Wednesday night slugfest

CLEMSON - Fighting off a tough spell of cold shooting, Clemson's road to recovery doesn't get easier Wednesday night.

WHAT: Clemson vs. Florida State
WHERE: Littlejohn Coliseum (10,000) - Clemson, S.C.
WHEN: Wednesday, February 10, (7 p.m.)

Against both Virginia Tech and Maryland, Clemson didn't shoot over 32 percent from the field. In their last five games, the Tigers have shot better than 40 percent only once.

"Right now, with us struggling offensively, it really is a challenge for us to get things right offensively (against Florida State)," said Clemson coach Oliver Purnell.

The Seminoles head into Littlejohn Coliseum as one of the ACC's best defensive teams over the past two seasons. Entering the game, no freshmen or sophomore on Florida State's roster has played against an opponent that's shot better than 50 percent.

"They have a bunch of guys who are just big and long, strong and athletic," said Tanner Smith, adding that clean shots in the paint are going to be tough to come by.

One pass and a drive into the lane, according to Purnell, just won't work.

"We've got to understand that," Purnell said. "I think there have been times this year when we have understood that and been very efficient offensively. There have been times this year that we haven't."

After missing back-to-back games, Demontez Stitt is back for a second-straight game to help engineer the Clemson offense.

He admits the mid-foot sprain isn't quite 100 percent. There was also a slight accumulation of rust after missing two-straight games and several practices. Stitt found himself struggling to find the "groove" against Virginia Tech on Saturday.

Stitt said on Tuesday that he's also had to adjust his play to accommodate the nagging injury.

"I have to play off the ball more, spotting up," Stitt said. "As far as getting into the lane, I know I can't really jump as well as I want to right now. I'm taking a lot more jump shots instead of getting to the bucket like I'm used to doing."

Purnell is pleased with his teams output on the defensive end this season, but would like to see his fast-tempo style create more high percentage shots for Clemson.

A quick, easy way to get on the run in the first of three-straight home games: creating turnovers.

Florida State hasn't taken care of the ball very well through 23 games this season, committing 394 turnovers (17.1 a game). The Seminoles have committed at least 20 turnovers five times this season, and have 19 in four other games.

Clemson's opponents average 18.2 turnovers per game.

"That's something that we always look for. That's our style," Purnell said. "That's something that I hope continues, as far as (Florida State) struggling with that.

"Certainly, we're going to play Clemson defense."

Prediction: Florida State 62 Clemson 60

Clemson (16-7, 4-5)
G #2 Demontez Stitt (6-2,175) - 10.8 PPG, 3.6 APG
G #5 Tanner Smith (6-5, 220) - 10 PPG, 4.2 RPG
C #45 Jerai Grant (6-8,220) - 6.9 PPG, 4.7 RPG
F #15 David Potter (6-6,205) - 6.7 PPG, 2.6 RPG
F #35 Trevor Booker (6-7,240) - 15.4 PPG, 8.4 RPG

Florida State (17-6, 5-4)
G #22 Derwin Kitchen (6-4, 198) -8.7 PPG, 4.4 RPG
G #21 Michael Snaer (6-5, 200) - 8.6 PPG, 2.7 RPG
C #32 Solomon Alabi (7-1, 250) - 12.7 PPG, 7 RPG
F #31 Chris Singleton (6-9,227) - 10.8 PPG, 7.5 RPG
F #42 Ryan Reid (6-8,227) - 7 PPG, 3.9 RPG Top Stories