Clemson Basketball in Rainbow Classic Notes


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CLEMSON (7-1, 0-0 ACC)				
G 22	Shawan Robinson		6-2	180	Jr.	
	(13.9 PPG, 4.8 APG)			
G 25	Cliff Hammonds		6-3	200	Fr.	
	(11.0 PPG, 4.6 RPG)			
C 33	Akin Akingbala		6-9	220	Jr.	
	(8.5	PPG, 5.5 RPG)			
F 15	Cheyenne Moore		6-6	190	Fr.	
	(5.8 PPG, 3.3	RPG)			
F 5	Sharrod Ford		6-9	230	Sr.	
	(14.5 PPG, 7.3 RPG)			
	

UAB (5-2 , 0-0 Conf USA)	
G 0	Carldell Johnson	5-10	180	Jr.
	(4.6 PPG, 5.3 APG)		
G 2	Ronell Taylor		6-5	180	Sr.
	(11.0 PPG, 3.4 RPG)		
C 3	Marques Lewis		6-8	285 	Sr.
	(16.1 PPG, 9.3 RPG)		
F 1	Donell Taylor		6-6	180	Sr.
	(15.9 PPG, 5.1 RPG)		
F 23	Demaric Eddins		6-7	190	Jr.
	(13.0 PPG, 5 6 RPG)		


Game Notes

• Clemson was ranked 18th in Collegerpi.com and 19th by Sagarin through games of December 19.

• Clemson has won five consecutive games heading into the Rainbow Classic, the longest winning streak since a nine-game streak to open 2002-03.

• Clemson led the nation in steals per game in the December 13 stats and now has a 13.1 figure. That is on pace for a Clemson single season record. The school record for steals in a season on a per game basis is 10.89 in 1976-77, so this year's squad is a head of the record pace. Clemson has had double figures in steals in five of the first eight games, including a school record 25 in the opener against Hampton. Clemson has forced 22.3 turnovers per game through the first eight games this year.

• Clemson will be attempting to win its first regular season tournament since the 1990-91 season when the Tigers won the Florida International Tournament in Miami. Clemson has failed to win its last eight regular season tournaments. Clemson has won 22 regular season tournaments in its history.

• Clemson's only eight-team regular season tournament title took place at the 1980 Rainbow Classic. The Tigers defeated Louisiana Tech, Indiana and Hawaii to win the tournament that year. Clemson's starting center on that team was future NBA All-Star Larry Nance. Two of the wins were overtime wins.

• Clemson is 7-0 this year when it out-rebounds the opposition and 0-1 when it is the loser in the re-bound margin stat.

• Clemson has met UAB just once over the years, a 65-64 loss at UAB in the 1993 NIT second round. Sharone Wright led the Tigers in that game with 18 points and 16 rebounds.

• Freshman Cliff Hammonds is third on the Clemson team in scoring with an 11.0 average. He is also shooting nearly 40 percent on three-point shots and 54 percent overall. He is already a two-time ACC Rookie of the Week selection, the first Clemson freshman to be honored twice since Vincent Whitt in 1996-97.

• The last time Oliver Purnell took a team to Hawaii he came back with wins over #12 UCONN and #6 Maryland. That took place at the 2000 Maui Invitational when he was the head coach at Dayton.

• Sharrod Ford has scored 38 points over the last two games and has made 13 of his last 21 field goals. Ford is ranked in the top 10 in the ACC in field goal percentage, rebounds and blocked shots.

• Clemson outscored The Citadel 25-9 in terms of points off turnovers in its most recent game. Clemson has won that stat in seven of the first eight games and has a 205-98 advantage in 2004-05.


Clemson vs. UAB


This will be the second game between UAB and Clemson. The first meeting took place in Birmingham during the second round of the 1993 NIT on March 22 ,1993. UAB came away with a 65-64 victory in a game that had a controversial ending.
Robert Shannon scored a three-point basket with 51 seconds left to give UAB a 65-64 lead. Clemson then worked for a shot within the last 10 seconds. Sharone Wright scored, but the goal was disallowed after it was determined a referee had blown the whistle inadvertently just before his made field goal. Clemson was given the ball again with a new clock, but the Tigers missed a last second shot and UAB had the victory
.

Wright, who was a sophomore at he time, led Clemson with 18 points and 16 rebounds. Andre Bovain added 14 and Devin Gray scored 11 before he fouled out. Chris Whitney, who would go on to play 10 years in the NBA, shot just 2-10 and scored nine. UAB was led by Shannon who scored 19, and Stanley Jackson, who scored 17. Clemson won the rebounding battle 37-28 and the Tigers shot 80 percent from the foul line, but still lost. Cliff Ellis was the coach of the Tigers and Gene Bartow was the coach of UAB.

