Tigers To Measure Up Against NCSU


by - Correspondent -
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Will Solomon leads the ACC in scoring (21.1), minutes played (35.9) and 3-point FGs made per game (3.1

CLEMSON,SC -- Clemson basketball coach Larry Shyatt is ready for his team to
play some basketball. You can hear it in his voice.

"How else would we get to the next level without playing the kind of
teams we'll play this week?" said Shyatt.

Clemson (6-12 overall, 0-6 Atlantic Coast Conference) was scheduled to
play No. 21 N.C. State tonight in Littlejohn Coliseum. Eighteen inches of
snow outside N.C. State coach Herb Sendek's house Tuesday morning made him
think the Wolfpack might not make it.

The conference office rescheduled the game for Thursday night and Shyatt
will have to hold off his anticipation for another day.

"How will we get to the next level?" asked Shyatt, who doesn't sound
discouraged despite a six game losing streak and a schedule that is as bleak
as the forecast for this weekend's trip to Durham to play No. 3 Duke: more
snow.

"It's a barometer, a yard stick," he said. "If we want to get to that
level, these are the teams we have to beat. Why not Wednesday night?"

The snow is one reason. Putting aside Shyatt's rose-colored glasses,
there are several other reasons.
Clemson played with just six scholarship
player Saturday against Maryland. Clemson has just eight scholarship players
to play with. Two of them, Ed Scott and Thomas Nagys, will return for the
N.C. State game after injuries.

Injuries and a defection have hurt Clemson, which hasn't won since
December and lost last week to Appalachian State by 12 points. Last Friday,
Shyatt lost center Arturas Javtokas, a junior college transfer in his first
year at Clemson. Javtokas left the team for personal reasons.

There have been plenty of things to complain about. Shyatt hasn't
complained. He looks at his friend Sendek, who served along with Shyatt
under Rick Barnes at Providence in the early 90's, as a model of how to
build a program.

"I can't stand him now, but they've taken progressive steps and getting
high school player of the year Damien Wilkins doesn't hurt," said Shyatt.
"Whether or not they were dissatisfied with where they were for the first
three seasons he was there, I don't know. But it's been a combination of
talent and hard work. They've got a balance in scoring and in talent. They
hit you with a wave of ten extra-talented players."

N.C. State is in the thick of the ACC race for the first time in a
decade. After a 66-58 win over Georgia Tech last Saturday, N.C. State is 4-2
in the conference (13-3 overall). If not for an overtime loss to Duke in
Durham last week, the Wolfpack would be tied for first in the conference
standings.

"We have really converted at the free throw line," said Sendek. "That
has a way of making things come together."

Shyatt can't say anything has come together for the Tigers, but he's
staying positive. "If you can capture the head, the body will follow," he
said.

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