Tigers getting unexpected scoring help

The good news for Clemson was that the Tigers got unexpected career-high scoring nights from reserves Andre Young and Devin Booker, and senior starter David Potter, in a win against Florida State on Wednesday night.

The somewhat bad news was that Trevor Booker didn't appear to be himself for the third straight game.

Booker continued to struggle from the field and has connected on just seven of his last 32 shots.

Granted, the Tigers' senior leader hasn't been completely healthy -- he received an IV just before the game against the Seminoles -- but opposing defenses have been collapsing on him as soon as he touches the ball, and the double- and triple-teams have exacted a toll.

For the Tigers (17-7, 5-5) to be successful down the stretch, including Saturday's home game against Miami (17-7, 3-7), they're going to have to get more help from other sources -- much like they did against the Seminoles when Young, Booker and Potter took up the scoring slack.

"It feels real good to show teams that they've got to watch out for everybody," Potter said after his 19-point effort against Florida State.

"My confidence is starting to come back. I've got to play every game like it's your last. I'm not going to be able to come back next year and get this back, so I want to go out with a bang."

Potter had struggled, enduring a stretch of 16 consecutive games in which he failed to score in double figures, but all of that seemed healed against Florida State. Clemson coach Oliver Purnell, who continued to start Potter despite his shooting woes, said he never lost faith.

"You can't discount experience," Purnell said. "You can't discount that he's been in big games and played critical roles in big games."

The Tigers are enjoying a rare three-game home stand, with the Miami game Saturday and a game against Virginia on Feb. 20. It's an opportunity for the Tigers to gain ground in the ACC standings.

"We need to get to 7-5," junior guard Demontez Stitt said. "You have to protect your home court in this league."

LOOKING AHEAD TO MIAMI: Miami still has a long way to go to resurrect its postseason chances, but the Hurricanes took a step in the right direction with a two-point win over Georgia Tech.

The Hurricanes improved to only 3-7 in the conference, but it was their third win in only four home games against ACC foes.

They have won their last two at home since blowing a double-digit second-half lead in a loss against Boston College.

Though they are back on the road for their next game (Saturday at Clemson), they finish the regular season with four of their final six games in Coral Gables.

They started conference play with six of their first nine league games on the road.

In addition to the trip to Clemson, they also must go to North Carolina. They have home games left against Duke, Virginia, North Carolina State and Florida State.

Even more encouraging, the Hurricanes have been much more competitive on the road lately after getting blown out in back-to-back losses at Virginia Tech and Virginia and a later thumping at Maryland.

In their two games before the win over Georgia Tech, the Hurricanes lost by nine at Wake Forest and by six at Florida State.

Overall, the Hurricanes are 17-7, but with the weakness of their non-conference schedule, they need to have an impressive finish in the ACC to get the NCAA selection committee's attention.

Anything short of 8-8 in the ACC in the regular season -- plus at least one victory in the conference tournament -- will likely result in Miami going to the NIT for a second consecutive year.

CUTigers.com Top Stories