By Will Vandervort.
By Will Vandervort
ATLANTA — In 55 of the previous 60 years of the Atlantic Coast Conference, Clemson has only won four or more conference road games four times.
Thanks to Saturday’s 63-55 victory over Georgia Tech at the McCamish Pavilion in Atlanta, the Tigers can now add a fifth season to that unflattering statistic. Clemson entered the 2013-’14 season with an all-time road percentage of less than 25 percent.
“It is always good to win on the road,” guard Demarcus Harrison said. “I think last year we only had like one road win in the ACC and so that means we are competing at a high level this year. Just getting these wins is very important and winning overall is very important because they had us picked pretty much last in the ACC.”
Ironically, Clemson’s lone road win in the ACC last year came on the very same floor No. 4 came this season. The Tigers have actually won four straight games at Georgia Tech, dating back to head coach Brad Brownell’s first year at Clemson in 2009-’10.
Overall, the Tigers have beaten Georgia Tech nine straight times and have won 15 of the last 19 in the series. This is the first year Clemson has won more than two ACC road games in a season under Brownell.
“Winning is a great feeling and I’m glad we are doing it this year,” said Harrison after he scored 10 of his 15 points on Saturday in the final six minutes of the game.
The Tigers (17-9, 8-6 ACC) are now 4-4 in conference road games this year as they head to Winston-Salem on Tuesday night to try and get No. 5 against Wake Forest. The only time a Clemson team has won five conference road games in the same season was during the 1986-’87 basketball season.
“It’s a great feeling,” said forward K.J. McDaniels. “We feel like we stay collectively together throughout the road games and we have to keep doing that. We feel like we can play with anybody, anywhere. We just go on the court with no fear.”
This year, Clemson has won at Boston College, at Virginia Tech, at Florida State and now at Georgia Tech. The Tigers were also close to getting a victory at Notre Dame where they lost in double overtime after having a chance in both regulation and the first overtime to win the game.
They also held their own at top-ranked Syracuse, trailing by only five points with five minutes to go.
“I feel like we should win every game every time we go out there,” said McDaniels, who scored 16 points against the Yellow Jackets. “But sometimes you lose. But to go out there and get that win and it is on another team’s home court, it is a great feeling.”
A feeling that everyone at Clemson is enjoying.
“I know at Clemson we have not had a lot of road wins in the ACC over the years,” Brownell said. “I’m very proud of our team. We are maximizing our ability. We are playing at a maximum level for us on most nights.
“That’s what you want as a coach – guys playing to their ability level and competing. Hopefully, we are feeling good about ourselves and we have a chance to go get one at Wake.”