WHAT: Clemson vs. No. 17 Boston College
WHEN: 8 p.m., Saturday
WHERE: Conte Forum (8,606)
TV: Jefferson Pilot
So many times this season, the question surrounding
the Clemson basketball team is how will it respond
following a heartbreaking loss.
More times than not,
the answer has been, not too good.
The Tigers responded well following it's shocking home
loss to Elon by beating Florida State in the first
game of ACC play. However, following last second
defeats to Duke and N.C. State, Clemson followed with
poor performances and lost each time.
"We got back to practice (Thursday) with some
determined energy," Tigers head coach Oliver Purnell
said. "We've got to have that again (Friday) to have
any opportunity to go up and beat Boston College."
Following Clemson's overtime loss to Virginia Tech
Wednesday, Purnell told his team that it can either
stay down and wither away down the stretch or that it
can come out fighting and keep that drive to win.
But Purnell knows that it's going to be difficult for
them to maintain that competitive edge.
"It's tough because we dropped a gut-wrenching game
against Virginia Teach the other night, and any time
you lose some tight games, or three or four in a row,
confidence becomes an issue," he said. "Our message is
that you can't fold up, and I hope they're
internalizing it. It's an important mindset that if we
work at it we can get over the hump here."
Making matters even more difficult is the fact that
the Tigers are playing at the No. 17 Boston College.
Oddly enough, the Eagles lost their three games in the ACC this year. However, since then, Boston College has found its winning ways.
"They certainly are hitting their stride and living up
to preseason expectations," Purnell said. "What makes
them so good is the wealth of experience they have.
"They're an outstanding, deep basketball team.
(Tyrese) Rice, their freshman point guard, has been
doing an outstanding job for them of late. Any time
you prepare for B.C., you've got to be concerned with
Craig Smith and Jared Dudley."
However, one factor playing into Clemson's favor is
that Boston College very rarely blow teams out. Nearly
all their games are within 10 points.
That means the Tigers should be within striking
distance in the closing minutes.
And who knows, maybe this time things will go their
way, which is sorely needed at this point.
"I'd love to see us be in a close game with them on
their home court," Purnell said. "And getting a win
would be a much-needed boost for us, a great
jump-start to finish out the year."
Clemson (14-9 overall, 3-7 ACC)
G 3 Vernon Hamilton (6-0, 195) 12.6 ppg, 3.3 apg
G 25 Cliff Hammonds (6-3, 197) 9.0 ppg, 3.3 rpg
C 33 Akin Akingbala (6-9, 240) 10.5 ppg, 7.3 rpg
F 1 K.C. Rivers (6-5, 210) 7.1 ppg, 4.9 rpg
F 12 Raymond Sykes (6-9, 205) 1.3 ppg, 1.2 rpg
Boston College (18-5 overall, 6-4 ACC)
G 11 Louis Hinnant (6-4, 190) 6.7 ppg, 4.3 apg
G 23 Sean Marshall (6-6, 212) 12.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg
C 32 John Oates (6-10, 255) 3.4 ppg, 2.6 rpg
F 3 Jared Dudley (6-7, 225) 17.2 ppg, 7.0 rpg
F 1 Craig Smith (6-7, 250) 16.9 ppg, 8.7 rpg
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