Tigers Face Alabama

It's hard to tell which conference in which the Clemson basketball team plays. The Tigers are set to play their fourth SEC team this year, while they don't play teams from the ACC until this weekend.

What: No. 21 Clemson (11-1) at Alabama (10-3)
Where: Coleman Coliseum
When: 4:30 p.m., Tuesday

TV: FSN South

Already, No. 21 Clemson has played Mississippi State, and won, South Carolina, and won, and Mississippi, and lost.

Today, the Tigers play their toughest game of the season when they travel to take on Alabama in Tuscaloosa. The Rebels may be a better team than Alabama, but considering their game against Clemson was on an island in the Caribbean, there was no home court advantage.

"Alabama is playing well right now, so it will be tough," Tigers coach Oliver Purnell said. "This will be a huge measuring stick."

Clemson begins ACC play Sunday with a home game against No. 1 North Carolina, but there will be no overlooking the Crimson Tide as it has won six straight games. Two of Alabama's losses have come against Georgetown and Texas A&M, two teams ranked high in the polls.

"We have got to focus on Alabama," Purnell said. "They are playing extremely well right now. It will be a good game against an SEC team on their home floor. It would be a big win for us.

"We will have plenty of time to prepare for North Carolina, but Alabama is playing well right now, so it will be tough."

But as good as Alabama is, the Tigers are a very good team in their own right and actually ranked, which is cause for Crimson Tide coach Mike Gottfried to worry.

"They are a terrific team," he said. "They're strong and physical around the basket. They press a little bit like George Washington does, but I think they do a better job with all that. They have some great shooters on the perimeter. So they're a terrific team. They'll be a great match-up."

Clemson senior forward James Mays is expected to get his first start since hurting his hip against Gardner-Webb on Nov. 24.

PROBABLE STARTING LINEUPS
No. 21 Clemson (11-1)
G 2 Demontez Stitt (6-2, 170) 8.4 ppg, 3.5 apg
G 25 Cliff Hammonds (6-3, 200) 10.6 ppg, 4.3 apg
C 35 Trevor Booker (6-7, 240) 8.9 ppg, 9.3 rpg
F 1 K.C. Rivers (6-5, 215) 16.1 ppg, 7.3 rpg
F 40 James Mays (6-9, 230) 11.4 ppg, 7.1 rpg

Alabama (10-3)
G 11 Rico Pickett (6-3, 178) 5.8 ppg 3.3 apg
G 1 Mykal Riley (6-6, 185) 14.3 ppg 4.5 rpg
G 12 Alonzo Gee (6-6, 219) 15.7 ppg, 8.0 rpg
F 35 Richard Hendrix (6-9, 255) 19.5 ppg, 10.2 rpg
F 23 Demetrius Johnson (6-7, 234) 6.1 ppg, 4.5 rpg

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