Purnell has doubts on Stitt

CLEMSON - Demontez Stitt's status for Tuesday's game at Georgia Tech is doubtful because of the foot injury he suffered during Clemson's 73-70 win over N.C. State.

There's a little bit of swelling, but no discoloration, he said before the Tigers practiced Monday afternoon.

"I tried to go full speed (during individual work)," he said. "I probably got up to 80 percent, or 85. They say it's progressing pretty well. I've had a lot of treatment--about three or four (Sunday) and two (Monday). It's a lot of rehab and a lot of work to get back on the court."

If he wasn't full-speed by Monday, Stitt has his doubts about playing a day later.

"We'll see how it goes," he said.

Coach Oliver Purnell was upfront with his thoughts on whether Stitt plays against Georgia Tech or not.

"Demontez's status is very, very uncertain. Quite frankly, I'm doubtful that he can be affective right now," he said. "That's why you have a team and that's why with our style--eight, nine and 10 guys playing well, we can make it through."

Andre Young is expected to make his first start of the season in place of Stitt. Young is fourth on the team in minutes played, though he's yet to start a game this season.

He views the situation as a chance to play well for Stitt.

"Demontez is a huge contributor to this team. It's important that we all come out rolling on all cylinders and play as one," he said.

Even Young hasn't been 100 percent of late. He's received fluids through an IV because of a recent stomach ailment.

"I ate (Sunday) night and it came back up," he said. "I'll be fine…it's one of those things."

According to Purnell, play on the offensive end will have to be slightly adjusted without Stitt, who's the team's best slasher. That means more ball-ahead, motion and increased movement from all five players on the floor.

Purnell hopes that Young will continue doing the things that define his play on the court.

"Andre just needs to be Andre," he said. "He certainly is a quarterback and can run our team. The way he plays is a little bit different (than Stitt). He's a deeper range shooter, he gets his penetration with guys closing out on him to protect against the deep range shot, and then he can get in the lane."

Young acknowledges that the biggest difference between his game and Stitt's game is the ability break down opposing defenses off the dribble.

"I think that's really the huge difference. I feel like I'm capable, but he does it really well," Young said.

Stitt appreciates the honesty from athletic trainer Jermile Brooks, who's not pushing him to hurry back.

"He says I'm progressing pretty well right now. He's not really concerned about the game tomorrow," Stitt said. "If I could, depending on how I felt, I could play a couple of minutes, if it comes down to it. Tomorrow's game is probably doubtful."

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