What: No. 18 Clemson (14-0) at Florida State (12-2)
Where: Tucker Center
When: 7 p.m., Wednesday
Clemson begins ACC play 7 p.m., Wednesday in Tallahassee, Fla., against Florida State, which sports a solid 12-2 record including a win over the Florida Gators, the defending national champions.
These are the games that will show whether or not the Tigers are a flash in the pan or whether they are a force to be reckoned with.
"The real season starts (Wednesday), that's when the conference starts" Clemson forward James Mays said. "It was great to finish 14-0 in non-conference, but this is when it really counts. This is when the real men are made."
One of the rallying cries for the Tigers this season has been the lack of respect they have gotten from national media outlets.
Despite finishing 7-9 in ACC play last season, they were predicted to finish anywhere from ninth to last in most preseason magazines.
A win against Florida State Wednesday night would go a long way toward proving those prognosticators wrong.
"We were picked ninth by the media at the beginning of the season and we want to prove we're better than that," Clemson coach Oliver Purnell said. "I've been preaching to our guys that we have not arrived."
Getting the victory in the conference opener is going to be a tall order. The Seminoles are an athletic bunch that relies on the other team's mistakes to create easy transition baskets.
They can shoot from the outside, but their offense centers around forward, Al Thornton, who averages 16.1 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.
"They're like a mirror image of us," Purnell said. "It's going to take some of our best effort of the year to win."
Should the Tigers grab the win, maybe the nonbelievers will start to turn.
"We definitely have to go earn our respect," guard Vernon Hamilton said. "There is definitely a bigger picture from where we're at now."
PROBABLE STARTING LINEUPS
No. 18 Clemson (14-0, 0-0 ACC)
G 3 Vernon Hamilton (6-0, 195) 11.0 ppg, 4.2 apg
G 25 Cliff Hammonds (6-3, 197) 10.2 ppg, 3.1 rpg
C 35 Trevor Booker (6-7, 215) 10.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg
F 32 Sam Perry (6-5, 208) 5.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg
F 40 James Mays (6-9, 222) 12.4 ppg, 7.5 rpg
Florida State (12-2, 0-0 ACC)
G 23 Toney Douglas (6-1, 196) 14.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg
G 25 Jason Rich (6-3, 200) 10.6 ppg, 3.0 rpg
F 12 Al Thornton (6-8, 220) 16.1 ppg, 5.5 rpg
G 3 Isaiah Swann (6-1, 203) 8.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg
F 41 Uche Echefu (6-9, 220) 7.3 ppg, 4.2 rpg
Tigers Begin ACC Play in Tallahassee
CUTigers.com Top Stories
MONDAY WEST ZONE INTERVIEWSWatch Deshaun Watson, Wayne Gallman and Tony Elliott discuss the upcoming showdown with Florida State!
TIGERS REMAIN #3 IN BOTH POLLSWith Ohio State losing and Michigan jumping to #2, idle Clemson sits at #3 in both of Sunday's polls.
CUTigers.comYesterday at 10:59 AM
GRADES AND ANALYSIS: NC State#3 Clemson committed 4 turnovers, including 3 in the red zone and a pick-six, in its 24-17 overtime win over NC State in Death Valley.
CUTigers.comThursday at 2:52 PM
Clemson Basketball Media DayWatch Head Coach Brad Brownell and his assistant coaches discuss the upcoming basketball season at Clemson Media Day!
CUTigers.comThursday at 1:30 PM