Coach Purnell is 0-2 in his career against UAB and both games took place as Great Midwest Conference games during the 1994-95 season, his first year as the head coach at Dayton. The Flyers lost at UAB on January 12, 1995 in Purnell's first conference game as a Dayton Coach, 75-56, then lost on March 2, 1995 at Dayton, 57-55.


Tigers Won 1980 Rainbow Classic

Clemson is a past champion of the Rainbow Classic and in many ways the December of 1980 championship could be regarded as Clemson greatest regular season tournament victory. One thing is for sure, it is the only eight-team tournament Clemson has ever won in regular season play.

In gaining the victory the Tigers had to win three games in three days by four points or less, including two in overtime. It is the only time since 1939 that Clemson has won three games in three consecutive days. The only other time took place at the 1939 Southern Conference Tournament when the Tigers won four games in four days to win its only postseason tournament title in history.

On December 28, 1980, the Tigers defeated Louisiana Tech in the opening round, 50-49, in overtime. Freshman Vincent Hamilton scored 11 points on 5-7 shooting to lead the Tigers. Bill Ross, a 6-10 junior center, scored 10 points off the bench and also shot 5-7 in the game, while Chris Dodds had nine points and seven assists from the point guard position.

Freshman Raymond Jones tied the game at 46 with an eight-foot bank-shot with 59 seconds left and there was no more scoring in regulation. Larry Nance scored the game winner on a tip-in with 1:57 left. That's right, there was no scoring over the last 1:57 of the game. In those days there was no shot clock so teams held the ball for long periods of time in hopes of scoring on a final possession.

On December 29, 1980, Clemson defeated a 15th ranked Indiana team coached by Bob Knight, 58-57. Chris Dodds hit a nine-foot jumper from the right baseline with 10 seconds left to give the Tigers the victory. Dodds scored 11 points and had four assists against just one turnover in a head-to-head matchup with Isiah Thomas. Thomas led Indiana with 14 points on 7-11 shooting and he played all 40 minutes.

Bill Ross led Clemson in scoring, the first time in his career the junior had led the Tiger in scoring. He had 13 points on 6-10 shooting from the field in 23 minutes. Indiana shot 74 percent from the field in the second half (14-19) and committed just seven turnovers for the game, but still lost. The Hoosiers went on to win the National Championship that year, still the only time Clemson has defeated the eventual national champion in basketball.

Clemson won the Rainbow Classic championship with a 75-71 overtime victory against host school Hawaii on December 30, 1980. Nance led the Tigers with 16 points and eight rebounds, while Horace Wyatt added a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Dodds also had 12 points and six assists and was named to the Rainbow Classic All-tournament team. Hamilton scored six points in the overtime to lead the Tigers to victory. Neither team scored over the last 4:29 of the regulation. Clemson shot 5-5 from the field in the overtime, outscoring Hawaii, 12-8.


Similarities Between 1980 team and 2004

A look to the roster of the Clemson team of 1980 and the Clemson team of 2004 will find some similarities. The 1980 Clemson team featured a senior center narned Larry Nance, a junior point guard named Chris Dodds and four solid freshmen, Vincent Hamilton, Marc Campbell, Clarke Bynum and Raymond Jones.


The top freshman of the group was Hamilton (no relation to current Clemson guard Vernon Hamilton), who was the least recruited of the rookie crop that year. This 2004 Clemson team features a senior center named Sharrod Ford, a junior point guard named Shawan Robinson and four outstanding freshmen, Cliff Hammonds, James Mays, Cheyenne Moore and Sam Perry.

The top freshman so far has been Cliff Hammonds, who was the least recruited of the new group. Statistically the comparisons between Hammonds and Hamilton are noteworthy. Hammonds is shooting 54 percent from the field so far this year and Hamilton shot 53.6 percent from the field his freshman season (1980-81). Hamilton averaged 8.8 points a game that year, and Hammonds is at 11.0 so far. Hamilton averaged 4.6 rebounds per game in 1980-81, the exact same figure for Hammonds through eight games this year. Hamilton averaged 29 minutes per game that year and Hammonds is at 28.9 minutes per game so far in 2004-05.


Purnell Has Had Success in Hawaii


Clemson Head Coach Oliver Purnell last coached in a regular season tournament in Hawaii. He took his Dayton Flyers to Maui for the Maui Invitational in November of 2000 and he came away with two of his best victories as a Division I head coach.

In the first round in Maui, his Flyers defeated a #12 UCONN team that was coming off a national championship by an 80-66 score. The next night the Flyers lost to number-one ranked Arizona, then came back the third night and defeated a sixth-ranked Maryland team that would go on to the Final Four that year, 77-71.

