No.20 Clemson at Bama

Alabama Men's Basketball Team (10-3) plays host to the 20th ranked Clemson Tigers (11-1) at Coleman Coliseum this Tuesday (1/1/08) at 3:30pm CST. The game is advertised as being televised by FSN. As Coach Mark Gottfried said following the game with George Washington, "Clemson is a strong, physical team with a good inside/outside game."

In the Tigers' last outing (a win over Samford), the starters were K.C. Rivers (6-5, junior guard/forward), Demontez Stitt (6-2, freshman guard), Cliff Hammonds (6-3, senior guard), Trevor Booker (6-7, sophomore center/forward), and James Mays (6-9, senior forward). Clemson has a rotation of nine players who average 11.4 minutes per game or more.

On offense, the Tigers average 81.6 points per game as a team with four players averaging double figures in scoring led by Rivers' 16.1 points per game. Clemson's shooting percentages are 46.5 percent from the floor, 40.9 (101-247) percent from the three point line, and 64.9 percent from the foul line.

The Tigers are a great three point shooting team with four players (averaging significant playing time) making 40.6 percent of their attempts or better. Clemson distributes the ball at the rate of 17.8 assists and 16.2 turnovers per game.

Defensively, the Tigers hold their opponents to 65.1 points per game with shooting percentages of 42.1 percent from the floor and 30.9 percent from the arc. Clemson enjoys an 8.6 rebounding margin average over the opposition (41.4 to 32.8).

The Tigers' hard-nose defense produces 10.9 steals and 5.8 blocks per game while forcing their opponents to turn it over 18.9 times a game.

The Tide will probably utilize a man-to-man defense to keep the Clemson shooters covered up. The key match-up in the game will be Bama's Alonzo Gee on Rivers. With the Tigers prone to turnovers, look for the Tide to use its press to capitalize on those possible opportunities to make easy baskets in transition.

When Bama has the ball, look for Clemson to play primarily man-to-man for most of the game. With the Tide at home and shooting lights out from arc, the Tigers can match-up better on the inside with their size and strength.

Richard Hendrix and company should prepare for their shots to be contested as Clemson will not allow much space to get off shots. Personally, Hendrix will receive the same treatment from the Tigers as he got from George Washington as they will hack at every chance.

Just as Bama will find it hard to keep up with the Tigers' shooters, Clemson equally has to cover up the Tide assassins in Gee, Riley, and now Hollinger. This game will come down to whoever plays the better "D" as Bama wins by a point.

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