Clemson - Maine News & Notes

One of the reasons for Clemson's 3-0 start has been field goal percentage. While Clemson does not exactly fill it up from three-point range, Larry Shyatt's Tigers have been successful inside the arc. Clemson is hitting .509 from the field overall, best in the ACC in the young season.

Game Four: Clemson vs. Maine
Saturday, December 7, 2003
4:00 PM
Anderson Civic Center

Clemson leads ACC in Field Goal Percentage One of the reasons for Clemson's 3-0 start has been field goal percentage. While Clemson does not exactly fill it up from three-point range, Larry Shyatt's Tigers have been successful inside the arc. Clemson is hitting .509 from the field overall, best in the ACC in the young season. The Tigers are just 14-40 on three-point shots, a respectable .350, but 73-131 inside the arc, .557.

Clemson's interior players have been very strong on the inside in the early going. Chris Hobbs has made 13-18 shots from the field for 72.2 percent, while starting center Sharrod Ford has made 14-21, 66.7 percent. Ray Henderson is 10-19 and reserve Akin Akingbala has been a perfect 3-3 from the field. The group collectively is hitting 40-61, a .656 figure.

Clemson has now sot over 50 percent in consecutive games. This is the first time Clemson has done that since the 2000-01 season when Clemson shot 53 percent against Charleston Southern and 51.7 against Coastal Carolina in consecutive wins. Clemson has not had a streak of three straight 50 percent or better games since accomplishing the feat in five straight games early in the 1998-99 season, Larry Shyatt's first year as head coach.

Tigers Look for First 4-0 Start since 1996-97
Clemson will be seeking its first 4-0 start since the 1996-97 season when the Tigers meet Maine on Saturday. Clemson has won its first game 18 years in a row and that streak was continued with the win over Wofford to open the season. Clemson then downed High Point in the second game by 26 and defeated Penn State in the third game.

This is already the first time Clemson has been 3-0 since the 1998-99 season, Larry Shyatt's first season. Clemson opened with a 4-0 start in 1996-97 before losing to Minnesota in the finals of the San Juan Shootout in Puerto Rico. Clemson's best start in recent years is an 11-0 start in 1995-96, Rick Barnes first year.

The Clemson record for consecutive wins to open a season is 17, set by the Horace Grant led 1986-87 Tiger team that finished with a school record 25 victories. Duke ended that streak, which is also the longest winning streak in Clemson history at any juncture during a season.

Positive Factors Contribute to Clemson's 3-0 Start
* Starting backcourt of Edward Scott and Chey Christie have a combined assist/turnover ratio of 31/6. Scott stands at 23/5 and leads the ACC in assist/turnover ratio, while Christie has eight assists and just one turnover in his 90 minutes of play.

* Clemson freshmen are a combined 11-19 from the field, .580.

* Clemson is shooting 51 percent from the field as a team. Six different players are shooting 50 percent or better.

*Clemson has a +10 rebound margin, including a +7 margin in offensive rebounds over the three games.

* Clemson has made more free throws than its opponents have attempted. Clemson has made 61 and the opposition has attempted 54. This is quite an accomplishment considering Clemson has made just 61 percent of its free throws so far this year.

* Clemson has gotten off to a good start in each game. In fact, Clemson has held the lead by at least six points at the first media timeout in each game. Clemson has not trailed in the 120 minutes played so far this season.

* Clemson has committed just 35 turnovers in three games, less than 12 turnovers per game. Clemson has a +10 turnover margin for the firs three games.

* Clemson opponents are shooting less than 40 percent from the field. Defense was an area Larry Shyatt wanted to improve on for this year and that figure shows there has been improvement over the first three games.

Clemson vs. America East
This will be Clemson's first ever meeting with Maine in basketball. The two schools have met many times in baseball, especially in recent years. Clemson baseball coach Jack Leggett is a 1976 graduate of Maine. Clemson defeated Maine in the NCAA baseball regional in 1991 to advance to the College World Series. That is the only time a Clemson athletic team has played in the state of Maine.

Clemson is 9-0 lifetime against teams from the America East Conference, including a 78-48 win at Hartford last year. Clemson is 2-0 vs. Boston University, Delaware, Hartford and Hofstra and 1-0 vs. Towson State. Clemson is 4-0 at home, 1-0 away and 3-0 at neutral sites vs. America East teams.

Last Game Prior to Finals
This is Clemson's last game prior to semester final exams. Traditionally, Clemson has done well prior to the start of finals. Over the last 24 years Clemson is 21-3 in the final game before finals. All three losses have come against South Carolina, each of the last two years, and in 1988-89.

The same is not true for the game immediately after finals. Clemson has traditionally struggled in that game. Even some of the wins have been very close, like last year's 10-point win over Elon. Clemson is just 8-4 in the first game after finals the last 12 years. The Tigers take on Gardner-Webb on December 14, the first game after finals this year.

Scott Off to Great Start
Few players in the ACC are off to as good a start as Clemson senior point guard Edward Scott. The Clemson co-captain has averaged 19.3 points7.7 assists, shot 46 percent from the field and 43 percent from three-point range in the first three games. His 23/5 assist/turnover ratio is best in the ACC at this early stage of the season. Scott has scored in double figures in every game and has had at least six assists in every game. This is just the second time in Scott's career that he has scored in double figures in at least three consecutive games. He had a four-game streak early in his junior season.

In many ways, Scott is picking up where he left off at the end of last season. Scott averaged 19 points and 8.2 assists per game over the final six games of last year. That included a 23 point and seven assist game in the ACC Tournament against Florida State and a 36-point and seven assist game against the Seminoles in the regular season home finale.

2002-03 Season Review
Clemson Defeats Penn State
Clemson defeated Penn State in the ACC vs. Big Ten Challenge on December 3 by a 79-70 score. It gave Clemson a 3-1 record in the event in its four-year history. Clemson improved to 3-0 for the first time since the 1998-99 season with the victory.

Edward Scott had another strong all-around game with 25 points and seven assists against just one turnover. The native of Eastover, SC had just one turnover in playing all 40 minutes and made 7-12 shots from the field, including 3-5 three-point attempts. Scott got support from Chey Christie's 15 points and Sharrod Ford's 13 points and 13 rebounds.

Chris Hobbs added nine points thanks to 4-6 field goal shooting, while Olu Babalola had a fine all-around game with eight points, six rebounds and four steals.

Clemson made 51 percent of its field goal attempts, its second consecutive game with at least 50 percent shooting, and won the rebound battle 41-32. Clemson could have won the game by a much larger margin, but made just 25-46 free throws as a team. Clemson as just 15-31 from the line in the second half. Clemson was 11-17 from the line inside the last five minutes.

Clemson jumped out to leads of 8-0 and 15-2 to open the contest. Chey Christie scored six of Clemson's first 15 points in that spurt. The lead grew to 18 points at 33-15 with 1:44 to go in the half on a dunk by Sharrod Ford. Clemson led 35-22 at intermission.

Clemson held a lead between 10-14 points most of the second half. Clemson led 70-53 with 2:30 remaining on a free throw by Edward Scott. Penn State hit a couple of three-point goals and cut the margin to nine points with 1:10 left, but could get no closer.

Penn State made 11-33 three-point attempts in the contest, while Clemson made 4-11. DeForrest Riley led Penn State with 18 points on six three-point goals. He had not scored a single point in the first three games for the Nittany Lions.

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