Previewing Arizona

CLEMSON - Not that Milton Jennings needed to be reminded, but Arizona has a pretty good basketball team.

WHAT: Clemson at Arizona
WHERE: McKale Center (14,545) - Tucson Ariz.
WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 10 (4:06 p.m.)
SPREAD: N/A
TV: Fox Sports Net

That was clearly evident when they went to Gainesville earlier this week and took Florida to overtime.

"I thought they played pretty well. They beat them, as far as statistics would go. They had a few more turnovers than Florida did," Jennings said. "I thought they just competed to win the game, especially at the end."

On Saturday, the Tigers will pay a visit to Tucson for the first of a home and home series with the Wildcats.

Clemson head coach Brad Brownell setup the series with Arizona head coach Sean Miller.

The two were assistant coaches in the state of North Carolina from 1996-2001. Brownell was at UNC-Wilmington while Miller was on staff at N.C. State. Miller was then an assistant coach at Xavier from 2001-04 before taking over the program in 2004. Brownell joined Miller in the state of Ohio from 2006 when he took the job at Wright State.

"I'm certainly excited about the opportunity to play Arizona, one of the premier programs in college basketball," Brownell said. "Their coach, Sean Miller, is a very good friend of mine, a guy I really respect. I think he's one of the best coaches in our business.

"I'm grateful to him for agreeing to have the series, because I think it will be really good for our program, good for our players to go be in an incredible environment and play. Next year, to have them back, is going to be special for our fans."

Arizona [6-3] has also lost to Mississippi State and San Diego State.

Jesse Perry has five double-doubles in nine games and averages a team-high 11.9 points per game, along with Kyle Fogg.

Solomon Hill [11.6] and Nick Johnson (10.1) also average double figures for the Wildcats.

"Like all of us, they're going through some growing pains trying to figure out the best way to play, in terms of who they have," Brownell said. "They have plenty of good players. He's trying to find the right way to mix them all. This will be a good test. They'll be unbelievably focused, especially after losing that game [at Florida]. "

Clemson is also coming off a loss, a 58-55 defeat at the hands of rival South Carolina. A win on Saturday could go a long way in helping the Tigers flesh out an NCAA Tournament resume.

"Arizona is probably going to be a top team. They'll be ranked eventually. They're going to upset a few teams," Jennings said.

PROBABLE STARTERS
Arizona (6-3)
G #13 Nick Johnson (6-2, 195) - 10.1 PPG, 2.4 RPG
G #21 Kyle Fogg (6-3, 190) - 11.9 PPG, 2.7 RPG
F #3 Kevin Parrom (6-6, 205) - 5 PPG, 2.7 RPG
F #33 Jesse Perry (6-7, 220) - 11.9 PPG, 8.9 RPG
F #44 Solomon Hill (6-6, 226) - 11.6 PPG, 7.7 RPG

PROBABLE STARTERS
Clemson (4-3)
G #4 Rod Hall (6-1, 210) - 4.7 PPG, 1.1 RPG
G #11 Andre Young (5-9, 170) - 14.1 PPG, 3.1 APG
G #5 Tanner Smith (6-5, 210) - 9.7 PPG, 7.4 RPG
F #24 Milton Jennings (6-9, 225) - 10.1 PPG, 5.4 RPG
F #31 Devin Booker (6-8, 245) - 9.7 PPG, 7.1 RPG

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