Previewing Clemson

Clemson comes in to today's game against NC State riding a two-game conference winning streak. Here is a quick preview of the Tigers.


    G 12 Rod Hall (6-1, 210 SO) 6.3 PPG, 3.9 APG
    G 21 Damarcus Harrison (6-4, 200 SO) 5.3 PPG, 2.8 RPG
    F 32 K.J. McDaniels (6-6, 200 SO) 10.9 PPG, 4.8 RPG
    F 24 Milton Jennings (6-9, 225 SR) 10.2 PPG, 5.7 RPG
    C 31 Devin Booker (6-8, 250 SR) 12.1 PPG, 8.1 RPG

    Devin Booker -- One of the ACC's most athletic big men, Booker leads Clemson in scoring and rebounding during his senior season.

    Look for him to matchup with the Wolfpack's Richard Howell in the paint.

    Clemson Notables

    Quick Facts
    • Clemson and NC State will face off for the 146th time on the hardwood Sunday. The game will be ESPNU's featured Sunday Night Hoops contest, one of two that will include Clemson this season. The other will be a home game against Miami on Feb. 17.

    • NC State holds the all-time lead in the series 97-48, but Clemson has held the upper hand in recent years. The Tigers have won two of the last three, and seven of the last nine meetings overall against the Wolfpack.

    • Clemson has won two straight games in the ACC after an 0-2 start. The Tigers have held both of their last two opponents, Virginia and Wake Forest, to the same point total (44).

    • NC State enters the game ranked 14th in the AP poll and 15th by the coaches, but the Wolfpack lost in their most recent game at Maryland on an Alex Len tip-in with 0.9 seconds left. NC State knocked off previously unbeaten and No. 1 ranked Duke in its most recent home game.

    • Clemson's consecutive games holding ACC opponents to 45 points or less was a first in school history since the league formed in 1953.

    • The Tigers held Wake Forest to 24.6 percent shooting, the second best field goal percentage defense by Clemson against an ACC school since Jan. 4, 1964, when the Tigers held the Demon Deacons to 20 percent on field goals.

    • K.J. McDaniels had seven blocked shots against Wake Forest, a career-high. It gave him 36 for the season, most in Clemson history for a player 6-foot-6 or shorter. McDaniels added a career-high nine boards against the Demon Deacons.

    • Devin Booker is averaging 10.8 rebounds per game in ACC play, third-best in league games.

    • Booker needs 58 points to become the 36th player in Clemson history to reach the 1,000 career point club.

    • Milton Jennings has made at least one three-pointer in all but two games and leads the Tigers at 46.2 percent. He has tied a personal high with 24 on the season, the same number he had as a sophomore in 2010-11.

    • Rod Hall has committed just 26 turnovers in 458 minutes, an average of one only every 17.6 minutes of play. He is fifth in the ACC in assist-to-turnover ratio and is also shooting 49.4 percent from his point guard position. Clemson vs. NC State Series History

    • NC State has a 97-48 record against Clemson overall. NC State has a 46-13 lead in games at Raleigh and a 20-5 lead in games at neutral sites, including NC State's 59-57 win at the 2010 ACC Tournament. NC State leads in games at Clemson 31-30, but Clemson leads in games at Littlejohn Coliseum, 23-17.

    • While NC State has a big lead overall in the series, Clemson has won seven of the last nine dating to 2006-07. The only losses to NC State in the last six years were 59-57 in the 2010 ACC Tournament, and 69-61 in Raleigh in 2010-11.

    • The two teams will play twice this season, as NC State makes the trip to Clemson on Sunday, Feb. 10. The Tigers won last year in thrilling fashion, 72-69 at home in overtime. NC State went on to a Sweet 16 appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

    • Clemson had a five-game winning streak in the series prior to the Pack's win in the ACC Tournament by two points in 2010. That was Clemson's longest winning streak against NC State since the 1992-93 to 1994-95 era when the Tigers won six in a row. The five-game win streak tied for the fifth longest streak for the Tigers against another ACC team.

    • Clemson won its first game in PNC Arena in 1999-00 on NC State's Senior Night, then struggled for the next four games, losing four straight by a total of 102 points, or an average defeat of 25 points per game. But Clemson won each of the next three meetings between the two teams in Raleigh including by a 73- 70 margin in 2009-10. NC State ended the streak in 2010-11. Clemson is 4-5 at PNC Arena.

