Tigers Face Akron for San Juan Title

The Clemson men's basketball team will face Akron today at 4:15 PM in the finals of the San Juan Shootout.

WHAT: Clemson vs. Akron (San Juan Shootout Finals)
TIME: 4:15 PM
WHERE: San Juan, Puerto Rico

Fresh off a 23-point win over Holy Cross, the Clemson men's basketball team will look to improve to 11-0 Wednesday afternoon against the Akron Zips (5-2) in the finals of the San Juan Shootout.

The Tigers defeated PR-Mayaguez 101-60 in the first round of the tournament Monday for their ninth win of the season before holding off Holy Cross Tuesday.

The Zips reached the final game by defeating Mount St. Mary's (74-61) and Mississippi State (72-63).

Akron is led in scoring by F Romeo Travis (6-7, 220) at 15.4 points per game. Travis was an All-Mid-American Conference Second-Team selection last season. He was the only underclassman named to the league's first or second teams.

The Zips generally use a nine- or 10-man rotation with eight players averaging 17 minutes or more.

The Tigers continue to be led by reserve guard Shawan Robinson (12.9 ppg), even though G Vernon Hamilton (11.1 ppg) and C Akin Akinbala (11.0 ppg) are also averaging in double figures.

This will be the first ever meeting between Akron and Clemson on the hardwood. Akron's last meeting with an ACC foe was against seventh-ranked North Carolina on Dec. 4, 2003. The Zips fell to the Tar Heels 64-53.

Akron is 0-3 all-time versus ACC schools (0-2 versus N.C. State/0-1 versus North Carolina).

With a win, the Tigers would capture their 23rd regular season tournament crown and their first since taking the 1980 Rainbow Classic. Clemson will also be looking to push its record to 11-0 for the first time since the 1995-96 season.

"Obviously our goal is to win three basketball games and the tournament," head coach Oliver Purnell said before leaving for San Juan. "It'll be nice to be in a situation where exams and school aren't the focus. We'll have a chance to focus on basketball and see how good we can be.

Purnell also wanted to see how his team responds to different styles of play. So far, against their first two opponents in San Juan, the Tigers have done just fine.

"When teams change defenses, we seem to struggle and stagger a little bit. We want to switch those gears right away. We need to work on our zone, too, and continue rebounding. We do that well at times, and others, we just seem to be running and jumping," he said.

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