Slumping Tigers Face Slumping Eagles

CLEMSON – As the regular season comes down the stretch, the Clemson basketball team is at that point where it will either, wilt and become the answer to a trivia question about one of the biggest collapses in ACC history or it will show the intestinal fortitude to stop the bleeding and pull out a needed win.

What: Clemson (19-8, 5-8 ACC) at Boston College (18-9, 9-5 ACC)
Where: Conte Forum
When: 1 p.m., Saturday
TV: Raycom/Lincoln Financial

The Tigers will have that chance Saturday afternoon at Chestnut Hill, Mass., when they meet up with a Boston College team that is in the midst of a slump of its own.

While it has been well documented that Clemson is just 2-8 over its last 10, it should be pointed out that the Eagles are in the midst of a their own three-game losing streak, two of which came at home, and are 4-5 over their last nine games.

But Tigers coach Oliver Purnell is expecting to see an entirely different Boston College team than the one that has taken the floor the last three games.

"They've been struggling a little bit, but this is their Senior Night," he said. "I'm sure they'll be motivated."

One aspect that could help Clemson once again find its winnings ways is the way it matches up with the Eagles.

Boston College has very little inside and any team with any semblance of a big man or two down low has given the Eagles fits. And considering Clemson has James Mays and Trevor Booker, the losing streak for Boston College could continue.

"What we need from Mays is defense, rebounding and energy," Purnell said. "He's still got a ways to go to get back to the level he was playing at the beginning of the ACC season."

Another area where Clemson has an advantage over the Eagles is in the backcourt. Boston College point guard Tyrese Rice is exceptionally quick and usually has the ability to drive against the opposition.

But Tigers point guard Vernon Hamilton is equally as quick and has the ability to slow or stop Rice's penetration.

Where the Eagles have the advantage is at small forward, where Jared Dudley has caused havoc for opponents all season long. He's averaging 19.5 points and 8.5 rebounds a game.

What's not certain is how Clemson will handle the extremely quick turnaround from playing late Thursday to early Saturday.

"I think it is (good to have a quick game)," Purnell said. "I think to hop on a plane and start preparing is a good thing right now. We don't want to sit around and think about what could've been."

A win Saturday would go a very long way toward what can still be.

Clemson (19-8, 5-8 ACC)
G 3 Vernon Hamilton (6-0, 195) 12.6 ppg, 3.0 apg
G 25 Cliff Hammonds (6-3, 197) 11.5 ppg, 4.1 apg
C 35 Trevor Booker (6-7, 215) 9.6 ppg, 6.1 rpg
F 32 Sam Perry (6-5, 208) 4.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg
F 40 James Mays (6-9, 222) 13.1 ppg, 6.7 rpg

Boston College (18-9, 9-5 ACC)
G 4 Tyrese Rice (6-0, 183) 17.1 ppg, 5.7 apg
G 23 Sean Marshall (6-6, 212) 14.8 ppg, 4.6 rpg
C 32 John Oates (6-10, 255) 4.6 ppg, 3.6 rpg
F 3 Jared Dudley (6-7, 225) 19.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg
F 34 Shamari Spears (6-6, 245) 7.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg Top Stories