Tigers open ACC play at FSU

CLEMSON - The timing of the first conference game might seem pretty odd, Brad Brownell is accustomed to it from his Wright State days.

WHAT: Clemson at Florida State
WHERE: Donald L. Tucker Center (12,100) - Tallahassee, Fla.
WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 12 (6:15 p.m.)
SPREAD: Clemson +6
TV: Fox Sports Net

After eight non-conference games, Clemson travels to Florida State Sunday night for Brownell's first ACC tilt. Then, it's back to the non-conference slate for the rest of December with six-straight non-conference games.

"I guess we're excited to open ACC play, maybe not as excited to open at Florida State. They're a really good team," Brownell said. "Coach [Leonard] Hamilton and his staff do a really good job of teaching their guys how to defend. They have a very athletic group of players, one of the best defenses in the country. It's probably not something you're looking forward to seeing if you're a team that's struggling to score."

The Seminoles are first in the nation in field goal percentage defense and blocked shots, 15th in scoring defense and tied for 23rd in steals.

Florida State is the only team to rank in the top-25 in all four of the categories and lead the nation in two separate statistical categories.

Size has a lot to do with the success on the defensive end of the floor. Of the 10 regulars that play, none are listed under 6-foot-3.

It's quite the contrary for Clemson.

"We're a little bit smaller than most teams that I've even coached, at guard. We don't have much size," Brownell said. "That can be a problem."

Andre Young, who needs two steals to reach 100 for his career, said success on Sunday will start on the defensive end of the floor.

"We're trying to get the defensive mentality," he said. "We want to go in there and try to win the game on the defensive end—get rebounds, get stops, let that lead to transition points and easy baskets."

Offensively, efficiency will be the name of the game.

"Coach was telling us they're really undisciplined defensively, jumping around, trying to block shots, because of their size," Young said. "We're going to have to be smart with the ball, fewer turnovers. Pump fake, take one dribble and take the easy shots—get the ball inside."

Tanner Smith said it will take plenty of ball movement on the offensive end to find room against a team that's holds a significant size advantage.

"We need to try to get the ball moving as quickly as we can, but at the same time, take shots if they're there," he said. "Don't try to force anything going to the hoop, because they have shot blockers. If we play smart and realize they have that length, I think we'll be alright."

Florida State (6-2)
G #4 Delvidas Dulkys (6-5, 196) - 9.4 PPG, 2.4 RPG
G #22 Derwin Kitchen (6-4, 198) - 9.5 PPG, 4.8 RPG
F #21 Michael Snaer (6-5, 200) - 8.4 PPG, 3.6 RPG
F #31 Chris Singleton (6-9, 227) - 14 PPG, 9.4 RPG
F #1 Xavier Gibson (6-11, 240) - 8.2 PPG, 5.2 RPG

Clemson (5-3)
G #2 Demontez Stitt (6-2,175) - 13.3 PPG, 3 RPG
G #11 Andre Young (5-9, 170) - 10.8 PPG, 2.5 RPG
G #5 Tanner Smith (6-5,210) - 8.1 PPG, 4.4 APG
F #45 Jerai Grant (6-8,220) - 9.3 PPG, 6.3 RPG
F #31 Devin Booker (6-8,245) - 7.6 PPG, 4.9 RPG

CUTigers.com Top Stories