Previewing South Carolina

CLEMSON - The hardwood version of the Clemson and South Carolina rivalry will be renewed for the 162nd time on Sunday afternoon when the two rivals tipoff at Littlejohn Coliseum.

WHAT: Clemson vs. South Carolina
WHERE: Littlejohn Coliseum (10,500) - Clemson, S.C.
WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 4 (3:30 p.m.)
SPREAD: N/A
TV: ESPNU

Before last year's 64-60 loss, the Tigers hadn't been beaten by the Gamecocks since 2003.

"It's always an exciting time. There's a lot of history behind the Clemson and South Carolina games," said Andre Young, who leads Clemson in scoring with 15.2 points per game.

"It's going to be a great atmosphere as always. We're definitely looking forward to playing them this year. They go us at their place last year. It's going to be another good one."

Fourth-year South Carolina head coach Darren Horn welcomed back Bruce Ellington Thursday night when he made his season debut against Providence. Ellington scored six points on 3 of 11 shooting from the field in 27 minutes.

With Ellington back on the hardwood, Tanner Smith said it could be hard to get an accurate read on South Carolina's first six games.

"With Ellington back -- he's a great player -- it's going to take some pressure off some guys who might of had to do some things they weren't used to when he wasn't there...it'll be interesting to see how they do with him back in their lineup, guys playing their natural positions again, being more confident with Ellington back on the floor," Smith said.

Smith did get a good look at Ellington when he was playing in the football version of the state championship.

"You saw on the football field and last year, his speed and athleticism are second to nobody," Smith said. "That ability to put pressure on our defense is something we'll have to deal with for 40 minutes."

Despite Ellington's time off from basketball, Brad Brownell doesn't think it will take him long to get back into the groove.

"With Ellington joining their team, he's going to be a huge shot in the arm, because he's just one of those guys that has a persona about him that exudes confidence," Brownell said. "He goes into football, hasn't played for a year and a half, and has a terrific football season, just kind of doing whatever they need him to do...it won't take him much time to knock the rush off, because he understands how to play."

It would appear that Rod Hall is the logical choice to guard last year's SEC All-Freshman selection.

"[Hall] could guard him, certainly," Brownell said. "That's kind of his role right now, to defend and get us into offense, make plays when they're there."

Defense continues to be the calling card of Clemson basketball under Brownell. The Tigers have held five their six opponents to 60 points or less and are second in the ACC in scoring defense [55].

PROBABLE STARTERS
South Carolina (2-5)
G #5 Eric Smith (5-11, 211) - 9.4 PPG, 2 APG
G #32 Damien Leonard (6-5, 179) - 6.9 PPG, 1.4 RPG
F #13 Anthony Gill (6-8, 232) - 8.1 PPG, 4.9 RPG
F #15 Malik Cooke (6-6, 213) - 12.9 PPG, 4.6 RPG
F #24 Damontre Harris (6-9, 214) - 5 PPG, 4.9 RPG

PROBABLE STARTERS
Clemson (4-2)
G #4 Rod Hall (6-1, 210) - 4.5 PPG, 1.3 RPG
G #11 Andre Young (5-9, 170) - 15.2 PPG, 3.8 APG
G #5 Tanner Smith (6-5, 210) - 9.3 PPG, 7.7 RPG
F #24 Milton Jennings (6-9, 225) - 10.7 PPG, 5.7 RPG
F #31 Devin Booker (6-8, 245) - 10.3 PPG, 6.8 RPG

CUTigers.com Top Stories