Clemson basketball vs. Georgia Tech game notes

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Site: Alexander Memorial Coliseum

Date: Tuesday, January 19, 2010

City: Atlanta, GA

Time/TV: 7:00 PM (ESPN2, ESPN 360)

(Mike Patrick, Len Elmore)

Radio: Clemson Tiger Radio Network

(Pete Yanity, Tim Bourret)

Rankings: Clemson: (16 USA, 17 AP)

Georgia Tech: (18 USA, 19 AP)

Officials: TBA

Probable starting lineups

11 Andre Young 5-9 170 	  So. 	G 1 Iman Shumpert 6-5 200 So.
(8.1 PPG, 2.3 APG) 		(10.9 PPG, 3.3 RPG)
5 Tanner Smith 6-5 220 	  So. 	G 0 Mfon Udofia 6-2 175 Fr.
(10.7 PPG, 4.3 RPG) 		(10.4 PPG, 3.9 RPG)
45 Jerai Grant 6-8 220 	  Jr. 	C 14 Derrick Favors 6-10 234 Fr.
(6.4 PPG, 3.8 RPG) 		(11.5 PPG, 8.6 RPG)
15 David Potter 6-6 215   Sr. 	F 31 Gani Lawal 6-9 233 Jr.
(6.9 PPG, 2.9 RPG) 		(15.2 PPG, 9.2 RPG)
35 Trevor Booker 6-7 240  Sr. 	F 13 D’Andre Bell 6-6 220 Sr.
(15.4 PPG, 8.3 RPG) 		(5.6 PPG, 2.6 RPG)

Quick Facts

• Clemson Head Coach Oliver Purnell became Clemson’s career leader in ACC road wins with the 73-70 victory at NC State last Saturday. It was his 15th, one more than Cliff Ellis, Bill Foster and Bobby Roberts had during their respective careers.

• Clemson is coming off a week in which it defeated both North Carolina and NC State. It marked the first time in 20 years that Clemson defeated two ACC teams from the state of North Carolina in the same week. Clemson moved up from 24th in AP to 17th with the two wins last week.

• Clemson ended a streak of 13 consecutive losses in the game after win over a top 25 team with the win at NC State. Clemson downed 12th ranked North Carolina last week, then validated that victory with a 73-70 win at NC State.

• Clemson starting point guard Demontez Stitt is questionable for the Georgia Tech game due to a sprained ankle suffered with 13:37 left. He did not return. Stitt is Clemson’s second leading scorer with a 11.3 average, including 14.8 points per game over the last five games.

• Trevor Booker scored 21 points in the win over North Carolina, then scored 20 in the win at NC State. He was named ACC Co-Player of the Week for his performances and now has three ACC player of the week awards for his career, tied for the most in Clemson history.

• Booker went over the 1500 point mark in the win over NC State and now has 1516 for his career, 10th best in Clemson history. He also has 942 career rebounds, fouth best in school history.

• Clemson is ranked in the top 20 in both polls this week, the 26th straight poll Clemson has been ranked in the top 25 by at least one of the major polls. This is the second longest streak of top 25 rankings in Clemson history.

• Jerai Grant has made 23 of his last 28 field goal attempts. He has scored 31 points over his last three games, his high total in a 3-game period.

• Clemson never trailed in either of its games last week, wins over North Carolina and NC State. In fact, Clemson has not trailed since a 2-0 deficit against Boston College on January 9. Clemson tied the game at 2-2 at the 19:01 mark and never trailed again. So, Clemson has not trailed in its last 119 minutes of play.

• Clemson is shooting just .656 from the foul line this year, but has made 35 of 43 (.814) over the last two games, including 15-15 inside the last 6:30.

• Both Clemson and Georgia Tech are ranked in the top 25 of the AP poll this week. It marks the first time since the a Jan. 30, 1996 game at Clemson that both teams entered ranked in the top 25.

Clemson vs. Georgia Tech Series

•Georgia Tech has a 58-56 lead in the series with Clemson, including two Clemson wins during the 2008-09 regular season. The two teams split two meetings in 2007-08 with each team winning on its home court. The home team has won five of the last six in the series with Clemson winning at Tech last year.

• Clemson has won six of the last nine in the series, but Tech won the ACC Tournament game last year.

•Clemson is 8-11 against top 25 Georgia Tech teams. All eight of those wins took place between the 1984-85 and 1995-96 seasons.
Clemson has not played a top 25 Georgia Tech team since the 2003-04 season (twice). Those are the only top 25 Georgia Tech teams Clemson has played since the 1995-96 season.

•Two of Clemson’s eight wins over top 25 Georgia Tech teams have taken place at Georgia Tech, a 90-81 win over an eighth ranked Tech team in 1984-85 and a 83-80 win over a #22 ranked Tech team in 1992-93. The 1984-85 victory came in Cliff Ellis’s first ACC game as Clemson head coach. Ellis also had the 1992-93 victory as well.

