Tigers eye Wolverines

CLEMSON - Brad Brownell's relationship with Michigan coach John Beilein dates several years when the coaches used to do battle in the Colonial Athletic Association.

WHAT: Clemson vs. Michigan
WHERE: Littlejohn Coliseum (10,000) - Clemson, S.C.
WHEN: Tuesday, Nov. 30 (9:05 p.m.)
SPREAD: Clemson by 9


Back then Brownell was an assistant at UNC-Wilmington while Beilein served as head coach at Richmond.

After five years with the Spiders, Beilein climbed the ladder to West Virginia, where he also spent five seasons.

Now, Beilein is in his fourth season as the Wolverines' head coach, where he's accumulated a record of 49-55.

"One of the unique things about coach Beilein than most coaches in our business, he's an innovator," Brownell said. "He kind of designed, has tweaked through the years, it's very difficult to play against, especially in a short prep…most of us beg, borrow and steal from somebody else.

"He's created an offense that's difficult to play against, and one that has had a lot of success over the years."

The Michigan system is a two-guard offense that does not rely on a true point guard or player in the low post, Brownell said. All five players start above the foul line before the Wolverines get into their variety of reads and patterns.

It's a system that Brownell said is difficult to prepare for, especially with only two days of practice.

"We need to be ready for pretty much anything," Tanner Smith said. "Think about the plays we're making, but not over-analyze and make the best decisions that give us a chance to win." (Roy Philpott)
"It's got a lot of different things you have to guard—ball screening, down screening—a lot of the same types of things we try to have in our motion offense," Brownell said. "But they do it in a unique way. It's very challenging when combined with the fact that he usually has more shooters than most teams do."

It's the same system Tanner Smith and a few of his teammates saw in the first-round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament when the No. 7 seed Tigers were upset 62-59 in Kansas City.

"We need to be ready for pretty much anything," he said. "Think about the plays we're making, but not over-analyze and make the best decisions that give us a chance to win."

The matchup is one of 11 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Clemson is 8-3 all-time in the 12th annual event.

"Playing in the ACC and having the schedule that we play, as a team in the ACC, we need to make sure that we take care of business to make the conference and our games look good for the NCAA Tournament," Smith said.

Michigan (3-2)
G #0 Zack Novak (6-4, 210) - 5.2 PPG, 6.2 RPG
G #4 Darius Morris (6-4, 190) - 14 PPG, 7 APG
G #10 Tim Hardaway, Jr. (6-5, 185) - 11. PPG, 3.2 RPG
F #23 Evan Smotrycz (6-9, 225) - 6.6 PPG, 3.6 RPG
F #52 Jordan Morgan (6-8, 240) - 10.7 PPG, 7 RPG

Clemson (5-1)
G #11 Andre Young (5-9, 170) - 9.5 PPG, 3 APG
G #2 Demontez Stitt (6-2,175) - 13.7 PPG, 3 RPG
G #5 Tanner Smith (6-5,210) - 9.5 PPG, 4.8 RPG
F #45 Jerai Grant (6-8,220) - 9.5 PPG, 4.3 RPG
F #31 Devin Booker (6-8,245) - 9.2 PPG, 5.2 RPG

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