Previewing Georgia Tech

After opening ACC play with an impressive home win over Florida State, Clemson has dropped three straight conference games.

WHAT: Georgia Tech at Clemson
WHERE: Littlejohn Coliseum (10,000) - Clemson, S.C.
WHEN: Saturday, January 21 (2:31 p.m.)
SPREAD: Clemson -8.5
TV: ACC Network, ESPN3 (Tom Werme, Eddie Fogler)

That trio of losses to Boston College, Duke and Miami was by a combined total of 10 points.

A loss to Georgia Tech would set the mark for Clemson's longest losing streak under second-year head coach Brad Brownell. It would also be the first-time the Tigers have had a losing record since Brownell took over the program.

Georgia Tech is also sliding into the teeth of ACC play. Under first-year head coach Brian Gregory, the Yellow Jackets are 8-10 [1-3 ACC].

"It's going to be two teams that are desperately looking for a win," said Tanner Smith, who scored 23 points in Clemson's 76-73 loss at Miami.

"We need to be the extremely desperate team."

Brownell, who shared the town of Dayton with Gregory from 2006-10 -- Brownell was at Wright State while Gregory was at Dayton -- said Clemson and Georgia Tech play a brand of ball.

"I think that's a little bit more Midwestern style of basketball," Brownell said.

He added, "I think they're more defensive minded. I think they rebound. Brian is from the Tom Izzo tree of basketball, believes in a lot of the same things, things that are staples. I think they're a little more geared towards that."

Even though Wright State and Dayton were less than 10 miles apart, Brownell and Gregory have never faced off on the hardwood.

"We didn't play, but I certainly saw him at events and recruiting," Brownell said. "Occasionally in town, although Dayton is a lot bigger than Clemson. It's not like you're going to go down to the pizza shop and run into everybody there. We know each other a little bit, but not well."

That run ends at 2:30 on Saturday.

"They certainly have guys that are capable of having big nights, especially Glenn Rice Jr., a very talented wing. They have size inside," Brownell said. "A little bit like us. Still going through a big of the growing pains that come with newer coaches at a place. Their play has been a little bit like ours. A little bit up and down."

And Smith, a veteran of the grind that is conference play, knows just how important it is for the Tigers to come out with a win against their rival from Atlanta.

"This is the most important game so far in our season," he said. "We have a good opportunity to get a win in the ACC, at home.

"With that being said, we also need to make sure that we realize we're one or two possessions away from being a good team this year, so not to lose confidence in ourselves, and know that we have the ability to win games. But we need to make sure that we cut down those one or two possessions and win these games we need to win."

Georgia Tech (8-10, 1-3)
G #0 Mfon Udofia (6-2, 193) - 10.7 PPG, 3.3 RPG
G #23 Brandon Reed (6-3, 180) - 7.3 PPG, 3.4 RPG
G #14 Jason Morris (6-5, 210) - 8.7 PPG, 3.5 RPG
F #24 Kammeon Holsey (6-8, 226) - 9.3 PPG, 4.6 RPG
F #5 Daniel Miller (6-11, 258) - 7.9 PPG, 6.4 RPG

Clemson (9-9, 1-3)
G #1 T.J. Sapp (6-2, 180) - 5.2 PPG, 2 RPG
G #11 Andre Young (5-9, 170) - 12.8 PPG, 3.1 RPG
G #5 Tanner Smith (6-5, 210) - 11.4 PPG, 5.5 RPG
F #24 Milton Jennings (6-9, 225) - 9.2 PPG, 5.5 RPG
F #31 Devin Booker (6-8, 245) - 10.4 PPG, 6.8 RPG Top Stories