Young clutch for Tigers

Clemson coach Brad Brownell has been looking for a "go-to" guy all season.

He may have found one last week in senior guard Andre Young.

Four years ago, Georgia Tech should have offered Young a scholarship if for no other reason than to prevent him from playing at Clemson. The Yellow Jackets didn't, and now Young is counting the days until the Tigers' next game against Tech on Feb. 21.

Young, a native of Albany, Ga., has been a Yellow Jackets killer during his career. The trend continued Jan. 21 when he connected on 7-of-9 three-point shots in Clemson's 64-62 victory over Tech at Clemson.

"Andre was the key," Brownell said. "He had a huge night. It was good to see him do that because he's worked so hard this year and he's had a couple of tough shooting games."

Indeed, Young had struggled of late. The 5-foot-9 senior was 4-for-20 on three-pointers in Clemson's last three games. But he wasted little time in finding the range against Tech, scoring 18 first-half points, including 15 in a row at one point. He finished with a career-high 29 points.

Young has made 25 of 39 career three-pointers against Georgia Tech -- a 64.1-percent success rate.

"I guess I was due for a good shooting night," Young said. "You've just got to keep shooting. You've got to maintain your confidence."

Brownell is hoping that confidence will continue and help the Tigers make noise in the ACC.

"To be honest, I thought Andre would have had more nights like this -- maybe not with 29 points, but shooting it well from three," Brownell said.

Young also has made 55 of 61 free throws this season, ranking him second in the ACC with a 90.2 percentage. That included a streak of 28 in a row that was the third-best streak in school history.

Young could challenge the school's all-time free-throw percentage leader Shawan Robinson, who made 84-of-92 (91.3 percent) in 2005-06.

* Senior C Catalin "Bobo" Baciu is enjoying more playing time and is making the most of his opportunities. He led the team in points per minute and ranked second in rebounds per minute.

Baciu had 75 points and 38 rebounds in 170 minutes this season. Pro-rated to a 40-minute game, he would be averaging a team-best 17.6 points per game and his 8.9 rebounds per game would rank second behind Devin Booker. He started against Georgia Tech on Jan. 21 and scored six points.

"Bobo has played better, not only in games, but in practice," Coach Brad Brownell said. "His confidence still comes and goes way too quickly, but I felt like he had earned an opportunity to start."

* Freshman forward Bernard Sullivan is beginning to show signs of rounding into shape and living up to expectations as the most highly regarded of Clemson's five rookies.

"I'm really happy for Bernard," Coach Brad Brownell said. "He's played so much better in the past month. He's healthy and has his asthma under control, but his conditioning is still not where we want it to be."

Sullivan played 12 minutes against Georgia Tech on Jan. 21 and responded with four points and three rebounds, matching his career high in both categories.

"He had a great week of practice so I knew he was going to get double-figure minutes and it was good to see him make some big plays," Brownell said.

Sullivan's importance will be magnified down the stretch as the Tigers are in dire need of a solid backup capable of consuming minutes down low and collecting rebounds against the ACC's big front lines.

BY THE NUMBERS: 15 -- Senior G Andre Young scored 15 consecutive points in Clemson's victory over Georgia Tech on Jan. 21. It was the most consecutive points scored by a Clemson player since Dec. 13, 2003, when Chey Christie scored 15 in a row against Georgia.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "You can look at it like it was a remarkable run by Georgia Tech, and it was. Or you can say we played tremendous defense for 35 minutes and were able to minimize their power for the majority of the game. I choose to look at it that way." -- Clemson Coach Brad Brownell after watching Georgia Tech cut his team's lead from 16 points to three in the final four minutes Jan. 21. Top Stories