Purnell has a 13-7 lifetime record with two tournament championships in regular season events in his career. This will be his first tournament with the Tigers. He had a 7-3 record in regular season tournaments at Dayton, including a championship in the CoSIDA Classic in Albuquerque, NM during the 1999-00 season. He defeated the Lobos in the Pitt in that tournament.

Purnell was 4-2 in regular season tournaments when he was the head coach at Old Dominion between 1991-92 and 1993-94. He won the UCSB Gaucho Classic in 1993-94 with victories over UC-Santa Barbara and Hofstra. Purnell was 2-2 in regular season tournaments when he was the head coach at Radford from 1988-89 through 1990-91.


Clemson in Top 20 of RPI and Sagarin


Clemson is currently ranked in the top 20 in the collegerpi.com and the Sagarin rankings heading into games of Monday, December 20. The Tigers are ranked 18°i in the collegerpi.com, just behind Texas, and ranked 19t by Sagarin. Clemson ranks fourth among ACC teams in the collegerpi.com and is fifth among league teams in the Sagarin.

Collegerpi.com Ranking
Rk	Team		Record	Rat
1.	Boston College	8-0	.7679
2.	Kansas		7-0	.7166
3.	Wake Forest	9-1	.7164
4.	Illinois	10-0	.7136
5.	Oklahoma State	8-0	.7012
6.	Washington	7-1	.7017
7.	Arizona		7-2	.6947
8.	Geo Washington	7-1	.6875
9.	Wisconsin	6-2	.6781
10.	Duke		8-0	.6686
11.	Ohio State	8-2	.6626
12.	Oregon		6-1	.6622
13.	Gonzaga		8-1	.6619
14.	Virginia	7-1	.6576
15.	Iowa		9-1	.6518
16.	Michigan State	6-2	.6472
17.	Texas		6-2	.6467
18.	Clemson		7-1	.6440
19.	Holy Cross	4-3	.6379
20.	Maryland	6-2	.6378
Through games of Dec. 19	


Sagarin Rankings	
Rk	Team		Rec	Rat
1.	Illinois	10-0	96.69
2.	Oklahoma State	8-0	94.84
3.	Duke		8-0	91.95
4.	Kansas		7-0	90.18
5.	North Carolina	8-1	89.46
6.	Georgia Tech	7-1	89.26
7.	Washington	7-1	88.74
8.	Wake Forest	9-1	88.69
9.	Arkansas	8-1	88.63
10.	Syracuse	9-1	88.27
11.	Cincinnati	7-0	88.10
12.	Kentucky	7-1	88.97
13.	Pittsburgh	8-0	87.95
14.	Texas		6-2	87.09
15.	Kent State	6-2	87.08
16.	Oregon		6-1	86.94
17.	Michigan State	6-2	86.85
18.	Geo Washington	7-1	86.75
19.	Clemson		7-1	86.69
20.	Iowa		9-1	86.62
Through games of December 19


Miller on the Radio


Clemson basketball SID Anne Miller will join Pete Yanity on the radio broadcasts as the color commentator of Clemson's three games in the Rainbow Classic. Miller is in her fifth year working in the SID office at Clemson in a full-time capacity, her third year working with the men's
basketball program.

This will be the second time a female has provided commentary on a men's sporting event in Clemson's radio network history. The only other occurrence also took place during games that were also played in Hawaii. Kassie Kessinger, one of Bob Bradley's assistants in the mid 1980s, teamed with Jim Phillips to broadcast Clemson's games from the Hawaii Pacific Tournament on January 2 and 3 of 1987. Clemson won both games.


Tigers Seek Six-Game win Streak


Clemson has won five consecutive games, victories over Ohio State, South Carolina, Charleston Southern and Norfolk State. A victory over UAB on Tuesday night would give the Tigers six straight wins, a high mark in Oliver Purnell's short Clemson career. Clemson's longest
winning streaks last year were a pair of three-game streaks.

Clemson's last six-game winning streak took place during the 2002-03 season when the Tigers won their first nine games of the season under Larry Shyatt. Duke ended that streak with a 89-71 win at Clemson in the 10th game of the season. Duke also ended Clemson's last three-game winning streak, a year ago on January 3.


Akingbala Posts Career High


Akin Akingbala scored a career high 16 points and added 10 rebounds in Clemson's victory over Norfolk State. He accomplished the double-double in just 19 minutes. It was the second career double-double forAkingbala and both times he has achieved the feat in just 19 minutes. Akingbala is the only Clemson player in the last nine years to record a double-double in less than 20 minutes playing time. Prior to that, you have to go back to Tom Wideman, who had a double-double in just 17 minutes against Furman in 1995-96.


Akingbala had a double-double in the season opener against Gardner Webb last year at Clemson when he had 11 points and 10 rebounds in just 19 minutes.


