and the main reason has been getting off to a
difficult start offensively. Clemson has scored just 58 points in the last
three first halves combined. Clemson was 2-19 to open the game at
Maryland on Feb. 24, 3-20 to open the Georgia Tech game on Feb. 28
and 5-16 to open the North Carolina game on March 2.


A look to the combined stats by half over the last three games
shows that Clemson is 19-75 from the field overall (.253) and 2-20 on
three point shots (.10) in the last three first halves combined. Clemson
also has an assist/turnover ratio of 5/40 in the last three first halves
combined.


But, Clemson has not hung its head and played well offensively
in the second half of each of the last three games. Clemson is 38-80
(.475) in the last three second halves combined, including 15-29 on three
point shots (.517). Clemson has a 25/23 team assist/turnover ratio in the
last three second halves combined.


Tigers from North Carolina


Clemson has two players from the state of North Carolina who
will be going home for the ACC Tournament. Chris Hobbs (Chapel Hill)
and Shawan Robinson (Raleigh) are both natives of the Tar Heel State
and have followed the ACC Tournament for many years. Hobbs never
attended the tournament prior to coming to Clemson, but Robinson has
been to every tournament that has been in the Tar Heel state since he
was six-years-old. His father is now an assistant coach at Appalachian
State and he joined his father at those tournaments.


Both players have been starters for Clemson over the course of
the season. Hobbs has started 24 of the 27 games so far this year and
has a 7.9 scoring average to go with 5.5 rebounds per game (second on
the team). He is shooting 50.3 percent from the field, third on the
Clemson team and his 19 blocked shots rank second.


Robinson is second on the team in scoring with a 10.7 average
and his 41 three-point goals leads the team. He is tied with Chey
Christie for first on the team in three-point goal percentage, and has a 74
percent free throw shooting mark. Robinson has been the leading scorer
for the Tigers in each of Clemson’s four wins over RPI top 30 teams
(Boston College, Florida State, North Carolina and NC State).


Shay Has Memorable Week


Clemson senior Beau Shay is having a strong finish to his
Clemson career. A walk-on from Galesburg, IL, he has made a field goal
in each of the last two games. That doesn’t sound like much, but
considering he had made just two field goals in his four-year career prior
to the last two games, it is an accomplishment.


Shay is in his fourth year as a walk-on for the Tigers and has
been a strong team leader this year along with classmate Chris Hobbs.
Shay is a biological sciences major who plans to go to medical school
next year. He is a two-time ACC academic honor roll selection. This
year he will become the first Clemson walk-on to earn three letters since
Brian Chester from 1994-97.


On senior day against Georgia Tech, Shay made his first
career start and scored a 15-foot field goal with 35 seconds left, his first
career field goal in Littlejohn Coliseum. Then, in the final stages of the
final regular season game in Chapel Hill, Shay hit a three-point goal from
the right wing, his first career made three-point goal. Heading into the
ACC Tournament, Shay is now 3-4 from the field for the season and 4-7


for his career. He has 12 points and seven rebounds in 22 career
minutes in 21 games.


Last Year at the ACC Tournament
March 13, 2003 at Greensboro Coliseum
Florida State 72, Clemson 61


Florida State outscored Clemson 44-25 in the second half and
went on to a 72-61 victory in the 8 vs. 9 game of the 2003 ACC
Tournament. The loss ended Clemson’s season at 15-13 and proved to
be the final game in Larry Shyatt’s Clemson coaching career.
The Tigers took a 36-28 lead at intermission as Clemson made
14-31 shots from the field, including 6-12 on three-point attempts.
Clemson held Florida State to 2-11 three-point shooting in the opening
half.


But, Florida State’s Tim Pickett and Nate Johnson went on a
scoring binge in the second half leading to the FSU victory. The
Seminoles shot 62.5 percent in the second half, hitting on 15-24 shots
from the field, while Clemson made just 8-27 from the field.


