Stitt Ahead of Schedule

CLEMSON – Sure it was a blown chance to beat the top team in the country, but other than taking North Carolina to overtime, another positive emerged from Clemson's basketball Sunday night: the play of freshman point guard Demontez Stitt.

What: Charlotte (8-5) at No. 18 Clemson (12-2)
Where: Littlejohn Coliseum
When: 7:30 p.m., Wednesday
TV: None

Stitt looked every bit a true freshman playing in his very first ACC game and against one of the best point guards in the country in Ty Lawson over the first 20 minutes of play.

But something happened to Stitt during halftime as he came out in the second half and was suddenly transformed into a player that could totally hold his own against the stiff competition.

Stitt made good passes, key baskets and played solid defense on Lawson, who is generally regarded as the fastest player in all of college basketball.

However, Tigers head coach Oliver Purnell isn't quite ready to pour all the accolades in Stitt's direction just yet.

"He continues to make progress," Purnell said. "But we didn't win. That's the bottom line. I told him that's the way I measure point guards and the way most basketball people measure point guards. We didn't win."

Stitt said Sunday night was a valuable learning experience and one that should help him continue to improve throughout the year. He also said that it's a relief to know that there will be no harder game or better player to play than what he went through against North Carolina and Lawson.

"It was a little bit of a comfort to compete with him like I did and UNC," Stitt said. "I think that shows we can play with the best."

Clemson will have to play the next few games with a banged up James Mays, who has a cracked bone in his left hand. He will wear a splint for the next few weeks.

It's just another injury the senior forward has had to endure this season. He's had an infected eye, back spasms, severely bruised hip a bad shoulder and now this.

"I think there's a good chance he won't be 100 percent healthy," Purnell said of Mays. "But that's why we have a team and other guys."

Mays isn't Purnell's biggest concern Wednesday. It's the possibility of his team having a hangover from the disappointing loss and not taking Charlotte seriously.

"We've got to move forward," Purnell said. "We've got to be ready for a tough, aggressive ballgame. … I think it's important that we look forward, not backwards. But at the same time it's important not to forget what's back there."

Charlotte (8-5)
G 12 Leemire Goldwire (5-11, 185) 19.0 ppg, 4.8 rpg

G 1 Michael Gerrity (6-1, 180) 4.4 ppg 3.4 apg
C 15 Lamont Mack (6-7, 230) 9.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg
F 21 An Juan Wilderness (6-6, 220) 9.2 ppg, 5.0 rpg
F 2 Charlie Coley (6-7, 205) 8.4 ppg, 7.0 rpg

No. 18 Clemson (12-2)
G 2 Demontez Stitt (6-2, 170) 8.4 ppg, 3.5 apg
G 25 Cliff Hammonds (6-3, 200) 10.4 ppg, 4.0 apg
C 35 Trevor Booker (6-7, 240) 9.9 ppg, 9.3 rpg
F 1 K.C. Rivers (6-5, 215) 16.0 ppg, 7.2 rpg
F 40 James Mays (6-9, 230) 11.9 ppg, 6.9 rpg Top Stories