Tigers in good spirits heading into noon showdown with Hokies


by - Senior Writer -
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Can the Tigers end their two-game losing streak Saturday?

CLEMSON – Clemson head coach Brad BrownellBrad Brownell
Head Coach
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was reminded Friday afternoon that his team has entered the “dog days” of the season and was asked if it would be difficult to keep his players motivated after two tough losses over the last week.

The answer was no.

Clemson, with a 14-10 overall record and a 6-6 mark in the Atlantic Coast Conference, will host Virginia Tech (10-14, 2-9) Saturday at noon. The Tigers lost at Miami last Sunday to snap a four-game winning streak, and then lost a heartbreaker to No. 10 Notre Dame Tuesday night in Littlejohn Coliseum – Damarcus HarrisonDamarcus Harrison
Sr. Guard
#21 6-4, 205
Greenwood, SC

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’s last-gasp jumper was just off the mark as the Irish escaped with a 60-58 victory.

“You can play well and lose,” Brownell said. “We ended up losing a game that we played well enough to win, against a very good opponent. So, now we've got to recharge and get our minds right. But we had a good practice yesterday. Guys were spirited and had good energy. I was encouraged by that and I hope it continues today. Saturday at noon is a quick turnaround, but we did have a day off after the loss which I think is good. Everybody was disheartened and I thought we played pretty well, but we had a couple of careless mistakes at the end and there was a tough call or two. But it was a game we lost that we played well enough to win against a very good opponent. So now we have to recharge and get our minds right.”

GAME SETUP
Clemson (14-10, 6-6 ACC) vs. Virginia Tech (10-14, 2-9 ACC)
Date: Saturday, Feb. 14
Tipoff: 12 p.m. ET
Arena: Littlejohn Coliseum (10,000)
Radio: CTSN (Tony Castricone-pbp; Tim Bourret-color)
TV: RSN (Wes Durham-pbp; Dan Bonner-color)

Brownell said the Hokies – despite the 2-9 league record – can’t be overlooked.

“Virginia Tech is a dangerous team because of their ability to shoot,” Brownell said. “Buzz (Wlliams) has them playing hard. They have smaller players so they are going to stretch you. They are coming off a win against Georgia Tech, so they are going to come in here feeling pretty good about themselves and like they have nothing to lose. I think when you play teams like that, which can shoot, those are dangerous games. We will have to be on point defensively because they run a lot of Princeton-type schemes. It will be a game we will have to be really locked in to win.”

Clemson entered last week as one of the “first teams out” in NCAA Bracketology, but the two losses now have the Tigers needing to make a run to get back into the conversation. As a result, Brownell said the team shouldn’t lack for motivation.

“I think our guys are fine. We still have a lot to play for and we can still win a lot of games here and do well,” he said. “At the end of the day if you’re a competitor you just want opportunities to compete. You love to play and they are going to keep score, so let’s just go and do our best. And you have seniors who don’t have many more times to play in Littlejohn and you want them to end on a good note. I think there is plenty to be motivated about.”

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