• Wednesday evening's game against Minnesota will be the 100th for Oliver Purnell as the head coach at Clemson.
• This will be the second time Minnesota coach Dan
Monson has coached against Clemson. He guided
Gonzaga to a victory over a fifth ranked Clemson
team in November of 1998 in the Top of the World
Classic in Fairbanks, Alaska.
• Clemson has won its first seven games for the second
straight year. The Tigers won their first 11 games
last year. This is the third time in the last 10 years
Clemson has won its first seven of the season.
• K.C. Rivers is the only Clemson player to score in
double figures in every game so far this season.
He has done it without starting a single game.
• Clemson senior point guard Vernon Hamilton now
has 214 steals in his career and just 199 fouls. He
has 13 steals and just six fouls this year. Hamilton
has a 15/5 assist/turnover ratio for the last 4 games.
• Clemson has won a record seven games in the
month of November. The previous record was six
November wins in 1998.
• Cliff Hammonds scored 20 points to lead Clemson
in scoring in the 69-66 win over Mississippi State. It
was his first 20-point scoring game since he had 21
against Wake Forest on January 11, 2006. It was
the fifth 20-point scoring game of his career.
• Through games of November 26, Clemson was
ranked 14th in the Sagarin computer poll. Clemson,
Maryland, Illinois, Oklahoma State and Michigan
were the only schools in the nation with 7 wins.
• Clemson has a 5-2 record in the ACC vs. Big Ten
Challenge. Only Duke (7-0) and Wake Forest (6-1)
have a better record.
• Clemson has a 1-4 record against Minnesota. This
is the first meeting between the two schools since
the 1997 NCAA Tournament when Minnesota won
in double overtime, 90-84, in a third round game in
• Clemson 6-9 forward James Mays is second in the
ACC in assists with 20 in seven games. He leads
the Tiger team in that category. He has had at least
two steals in every game this year.
• Clemson has had a positive turnover margin in six
of the first seven games this year.
• K.C. Rivers, Clemson's leading scorer with a 13.1
average, has made 18 of his last 30 shots from the
field, including 9 of his last 18 from long range.
• Trevor Booker has blocked at least one shot in every
game this year, including 10 over the last three
games combined. He is second among freshmen
in the ACC in reounding.
• Point guard Vernon Hamilton has a 15/5 assist/turnover
ratio over his last four games.
Clemson vs. Minnesota Series
This will be the sixth meeting between
Minnesota and Clemson. The Golden Gophers
have a 4-1 lead in the series that dates to the
1974-75 season. Minnesota won the first
meeting by a 66-52 score on December 28,
1974 in the finals of the Pillsbury Holiday
Classic at the Met Center in Bloomington, MN.
So, this will be Clemson's third trip to
play Minnesota in Minnesota, but just the
second time Clemson has been to Williams
The first meeting between the two
teams featured three future first-round NBA
draft choices at the center or power forward
position. Clemson had sophomore center Tree
Rollins, who would be a first-round pick of the
Atlanta Hawks in 1977, while Minnesota
featured Mychal Thompson and Mark
Olberding. Thompson was a freshman that
year who went on to be the number-one pick of
the Portland Trailblazers in 1978, while
Olberding was the first pick of the San Antonio
Spurs in 1975.
Minnesota's frontline got the best of
Clemson's as the Gophers out-rebounded
Clemson 29-19 in the low scoring game.
Clemson made 52 percent from the field, but
attempted just three free throws. Minnesota
made 20-21 from the line, still the best free
throw percentage against Clemson in history,
given a minimum of 15 attempts. Rollins led
the Tigers with 12, while Van Gregg had 10.
Clemson played the game without first-team All-
ACC guard Skip Wise, who had a sprained
Nearly 20 years later Clemson had
another first-round draft pick at center. Sharone
Wright was a junior in 1993-94 and he went on
to be the number-six pick of the NBA draft at
the end of that season the highest drafted
player in Clemson history. Wright had 15 points
and eight rebounds to lead Clemson, but the
Tigers made just 1-22 three-point shots, the
worst single game three-point shooting
percentage in Clemson history given a
minimum of 15 attempts. Voshon Leonard led
Minnesota with 19 points.
Clemson's only win in the series took
place during the 1995-96 season at Clemson.
It was Clemson's first win over a Big Ten team
in 15 years. The Tigers had five players in
double figures, including three freshmen in a
79-66 win over Minnesota. Terrell McIntyre led
the way with 14 points. Clemson had just seven turnovers and forced 17. Current NBA
player Greg Buckner had 10 points to help the
Tiger freshmen, who accounted for 52 of
Clemson's 79 points.
The two teams played twice the
following year, 1996-97. Both games were
played on neutral sites. The Gophers won in
the finals of the San Juan Shootout by a 75-65
score. That was a battle of top 25 teams as
Clemson was 10 th and Minnesota 24th entering
the game. That was Clemson's only loss over
the first 17 games that year. McIntrye led
Clemson with 23 points.
The two teams then met in the Sweet
16 of the NCAA Tournament in San Antonio.
Minnesota won 90-84 in double overtime behind
36 points by Bobby Jackson and 29 by Sam
Jacobson. Minnesota was a number-one seed
and ranked third in the nation overall entering
that 1997 NCAA Tournament.
Greg Buckner led Clemson with 22
points, while McIntyre had 17. Clemson's Tony
Christie hit a shot at the buzzer to send the
game into overtime tied at 72. The Tigers had a
six-point lead in the first overtime but could not
hold on. Clemson has not been to the Sweet
16 of the NCAA Tournament since then.
Clemson Travels to Historic Williams Arena
Clemson will travel to historic
Williams Arena for the second time in its history
when the Tigers face Minnesota on Wednesday
night. Clemson is 0-1 lifetime in the facility,
which first opened in 1928. Clemson's only
previous appearance came in the 1993-94
season, Sharone Wright's junior (and final)
year, when Minnesota came away with a 73-54
victory. That game was played on December
Williams Arena holds 14,625 fans and
is named in honor of Dr. Henry Williams, the
Minnesota football coach from 1900 to 1921. It
used to hold 18,025 fans for basketball and was
the largest capacity in college basketball
between 1950-71. It was the site of the 1951
Final Four. It was reduced to 14,625 during a
renovation. The entire complex houses the
basketball and hockey programs at Minnesota.
Clemson - Minnesota Game Notes
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