Women's BBall Preview: CU vs USC


by - Correspondent -
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CLEMSON — The transition to an up-tempo offense seems to suit Clemson's
smallish, athletic lineup well. However coach Jim Davis has seen another,
more disturbing transition in his team through four games.


The Lady Tigers have been outrebounded by an average of 5.5 per game early
on, including deficits of 16 and 18 in losses to nationally ranked opponents
Illinois and Tennessee, respectively.


Not a very encouraging trend heading into Wednesday's battle against a taller,
more physical South Carolina team on the road.


"You can be a mediocre team and not rebound, but you can't be a good team and
not rebound," Davis said following Tuesday's practice. "Right now we're
mediocre. Our opponents are getting too many second-chance opportunities
because we aren't blocking out and aggressively going after the rebound."


Some would argue the smaller lineup and fast-paced style might allow the
opposition more rebounding opportunities.


Davis doesn't agree.


"I think the new style should help us be better rebounders. We don't have the
dominant front line, so we're playing some faster, quicker people. That
should give us a better chance at running rebounds.


"I'm very disappointed in that phase of the game."


Wednesday's game at South Carolina will match the run-and-gun Lady Tigers'
style against the more methodical, pound-it-inside philosophy of the Lady
Gamecocks.


South Carolina's best player so far this season has been University of
Tennessee transfer Theresa Jeter. The Columbia native's return to her
hometown team has been a resounding success early on. She leads the Lady
Gamecocks in scoring at 14 points per game, and is shooting 69 percent from
the field.


"She knows why they hung the peach basket," Davis said. "She's pretty good
from 12-14 feet in, and she's a very good athlete. She's the heart and soul
of that team."


Clemson is led in scoring by senior center Erin Batth (15.5 points per game)
and sophomore guard Chrissy Floyd (14.8). The Lady Tigers are shooting 40
percent from the field, 67 percent from the free throw line, and are
outshooting their opponents from the 3-point arc (36 percent to 29 percent).


And as with any Clemson-USC meeting, the intensity of the rivalry figures to
be at its peak tonight. Maybe even more so, considering this is the first
meeting of any kind between the schools since Rod Gardner's controversial
catch set up the Tigers' 16-14 win on the gridiron Nov. 18.


South Carolina fans have been screaming loud and long since that Saturday
afternoon, feeling Gardner's catch should have been waved off for offensive
interference.


So it's a safe bet feelings from that game will hang over the Gamecock-biased
crowd tonight.


"You know I hadn't thought about that," Davis laughed. "I don't know, there
may be some signs out there and things of that nature. That hadn't entered my
mind, but it very well could be."

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