•Clemson defeated a top 25 Georgia Tech team five consecutive years between 1987-88 and 1991-92. All of the wins took place at Clemson. It is the only time in history Clemson has beaten the same top 25 team five years in a row.

•Tech swept Clemson in Paul Hewitt’s first year at Georgia Tech (2000-01), the first time the Yellow Jackets had swept the Tigers since 1985-86. Tech swept Clemson three of the first five years Hewitt was at Tech and the Yellow Jacket mentor is 11-8 against Clemson

•Clemson has a 36-15 lead in games played at Clemson and a 29-8 margin in games in Littlejohn Coliseum. Clemson has won 18 of the last 24 between the two teams played at Clemson. Clemson has more wins in Littlejohn Coliseum against Georgia Tech than any other ACC school. Of course many of those wins took place before Georgia Tech joined the ACC.

•The two teams played a road-win split series in 2001-02. But this has been a home-team series, perhaps the most home-team-dominated series in the ACC the last 20 years. The home team has won 35 of the last 47. Clemson has won 72 percent of the games played at Clemson, while Georgia Tech has won 68 percent of the games played in Atlanta.

•Clemson has just seven wins at Georgia Tech in the last 27 years. That includes

Clemson’s win at Tech last year.

•There has been a home team victory season split 15 times since 1982-83, including 2006-07 and 2007-08.

•Tech entered the ACC in 1979-80. Since that season the teams have met 63 times and Clemson has a 33-30 lead. Clemson won the first six games in the series when Tech joined the ACC, including a victory at The Omni in January of 1981. Georgia Tech is the only team Clemson has beaten in the first conference

•Clemson won 14 in a row in the seriesfrom 1971-72 to 1981-82. Tech began play in the ACC in 1979-80, so some of those games were non-conference games.

•The series dates to the 1912-13 season, the second year in Clemson basketball history. That year Clemson won at Tech, 26-22, but lost at Clemson 29-13. That was the first home loss in Clemson history after four straight home wins.

•The two teams played a wild 111-108 game in 2000-01 at Clemson, Paul Hewitt’s first year as Tech head coach. Will Solomon scored 41 points for the Tigers, but it was not enough, as Tech made a then school record 17 three-point goals in 31 attempts, including 13 made three-point goals in the first half alone. That is the most points by a Clemson player against Georgia Tech.

•Clemson and Georgia Tech played four consecutive games decided by two points of less between 1987-89, the second longest streak of games decided by two points or less in an ACC series in Clemson history. That included
two overtime wins for the Tigers at home in consecutive years. Clemson won in double overtime in 1987-88 by a 97-94 score and in overtime in 1988-89 by an 81-79 score. Both were Senior Day victories over top 25 Georgia Tech teams. The first win clinched an NIT berth for the Tigers and the second clinched an NCAA Tournament berth.

Tigers Have Won Three Straight ACC Games

A victory at Georgia Tech would give the Tigers four consecutive
ACC wins, something the program has not done since the 1996-97 season. Clemson won its first five ACC games that year and that is the longest ACC winning streak at any point in the season over the last 13 years.
Over its last three games Clemson has beaten Boston College, North Carolina and NC State. It marks the seventh three-game ACC winning
streak for the program since 1996-97, but each time the Tigers have lost the game that would give them a four-game streak.

Clemson’s 3-1 start to the ACC slate is the best for the program since 2006-07 when the Tigers were also 3-1. This is just the second 3-1 start in the ACC for the Tigers since that 5-0 start in 1996-97. So, a win on Tuesday would give Clemson a 4-1 record, its best start to the ACC season since the 5-0 in 1996-97. That 5-0 start is the best ACC start in Clemson history.

Stitt Questionable with Sprained Ankle

Clemson starting point guard Demontez Stitt is questionable for the Georgia Tech game due to a sprained left ankle suffered at NC State on January 16. Stitt suffered the injury while driving to the basketball when he was fouled. He made the first free throw and missed the second, so he stayed in the game for one more possession. But, after NC State scored, he was taken out of the game and did not play the last 13:37 of the game. NC State cut the margin from 10 points to one over the remainder of the game, but Clemson held on to a 73-70 victory.
Stitt would be a big loss if he can’t go against the Yellow Jackets.

He is Clemson’s second leading scorer with an 11.3 average, including
a 14.8 average in his last five games (even including the NC State game when he scored nine in little more than half the game).

Stitt is shooting 46 percent from the field, including a career best 36 percent on three-point shots, and a 77.4 figure from the foul line. He also leads the team in assists with 67 and is tied for fourth in steals with 24. He has shot 51 percent in ACC games and scored 15.3 points per game in ACC contests.

