WHAT: Clemson (8-5, 0-1 ACC) vs. No. 5 Louisville (13-1, 1-0 ACC)
WHEN: Wednesday, Jan. 7 (9:06 PM)
WHERE: KFC Yum! Center (22,090)
TV: ACC Network (Tim Brant-pbp; Dan Bonner-color)
SPREAD: Louisville by 18.5
Clemson takes its show on the road for three straight games, two against teams currently ranked in the top five, beginning tonight at Louisville in the Cardinals’ ACC home opener.
It is the first meeting between the two programs since the 2006 NIT, but Louisville leads the all-time series between the two schools, 3-0.
The Tigers are coming off a 24-point home loss to North Carolina in a game that saw Clemson make just five of its first 28 shots.
Meanwhile Louisville is ranked No. 5 in both major polls and features one of the top players in the country in forward Montrezl Harrell. The Cardinals defeated Wake Forest Sunday night in Winston-Salem in their lone ACC contest of the year.
"They do a lot of things to try and pressure you," Clemson head basketball coach Brad Brownell tells CUTigers. "They can go full court and then a lot of times they will go into a zone defense. You don't see that a lot but obviously they do it very well."
Brownell continues to search for answers offensively this season.
Despite only committing eight turnovers against a very athletic and top 20 UNC team, there were a number of open shots missed early in the game that helped set the tone for the loss.
"We make look at making some changes," Brownell said. "But the bottom line is we need guys to be more productive. We some of our experienced guys to pick up the pace and we need our bench to be more productive and then we have to find a way to get the free throw line more when our shots aren't falling."
Brownell also indicated he would like Landry Nnoko to be more aggressive in the paint going into Wednesday night's matchup.
"There were times against North Carolina where he had the opportunity to do some things. I think their length bothered him and bothered us overall. But he's got to go up strong when he has the opportunity. He certainly can be more productive for is," he said. "But I've also got to do a better job coaching and put us in better position in a game like this."
Louisville's lone loss this season came against No. 1 Kentucky, 58-50
Tip-off tonight is set for shortly after 9 PM. The Tigers are an 18.5 point underdog.
Clemson is led by forward Jaron Blossomgame, who is averaging 13.6 points and 8.2 rebounds per game.
• Clemson has three wins in its history over top-five ranked teams on the road, all of which came during the Tree Rollins era. Overall, the program has 16 wins over top-five teams, six during Rollins’ playing days.
• The Tigers are in search of their first win over a top-five team in any venue since Feb. 4, 2009, when Clemson beat No. 3 Duke 74-47 at home.
• The Clemson program has only faced Rick Pitino on two occasions. Rick Barnes’ 1996-97 team shocked the college basketball world in Indianapolis, Ind., by upsetting his defending national champion Kentucky Wildcats.
• Clemson has faced Pitino once at Louisville, in the 2006 NIT. Pitino’s Cardinals won 74-68 in a game played in Freedom Hall.
• Landry Nnoko will pass Larry Nance for 11th in school history with his next blocked shot. Nnoko has 108 for his career and is the ACC’s No. 2 shot-blocker this season.
• Damarcus Harrison is in the midst of a career-long nine consecutive games with at least one three-point goal. He has made six over the past two games.
Tigers travel to No. 5 Louisville
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