Clemson heads to the Zoo

Clemson will get its first look at the Oakland Zoo on Tuesday night when the Tigers head north to Pittsburgh to play the 21st ranked Panthers.

WHAT: Clemson at No. 21 Pittsburgh
WHERE: Pittsburgh, Pa. - Peterson Events Center
WHEN: Tuesday, Jan. 21 (8:05 p.m.)
SPREAD: Pittsburgh -10
TV: ACC Network (Tim Brant, Dan Bonner)

The lone meeting between Clemson and Pittsburgh was in 1958 in the consolation round of the Carrousel Classic in Charlotte, N.C. The Tigers lost, 60-50.

Tuesday night's game at the Peterson Events Center is the first of three-straight road games for Brad Brownell's team, which is currently tied for second in the ACC with Pittsburgh.

"I have a lot of respect for Jamie Dixon and their program. They're probably one of the most consistently successful programs in college basketball over the last 10 years, probably don't get enough recognition for the success they've had," Brownell said. "Unbelievable place to play, sell-outs every night, the fans are really involved in the team, the students are right by the court, much like Cameron, making it hard on the opponent.

"So it should be a very exciting opportunity for our guys, a great challenge against a physically, really strong, tough-minded team. They defend extremely well. Their passing ability, they're one of the elite passing teams in the country. Their assist-to-turnover ratio is incredible. They've got multiple guys."

Lamar Patterson is the best of the group. The senior forward, who will likely matchup with K.J. McDaniels, is averaging 17.6 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. Patterson is also leads his team with 81 assists.

"Lamar Patterson, he and K.J. McDaniels are probably two guys in the league that people don't know enough about," Brownell said. "They're really good players. [Patterson is] an elite player."

The two teams mirror one another with their tough-minded approach on the defensive end. Clemson is first in the country, giving up just 53.5 points per game. Pittsburgh is 13th at 60.1.

"Certainly, I think there are similarities in the way we play. They run a little bit of motion, run some sets. Defensively, it's a defensive-minded team, program," Brownell said. "They rebound well, really guard you, take care of the ball, so, yes, their style of play is similar to ours.

"We hope to get to their level at some point."

Clemson is 2-0 in ACC road games this season, which hasn't happened since 2006-07. It's just the fifth time in school history that Clemson has started 2-0 on the road in league play. The school record for road wins in league play is five.

A win on Tuesday would surpass the Tigers' 2012-13 total of 13.

PROBABLE STARTERS
Pittsburgh, 16-2 (4-1 ACC)
G #0 James Robinson - 8.0 PPG, 4.0 APG (6-3, 200)
G #3 Cameron Wright - 10.7 PPG, 3.1 RPG (6-4 205)
F #21 Lamar Patterson - 17.6 PPG, 4.7 RPG (6-5, 225)
F #2 Michael Young - 6.1 PPG, 4.8 RPG (6-8, 245)
C#42 Talib Zanna - 12.9 PPG, 8.2 RPG (6-9, 230)

Clemson, 13-4 (4-1)
G #12 Rod Hall - 10.0 PPG, 3.7 APG (6-1, 210)
G #20 Jordan Roper - 9.2 PPG, 2.4 RPG (5-11, 165)
F #32 K.J. McDaniels - 16.7 PPG, 7.2 RPG (6-6, 200)
F #5 Jaron Blossomgame - 4.5 PPG, 4.6 RPG (6-7, 215)
C #35 Landry Nnoko - 5.7 PPG, 6.6 RPG (6-10, 250)

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