By Will Vandervort.
By Will Vandervort
It has been called one of the toughest road stretches in the country this year in any conference, not just the ACC.
“We are tired,” Clemson head basketball coach Brad Brownell said Monday.
The Tigers (15-7, 6-4 ACC) don’t have long to rest before concluding a six-game stretch that saw them take to the road five times in a three-week period. After falling at top-ranked Syracuse on Sunday, Clemson arrived in South Bend, Ind., around one o’clock Monday morning as it only has one day to prepare for Tuesday’s 7 p.m. tip at Notre Dame.
“I can barely remember who it started with. We have had a long three weeks here,” Brownell said.
It started with a 33-point loss at No. 25 Pitt before falling by 19 points at North Carolina. The Tigers bounced back to avenge an earlier loss to Florida State by going to Tallahassee to even the score. And after finally playing their one home game in the stretch, the Tigers held on to beat Georgia Tech in the final seconds.
Then there was Sunday night’s, 57-44, loss to the Orange.
“Obviously, they were very difficult games on the road and were in challenging venues,” Brownell said.
With a 2-3 mark so far during the run and with a very good opportunity to come out of the storm with a 3-3 record if they can take down a beat up Irish team (12-12, 3-8 ACC) that is sitting right at .500 then this road trip might have been the best thing for the Tigers. Brownell likes the fight and the attitude he is seeing out of his team.
“It has shown our team that when we play well and defend, we can play and we can play with some very good teams in the country,” he said. “Hopefully, that has given our guys some confidence.”
After the Notre Dame game, Clemson—who will be looking for its fourth conference road win of the season—will return home to Littlejohn Coliseum on Saturday where it will host No. 17 Virginia before then hosting NC State on Feb. 18.
“I hope (this latest stretch) has given our guys a sense of strength that if we do the things we are expected to do effectively, then we can play with really good teams in this country,” Brownell said.