Under Brad Brownell, Clemson has lost 10 straight games to the North Carolina Tar Heels, including an 8-point loss at Chapel Hill, N.C., just 13 days ago.
A lot has changed since then.
The 10th-ranked Tar Heels have lost two straight games and sit one-game behind Tigers in the ACC standings.
Things have changed for No. 17 Clemson as well. Though it beat Georgia Tech in Atlanta on Sunday night, it is still adjusting to the loss of senior forward Donte Grantham, who is out for the year with a torn ACL in his right knee.
To make things even tougher, the Tigers could be without reserve center Mark Donnal as well when they host UNC at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. The graduate transfer from Michigan took a blow to the head at the end of Sunday’s, 72-70, win over the Yellow Jackets and has been placed in concussion protocol.
Donnal’s status for the North Carolina game is questionable at best and will be updated later on Monday.
Oh by the way, the Tigers have less than 48 hours to prepare for a North Carolina team that is trying to avoid a third straight loss, which does not happen very often at Chapel Hill.
“Obviously, it is a difficult turnaround for us,” Brownell said Monday during the ACC Coaches Teleconference. “This is a team we have had a hard time playing against lately so we have to figure some things out here and need a really good mental preparation day to get ready to go for tomorrow night’s game.”
In his teams’ previous 10 meetings with the Tar Heels, Brownell has come close to getting that elusive win. In the their last meeting 13 days ago, Clemson made 15 straight shots in the second half and came within two points three times before UNC finally pulled away late in the game.
In Brownell’s first year at Clemson, the Tar Heels beat Clemson by only two points at Littlejohn Coliseum and rallied in the second half to beat the Tigers by five points in the ACC Tournament. They played three times that season, the last time, until this year, the two teams met more than once in a season.
Last year, the Tar Heels rallied in overtime to beat Clemson by three points at Littlejohn.
But Brownell cannot worry about what has happened against UNC in the past, he has to turn his focus instead to Tuesday night where he does not have much time to get his team prepared. The Tar Heels have one extra day considering they played at NC State on Saturday.
“Just in terms of preparation, obviously, we will not do much physically at all today,” he said. “We will do some film work and we will walk through a few things. Maybe we will shoot a little bit and talk about both offensive and defensive keys and what we need to do.
“We will meet a little bit (on Tuesday) and have a game-day shoot around to try and tighten some things up.”