Tigers must solve road woes

The road woes continue for Clemson as the Tigers dropped to 0-4 in Atlantic Coast Conference road games with their unexpected 49-47 loss at Virginia on Feb. 2, leaving the team searching for answers as it prepares for another road opportunity on Feb. 5 at Georgia Tech.

"It's just how it works in the ACC," junior guard Andre Young said. "You have to go out and play hard against everybody, even teams at the bottom of the ACC -- especially when you're playing on their home court. You can't take anything for granted."

Clemson, which slipped to 15-7 overall and 4-4 in the ACC, has lost its four league road games by a total of 20 points, including the last two -- against Maryland and Virginia -- by two points each.

First-year coach Brad Brownell's team has defended its home court, going 4-0 at Littlejohn Coliseum in ACC play, but he's well aware that there's added assurance and confidence to be gained by stealing some wins on the road.

"That's usually the formula for success in the league," Brownell said. "Win your home games, then try to win half of your games on the road. If you do that, you can expect to have a pretty good season."

For Clemson, that starts Saturday, and none of its remaining road games are easy -- Georgia Tech, N.C. State, Miami and Duke are a combined 10-4 at home.

FRIDAY NOTES
* Clemson made just 3-of-18 shots from 3-point range in a 49-47 loss at Virginia on Feb. 2 for a season-low 16.7 percent.

* Clemson's win over Florida State on Jan. 29 made first-year coach Brad Brownell the first coach in school history to win four of his first seven league games. Now another first could be in the offing -- no Clemson coach has won more than five ACC games in his first season.

* Clemson posted a 5-2 record in January, marking just the second time since 1996 that the Tigers had a winning record in the month. January has historically been a difficult month for Clemson, as the Tigers have an all-time record of 313-444 (41.3 percent) in the month.

* One of the reasons for Clemson's winning record in ACC play through Jan. 29 was the Tigers' success at the free throw line. Clemson made 99 of 128 free throws in seven ACC games -- a success rate of 77.3 percent.

BY THE NUMBERS: 44 -- Points allowed by Clemson in the Tigers' victory over No. 22 Florida State on Jan. 29. It was the fewest points allowed by Clemson against an ACC opponent since Jan. 27, 2000.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We were a little impatient and took a few rushed shots early and never were able to find any good rhythm. We made a valiant run at the end and gave ourselves a chance, but it wasn't good enough." -- Clemson coach Brad Brownell after his team rallied from 15 points down to tie Virginia in the final minute before losing 49-47 on Feb. 2.

GAME PREVIEW - AT GEORGIA TECH - SATURDAY
Slowing Georgia Tech means slowing point guard Iman Shumpert, which the Tigers did impressively in a 25-point win over the Yellow Jackets on Jan. 12. Shumpert, who ranks among the ACC leaders in scoring, assists, rebounding, shooting percentage and steals, managed just eight points and two rebounds in that game and the Tigers cruised.

But Shumpert and Tech are different beasts at home, where they are unbeaten in three ACC games this season.

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