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Countdown to tipoff: Clemson at No. 20 South Carolina

Dec 18, 2016; Birmingham, AL, USA; Clemson Tigers guard Shelton Mitchell (4) shoots as Alabama Crimson Tide forward Braxton Key (14) and forward Shannon Hale (11) attempt to block the shot at Legacy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Fresh off of its 13-point victory at Alabama, Clemson hits the road again and travels to another SEC venue. However, this time it’s a little different as the Tigers play rival South Carolina in what is perhaps the biggest game in the rivalry in nearly 20 years.

The Tigers and Gamecocks will tussle in a meaningful basketball game, in terms of NCAA Tournament hopes, for the first time since 1997 as the Tigers, 8-2, visit No. 20 South Carolina, who is 9-1, at Colonial Life Arena in Columbia. Clemson carries a six-game winning streak into the contest which will tip off at 9 p.m. and will be televised on ESPNU.

CLEMSON (8-2) vs. SOUTH CAROLINA (9-1)

Tipoff: 9 p.m.

Arena: Colonial Life Arena (18,000)

Radio: CTSN (Tony Castricone-pbp; Tim Bourret-color)

TV: ESPNU (Kevin Fitzgerald-pbp; Chris Spatola-color)

  • Clemson enters Wednesday’s contest on a six-game winning streak. The Tigers are 2-0 against SEC competition so far this season, recording wins over Georgia and Alabama.
  • Clemson has 27 wins at South Carolina (second-most road wins over any opponent in program history), including most recently in 2012-13 behind 16 points and five blocks from K.J. McDaniels.
  • The Tigers are in search of their first win over a top-25 Gamecock team since 1997-98, when Clemson won 62-57 in Littlejohn Coliseum.

PROBABLE STARTERS

Clemson

G              Shelton Mitchell

G              Avry Holmes

F              Donte Grantham

F              Jaron Blossomgame

C              Sidy Djitte

South Carolina

G              PJ Dozier

G              Duane Notice

G              Justin McKie

F              Chris Silva

F              Maik Kotsar

SERIES HISTORY

CU Series W-L record: South Carolina leads 90-76

Streak: South Carolina has won the last two meetings

TIGER TRACKS

  • Clemson faces one of the country’s stingiest defenses in South Carolina. The Gamecocks are third nationally in field goal percentage defense (.346) and fourth in scoring defense (57.7). The Tigers are fifth in the NCAA in turnover margin (+6.3) and 10th in fewest turnovers per game (10.2).
  • Shelton Mitchell scored a career-high 18 points in the win over Alabama, with an efficient shooting effort of 6-10 field goals and 4-4 free throws.
  • Gabe DeVoe has a streak of 10 straight games with at least one three-point goal to open the 2016-17 season, the longest of his career.
  • Jaron Blossomgame needs 17 points to pass Larry Nance for 17th on Clemson’s all-time scoring list. Nance played 12 seasons in the NBA.
  • Elijah Thomas made his Clemson debut against the Crimson Tide, chipping in five points and three rebounds in 11 minutes.
  • Associate head coach Mike Winiecki was named to the Richmond Athletics Hall of Fame class of 2017. Winiecki scored over 1,000 points and was part of two NCAA Tournament teams for the Spiders.

–Staff Reports

Photo Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

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