Clemson to Battle Penn State

This is the fourth year of the ACC vs. Big Ten Challenge. Clemson is 2-1 so far with a loss at Penn State during the 1999-00 season, a win over Northwestern in a game at Clemson in 2000-01 and a victory at Penn State last year. Thus, this is the third time in four years the two teams have met in the challenge.

Clemson in the Big Ten vs. ACC Challenge
This is the fourth year of the ACC vs. Big Ten Challenge. Clemson is 2-1 so far with a loss at Penn State during the 1999-00 season, a win over Northwestern in a game at Clemson in 2000-01 and a victory at Penn State last year. Thus, this is the third time in four years the two teams have met in the challenge.

Clemson was involved in two games in the ACC vs. Big East Challenge in the 1990s. Clemson played in that event twice, in 1989-90 and 1990-91. The Tigers split the two games there, a 71-70 win over Providence in a game played in Greensboro, and a 78-62 loss to Seton Hall in a game played in Syracuse, NY.

The Providence game had a touch of irony in that Clemson defeated future head coach Rick Barnes in that contest. The Tigers went on to win their only ACC regular season championship in history that year. Providence also went on to a solid season and played in the NCAA Tournament.

Thus, Clemson is 3-2 overall in the ACC's challenge series against other conferences. This is just the second time Clemson has been the host school. The only other time Clemson played host to a challenge was the ACC vs. Big Ten Challenge against Northwestern two years ago.

Clemson vs. the Big Ten
Clemson has a 6-11 record against Big Ten teams over the years. The Tigers are 3-8 against Big Ten teams away from home, but 3-0 at home. The game at The Civic Center of Anderson on Tuesday night will be considered a home game for Clemson. This is the third time Clemson has faced Penn State, and the 10th time Clemson has faced a Big 10 team in the last eight years.

Clemson lost to Michigan, 59-56 at the Maui Classic on November 23 of Larry Shyatt's first season and also played Illinois in the BiLo Center in Greenville, a 67-50 Illini victory. Clemson lost at Penn State in the ACC vs. Big Ten Challenge by an 85-75 count under Shyatt in 1999-00. He followed that with a victory over Northwestern in 2000-01 and the win at Penn State last year. Larry Shyatt is 2-3 in his Clemson head coaching career against the Big Ten.

Clemson had two games with Big Ten Champion Minnesota in 1996-97, losing both contests, one in the championship of the San Juan Shootout and one in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in San Antonio. Clemson had lost six in a row to Big Ten teams prior to Clemson's 57-44 win over Northwestern in Littlejohn Coliseum in 2000-01.

Overall, Clemson is 1-0 vs. Indiana, 0-2 vs. Illinois, 0-2 vs. Michigan, 1-0 vs. Northwestern, 1-1 vs. Penn State, 2-0 vs. Purdue, 0-2 vs. Iowa, 1-4 vs. Minnesota. Clemson's victory over a 15th ranked Indiana team at the 1980 Rainbow Classic remains Clemson's only victory in history over a team that went on to win the National Championship. Clemson won that contest, 58-57.

Last Year vs. Penn State
At State College, PA
November 28, 2001
Chris Hobbs scored 17 points and added 10 rebounds to lead Clemson to a 79-66 win over Penn State in the ACC vs. Big Ten Challenge of 2001. Clemson came back from a 10-point halftime deficit thanks to 59.1 percent field goal shooting in the second half, and a 20-7 run in the final 10 minutes of the game. Clemson held Penn State to 22.7 percent shooting in the second half as the Nittany Lions made only five of 22 shots.

The first half was much different as Penn State erupted to an early 23-9 lead. The Nittany Lions made their first 10 shots from the floor and finished the first half shooting 61.5 percent from the field compared to Clemson's 38.2 percentage. Penn State held a 44-34 lead at intermission on its home court.

The double-double by Hobbs was his first of the season and the seventh of his career. Chey Christie added 16 points, three steals and a pair of rebounds in 34 minutes. He was seeing more playing time due to illness to starting perimeter players Tony Stockman and Jamar McKnight. Edward Scott finished with eight points, nine assists seven rebounds and three steals after playing all 40 minutes.

Tomas Nagys was a factor on the inside as well with 11 points and nine rebounds, while freshman Sharrod Ford had his first career double figure scoring game with 10 points in 20 minutes. Clemson had five players in double figures overall, the first time in three years that had occurred.

Clemson outscored the Nittany Lions 20-4 in the paint and converted 17 Penn State turnovers into 15 points. Penn State was led y Jamall Tate with 18 points Clemson out-rebounded Penn State 46-22 and had 22 offensive rebounds. The rebound margin of +24 was the largest by Clemson under Larry Shyatt and the second best in Clemson history for a road game. Clemson made just 1-10 three-point shots, but still gained the 13-point victory.

Clemson Postmen Deliver
Clemson's front line was ranked 10th best in the nation by Lindy's Preseason Magazine. So far this year the group has done nothing to hurt its ranking. Clemson's four post players are 32-47 from the field so far this season, 68.1 percent. Chris Hobbs, who has played just 40 minutes in the first two games, is 9-12 from the field, 75 percent. Sharrod Ford has the most made field goals among the group and is 11-17 for .647. Ray Henderson is 9-15 for 60 percent, while freshman Akin Akingbala is 3-3.

The group also has a lot to do with Clemson's +10.5 rebound margin so far this season. Clemson has won the rebounding battle by double digits in each of its first two games. Clemson also has a 34-27 lead in offensive rebounds, quite a statement considering Clemson is shooting 51 percent from the field as a team, so there aren't as many offensive rebounds to be had. Ray Henderson, Sharrod Ford and Chris Hobbs all average at least 7.0 rebounds per game.

Ray Henderson has been a force from a defensive standpoint. The senior co-captain has eight blocked shots in just two games. He has tied his career high each game. He had just 58 career blocks in 84 career games entering this season. He led the team with 36 blocks last year.

Hobbs Likes Playing vs. Big Ten
Clemson power forward Chris Hobbs has the build for one of the classic big men in the physical Big Ten. The second coming of Clark Kellogg? At 6-7 and 255 pounds he also has the mobility to create his own shot on the inside.

Hobbs has shown his ability in two games against Big Ten teams in his career. He has recorded double-doubles in each of the last two ACC vs. Big Ten Challenges. Against Northwestern as a freshman, Hobbs had 13 points and 10 rebounds in a Clemson 13-point victory. Last year at Penn State he had 17 points and 10 rebounds, helping Clemson to another 13-point win. In two games vs. Big Ten teams, Hobbs has 30 points and 20 rebounds and has shot 10-18 from the field. Top Stories