Previewing Clemson

NC State (10-5, 0-2) is looking for its first conference win as undefeated Clemson (16-0, 2-0) comes to town. The Tigers return a wealth of experience and is one of the surprise teams in the country.

Clemson Information


    F 32 Sam Perry 6-5 Jr. 4.8 ppg. 3.3 rpg.
    F 40 James Mays 6-9 Jr. 12.7 ppg 7.4 rpg
    C 35 Trevon Booker 6-7 Fr. 10.1 ppg 6.9 rpg
    G 25 Cliff Hammonds 6-3 Jr. 10.6 ppg 3.1 rpg
    G 3 Vernon Hamilton 6-0 Sr. 11.1 ppg 4.1 apg

    • Clemson has used the same starting lineup in each of its first 16 games.
    • Clemson is one win short of tying the school record for the longest winning streak, a 17-0 start to the 1986-87 season. Cliff Ellis, who was the ACC Coach of the Year that season at Clemson, will be on hand for the NC State game to serve as one of three announcers on the Fox SportsNet crew.
    • This will be Clemson's first trip to Raleigh since the 2003-04 season, Oliver Purnell's first year at Clemson. Each of the last two games have been played at Clemson and NC State won both games, including last year in double overtime.
    • This will be a battle of two of the most balanced teams in the ACC as both teams have five double figure scorers.
    • Clemson is the only undefeated team left in college basketball. When Oregon defeated #1 ranked UCLA it made the Tigers the last undefeated standing.
    • K.C. Rivers has scored in double figures in every game this year even though he has not started. His 16-game streak of consecutive double figure scoring games as a reserve is a Clemson record, breaking the previous record of seven in a row by Dale Davis in 1988-89. He had 20 points to lead the Tigers in scoring against Georgia Tech.
    • Clemson will be looking for its fifth consecutive road victory when the Tigers play at NC State. The last time Clemson won five straight road games was 10 years ago, 1996-97.
    • Clemson has lost four consecutive games at the RBC Center by an average of 25 points.
    • Clemson has won each of its last two games on last second shots. Cliff Hammonds scored a layup with 2.8 seconds left to beat Florida State, 68-66 and James Mays scored a layup with 2.2 seconds left to beat Georgia Tech last Saturday. It marks the first time in school history the Tigers have hit two game winning shots inside the last 20 seconds in consecutive games.
    • Clemson is ranked in the top 20 in the nation in any poll for the first times since December 28, 1998.
    • Clemson posted a perfect 14-0 record against non-conference teams this year, the first time Clemson has had a perfect non-ACC record in the regular season since 1995-96.
    • Clemson leads the ACC in offensive rebounds per game with 15.0.
    • Clemson and NC State split eight games when Sidney Lowe was a point guard on the Wolfpack team between 1979-83.

    Georgia Tech shot 59.2 percent from the field last Saturday, yet Clemson won the game. That was the second best opponent field goal percentage against an Oliver Purnell coached Clemson team, yet the Tigers won the contest. Clemson was out-shot 59.2 percent to 38 percent, yet won the game. Clemson is now 5-19 under Oliver Purnell (2-0 this year) when allowing the opposition to shoot 50 percent or better. Two of the five wins in his careeer have come against Georgia Tech. Tech shot 52.6 percent from the field at Littlejohn Coliseum last year, yet Clemson won the game 95-82.

    Former Clemson Head Coach Cliff Ellis, who guided the Tigers to the 17-0 start in 1986-87, has been added to the broadcast crew for Fox SportsNet South for the Clemson vs. NC State game on January 9.

    Ellis coached the Tigers from 1984-85 through the 1993-94 season and is the school's winningest coach with a record of 177-128. He also has the Clemson record for ACC wins with 59. Ellis was named the ACC Coach of the Year for 1986-87 and in 1989-90 when he led the Tigers to their only ACC Regular season championship in history.

    He is the only Clemson coach to be named ACC Coach of the Year. He took the Tigers to the NCAA Tournament in 1986, 1989 and 1990 and had five seasons when he guided Clemson to the NIT, including Final Eight finishes in 1986 and 1994.

    He then went on to become the head coach at Auburn, where he took those Tigers to a top 10 national ranking and NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 in 1999.

    Clemson's top two scorers are natives of the Tar Heel state so Tuesday night's game will have added significance for them.

    Clemson's leading scorer K.C. Rivers is a native of Charlotte, NC where he played for Independence High School as a freshman and sophomore. He played his final two years at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia. Rivers is averaging 14.9 points per game, the high figure among the Tigers. He is also the Tigers top three-point shooter with a .411 figure.

    James Mays is Clemson's second leading scorer with a 12.7 average and he is a native of Garner High School in Garner, NC. Mays is also Clemson's leading rebounder and is second in field goal percentage.

    Julius Powell is Clemson's third player from the Tar Heel state. A key reserve who averages 14 minutes per game, Powell is from Newton, NC where he played at Newton-Conover High School. Powell averages 3.9 points and 1.8 rebounds per game. This is the first of three appearances in the Tar Heel state for the three Tigers. Clemson plays at Duke on January 25 and at Wake Forest on February 14.

    Clemson guard Cliff Hammonds is on quite a run when it comes to assist/turnover ratio. Last week Hammonds played 73 minutes in pressure packed ACC play and had just one turnover. He played 37 minutes without a miscue at Florida State and had just one in 36 minutes in Clemson's win over Georgia Tech. Over his last seven games, Hammonds has a 23/4 assist/turnover ratio.

    So far this year, Hammonds has 56 assists and just 20 turnovers for a 2.8 to 1 assist/turnover ratio, best in the ACC. If the season ended today, it would be the third best ratio in Clemson history, trailing only two seasons turned in by Grayson Marshall. Marshall set the record in 1986-87, the 20-year anniversary season of this year when he had 221 assists and just 74 turnovers for the year, a 2.986 figure. Hammonds figures this year should not be a surprise as he has been good in this area for his career.

    His career ratio if 1.77, a figure that is eighth best in school history, just under the 1.81 figure by former All-ACC guard Terrell McIntyre.

    When Clemson went 17-0 in 1986-87 it was not the last team to lose that year. Clemson's streak ended with a 105-103 loss to Duke at home on January 24. Iowa had also been 17-0 entering that day, but lost to Ohio State.

    DePaul was actually the last team to lose in 1986-87. Ray Meyer's Blue Demons were 16-0 heading into a January 25 game with Georgetown, but the Hoyas won 74-71. Thus, all three of those teams saw their winning streaks end on the same weekend, but DePaul held the distinction of being the last team to lose that year.

    Clemson became the last undefeated standing this year when it defeated Georgia Tech 75-74 on January 6. UCLA, undefeated and ranked #1 in the nation, lost earlier at Oregon, leaving Clemson has the last team undefeated.

    Last year, the University of Florida, who went on to win the National Championship, was the last team to lose a game. The Gators were 17-0 prior to a loss to Tennessee on January 21, 2006. The longest winning streak in the nation last year belonged to Gonzaga, who won 20 in a row before losing to UCLA in the NCAA Tournament. George Washington had an 18-game streak, while Florida and Duke had 17-game winning streaks.

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