It's been exactly eight years to the day since the last time the Clemson basketball won back-to-back road games in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
And there's every reason to believe the Tigers will accomplish that feat once again in their game today at Virginia Tech.
Clemson got in this position by winning a close one at Florida State Wednesday, which was only the fourth time in its last 50 outings on the road in the ACC that the Tigers have been victorious.
"If we can win (today) that would make (Wednesday's) win huge because that wold make it a two-game road trip win," Clemson coach Oliver Purnell said. "If we can couple that with a win on Saturday, then obviously it's going to pay dividends in the league race and standings."
With the early success of Clemson thus far, it's pretty wild to sit back and think that the 10-5 overall record by the Tigers matches their entire win total from last season.
But it is because Clemson is 1-2 in the ACC that today's game is extremely important if the Tigers have any hopes of playing in the postseason.
"I don't look at it as pressure," Purnell said. "I look at it as a challenge for our young team. I look at it as an opportunity to win two in a row on the road in the ACC and that's quite an accomplishment."
Purnell believes this game will be as tough if not more so that Wednesday's, even though Florida State is a better team.
"Virginia Tech is going to be going all out to get their first conference win," Purnell said. "We've got to be prepared for a war. It's as simple as that. …
"They're pointing toward this game. It's a little bit of a desperate situation (for them). This is going to be a tough task."
The Hokies (7-6, 0-2) is a perimeter oriented team that loves to shoot from 3-point range. Virginia Tech isn't as big as the Seminoles, but they are more athletic.
That's why it's going to be so important for big men Sharrord Ford and Akin Akingbala to control the inside on offense and defense. But maybe more importantly, the likes of small forwards Olu Babalola and Cheyenne Moore have to be able to defend the outside.
The only problem is both have struggled on the offensive end. But Purnell thinks Moore is ready for a good game offensively.
"He's a freshman," Purnell said. "He's coming along and he's going to have some moments and he's going to have some struggles. I don't look at him as struggling. I look at him as developing."
Eight Long Years
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