    • The two teams played just once for three consecutive years through 2006-07, but Clemson won both meetings in 2007-08 and the one meeting in the regular season in 2008-09 and 2009-10. Clemson's two-game sweep in 2007-08 was the first sweep for Clemson in the series since 1999-00.

    • NC State has a history of upsetting Clemson teams in Raleigh. In 1996-97 Clemson came to Raleigh ranked seventh in the nation. The Pack was 0-8 in ACC play under first-year NC State coach Herb Sendek. But, Sendek came away with the victory over his former mentor, Rick Barnes, 58-54.

    • Former NC State All-American Hawkeye Whitney still holds the Clemson opponent record for points in a game in Littlejohn Coliseum with 43 during the 1978-79 season. Clemson won the game, however, by a score of 85-72.

    • Clemson is 3-0 against NC State coach Mark Gottfried. The first two wins occurred when he was at Alabama, an 87-61 victory at Alabama on New Year's Day 2008 and a 66-59 score at Clemson on Jan. 6, 2009. The Tigers then won last year in Gottfried's first season at the helm of NC State.

    Scouting The Wolfpack
    NC State enters Sunday's contest with a 14-3 overall record. The Wolfpack knocked off No. 1 Duke in their most recent home game. The Blue Devils were undefeated coming into PNC Arena. NC State lost its most recent game, 51-50, after Maryland center Alex Len scored on a tip-in with 0.9 seconds remaining.

    Five players average double figures for the ‘Pack, while a sixth player, Rodney Purvis, averages 9.4 points per game. C.J. Leslie leads NC State in scoring at 16 points per game. He scored 25 in the win over No. 1 Duke. Richard Howell averages a double-double and leads the ACC in rebounding at 10.5 per contest.

    Lorenzo Brown leads the league in assists per game (6.9) and is second on NC State's team at 13.2 points per game as well. Scott Wood (12.1) and T.J. Warren (11.6) are the other double-figure scorers for the ‘Pack.

    NC State leads the ACC and is third in the NCAA with a .515 field goal percentage. The Wolfpack, undefeated at PNC Arena this season, average 86.3 points per game at home. The Wolfpack have made as many free throws (281) as their opponents have taken this season.

    Mark Gottfried is in his second season at the helm of NC State. The former Alabama coach is 38-16 in Raleigh and 316- 171 in 16 seasons overall.

    Clemson Looks for Road Win over Ranked Team
    Clemson will travel to NC State on Sunday to face a Wolfpack team ranked in the top 15 of both polls. Clemson has 11 wins in its history over top-25 teams on the road. Clemson has not beaten a top-25 team on the road since March 4, 2007 when the Tigers defeated No. 21 ranked Virginia Tech, 75-74.

    The Tigers do, however, have a pair of wins over top-25 teams away from home during this stretch. Clemson defeated seventh-ranked Duke at the 2008 ACC Tournament and 10th-ranked Butler in Anaheim, CA in the 76 Classic in 2009.

    Prior to the win in Blacksburg six years ago, Clemson had not won on the road against a top 25 team since January 15, 1997 when the Tigers won at 11th ranked Maryland.

    Clemson's first two ranked road wins took place just four days apart. Bill Foster won his first two ACC road games over top five teams, defeating Wake Forest on January 17, 1976 and Maryland the very next game on January 21, 1976.

    Maryland was ranked second in the AP poll in that contest and it remains the highest ranked team Clemson has defeated on the road in history.

    Clemson has lost 10 straight on a top-25 team's home court entering Tuesday's game at Virginia.

    Tigers Swat 11 Shots vs. Wake Forest
    A big reason for Clemson's strong field goal percentage defense was the fact that Clemson blocked 11 shots in the win over Wake Forest on Jan. 15. It was the second-most in a game this season, as Clemson had 12 in the loss to Arizona back in December. It was the most for the Tigers in an ACC game since the 2009-10 season when the Tigers had 11 in a loss at Virginia Tech. The record against an ACC opponent is 13, accomplished against Duke in 1977 and at Maryland in 2005.

    K.J. McDaniels had seven blocks in the contest, most since Jerai Grant had the same amount in a game against The Citadel in the 2010-11 season.

    As a team, Clemson has 84 blocks for the season, an average of 5.3 per game, best in the ACC heading into games of Wednesday, Jan. 16. McDaniels is second in the ACC in blocks per game with 2.3 per contest.