Akingbala had a career high seven field goals in a career high 12 attempts during the 27-point Clemson victory against Norfolk State. He is now averaging 8.5 points per game, up from 4.8 per game in 2003-04, and is shooting .638 from the field for the year on 30-47 shooting.
For his career, Akingbala isaveraging 4.4 points and 3.9 rebounds in 14.5 minutes per game. When pro-rating his stats to a 40 minute game, Akingbala's averages are 12.3 points and 10.9 rebounds per game.


Clemson Overcoming Deficits


Clemson had a strong week from December 1-4, defeating both Ohio State and South Carolina. It marked the first time that Clemson had defeated a team from the Big Ten and the SEC in consecutive games.


Both games were similar in that the Tigers made a strong comeback in the last five minutes of each game to gain the victory

.
Clemson trailed Ohio State by 10 points in the first half (36-26) and by five points with five minutes left (65-60) . But, the Tigers went on a 20-8 run to end the game, as Sharrod Ford (6), Olu Babalola (7) and Shawan Robinson (7) combined for all 20 points in the 80-73 victory

.
Then, in the next game against South Carolina, the Tigers trailed by six points, 47-41, with five minutes left. Clemson then went on a 10-4 run to close regulation and a 12-11 margin in the overtime to claim the win. Clemson was more balanced down the stretch of the South Carolina game, as five different players scored, including Cheyenne Moore, who had the game winning three-point shot with 3.4 seconds left in overtime.


For the season, Robinson has been Clemson's top scorer in the clutch, as he has 21 points in the last five minutes or overtime in games decided by 10 points or less. He had a team best tying 36
points in that situation last year. Freshman Cliff Hammonds is second this year with 10 points in that situation.


Clemson has not had to overcome deficits in its last three games. Clemson never trailed for a second during its win over Charleston Southern and trailed for just 45 seconds in the vicotry over Norfolk State. The Tigers never tailed against The Citadel, so that is just 45 seconds playing catchup in the last 120 minutes of basketball.


Hammonds Hottest Tiger


Most high school recruiting services ranked Cliff Hammonds the least likely of Clemson's incoming freshmen to have a big impact on the Tiger program in 2004-05. Hammonds was a strong two-sport athlete at Cairo High School in Cairo, GA who averaged 22 points, 7.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 4.5 steals per game his senior year when he was named the 4A Player of the Year. He was college decision was between football at Stanford and basketball at Clemson.


Hammonds needed to work on his outside shot according to some critics and he started the year missing his first eight three-point attempts. But, since he broke the streak with a 2-4 three-point evening at Boston College, Hammonds has been on a shooting tear. He made 14 of 19 three-point attempts at one stretch, including a 4-5 evening against Ohio State, a 4-6 performance at South Carolina and a perfect 4-4 against Charleston Southern on December 11. For the year he is shooting 39.5 percent from behind the arc.


For his efforts in the two Clemson victories over Ohio State and South Carolina, he was named ACC Co-Freshman of the Week by the ACC Sports Media Association. It was the first time since the 2001-02 season that a Clemson player had been named ACC Freshman of the Week.


His 5-5 performance from the field and 4-4 on three-point shots against Charleston Southern, earned his his second ACC Rookie of the Week selection on December 13. Hammonds is already the first Clemson freshman to earn ACC Rookie of the Week honors more than once since Vinvent Whitt won it twice in 1996-97. The record for a season is three selections, held by Tree Rollins (1973-74), Skip Wise (1974-75), Grayson Marshall (1984-85) and Greg Buckner (1994-95). Buckner won ACC Rookie of the Year honors, the only Clemson player in history to win that award.


The 6-3 guard has scored 88 points in the first eight games and has five double figure scoring outings for an 11.0 average, third best on the team. He has also added 4.6 rebounds per outing and has 28 assists against just 15 turnovers, the best assist/turnover ratio on the team. He is eighth in the ACC in assist/turnover ratio. He also has 14 steals against just 13 fouls so he is also efficient from a defensive standpoint. His 54 percent field goal percentage is third best on the team, but second among players with at least 100 minutes.


Tigers 6-0 at Home


The Tigers broke a 13-game losing streak in games played away-from-home with the victory over South Carolina on December 4. The Tigers have been strong at home under Oliver Purnell and over the years for that matter. Clemson is 16-6 under Purnell at home, 10-6 last year and 6-0 so far this season. Clemson has 16 home games this year, including one against Georgia in the BiLo Center in Greenville.

Clemson is now 383-149 over the years in Littlejohn Coliseum, a .718 winning percentage. That includes a 133-120 record against ACC teams and a 250-29 record against non-conference foes. That is a .896 winning percentage against non-conference teams at Littlejohn
Coliseum. Thefacility opened for the 1968-69 season. Clemson has had a winning record at home in all but two of the 36 previous seasons.

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