Shawan Robinson led Clemson in scoring with 14 points off the
bench. He played his best game of the season in many ways, hitting 5-8
from the field, including 4-5 three-point shots. He had two assists and no
turnovers in 20 minutes of play. Edward Scott added a double-double in
his final game as a Tiger, scoring 11 points and adding 10 assists. But
the senior made just 3-18 shots from the field, including 0-6 on three-
point attempts. Tim Pickett led Florida State with 22 points and 12
rebounds, while Johnson scored 18, giving FSU 40 points from its
starting backcourt.


Clemson vs. Virginia Series

•Virginia holds a 61-46 advantage in the series with Clemson, a
series that dates to 1936 when Clemson won at Charlottesville, 45-34.
That was the only meeting between the two teams prior to the formation
of the ACC. Since 1955, Clemson and Virginia have met at least twice
per season.

•Virginia had won four straight meetings prior to the Clemson
win at Littlejohn in 2001-02. Since then the teams have split six
meetings. Virginia won both meetings this year during the regular
season. Over the last 18 meetings Virginia has won 10 and Clemson
has won eight.

•Clemson had a series sweep against Virginia in 2002-03, one
of just two season sweeps for Clemson over the last six seasons. The
other was against NC State in 1999-00.

•Clemson’s win over Virginia at Clemson in 2002-03 was
noteworthy. Clemson won the game 78-77, the school’s first one-point
victory since the 1991-92 season when it defeated Florida State 68-67 in
a game at Clemson. Clemson had lost nine consecutive games decided
by one point .It was also a landmark occasion in that Clemson had
posted a 3-15 record in games decided by five points or less over the last
30 years against Virginia prior to that game.

•For a period of time the series featured many close games. In
the 1980s, 11 games were decided by five points or less, including nine
that were decided by two or one point. In the 1990s, just five were
decided by five or less.


ïPrior to Clemson’s win last year, University Hall had been a building of
horrors for Clemson the last 24 years. Clemson had a 3-21 record in the
building between 1978-79 and 2001-02 and all three wins had come in
special seasons. Clemson lost at Virginia earlier this year, 61-50.
The Tigers won in 1987 (on Valentine’s Day) by a 94-90 score
thanks to a late three-point goal in overtime by Horace Grant, the only
three-point goal of his career, and with the help of a late four-point play
by Anthony Jenkins. Clemson finished with a school record 25 wins that
year.


In 1990, Clemson gained victory 76-70 behind Dale Davis and
Elden Campbell. Cliff Ellis’s Tigers claimed the school’s only ACC
regular season championship that year.


In 1996-97, the Tigers defeated a 25th-ranked Virginia team,
62-52. That Clemson team, went on to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA
Tournament and won 23 games. Clemson had a 15-13 season last year,
but won in Charlottesville 73-64 behind 32 points by All-ACC guard
Edward Scott.

•There have been some unusual shooting games for Clemson
in University Hall. The two worst shooting games in Clemson history
have taken place in University Hall. In Cliff Ellis’s final season, the Tigers
shot just 15-63 in the building (.238) the worst shooting performance in
Clemson history, in a 50-44 loss. A storm hit the Charlottesville area the
day before the game and prohibited Clemson from arriving on Friday for
the Saturday game. Clemson went to the Anderson Airport at 8:00 AM
on Saturday, flew to Charlottesville, went straight to the arena for the
12:00 Noon game, shot 24 percent, and returned to Clemson by 6:00
PM.


The next year, Rick Barnes’s first season, Clemson made just
12-50, and the .240 is the second worst field goal percentage in
Clemson history.


In 1993 at Virginia, Clemson scored just 16 points in the first
half on 6-36 shooting, then scored 66 in the second half, the highest
scoring second half in Clemson history in an ACC game, but still lost 100-
82.


In 1984 at Charlottesville, Clemson shot .675 from the field on
27-40 shooting, but still suffered defeat 77-70. That is the second
highest field goal percentage in school history in a loss. Clemson was
16-20 from the field at the half in that game (80 percent), but still trailed
at intermission by seven (40-33).

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