CLEMSON — Clemson's stroll through the land of the Atlantic Coast Conference
giants continues Sunday with a trip to No. 10 Wake Forest.
This, of course, after the Tigers have lost by a combined 68 points in trips
to No. 2 Duke and No. 6 North Carolina. And when Sunday rolls around, don't
expect the Demon Deacons to be in a hospitable mood.
Despite their 13-3 overall record, the Deacs are just 2-3 in the ACC,
including an upset loss to No. 12 Maryland back on Wednesday. So while
Clemson is fighting for respectability, Wake Forest finds itself in an early
battle for postseason positioning.
At this stage, every win is a huge win for the Demon Deacons.
The Tigers will do their best to throw a wrench in Wake's plans, and for the
first time in a while will find itself matched against a team of comparable
size. Wake Forest won't start a player over 6-foot-9, which could be good
news for the Tigers as long as 7-1 center Adam Allenspach continues to see
limited minutes due to back problems.
But what the Demon Deacons lack in size, they more than make up for in talent
Sophomore forward Josh Howard leads the team in scoring with a 14.4 average,
one of three Deacons in double figures. He is followed by 6-9 junior Darius
Songaila at 13.9 and senior guard Robert O'Kelley at 12.8.
Will Solomon continues to lead both Clemson and the ACC in scoring at 21.6
points per game. But over the last two games the Tigers' second leading
scorer, freshman guard Tony Stockman (12.2), has scored zero and seven points
against N.C. State and North Carolina, respectively.
Clemson has lost 10 straight games at Lawrence Joel Coliseum, but has played
Wake Forest close there in recent years. The Tigers have kept the final
margin within 10 points or fewer in three of the last four meetings.
Sunday's game also is the anniversary of Clemson's highest-ranked road win in
history. The Tigers defeated then-No. 2 Maryland 82-77 on Jan. 21, 1976.
Tipoff Sunday is set for 1:30 p.m.