Previewing No. 16 Virginia

CLEMSON - In search of their first road win since late November, Clemson travels to Virginia on Tuesday night to play No. 16 Virginia.

WHAT: Clemson at No. 16 Virginia
WHERE: John Paul Jones Arena (14,593) - Charlottesville, Va.
WHEN: Tuesday, January 31 (7 p.m.)
SPREAD: Virginia -8.5
TV: ESPN2, ESPN3 (Mike Patrick, Len Elmore)

Under the guidance of second-year head coach Tony Bennett, the Cavaliers are led by Mike Scott, who's fourth in the ACC in scoring [16.7] and sixth in rebounding [8.3].

"I think Mike Scott is one of the two or three best players in this league," said Brad Brownell. "He scores. He scores when he's guarded, makes tough shots. He's a big part of their success.

"But I think Tony's done a good job of implementing their system. Defensively, they're as good as anybody you play. They'll be hard to score against. I would expect a low scoring game."

It's a similar style of play that Brownell has employed during his career.

"There are some things that are similar [now]," he said. "In fact, defensively, I played more like Tony does at Wright State and at Wilmington.

"We didn't pressure the ball as much. We weren't full court, picking up the ball. We played more pack line. It wasn't exactly the same, but it was similar. Since I've come here, I've been a little more aggressive in our defense."

Part of the thought there was to keep the defensive pressure high was to stay inline with the full-court press Oliver Purnell implemented during his time at Clemson.

"I made some decisions to still pressure, maybe do some things they were used to doing in aggressiveness and defense, because I also felt like we needed to knock some balls loose and get some turnovers for points," Brownell said. "I think our team this year needs it as well. We're not as good to just come down and execute all the time.

"The similarities [with Virginia] are we both play man. Our man is more aggressive than their's. The similarities are we both run motion offenses…in general, our styles have a lot of similarities, as opposed to other teams."

Tuesday night's game will feature the top two scoring defenses in the ACC. Virginia leads the conference by allowing just 50.6 points per game. Clemson is second, yielding 59.7 points per game to the opposition.

Virginia leads the all-time series, 66-51, including a 39-17 edge in Charlottesville.

The Cavaliers also won last year's matchup, 49-47 but have lost three of the last five overall to the Tigers.

Virginia (17-3, 4-2)
G #1 Jontel Evans (5-11, 188) - 6.1 PPG, 1.9 RPG
G #12 Joe Harris (6-6, 211) - 12.3 PPG, 4.2 RPG
G #13 Sammy Zelinski (6-1, 184) - 9.1 PPG, 3 RPG
F #23 Mike Scott (6-8, 237) - 16.7 PPG, 8.3 RPG
C #25 Akil Mitchell (6-8, 234) - 3.8 PPG, 3.9 RPG

Clemson (11-9, 3-3)
G #11 Andre Young (5-9, 170) - 13.9 PPG, 3 RPG
G #5 Tanner Smith (6-5, 210) - 11.1 PPG, 5.5 RPG
F #21 Bryan Narcisse (6-2, 225) - 3.1 PPG, 2.7 RPG
F #24 Milton Jennings (6-9, 225) - 8.9 PPG, 5.4 RPG
F #31 Devin Booker (6-8, 245) - 10.7 PPG, 6.8 RPG Top Stories