Clemson leads 2-0. The Tigers won their 1960-61 season opener against the Orange 78-67 in Kent, Ohio. The most recent meeting came in the 2007 NIT quarterfinals, a 74-70 Clemson triumph at Littlejohn Coliseum. This will be the first time the teams have played in Syracuse. TIGERS' RECENT HISTORY Clemson is far from the most accomplished ACC program (in 60 ACC tournaments, it has never won the event and reached the title game only in 1962 and 2008), but Oliver Purnell did take the Tigers to three consecutive NCAA tournaments between 2008 and 2010. SERIES Purnell never won an NCAA game at Clemson, and left for DePaul before many Tigers fans bothered to get irritated about the program’s plateau. Brad Brownell continued the NCAA streak in 2011, but Clemson then slipped to 16-15 the following year and 13-18 last season as a frontcourt-oriented team before rebuilding around its backcourt an do-everything forward K.J. McDaniels this season. COACH Brownell is 66-51 in the middle of his fourth season at Clemson. He previously led UNC Wilmington (2003 and 2006) and Wright State (2007) to NCAA tournament appearances in his first two head coaching stops. Brownell’s teams have a history of strong defense, a tradition this year’s Clemson bunch has more than upheld. The Tigers allow just 55.0 points per game and rank eighth in adjusted defense according to KenPom.com. TOP PLAYERS G Rod Hall: The junior point guard is averaging 3.81 assists and just 1.33 turnovers this season and ranks second on the team in scoring (9.0) F K.J. McDaniels: One of the conference’s most valuable players, McDaniels leads Clemson in points (16.3 per game), rebounds (7.0 per game), steals (24), blocks (55) and 3-pointers (25). NUMBERS OF NOTE 3 Schools led to the NCAA tournament by coach Brad Brownell, one of only two current ACC coaches who can make that claim. N.C. State’s Mark Gottfried is the other. 27.0 Three-point field goal percentage defense for Clemson, the fourth-best in the country according to KenPom.com. 98 Combined points for Clemson in its last two games, both victories. The Tigers defeated Florida State 53-49 on the road and Georgia Tech 45-41 at home in their last two outings.
Syracuse basketball opponent look ahead: What you need to know about Clemson
Syracuse.com | Feb 8