Tigers Need Road Win

Clemson travels to Tallahassee in search of its first ACC road win of the Oliver Purnell era. <br>

Game Notes

While nowhere near on the same scale as it is at North Carolina, playing at Florida State has been nightmarish in recent times for the Clemson basketball team.

The Tigers have gone into Tallahassee, Fla., with high expectations of pulling out a win, but each time they left with a loss, a few of which ended in strange fashion.

Clemson is 2-11 in the Tucker Center against the Seminoles since they joined the ACC. The two wins by the Tigers came in 1997 and 1998. However, seven of the 11 losses have been by six points or less.

And there's every reason to believe that Clemson's game Wednesday night in Tallahassee will be another close battle. Florida State (9-6, 1-1 ACC) enters the game having won four of its last five, while the Tigers (9-5, 0-2 ACC) enter on a two-game losing streak.

"It's going to be a tremendous test for us," Clemson coach Oliver Purnell said. "But you're going to say that every night in this league."

Without question, Purnell is concerned about his team's psyche. After the tough loss to Duke, the coach wondered how his team would react in its next game against Wake Forest.

He got his answer as Clemson guard Cheyenne Moore summed it up best by saying, "We laid an egg."

Now, once again Purnell is wondering how his team will bounce back after the program's worst loss at home in over 50 years.

"Only time will tell (how we will react)," Purnell said. "I think we've had three good practices since (Saturday). … We've got to get back to playing Clemson basketball, starting tomorrow night against Florida State. We've got to regroup and put that behind us."

With the exception of a game or two, the one constant for the Tigers has been their defense. Clemson loves to force turnovers, which in turn generates its offense.

But when the Tigers have to set up in a half-court set, forward Sharrod Ford is the man that the offense runs through. However, against the Demon Deacons, he was almost literally non-existent.

If Clemson is to beat the Seminoles, Ford has to have a strong game.

"It's no surprise that when Sharrod Ford doesn't have a good game we struggle," Purnell said. "He's our main guy."

Florida State enters the game shooting just under 49 percent from the field as a team and with 11 players averaging at least 12 minutes of playing time a game.

The leader on the inside is 6-foot-8 senior Adam Waleskowski, who is averaging 10.3 points and 7.8 rebounds a game. On the outside, 6-5 guard Von Wafer averages 12.3 points a game.

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