    Tigers Shoot 77 Percent in Second Half vs. Virginia
    Clemson made 10-of-13 shots from the field, including 5-of-6 three-point shots in the win over Virginia on Jan. 12. That computes to a 76.9 field goal percentage and 83.3 from three-point range. Clemson also shot 71.4 percent from the line.

    That was the best shooting performance in a half for the Tigers since Brad Brownell's first year. On Jan. 12, 2011 (yes the exact two-year anniversary), Clemson made 17-of-20 shots from the field in the second half of an 87-62 win over Georgia Tech. That is an 85 percent mark.

    Clemson made all nine of its three-point shots in that half, obviously the Clemson record for three-point shooting in a half.

    Obviously, the ACC needs to schedule a game for Brad Brownell's team on Jan. 12 every year.

    It was quite an accomplishment to have this shooting performance against Virginia. The Cavaliers entered the game allowing just 35.7 percent from the field overall (seventh best in the nation), just 29 percent from three-point range (22nd best). Virginia was also third in scoring defense entering the game allowing just 51.7 points a game. But, Clemson shot 51.5 percent from the field overall, including 6-of-10 on three-point shots, 60 percent. It was just the second time this year an opponent shot at least 50 percent against Virginia.

    The Score at Halftime Does Matter
    One of the most used slogans in sports is "There's nothing more irrelevant than the score at halftime." That's not exactly the case when it comes to Clemson's 2012-13 basketball team. The Tigers are 10-1 when leading at the half and 0-5 when they trail at intermission.

    In Clemson's five losses when trailing at halftime, the Tigers have faced an average deficit of 12 points. The largest deficit at the break was 20 against Purdue on Nov. 28. Clemson's only loss when leading at halftime was against No. 16 Gonzaga in the Old Spice Classic. The Tigers led by one, 24-23, at the half of that contest. Shooting has been the biggest culprit in games Clemson has trailed at halftime.

    In opening halves of those five losses, Clemson's best field goal percentage in the opening 20 minutes was .435 against Purdue. In the loss at Duke, Clemson made just 3-of-25 first half field goals on its way to a 15-point deficit at intermission.

    In Clemson's 10 wins in which it has led at halftime, the Tigers have enjoyed an average advantage of 10.9 points. Clemson had one-point leads on both Marist and South Carolina, and won both games by nine or more points.

    Statistical Streaks & Trends

    • Devin Booker is averaging 14.5 points and 10.8 rebounds per game through four ACC contests.

    • K.J. McDaniels established career-highs for both rebounds (9) and blocked shots (7) in Clemson's most recent game, a win over Wake Forest.

    • McDaniels has had at least one steal and block in the same game in 10 of Clemson's last 12 contests.

    • Adonis Filer is the only Tiger freshman to score in each game so far. He has reached double figures in seven games, third-most on the team behind Booker and McDaniels.

    • Rod Hall has led or tied for the team lead in assists in 12 of 16 games. He is fifth in the ACC with a 2.5 assist-to-turnover ratio.

    • Hall has just 26 total turnovers in 458 minutes, an average of one only every 17.6 minutes of play.

    • Jordan Roper missed the Virginia game but returned against Wake Forest to make 3-of-4 from long range. The freshman has made multiple three-pointers in five games this season.

    • Milton Jennings has made at least one three-point goal in 12 of his 14 appearances, which included a career-high five makes from long distance versus Virginia.

    Jennings Records First 20 & 10 Game
    Senior Milton Jennings had his best career game against an ACC opponent in the Tigers' 59-44 win over Virginia on Jan. 12 at Littlejohn Coliseum. The power forward scored 21 points and added 11 rebounds. His career-highs are 22 points and 14 rebounds both recorded against Furman last year. Jennings was the first Clemson player to have at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in the same game since his performance against Furman last season. But, you have to go back almost four years to find the last time a Tiger had 20 & 10 in an ACC game. The last Tiger to do that was Trevor Booker, who had 21 points and 13 rebounds against Virginia Tech on Feb. 25, 2009. Booker actually had three 20 & 10 games in a five-game period that year, his junior season. Jennings had 21 points against Virginia in a game in which the Tigers had just 59 points as a team. It marked the first time a Tiger had scored at least 20 in a game in which the team did not score 60 since his 22-point game against Furman. Clemson won that game 59-49. The last time that happened in an ACC game was 2009-10, when Trevor Booker had 22 in a loss to Duke.

    Clemson athletics contributed to this report.

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