Tigers head to Maryland

CLEMSON - For the first time in 50 games, Tanner Smith will have to find a seat on the bench when Clemson tips off at Maryland.

WHAT: Clemson at Maryland
WHERE: Comcast Center (17,950) - College Park, Md.
WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 21 (2:30 p.m.)
SPREAD: Maryland by 6
TV: Raycom

"I wish I could be out there, but I'll do my best on the bench to cheer them on," he said, "Maybe I'll make some coaching suggestions while I'm sitting there."

The junior wing from Alpharetta, Ga. sprained his knee earlier this week during the 75-65 loss to North Carolina.

And just like North Carolina was on Tuesday, Maryland is coming off an embarrassing— Virginia Tech handed Gary Williams' squad a 74-57 defeat on Thursday night.

"It seems like we're going to catch everybody when they're made at us," said Clemson head coach Brad Brownell. "The guys in the league aren't doing us any favors, but we're certainly going to get Maryland's best shot, which is usually a good one."

For the Terps, it all starts down low with sophomore center Jordan Williams, who's fifth in the ACC in scoring (17.7) and first in rebounding (12.1).

Senior forward Cliff Tucker, the team's second best scorer, is tops on the team with a 38 percent clip from behind the 3-point line.

"I like the guard play. Tucker is versatile. He can make 3's," Brownell said. "I really like the toughness of [Sean] Mosley. I'm interested to see how our guys respond. We played hard against North Carolina, but not well enough to win."

Bryan Narcisse, who came off the bench when Smith went down, is likely to be plugged into the starting lineup on Saturday afternoon.

Against North Carolina, Narcisse tied a career-high with 10 points. He's 8-of-11 from the field during ACC play this season.

Known for his intensity of the defensive end and his prodigious leaping ability, any points are an added bonus.

"Coach has been emphasizing that I'm going to play the three a little bit more this year," Narcisse said. "I've had to come in and put the work in on my jump shot. Coach has said, ‘If you've got a good one, then take it.' He has a lot of confidence in me, and I really like that."

He's started twice during his career, including the win over Butler in last year's 76 Classic.

"It will be different, because I'm used to coming off the bench and going all out," Narcisse. "I'll try to—not hold back—but when I'm out, to make sure that I take the time to really rest and be ready to go back, because it'll probably be sooner this time around."

Brownell said Narcisse must play under composure.

"He plays great energy all the time. Sometimes he needs to harness than and be relaxed, continue to make good decisions," Brownell said.

Maryland (11-7, 1-3)
G #21 Pe'Shon Howard (6-3, 195) - 4.3 PPG, 3 APG
G #14 Sean Mosley (6-4, 210) - 8.2 PPG, 3.9 RPG
F#24 Cliff Tucker (6-6, 205) - 11.4 PPG, 4.1 RPG
F #33 Dino Gregory (6-7, 230) - 7.7 PPG, 5.5 RPG
C #20 Jordan Williams (6-10, 260) - 17.7 PPG, 12.1 RPG

Clemson (13-5, 2-2)
G #2 Demontez Stitt (6-2, 180) - 13.3 PPG, 3.6 RPG
G #11 Andre Young (5-9, 170) - 10.7 PPG, 3 APG
G #21 Bryan Narcisse (6-6, 220) - 3.3 PPG, 1.2 RPG
F #45 Jerai Grant (6-8, 230) - 12.3 PPG, 6.9 RPG
F #31 Devin Booker (6-8, 245) - 8.4 PPG, 5.2 RPG

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