Tigers looking for signature win

CLEMSON - Bryan Narcisse's walks to class are getting a little bit longer these days.

WHAT: Clemson vs. No. 22 Florida State
WHERE: Littlejohn Coliseum (10,000) – Clemson, S.C.
WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 29 (Noon)
SPREAD: Clemson -2.5
TV: Raycom

The quiet, unassuming junior from North Augusta logged only 15 minutes of playing time against ACC teams in each of the last two seasons. In 33 minutes against N.C. State on Tuesday night, Narcisse scored nine points, grabbed five rebounds, had two steals and blocked a shot.

He's started the last two games in place of Tanner Smith, who went down with a knee injury last week against North Carolina. Over the last four games, Narcisse has connected on 14 of his last 21 field goal attempts.

With his success has come some more recognition around campus.

"It's been different. I would kind of walk to class and maybe one or two people used to say, ‘Hey, good game.' That type," Narcisse said. "Recently, I've had a lot of people do that. It's different territory…I'm thankful for the opportunity."

Coming out of North Augusta High School, Narcisse was an unranked small forward with little interest from high-major programs.

He originally signed to play at Western Kentucky, but opted out of his letter of intent when Darrin Horn accepted the South Carolina job. Just weeks after Narcisse decided to look elsewhere, he landed at Clemson with Smith, Andre Young and Catalin Baciu—the first three members of Oliver Purnell's 2008 signing class.

With Smith's status listed as a game-time decision, Narcisse could be making this third consecutive start on Saturday when Clemson hosts Florida State.

"The things he can do on the court, it's like, when I look at Bryan, why didn't Florida State recruit this kid? He reminds me of a player that they have," Smith said. "Just long and athletic—active. It's tough to play against guys like that."

The Seminoles are led by 6-foot-9 junior forward Chris Singleton, who ranks in the top 10 of six different ACC statistical categories. Last year's ACC Defensive Player of the Year leads his team with 12.7 points per game.

"They can put him in different places all over the court on offense," said Clemson head coach Brad Brownell. "He can post, he can shoot 3's. He made a big 3, late in our game, off a double screen."

Florida State beat Clemson 75-69 in Tallahassee almost two months ago. The Seminoles are now ranked the No. 22 team in country, and sit in a first-place tie atop the ACC with Duke (5-1).

"Florida State is playing as well as anybody in the league," Brownell said. "As everybody knows, [they are] a tremendous defensive team. They're difficult to score against, get quality shots [against]. I think they have as good of depth as anybody in our league."

PROBABLE STARTERS
No. 22 Florida State (15-5, 5-1)
G #21 Michael Snaer (6-5, 200) – 11.1 PPG, 3.6 APG
G #22 Derwin Kitchen (6-4, 198) – 10.4 PPG, 5.9 RPG
F#15 Terrance Shannon (6-8, 223) – 5.1 PPG, 2.7 RPG
F #31 Chris Singleton (6-9, 227) – 14.6 PPG, 7.7 RPG
C #5 Bernard James (6-10, 240) – 8 PPG, 5.9 RPG

PROBABLE STARTERS
Clemson (14-6, 3-3)
G #2 Demontez Stitt (6-2, 180) – 13.9 PPG, 3.9 RPG
G #11 Andre Young (5-9, 170) – 10.7 PPG, 3.2 APG
G #21 Bryan Narcisse (6-6, 220) – 3.6 PPG, 1.5 RPG
F #45 Jerai Grant (6-8, 230) – 12.5 PPG, 7.2 RPG
F #31 Devin Booker (6-8, 245) – 8.4 PPG, 5.3 RPG

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