Kicking off ACC play

CLEMSON - League play kicks off this weekend as Clemson plays host to defending ACC champs Florida State.

WHAT: Clemson vs. Florida State
WHERE: Littlejohn Coliseum - Clemson, S.C.
WHEN: Saturday, January 5 (4:06 p.m.)
SPREAD: N/A
TV: RSN (Rich Waltz, Cory Alexander)

Saturday's 4 o'clock tip marks the 60th time the two schools will square off on the hardwood.

"It's a team that's been a little bit up and down in the preseason, sort of like us," Clemson head coach Brad Brownell said.

Led by Leonard Hamilton, Florida State enters with an 8-5 record, which includes losses to South Alabama, Mercer and Auburn. Their biggest loss came to rival Florida. The Seminoles dropped that one 72-47 in Tallahassee on Dec. 5.

"They're certainly dealing with some of the same issues we are," Brownell said. "Both teams are playing with young players, a lot of turnover. Some of the guys that are there returning have bigger roles, just like we have guys with bigger roles.

"When you do those things early in the season, the first couple months of the season, there are going to be times when guys don't play as well."

None of that was an issue when Clemson closed the non-conference portion of the schedule on New Year's Day with a 41-point win over The Citadel. The Tigers reached the highest point total [92], most field goals [35] and largest margin of victory during Brownell's tenure.

"At this time of year, with your team, you're still trying to see what you have," Brownell said. "For us, can our guys be consistently good? That's the biggest challenge for teams, to consistently play at a high level."

The young Tigers will be put to the test in Littlejohn Coliseum Saturday afternoon.

"They're a good defensive team," said K.J. McDaniels, who's second on the team with 11.1 points per game. "They have a few good shooters and Michael Snaer, so we're looking forward to the challenge."

Brownell will throw a number of different looks at Snaer, an all-conference guard who's averaging 16.4 points per game.

"There will be a couple of different people guarding him at times," Brownell said. "[Rod Hall] will guard him some. Damarcus [Harrison] may guard him. It'll have to be a couple of people guarding him."

PROBABLE STARTERS
Florida State (8-5)
G #31 Terry Whisnant II - 6.8 PPG, 1.8 RPG (6-3, 185)
G #21 Michael Snaer - 16.4 PPG, 5.8 RPG (6-5, 202)
F #5 Montay Brandon - 5.6 PPG, 1.8 RPG (6-7, 216)
F #10 Okaro White - 12.7 PPG, 6.0 RPG (6-8, 204)
C #11 Kiel Turpin - 4.0 PPG, 2.7 RPG (7-0, 240)

Clemson (8-4)
G #12 Rod Hall - 6.6 PPG, 4.1 APG (6-1, 210)
G #21 Damarcus Harrison - 6.3 PPG, 3.4 RPG (6-4, 200)
F #32 K.J. McDaniels - 11.1 PPG, 4.7 RPG (6-6, 200)
F #24 Milton Jennings - 10.1 PPG, 5.2 RPG (6-9, 225)
C #31 Devin Booker - 11.3 PPG, 7.3 RPG (6-8, 250)

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