Tigers Looking to Rebound

CLEMSON – It's been a bad few days for members of the Clemson basketball team. Not only did the Tigers fail to capitalize on a chance to beat the top team in the country, but they followed that with an upset loss to Charlotte. Despite that, they can't wait to play again.

What: Florida State (12-4, 1-0 ACC) at No. 18 Clemson (12-3, 0-1 ACC)
Where: Littlejohn Coliseum
When: 7:00 p.m., Saturday
TV: None


The players and head coach Oliver Purnell are madder at the way the last week has transpired than anything else. It's almost as if they're in disbelief, much in the same way someone gets when they lock themselves out of their car.

"From my standpoint, I'm not exactly happy," point guard Demontez Stitt said. "It hurts a little bit. We just can't have this kind of let up."

No. 18 Clemson (12-3, 0-1 ACC) has its chance to rectify the poor feelings it's been harboring when it plays undermanned Florida State (12-4 1-0 ACC) today at 7 p.m.

"It's how we bounce back that is going to tell the tale of our season," senior guard Cliff Hammonds said. "Coming off two tough losses is going to show what type of team we are."

On paper this would seem like the perfect game for the Tigers to right the ship and get back to their winning ways.

Florida State is short of depth, particularly on the inside, due to injuries and suspensions, which should allow Clemson's Trevor Booker to have a big game. James Mays could also have a big game, but he will be limited by his injured left hand.

However, the odd thing about this game is because of the lack of big men for the Seminoles, they will sometimes play with four guards at the same time. It could create matchup problems on both ends.

Mays and Booker will sometimes have to guard a quicker and shorter player occasionally on the perimeter, but offensively the two will have a decided advantage in the post.

There could be odd lineups at times for the Tigers, but even so, they are deeper and should eventually wear down Florida State. And they had better because a loss Saturday night would be devastating.

"Going 0-2 in the league and we were picked fourth, it'd be a big loss," Booker said. "The fans would get down on you, so this would be a big confidence boost for us and the fans."

Even more concerning than the two losses would be the fact that both of them came at home, which is something Purnell would deem unacceptable and critical.

"It's just so tough to win on the road that you've got to win on your home floor every time out there," he said. "The meat and potatoes of our season is here and we've got to get back to playing good basketball."

Florida State (12-4, 1-0 ACC)
G 23 Toney Douglas (6-1, 200) 13.8 ppg, 3.0 apg
G 3 Isiah Swann (6-2, 205) 12.4 ppg 3.7 rpg
C 41 Uche Echefu (6-9, 225) 11.4 ppg, 7.1 rpg
G 25 Jason Rich (6-3, 205) 12.0 ppg, 4.6 rpg
F 33 Matt Zitani (6-7, 228) 2.2 ppg, 1.3 rpg

No. 18 Clemson (12-3, 0-1 ACC)
G 2 Demontez Stitt (6-2, 170) 8.7 ppg, 3.3 apg
G 25 Cliff Hammonds (6-3, 200) 10.3 ppg, 3.9 apg
C 35 Trevor Booker (6-7, 240) 11.4 ppg, 9.4 rpg
F 1 K.C. Rivers (6-5, 215) 15.9 ppg, 7.2 rpg
F 40 James Mays (6-9, 230) 11.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg

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