Previewing Clemson

If the Tar Heels want to prove they can prevail in a true road atmosphere this season, a win Wednesday night at No. 24 Clemson would do just that. Tip-off at Littlejohn Coliseum is set for 9 p.m. on ESPN.

North Carolina (12-4, 1-0) vs. Clemson (13-3, 1-1)
Clemson, S.C. -- Littlejohn Coliseum
9 p.m., ESPN (Dan Shulman, Jay Bilas, Erin Andrews)


"It'd probably mean more to me than most of the other guys on the team because I grew up in Charlotte and grew up a Carolina fan. So, them not recruiting me and then us beating them and me playing well (would be) sort of like a slap in the face to them for not recruiting me." – Clemson point guard Demontez Stitt

"Certainly, we recognize that Carolina's an outstanding program. … They are the defending national champions until somebody dethrones them. I think their demise is much overrated. They're a team now that has been battle-tested: they've played one of the toughest schedules in the country." – Clemson head coach Oliver Purnell

"Their crowd will be into it. It will be a wonderful college atmosphere. We've got to do a great job on [Trevor] Booker and we've got to stop Stitt on penetration, if we can, and then hope that they don't make a bunch of shots." – UNC head coach Roy Williams


Season to Date: Clemson enters Wednesday night's contest with a 13-3 (1-1 ACC) record. The Tigers lost to Texas A&M (69-60) two days before upsetting No. 10 Butler (70-69) at the 76 Classic in Anaheim, Calif. The program's other two losses occurred at home against Illinois (76-74) on Dec. 2 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and on the road against Duke (74-53) on Jan. 3.

Creeping Up the Record Books: Senior forward Trevor Booker leads Clemson in scoring (14.8 ppg) and rebounding (8.4) this season, while also serving as the No. 2 man in blocked shots (22) and steals (25). For his career, the Whitmire, S.C. native has totaled 1,475 points, 927 rebounds and 226 blocked shots. The 6-foot-7, 240-pounder needs 25 points and 73 rebounds to become the first Clemson student-athlete and just the sixth player in ACC history to score 1,500 points, grab 1,000 rebounds and block 225 shots in a career. The other five ACCers on that list? Duke's Mike Gminiski and Shelden Williams, UNC's Sam Perkins, Virginia's Ralph Sampson and Wake Forest's Tim Duncan.

Doubling Up at the Point: Only four Tigers are averaging more than 23 minutes per contest this season, and it just so happens that two of the four are point guards – junior Demontez Stitt and sophomore Andre Young. Through 16 games, the duo has combined to average 18.9 points, 6.6 assists and 3.7 steals per game. Stitt is averaging 10.9 points per outing while knocking down 39.5 percent of his 3-point attempts (17-of-43), while Young leads the team in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.82) and ranks second in the ACC with 2.1 steals per game.

Defensive Potential: Clemson has typically lived near the top of the league's field goal percentage defense rankings during Purnell's tenure, but the Tigers currently check in at the No. 10 spot (40.9). But it's worth noting that Clemson leads the ACC and holds down a national top-10 ranking in steals with 11.0 per game. That thievery has helped the Tigers force a conference-best 18.9 turnovers per game.

Straight Forward Stats: Clemson is 13-0 when it shoots at least 40 percent from the field and 0-3 when it fails to shoot 40 percent. In the Tigers' three losses, they have shot a combined 26.5 percent from the field in the first half.

Odd Fact of the Day: Booker has just 24 fouls in 16 games – one for every 19.3 minutes of play. He has more steals than fouls (25-24) and almost more blocks (22-24).

Last Meeting: North Carolina defeated Clemson, 94-70, in Chapel Hill on Jan. 21, 2009. Wayne Ellington led UNC with 25 points and dished out seven assists. Tyler Hansbrough posted 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Ty Lawson added 16 points and seven assists. The game marked the 54th consecutive loss for the Tigers in Chapel Hill.

Series History: The Tar Heels lead the all-time series with Clemson, 122-19. UNC has beaten the Tigers 10 times in a row and 34 times in the last 40 meetings.

Projected Starters:
2 Demontez Stitt (6-2, 175, Jr.) – 10.9 ppg, 3.8 apg
5 Tanner Smith (6-5, 220, So.) – 10.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg
15 David Potter (6-6, 215, Sr.) – 7.3 ppg, 3.0 rpg
35 Trevor Booker (6-7, 240, Sr.) – 14.8 ppg, 8.4 rpg
45 Jerai Grant (6-8, 220, Jr.) – 6.1 ppg, 3.8 rpg

Top Reserves:
11 Andre Young (5-9, 170, So.) – 8.0 ppg, 2.5 apg
1 Noel Johnson (6-6, 190, Fr.) – 5.4 ppg, 1.9 rpg
31 Devin Booker (6-8, 235, Fr.) – 5.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg
24 Milton Jennings (6-9, 225, Fr.) – 4.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg

CU Info
Roster & Bios

Photo Gallery

T. Booker ... Stitt

Smith ... Potter

Young ... Grant

(Photos by AP)

Inside Carolina Top Stories