Tigers Open Home Schedule Wednesday

CLEMSON – After a clean sweep of some decent competition over the weekend, the Clemson basketball team returns to Littlejohn Wednesday night to play in the first-ever Super Bowl held in the Upstate of South Carolina.

Well, it's not really a Super Bowl, but the Tigers are viewing it that way.

Over the last couple of days, Clemson coach Oliver Purnell has stressed that his team should approach this with a big-game mentality because Furman surely will.

"Coach has said several times that this is like Furman's Super Bowl," senior point guard Vernon Hamilton said. "They want to come in here and beat us and make a mark for themselves."

Convincing his players of that is easier said than done for Purnell. Though the school is close in location, not much is recognized or familiar with Furman.

"I don't know anything about Furman," junior forward James Mays said. "All I know is they're from Greenville."

The Paladins (2-0) have put up some lofty numbers against much lesser competition, but Purnell has been trying to emphasis that they should not be taken lightly. After all, Elon beat the Tigers last year, while almost losing to another Southern Conference team against Wofford.

"A lot of the Southern Conference teams and low Division I teams have some real good athletes," Mays said. "If you let them hang around, they can upset you."

Closing teams out in the second half is something the Tigers (3-0) need to do a better job with. They allowed Old Dominion to erase a nice lead and crawl back into the game Sunday by committing turnovers and playing lackadaisical.

"The only part that expressed displeasure with (from the weekend tournament) was the last three minutes of the (ODU) game," Purnell said. "We must have had five or six turnovers. I think they thought it was over."

One sure way of making sure teams don't rally is making free throws, which was a sore subject for Clemson last year.

Through the first three games, the Tigers have made 60.5 percent of their free throws. However, that number is a bit misleading because sophomore guard K.C. Rivers is only 5-of-9 from the line, which equates to 55.6 percent.

Last year season, he made 84 percent, which indicates this year's percentage is bound to improve.

"We shot the ball well from 3-point range (41.4 percent), but our free throw shooting wasn't where we'd like it to be," said Hamilton, who is 6-of-9 from the free throw line. "That's something we're continuing to work on. We feel like we're a better from the free throw line than we were last year, but we're still working hard to keep improving."

Clemson (3-0)
PG 3 Vernon Hamilton (6-0, 195) 13.3 ppg, 4.3 rpg
G 25 Cliff Hammonds (6-3, 197) 10.0 ppg, 3.7 apg
C 35 Trevor Booker (6-7, 215) 9.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg
F 32 Sam Perry (6-5, 208) 5.3 ppg, 2.3 rpg
F 44 James Mays (6-9, 222) 13.3 ppg, 7.6 rpg

Furman (2-0)
PG 00 Eric Webb (6-2, 185) 16.0 ppg, 6.0 apg
G 4 Robby Bostain (6-6, 200) 24.5 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 5.5 apg
C 50 Stanley Jones (6-9, 240) 2.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg
F 22 Gerad Punch (6-4, 200) 5.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg
F 1 Moussa Diagne (6-8, 220) 10.0 ppg, 7.5 rpg

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