Tigers ready to hit the ATL

CLEMSON - When Clemson and Georgia Tech met earlier this month, the Tigers emerged with a good, old-fashioned ugly win.

WHAT: Clemson at Georgia Tech
WHERE: Atlanta, Ga. - McCamish Pavilion
WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 22 (12 p.m.)
SPREAD: N/A
TV: RSN (Wes Durham, Dave Odom)

With March rapidly approaching, even the ugliest W looks good on the tournament resume. And that's all Brad Brownell & Co. are concerned about now that the madness is eight days away from commencement

During that Tuesday, Feb. 4 victory over Georgia Tech, Jordan Roper had a team-high 12 points. He was the only Clemson scorer to reach double-digits as the Tigers emerged with a favorable 45-41 result.

Georgia Tech center Daniel Miller had 18 points on 9-of-13 shooting. He also grabbed eight rebounds and blocked two shots.

"Daniel Miller is a good player, one of the best defensive players, I think, in our league. As an offensive player, a guy who I've enjoyed watching his development," Brownell said. "He's kind of what you hope for when you recruit guys, especially a big guy that slowly gets a little bit better, polishes things in his game, confidence grows. He's a tremendous rim protector now. He's really evolved into a nice high-post jump shooter."

Brownell thinks the front-court, across the board, is a solid group. Georgia Tech [13-13, 4-9 ACC] features Marcus Georges-Hunt, who averages 12.0 points and 4.2 rebounds, and Kammeon Holsey, who's at 7.7 and 5.4.

"Kammeon Holsey, a big, strong, physical, powerful 4-man," Brownell said. "Robert Carter, a tremendously talented guy with great size, can make 3s, they run plays for him to give him options to shoot 3s, drive it, post it or score over his left shoulder. Their front-line is as good as most in the league… Marcus Georges-Hunt is a good sophomore, going to be one of the best players in our league in the next couple of years."

Starting point guard Trae Golden, a graduate transfer from Tennessee, didn't play in the first game because of a groin injury.

"They've been hurt a little bit this year, so I think it's been tougher for [head coach] Brian [Gregory]. They get Trae Golden back, who can really score the ball," Brownell said.

Clemson [16-9, 7-6 ACC] has won the last eight games against Georgia Tech, making it the second-longest winning streak over an ACC opponent in school history.

Jaron Blossomgame was an eighth grader when No. 24 Georgia Tech beat Clemson in March of 2007. In his one and only game against the Yellow Jackets, he finished with four points and nine rebounds.

"I think coach has done a good job this week of preparing us for what we're going to see [Saturday]," Blossomgame said. "We've been watching a lot of film, went through practice [Thursday] on some things we messed up on last game versus them, try to correct them.

"Daniel Miller did get some 15-foot jump shots, so we've got to take that out this game, so I feel like this game, we'll be more prepared for this game."

PROBABLE STARTERS
Georgia Tech, 13-13 (4-9 ACC)
G #30 Corey Heyward - 1.0 PPG, 1.4 RPG (6-1, 211)
G #11 Chris Bolden - 5.9 PPG, 2.2 RPG (6-3, 216)
F #3 Marcus Georges-Hunt - 12.0 PPG, 4.2 RPG (6-5, 219)
F #24 Kammeon Holsey - 7.7 PPG, 5.4 RPG (6-8, 234)
C #5 Daniel Miller - 11.1 PPG, 7.8 RPG (6-11, 275)

Clemson, 16-9 (7-6)
G #12 Rod Hall - 9.2 PPG, 3.7 APG (6-1, 210)
G #21 Damarcus Harrison - 6.2 PPG, 2.4 RPG (6-4, 205)
F #32 K.J. McDaniels - 17.1 PPG, 7.2 RPG (6-6, 200)
F #5 Jaron Blossomgame - 4.5 PPG, 4.7 RPG (6-7, 215)
C #35 Landry Nnoko - 5.8 PPG, 6.1 RPG (6-10, 250)

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