Tigers One of Two Remaining Unbeatens

And then there were two. Out of 336 Division I basketball teams, only Clemson and UCLA remain undefeated. And as far as Tigers coach Oliver Purnell is concerned, there's no reason why that trend shouldn't continue.

What: Georgia Tech (11-3, 0-1 ACC) at No. 18 Clemson (15-0, 1-0 ACC)
Where: Littlejohn Coliseum
When: 4 p.m., Saturday
TV: FSN South

"I'm not going to say we're great or anything, but we're pretty solid," he said. "Our game preparation has been pretty consistent whether we're playing Georgia or Georgia State."

No. 18 Clemson put it all on the line against another team from the Peach State on Saturday as Georgia Tech comes to Littlejohn Coliseum, in what is expected to be the hardest game yet for the Tigers (15-0).

The Yellow Jackets (11-3) sport a host of talented freshmen, as well as a solid returning nucleus from last season. Many prognosticators had Georgia Tech finishing anywhere from third to sixth prior to the start of the season.

The Yellow Jackets are long, athletic and quick and have some explosive firepower.

"Our defense has to show up for us to have a chance," Purnell said.

But during this streak, that is something the Tigers haven't had to worry about. Each game, they have displayed the type of defense that top teams possess.

That's Purnell doesn't believe this incredible streak is a fluke or the result of playing cupcakes. He is of the belief his team has earned every win it has.

"I really believe it's something you should embrace," he said. "You can either not talk about it and be afraid that you're going to jinx it, or you can understand why it's happening and continue to do those things."

Purnell is slightly concerned that his team will get too confident and not take each team seriously, which would be fatal in his estimation.

"I'm not worried, but it is a concern," he said of his team losing focus and getting too wrapped up in the winning streak. "We're in rarified air. The higher you go, the air gets thinner and you start losing oxygen to your brain.

"If we stop that, we'll stop winning. The moment we stop doing that or get ungrounded, we're going to have a problem."

While most of the attention is focused on the players and how they're handling the winning streak, this is also new territory for Purnell as a coach.

"I've never had a team 15-0," he said. "I think the main thing is to count on past experiences in basketball an in life.

"I just try to be consistent in our approach in practice and what we talk about with the players."

So far, so good.

PROBABLE STARTING LINEUPS
Georgia Tech (11-3, 0-1 ACC)
G 1 Javaris Crittenton (6-5, 198) 13.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg
G 0 Lewis Clinch (6-3, 195) 13.2 ppg, 1.9 rpg
C 4 Ra'Sean Dickey (6-10, 250) 8.2 ppg, 6.1 rpg
F 33 Thaddeus Young (6-8, 217) 14.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg
F 32 Jeremis Smith (6-8, 236) 9.9 ppg, 6.1 rpg

No. 18 Clemson (15-0, 1-0 ACC)
G 3 Vernon Hamilton (6-0, 195) 11.5 ppg, 4.1 apg
G 25 Cliff Hammonds (6-3, 197) 10.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg
C 35 Trevor Booker (6-7, 215) 10.0 ppg, 6.9 rpg
F 32 Sam Perry (6-5, 208) 5.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg
F 40 James Mays (6-9, 222) 12.5 ppg, 7.4 rpg

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