If Stitt can’t go, Andre Young will take over the starting point guard duties. Young has not started a game in his career, but is the team’ s fourth leading scorer with an 8.1 average. He is shooting 40 percent on three-point shots, best on the team, and leads the team in steals with 32. He will play in the arena where he had his best ACC game last year. In an eight-point win over the Yellow Jackets, Young made 4-4 three-point shots and scored 12 points in 17 minutes. For the year he was 6-8 on three-point shots against Georgia Tech.

Tigers Have Not Trailed in Last 119 Minutes

Clemson has won three straight ACC games and has been in command for most of those games. In fact, Clemson has not trailed since the first minute of the January 9 win over Boston College.

Boston College took a 2-0 lead in the first minute, then Clemson tied the game at 2-2 at the 19:01 mark. The Tigers never trailed the rest of the game and the only other tie was at 4-4. Clemson won that contest by 16.

Clemson jumped out to a 6-0 lead against North Carolina and had an 18-point lead at intermission, Clemson’s largest halftime lead against the Tar Heels. North Carolina cut the margin to 11 in the second half, but could get no closer. Clemson had at least a double digit lead in that game for the last 35:28 of the game.

Clemson jumped to a 6-0 lead at NC State as well and led by as many as 21 points in the first half. Clemson led by 17 at intermission. However, NC State cut the lead to 71-70 with 1:52 left, then got the ball back. A shot by Richard Howell with a minute left was blocked by Jerai Grant, and the Tigers went on to the 73-70 victory.
Thus Clemson has not trailed in its last 119 minutes of basketball.

Free Throw Shooting Improved Last Week

Clemson has shot just .656 for the season, but has been very effective the last two games, victories over North Carolina and NC State. Clemson has made 35-43 free throws in those two games for a .814 rate. Clemson has been especially good in the clutch in those two wins. The Tigers have made 15-15 from the charity stripe in the last 6:30 of those two games combined.

Over the last two games, Tanner Smith is 11-12, Demontez Stitt is 6-7, Trevor Booker is 7-10, David Potter is 4-4, Jerai Grant is 5-7, Devin Booker is 2-2 and Andre Young is 1-1.

For the season, Clemson has five players on the roster shooting at least 70 percent from the line this year. Tanner Smith leads the way at .794, while backcourt mate Demontez Stitt is at .774.

Clemson Three-Point Defense on Record Pace

Clemson has won three consecutive ACC games and one of the reasons is three-point percentage defense. Over the last three games, Clemson opponents have made just 9-49 on three-point shots for a .183 percentage. Boston College was 2-16 against the Tigers, North Carolina 3-12 and NC State 4-21.

For the year, Clemson opponents are making just .297 from three-point range, fifth best in the ACC, but in league games, opponents are shooting just .224 from long range, best in the ACC. If the season ended today, the .297 three-point shooting figure for opponents would be a Clemson defensive record. The best three-point percentage defense over the course of a season is .305 by the 2007-08 Clemson team. Only four Clemson teams in history have held the opposition under 32 percent three-point shooting.

Purnell Has Handed Coach K and Williams Worst Defeat Last Seven Years

Clemson defeated North Carolina by 19 points on January 13 and it was the largest margin of defeat for Roy Williams in his seven years as the head coach of the Tar Heels. It marked the second straight year that Oliver Purnell and the Tigers handed a Hall of Fame Coach his worst loss in some time.

Last year Clemson defeated Duke and Hall of Fame Coach Mike Krzyzewski by 27 points (74-47) and that was Duke’s worst loss since the 1990 NCAA Championship game when they lost to UNLV by 30 points.

The Tigers also defeated Maryland and Gary Williams by 29 points last year, 93-64 and that is the third largest margin of defeat for Willams and the Terps in the last seven years, or since Purnell came to Clemson.

Worst Defeats for North Carolina in Last Seven Years

Date     School          NC-Opp Mar
1-13-10  at Clemson      64-83 -19
11-20-09 Syracuse (N)    71-87 -16
12-21-05 at Southern Cal 59-74 -15
1-15-05  at Wake Forest  82-95 -13
3-25-07  Georgetown (N)  84-96 -12

Worst Defeats for Duke in Last Seven Years

Date     School            Duke-Opp Mar
2-4-09   at Clemson        47-74    -27
3-26-09  Villanova (N)     54-77    -23
3-4-07   at North Carolina 72-86    -14
2-11-09  North Carolina    87-101   -14
2-17-08  at Wake Forest    73-86    -13
2-11-07  at Maryland       60-72    -12

Purnell Sets Clemson Record for ACC Road Wins

Oliver Purnell has coached the Tigers to 15 ACC road wins in his career, the most in Clemson coaching history. He set the record with Clemson’s 73-70 win over NC State on Jan. 16, 2010. He now has a 15-35 ACC road record for his seven years at Clemson. The previous record was 14 by Bill Foster (14-46), Bobby Roberts (14-50), and Cliff Ellis (14-59).

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